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Travel Blogs from Istanbul
Had a good flight from Dubai to Istanbul. We had pre arranged to be collected from the airport through the Hotel which made it easier. We arrived around 5pm. Staying in a cute little hotel called Hotel Spectra, PERFECT spot with a good view of the Blue Mosque, down side is we hear the EXTREMELY LOUD call to prayer, and when it went off at 4.30AM, I …
On Monday we left Athens and headed across the Aegean to Istanbul. We lost a day in Athens due to our earlier cancelled flight, so we were a bit disappointed that we didn't get to do everything that we wanted to. At the same time we were glad to leave the hotel because the staff there were useless and we were ready to begin the next adventure. …
... conquered the city in 1453 and transformed it into an Islamic stronghold and the seat of the last caliphate. Although the Republic of Turkey established its capital in Ankara, palaces and imperial mosques still line Istanbul's hills as visible reminders ...
... we were also pulled up by the police for speeding. 80kph in a 60km speed zone. Poor Tommy has now a 250 kuna fine .... so much for the profits! It's only a small airport and after a two hour delay due to storms in Istanbul we are finally in the air. We leave Croatia feeling blessed for the experience and look towards Turkey with great anticipation ... hang on! Euchre: Boys 5 - Girls 0 Overall: Boys 30 - Girls 25 The boys started whinging so we thought we'd better let them get in front ...
... on both the European and Asian sides that I wasn't expecting. Istanbul is a surprising city and I can definitely see myself coming back. Last item for the day was our end of tour dinner. Half the tour group had already departed for their Greek island cruise so there was only 18 people left for our last dinner. We went to a local fish restaurant. The food was nice and there were random people wandering the street playing music which just added to the ...
How has this hotel rated in the past?
Historical Traveler Reviews Hotel Spectra Istanbul
Warmth 24 hours
Just back from a week in the Spectra. I have stayed there some three times previously. Weather was sunny during the day but cool at night, so it was a joy to discover that the heating in my room was constantly available.
I had as in the past a great welcome from the owner who treats everyone with great gentleness and a sense of deep calm.
The rooftop breakfast was as usual a great experience with the extraordinary views of the sites around the Hippodrome and beyond. The service was very good at breakfast, so much so that the lady in charge provided me with special breakfast tea when she saw that I was dealing with a heavy cold.
The desk staff were helpful as always. This hotel is small, it is in a great location, it is for me a part of the vital experience that visiting Istanbul is. It truly provides a friendly space to rest and relax before tackling the hilly streets which abound in this magnificent city.
Great Location, among other things
Initially, I stayed at another hotel in Istanbul reserved through a travel agent. I was to tour Turkey and arrive back at the hotel for one more week before heading back to the U.S. The hotel was filled with smoke (24/7). I decided to change hotels.
On the recommendation of a friend, I stayed the last week at the Hotel Spectra. Not only is it centrally located (never got lost), but the Manager and staff were extremely friendly and very helpful. Their hospitality made me feel at home. The Manager, Dogan Sumengen, speaks very good English and I was able to enjoy many pleasant conversations with him. His wife bought me a sweater when the weather turned cold and I was caught unprepared. Now if that isn't hospitality!
Breakfasts on the roof overlooks the Sea of Marmar and the Blue Mosque. A delightful way to start the day. The best part is the fact it is a non-smoking hotel (hard to find in Istanbul) and with reasonable prices.
I highly recommend this charming hotel.
MY TURKISH HOME AWAY FROM HOME
I have had the delight of staying at the Spectra Hotel in Istanbul annually for the past 10 years. I discovered it on a walk around the the area of the Blue Mosque and look forward to my yearly return. The rooms are small but charming and well maintained - The owner is the most hospitable gentleman and does every-thing in his power to make a long or short stay simply perfect. A highlight of this hotel - besides is superb location and friendly staff - is the wonderful breakfast served daily on the enclosed top floor. A breakfast with fresh fruit - yoghurt - honey - variety of excellent bread - tea - coffee - cereals accompanied with a view of the Marmaris - Blue Mosque and Aya Sophia!!! Add to this a very affordable room rate and the convenience of being able to confirm a private pick up at the airport upon your arrival to this magical city. This is a treasure - ENJOY -
J Smith - Kelowna, BC CANADA
Best Hotel in Turkey
My wife and I have been booking at this hotel since 2000, every year. Since 1959 we've both been to Turkey two dozen times, with Italy our favorite country. We have stayed in several others and often check out new possibilities, but Sprectra is the best. Excellent management, staff outstanding, lovely rooms like B&B charm. Excellent location with a staff that can't do enough to make the stay enjoyable.
It doesn't make sense that this hotel isn't ranked a five or four. We taken couples from the US for the last two years and since this summer recommended another three couples. All have thanked up.
My wife adds how wonderful the view of the hippodrome and the outstanding breakfasts.
Prof. Tom Gage, CSUC.
Authentic retreat in heart of Old City
Spectra is centrally located in the Old City with amazing views of St Sophia and the Blue Mosque. The rooms are reminscent of the old style-quaint with authentic features, including wood floors, ottoman, and shuttered windows. We visited at the end of Rammadan and were able to enjoy the sights and sounds of the festival from our window. The complimentary breakfast of Turkish foods is served on the terrace with views of the Old City and Marmara Sea. We found the staff to be very helpful and the owner was most gracious in showing us the facility and assisting us in our ventures. If you are looking for an authentic style stay in the heart of town, we recommend Hotel Spectra.
The location of the hotel is very good but the rooms are very small. The beds are tiny and for less money you can find better hotels in the area.
Would not recommend
Stayed here for one night. It will give you a place to rest your head, but not much else, and even then you won't get a peaceful night's sleep (the "call to prayer" begins at 5 a.m. and ends at 10 p.m.). The room was neat but very run down and the bathroom was moderately clean and extremely small. There was a cup for rinsing or putting your toothbrush in that looked like it had never been cleaned. Consistent with earlier comments, the shower leaked water as well. And all of this for the bargain price of over $100 a night. I think there are better, more reasonable hotels in the same area. I would not recommend this hotel.
Run-down, oblivious staff
Here on a weekend stay with my partner and not knowing Istanbul, I opted for a hotel in Sultanahmet. The Spectra seemed to have a great location for an above average price. Being a Best Western, I assumed it would be of a good standard and it was on a list of gay-friendly hotels in the area. It also had a free transfer from the airport.
Starting with the transfer, we had to wait about 45 minutes for all the passengers to arrive. The van itself was too small and was shared between 4 or 5 hotels. Of course our hotel was last on the route so after another 45 minutes of riding with a stranger on my lap we arrived at the hotel. When asked about the ride at the front desk - I said it was poor, but I was met with a blank smile. An old man (the owner it turned out) shook my hand and welcomed me but didn't introduce himself until I asked who he was. He was not seen again until I checked out and demanded a discount.
I don't know how this hotel compares with the others in the area, but though it was nicely decorated - wooden shutters on the windows, rugs, and mirrored column in the room - there were bulbs missing, the TV didn't work, the phone didn't work, the heating fan was noisy, and no decent reading lights. There were lights mounted on the walls in old-fashioned sconces, but positioned so that there were bare bulbs all facing my direction in bed. The bed itself was not very comfortable and the location? Don't stay next to the largest mosques in Istanbul unless you want to be wakened several times a night with prayers over the (very) loudspeakers. The view of the lovely mosques was obliterated by the column and dainty window coverings.
The staff was the worst, most incompetent I've ever come across. When I complained about the TV not working (it was asking for a password) - I was told to try entering some numbers. Was that the password? No, but maybe that will work. It didn't, and there were 1000 combinations (2 incorrect tries and the TV locked you out requiring you to turn it off and back on again) I complained about the TV all weekend to whoever was at the front desk. Infuriatingly, before I left, one guy went up to check, entered some numbers and presto - all working. I was able to get a discount off fthe room rate and even more if I paid in cash, but still ended paying way too much in my opinion.
Spectra - a convenient refuge
After touring Kusadasi, Efes, Troy and Gallipoli, I returned to Istanbul for one night - intending to fly out the next afternoon. Tur-Ista travel agency (great agency for tourists!!)had reserved and pre-paid one night for me at the Spectra - and it was perfect.
I arrived via shuttle from the otogar at 9:30 pm, and the owner and his assistant could not have been kinder or more helpful, despite my late arrival. I had left an oversized suitcase there earlier in the month - even tho I was staying at another hotel in Sultanahmet at that time, they were willing to hold on to the case for me until my return to Istanbul. The room was decorated very uniquely with persimmon and blue oriental rugs, tapestries, lace window shades and a small TV. There were extra blankets, and the beds were comfortable. As a woman traveling alone, I felt safe and slept very well in my little room.
The next day, I woke up to the sounds of students heading in to the next door Marmara University building - but it wasn't too early! I enjoyed the included breakfast (one of the better ones I had in Turkey..), packed up my room, and checked my mail on their free internet machine in the lobby while waiting for the airport shuttle (arranged by the hotel staff - only costs 5 lira!!).
The room and bathroom were clean (yes, the shower tends to get much of the room wet, but this is pretty common for hotel rooms in Turkey. There are extra drains installed, so the floors dry quickly. I am just happy with hot water and towels - which Spectra certainly provided - in addition to the Best Western toiletries). The location is marvelous - right at the end of the Hippodrome, near Everything! And the manager is a quiet, helpful man who seems very patient with tourists (and their huge suitcases!).
My rate was very good...I think $45 or $50 for a single, and I wished I could have spent more than one night in this little refuge. You can probably do better in Istanbul for a bit more money, but I thought Spectra was a good option and would stay there again.
Another Case of Reality Being Different From The Internet Description
Hotel Spectra in Istanbul, Turkey is a hotel I found on the internet. From the description, location, and pictures, it seemed just what I wanted. And then I arrived there(sigh.)
The room was very, very small and the carpets were dirty. Bed was very uncomfortable. The shower was EXTREMELY small. A flimsy curtain did not keep the water from going out everywhere ..... as a result, the entire bathroom was soaking wet. The water was BROWN, yes, BROWN. I paid $102 U.S. -- absolutely not worth it. Not worth even half of that. Last but not least, I found the staff to be both unhelpful and impolite.
Want to enjoy your stay in Istanbul? Don't stay at Hotel Spectra!