Travel Blogs from Istanbul
- We had free time till 1600 and were on a mission to get heaps of Turkish Delight
- for friends and fam.
- We had as good long walk down to the Bosphorus and tried to find a shop but no luck so we needed to get to the Koska 1907 shop down from Taxim Square that we had discovered at the last free time we had between the 2 tours 8 days before. It was unbearably hot. We had to regularly ...
After packing our bags and having breakfast, we joined the contiki group on the coach for our Istanbul tour. We first visited the Egyptian spice markets, followed by the Saltanahmet (blue mosque) and the Grand Bazaar. This was the first time I have ever entered a mosque. It was quite a beautiful structure, but funny how they still separate women from the men. A few of us left the tour group and went ...
... the center of town when the midday call to prayer started. It was a pretty amazing experience, because as we were walking the call to prayer followed us, as each mosque started their songs, one after the other, in the direction we were walking, and kept following us until we had almost reached the other end of the park! That was pretty special! When we got out the other end of the park we followed the tram tracks back to our side of town and went back to the restaurant we'd gone ...
Today was a bit of an "off" day which started off quite well with good restful sleep followed by breakfast in Horizon restaurant where we bumped into Roger and Bob, two Americans we had breakfast with yesterday. They very kindly saved a seat on the shuttle bus for us and we cruised around with them in Mykonos because Bobhad been there last night. We stopped and had coffee and also bumped into John and Linda (also from breakfast yesterday) ...
... Turkish people are a fun loving lot by and large and they are always joking and teasing. Now it feels like our travel adventure is drawing to an end, about which we have mixed feelings. We are longing to see our girls and family in Melbourne, who we have missed a lot. But we have loved the places we have visited and the people we have met and all the things we have done and we will miss that. Returning to normal life will be a big ...
How has this hotel rated in the past?
Historical Traveler Reviews Hotel Ilkay Istanbul
Great Place to Stay
I chose the Ilkay due to its very affordable price, the offer of one-way free transportation to or from the airport, free continental breakfast, and most importantly, its close proximity to several of the sites we wanted to visit.
Upon our arrival, we were greeted with apple tea. You just cannot beat Turkish apple tea. During our stay, the staff was very courteous to us, and helped us greatly with our travel plans. In fact, we chose one of our activities based on the advice of one of the staff.
We phoned the front desk to make requests when necessary and each of those requests was handled extremely timely. They were absolutely great.
When we left, we were given a departing gift. In all my years of staying at a hotel, I don't remember getting one of those. And it is priceless because it is part of my wonderful memories of Istanbul. Their manager should be credited for imparting such hospitality to his or her team.
So, if you're looking for a comfortable, economical hotel near the Grand Bazaar, the Bosphorus, the Spice Market, The Blue Mosque and several other attractions, I recommend the Ilkay without hesitation. The rooms are clean and the windows overlook the bustling streets. However, at night, it's very quiet. And yes, I plan to stay there on my next visit.
Note: check the requirements for the free one-way transportation to or from the airport.
Very nice, friendly hotel
Stayed here for 4 days in august 2006, very nice hotel situated in the centre of Istanbul in the Sultanahmet area, 2 min. walking distance from Topkapi palace entrance, 5 min. from Aya sofia, Blue mosque, Grand bazaar, Eminonu. Tram stops 100 mtr. from the hotel entrance.
Hotel is rated 3 star, nice, clean bed rooms, with airco, tv, comfortable beds, clean bathroom. maybe a little difficult to find the room, because it's something like a labyrinth, but it is worth the price.
Staff is friendly, I've to report only one thing, hotel had to arrange airport pickup the first day early in the morning, but did not. Anyway they apologised and provided for free transport on the last day to the airport, so everything went well.
Breakfast is incredibly good, nice choice of food, 7-8 kind of breads, coffee, tee, cappuccino, espresso, yoghurt, cereals, lots of delicious things, and everything at all you can eat buffet!!!! very good.
The location of the hotel is good, there are lots of small restaurants, and kebab stores where you can eat for few cents.
Overall a very nice 3 star hotel. Do not expect more than that, it's 3 star, they deserve them all, main reason for choosing this hotel is because it's cheap and clean and breakfast is goooood!
A nice place to stay
I spent a fex days there with my sister and both of us were happy with our stay in the hotel. Calm, clean, helpful staff, great breakfast... And the location is perfect according to what we wanted to do: visiting Istanbul's major monuments, going to the most famous bazaars, and so on...
Price is reasonable.
Quite advisable for those who don't know the town yet.
Little tips: the hotel staff is almost simply composed of men, but most of them very nice!
I booked this hotel via [--], which redirected me to [--] as I made a reservation a day before the arrival. Strange thing was that these two sources gave 3-star and 4-star rank to the hotel. According to my experience it's 3-star hotel, not 4-star. It's strategically located in the Sultanahment area, with working distance to Hagia Sopia, Blue Mosque, Grand Bazar and etc. The breakfast was OK, but variety and quantity of food is modest. I would say that in general hotel is OK, but staff behaviour made our stay not pleasant experience.
First, they could not find my reservation in their system. Secondly, receptionist sent a bellboy to guide us in the hotel labyrinth, this service we didn't request and thus not paid tips. Hotel staff expects tips from you for everything they do and not do, so it's quite irritating. Thirdly, air conditioner was not cooling. You can imagine the heat in the room if it's 39C outside. On our complaints they tried to persuade us that we didn't turn it on, or that it's not enough time for air to be cooled, or that we are just too demanding. They could not change our room to other one due to overbooking, which I did not really believe as I saw a big group of departing guests. As the conditioner was not cooling, they brought fan to our room. During the night I discovered that water was melting from air conditioner on the floor, thus I could not sleep because of sound of dropping water. Next day they proposed a "better" room which was a suite facing on tramline and with AC not in the bedroom. After bargains we were given the same room type and AC was really cooling.
To resume I shall say that staff is very lazy. So if you are not happy with your room, they will not rush to help you. First they will try to do nothing, and only after your persistent complaints they will do "their best".
My sister and I stayed at the Ilkay for 5 nights in June 2006, and considering we are 2 girls alone, we wanted to make sure the hotel was safe and that the staff were friendly.
The staff were just lovely, the hotel itself is very basic (fab for £12 a night!!! Yup we got an awesome deal), but it was really clean, and everything was cleaned and changed for us daily. We had no problems at all.
The only thing that hit us on first impressions, was that the rooms are really small, but after a while you get used to the size and it became quite cosy after a while!
Shower and toilet etc was clean and worked perfectly, we even had cable tv to keep us entertained whilst we got ready!
Location was superb - you're within walking distance of all the main attractions, as well as a McDonalds around the corner, as well as other really good and cheap eating places. Theres also the train station, tram stop, cash points allll around the corner which was just so convenient.
Couldnt have asked for a better holiday overall! Istanbul rocks! Oh yeah and the hotel was great too! Would definitely stay there again.
This hotel is great value for what your paying. The rooms are basic but clean and the staff are very welcoming. Only a 10 min walk from all the major tourist spots and in the middle of several shops and eating places, I would definately recommend this one to anyone looking for a no fuss and value for money stay.
Decent hotel for what you're paying. Almost everyone working there was very nice and helpful. Aside from slight disrepair here and there, the rooms were comfortable and clean. Their breakfast is very good; especially the fresh and delicious feta cheese, olives, and tomatoes (try the surloup, i.e., mixture of molasses and tahini).
This is without doubt the worst hotel I have ever stayed in. Dirty, smelly, run-down and with extremely rude staff. About the only good thing I could say about Hotel Ilkay is that it is in a good location close to major tourist sites. However there are plenty of other hotels with good locations so do yourself a big favour and choose one of the other ones.