Travel Blogs from Istanbul
... Airport train station. Managed to find where we wanted to go, although needed assistance from all workers to buy tickets and get pointed in the right direction. The tram was interesting. I was the only female wearing shorts, like short shorts (it was like 30•) and some of the dirty looks I received from other girls was quite intense. I understand why they were doing it, it's their culture. It was the first ...
Today I had a relaxing day. I decided to take a Bosphorus River a Cruise. The total length of the cruise was around 5 hours. There was a 2 hour layover in this little fishing village. While at the village I walked up to this old castle. It was hot out and the trek took 20 minutes each way. The way got steeper and steeper as you got closer to the castle, and when you got to the castle you could not even go in. All you got was a nice view ...
We'd planned to visit Laos then Kathmandu, but as I mentioned in the last entry, we were ready. Ready for a change. The beauty of our trip is that we are free...free to change our minds and our destination whenever we please. Great feeling! We opted for Turkey! Thank you, John, for repeatedly telling us that Turkey was your favorite. It's our favorite so far, too. We were also told that your favorite spot will be just that, depending on your surroundings, people you meet..and so ...
... and a bread roll. Once we landed in Frankfurt, we seemed to be cutting it close on time because we got through customs, security, and found our gate and it was time to get on a shuttle van to hike the rickety, metal stairs to board our much smaller airplane for the ride from Frankfurt into Istanbul. The ride only lasted 2 and a half hours. I was exhausted from the first ...
... check lines however only one of these ten lines was reserved for non Turkish passport holders. What made it really funny was our line had mostly Turks also lining up in it as they seemed to think it might have been faster. It wasn't. This resulted in a lot of Turks changing lines numerous times. Eventually we made it to the front and were told we needed a visa and to go back around the corner to pay for it. Okay, no problem we thought, we will just have to line up again. ...
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.