Travel Blogs from Istanbul
... is much capacity for tourism to grow. Everywhere we went was busy and if you weren’t there for opening time, there was almost always a queue – even at service stations for a quick lunch and a toilet stop!
From Ephesus we headed inland to the bizarre and intriguing Pamukkale. Pamukkale is on top of a hill and has a number of natural hot water springs. As the calcium carbonate-rich spring water runs down the side of the hill, the rocks are ...
... long. I was so tired from the bus ride. You can never get a good night sleep on overnight buses and they do not get any easier with aging. I only had two things that I wanted to see today. The Hagia Sophia and the Istanbul Archeology Museum. I saw the museum first. It was pretty cool. It basically covered the history of Turkey for the last 8,000 years. It had artifacts, coins, seals, sarcophages and many other things that were discovered in Turkey. ...
How has this hotel rated in the past?
Historical Traveler Reviews Hotel Peninsula Istanbul
3 nuits au Peninsula
Pour une somme modique, une charmante jeune femme de l'hôtel est venue me chercher à l'aéroport Ataturk, m'a conduit jusqu'à l'hôtel à 25 kilomètres de là. Elle était très sympathique et parlait un anglais parfait. Mon séjour a été très agréable, dans une chambre petite mais propre - si vous vous attendez au Ritz, payez les tarifs du Ritz. Chaque membre du personnel à qui j'ai eu à faire était encore une fois fort sympathique et parlait bien mieux anglais que mes efforts pitoyables pour parler turc. Le petit déjeuner était servi de 8 à 11h, sur une terrasse ouverte 24h sur 24 avec une vue splendide. J'ai quitté ma chambre à 5 heures du matin. Le directeur de l'hôtel lui-même s'est levé aux aurores pour me conduire à l'aéroport. C'était un super petit hôtel, avec un super personnel dans un super quartier de la ville. Simon
Great stay at the Peninsula
Great location in Sultanahmet with a view of the sea. Helpful, friendly staff who picked us up at the airport. Delicious breakfast each morning. The room was clean and comfortable for a very reasonable price.
Reasonable choice, but not inspiring
The Peninsula hotel is a good choice to stay in Istanbul's touristic center Sultanahmet. The rooms are comfortable, although the beds are quite small. Everything is very clean and the breakfast on the roof terrace is of very good quality.
The hotel management is quite friendly. If you stay more than 4 nights, you can benefit from discounts on room charges and of a free airport transfer from Atatürk airport to the hotel (the return trip to the airport has to be charged, but is at 3 Euro per person moderate). Although the pickup at the airport did not work really properly, we finally managed to find the transfer service and get to the hotel.
The Peninsula hotel is a good choice for travellers - nothing more or nothing less. At the end I was a bit disappointed, because after paying the bill the room service worsened. For three days, we got no fresh towels any more, also soaps and toilet paper seemed to "vanish". Also, the hotel management seemed not be very happy with the payment by credit card, but finally accepts it.
Because of these reasons I would try another hotel in my next visit to Istanbul. But the Peninsula is not a bad choice for your stay there.
Good hotel, but beware of unscrupulous 'hidden' charges ...
We chose to stay at this hotel after reading other favorable reviews on this website.
We booked the hotel in advance and were met at Ataturk airport by a friendly lady, who drove us the 25 min ride to the hotel.
Upon arrival, despite booking and being assured of a 'room with sea-view' in advance, we were told this room was 'unfortunately no longer available', and were shown to a smaller room wth a street view instead - patently, the 'carrot and stick' scam is still employed by some hotels in Sultunamhet!
We chose to settle for the 'alternative' room and in fairness, despite being very small, the room was pleasantly furnished and with a view of the cobbled street outside.
Breakfast, consisting of a plentiful helping of boiled eggs, olives, fresh tomatoes, bread and tea/coffee is served every morning on the roof terrace, with a good view of the Blue Mosque and sea.
The hotel is centrally located in Sultanahmet, just a few minutes walk from the local tourist attractions (Blue Mosque, Agia Sophia and Tokapi Palace), and 20 mins walking distance of the other sights in Istanbul. The staff were hospitable/friendly, and we left the hotel generally happy with our 3 night stay.
However on checking the bill afterwards, we realised the hotel had overcharged us by a) increasing the cost of the airport transfer, b) removing the 10% cash discount offered to all guests, and most dissapointing of all, c) using an extortionate Euro/Lira exchange rate. Inspite of emailing the hotel to question the bill, our email was conveniently 'ignored', requiring us to go back to the hotel to complain to the manager in person. After a great deal of persistence, the manager begrudingly re-imbursed us part of the cost, but still insisted on using a unreasonable exchange rate, leaving a slightly bitter taste in our mouth, especially after reading the mostly favourable reviews beforehand.
In short, this is a nice hotel for the price, but nothing special - having visited several other hotels in Sultunamhet, we discovered there are better hotels available at the same/cheaper price.
A few tips when booking a hotel in Sultanahmet:
1. Unless you're travelling in peak season, do not book hotels in advance. Sultanahmets a very small area - you can walk from one end to the other in just 10 minutes, and find a plethora of hotels/hostels on every street - walk around the area for 10 mins, step inside a few hotels and find out exactly what ure getting for your money first - dont be fooled by hotels boasting 'breathtaking' views - almost all the hotels offer the same quality of breakfast and terrace views.
2. Hotel prices are usually quoted in Euros. To prevent hotels using extortionate exchange rates, either pay in Euros, or ask for the Turkish Lira exchange rate before checking in.
3 nights in The Peninsula
For a modest fee , I was met at Ataturk airport by a delightful young lady from the hotel who drove me the 25km to the place and was very friendly and spoke excellent English.
My stay was great in a small but clean room , but if you want the Ritz , then pay Ritz prices. All the staff I encountered were once again very friendly and spoke better English than my shameful attempts at Turkish.
Breakfast was served between 8 and 11 on the 24 hour roof terrace which provided an awesome view.
When I checked out at 5am. The hotel manager himself got up extra early and gave me a lift to the airport.
It was a great little hotel , which great staff in a great part of town.
Lets Talk Turkey
After a 17 hour flight from Seattle, we arrived in Istanbul. A driver from the Peninsula was waiting. Transfer to the hotel was included with 3 nights stay. He took us as far as the outskirts of the airport, and passed us off to a second driver. It turns out this driver didn't really know where the Peninula Hotel was; and had to stop a couple of times to ask directions. He finally got within a block of the hotel, and pointed ( as the road was torn up, and he could go no further).
The Peninsula Hotel, is in a quiet part of Sultanahmet area of Istanbul. Think Ottoman Old Town. There are lots of B&B's in the area and small cafes. You're just a few short blocks from both the Blue Mosque, and Hagia Sophia.
We'd reserved the "penthouse" but in this case, that just meant top floor. :)
The room was small, but attractive The breakfast terrace was just across the hall from us. From it there were views of both mosques; as well as an expansive view of boat traffic on the Sea of Marmara.
The wispily canapied bed was comfortable.
Turkey is primarily a Muslim country. The faithful are called to prayers 5 times a day from the minarets... nowadays that's usually a distorted loudspeaker or four, bolted to a minaret; rather than an actual caller. Turned out there was a minaret, with a loudspeaker aimed right at our window, about 25 yards away from the hotel.
So we were "called" at 5am. Ironically, I think our first thoughts were "JESUS...( -bleeping- Christ").
At 6AM the "floorshow" began. The kitchen shared a wall with our "penthouse"; in fact there was a small window above the toilet, that could be swung open, to look right in on the kitchen and breakfast room. The cook had arrived and was loudly, and indisputably distressed, as she argued, complained, and cussed out a coworker for a good 20 minutes.
The greeting we received from her, when we were among the first to arrive for breakfast just after 7am, was mercifully more subdued.
Breakfast included tea, or (poor) coffee, heaps of french bread; 2 types of cheese, two types of olives, hard boiled eggs , fresh cucumber and tomato slices, plain yogurt, and some sort of fresh breakfast cake.Very tasty.
Things were much quieter (from the kitchen) the next morning.
Inexplicably, even though we'd reserved the "Penthouse" for 4 nights, the hotel moved us to a lower room for our last 2 nights. The room was a little larger, and on the street side, so we avoided the minaret blare- but the bed was bruisingly hard; probably just a box spring. We missed the comfort of the other bed.
The hotel was clean; most of the people staying there seemed content with it. Location, terrace views, generous breakfast were all pluses. Making reservations over the internet was easy, and the price of 45 to 55 Euro a night, reasonable.
Though we were coming back to Istanbul at the close of our vacation, for 2 more nights, we chose not to stay there again.
All in all a perfectly acceptable choice... but not for those seeking something special.
Loved the hotel. Great location. Excellent price. Lovely breakfest.Very nice staff. Beautiful view from rooftop. Very helpful and nice. Will stay there again if I visit.
Excellent value and good position
Great for Sultanahmet, very centrally located, all within minutes walk of Blue Mosque, Afya Sofia, Topkapi Grand Bazaar etc. Quiet location, very clean, comfortable hotel for the price. Sweet, friendly staff - eager to please. Sultanahmet not good area for experiencing authentic food, bit pricey and touristy. Trams are great, but do not yet go across the Bosphorus to Taksim Square (where all the nightlife is), you have to take a taxi or bus which can take half an hour. However the infrastructure is being built, so maybe 2005?
Loved the Peninsula
I loved this hotel ! It was clean and safe on a quiet side street away from the noise. The view was awesome as was the breakfast. My room rate was very affordable too and I loved the neighborhood. It is a major tourist area but doesn't feel like it at all and very convenient to the important sites of the Old Stamboul area. Everything was walking distance and the multilingual staff very helpful. An assortment of cheap tasty restaurants across the way with sidewalk tables, great for people watching.
Look No Further
Any visitors to Istanbul are urged to stay in the historice Sultanahmet District, in the heart of olde Istanbul. This district is close to all the major sites, and most hotels offer rooftop views of the Marmara Sea. The Hotel Peninsula is here, and its extremely kind and helpful (and English speaking) staff will make for a comfortable stay. A GREAT breakfast on the roof starts your day, and with both the Blue Mosque and Haghia Sophia looming over you, it makes for a breathtaking view. Above all, the price is reasonable, the rooms are fashionable and very very CLEAN, and there is ample hot water. Finally, the staff has a posse of restaurant, shop, and transportation connections, all kind and honest people. Our airport shuttle driver went five miles out of his way to take us to our hotel - for free. Your first sunset on the roof as the minaret lights blink on and the muezzin wail will convince you you've made a good call with this hotel.