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Travel Blogs from Istanbul
Thursday, 5 April 2012
We took a BA flight from Heathrow to Ataturk airport in Istanbul. We arrived around 4:15pm. We paid for an entry visa which was 15 Euros. A lot of people didn't realise this and had to line up again at passport control.
We took a taxi to our hotel, Hotel Mina in Sultanahmet which took about 30 mins (and …
We arrived in Istanbul to a very reasonable temperature. Got offered us a Hotel shuttle which seemed reasonable but was proably about double the reasonable Taxi fares. The Hotel Mina is great - a contract to the palace we had in dubai but clean and comfortable - also well priced if booked off Hotelsclick.com. Many of the cheap Hotels in Turkey look …
... one or the other. Quite a deal of superstition attaches to the church, as with most churches in Europe. There was a marble column that people were putting their thumb into in the hope that it would bring them good luck. And having a photo taken as they did it, presumably because they believe that will also somehow accrue good luck. Maybe it has always been thus. We live in a deeply superstitious world. As we have travelled around we have noticed again and again that Mary ...
... br> Hagia Sofia is fascinating. It has to be one of the only places in the world that was a place of worship for Christians and Muslims. When the Turks reclaimed their country in the 15th century, they destroyed almost all of the Roman symbols and structures, why not Hagia Sofia? No one knows. Some say all other religions that came before Islam are part of it. Others say that this structure was so beautiful and immense that it was a source of ...
... of this. The lake is FULL of fish literary jumping out and there were plenty of enthusiastic fishermen keen to sell us their catch on the side of the road. The campsite was very basic but the views across to the mountains on the Macedonian side of the shore were beautiful. We stayed here for 2 nights and enjoyed the sun during the day and the freezing gales at night! Overall we LOVED Albania and would love to have spent more time here and gone down the south ...
How has this hotel rated in the past?
- Room service
- Free High-Speed Internet
- Fitness/Health center
- Business Services
Historical Traveler Reviews Hotel Mina Istanbul
Good, decent hotel
stayed at this hotel for 3 nights. The location is superb, 5mins walk to the blue mosque and about 8 mins walk to the grand bazaar. The hotel is new and in very good condition. It is well equipped for a 3 star hotel. like most hotels in Istanbul the rooms are a bit on the small side. the breakfast is average nothing special but adequate with a good view of the sea. the hotel staff get the most merit they were very helpful and polite. In the foyer they have free internet access. The hotel is in a side street and about 5 mins walk you are on the main road where there are plenty of restaurants to choose from. the hotel is cheap and good value for money and would stay there again.
Severe Honeymoon Dissappointment
We booked the Mina Hotel as our alternate choice for 5 nights during our honeymoon, as our first choice, Nena Hotel, was fully booked.The hotel is visually attractive, but in this case, beauty is only skin deep. Please keep in mind this review is the experience of two people, and should count as two reviews when making your hotel decision.
Lets start with the basic room construction. The rooms are small, but that is expected from a boutique hotel in a city. The real problems are with the quality of construction in the room. While opening the door slightly with the chain lock in position, the door moulding actually came out of the wall, as it was secured only to sheet rock. This in turn caused the upper moulding to come crashing down on to my arm and causing minor scrapes and bleeding. Second, the balcony door has now twice come unhinged. Lastly, we could clearly hear the TV in the room next door through the wall.
Now lets discuss the staff. Our hotel voucher stated we were honeymooners, but we did not get any of the special treatment that is customary for honeymooners. Otherwise, the reception and bell cap staff are one of the few highlights of this hotel. They were both helpful and friendly, and one of them came up to our room to show us how to use the safe, which was nice. They also responded immediately when I mentioned the room falling apart. Unfortunately the same can not be said for the maid service. They did little more then make the bed and change the towels.
They did not change the bed sheets once in 5 nights, nor refresh the ammenities in the bathroom. On our 4th night, we accidently spilled some sand in our bed, and had the joy of sleeping in it the 5th night since the 'cleaning' staff decided to simply pull the bed sheet over it instead of changing or even brushing the sheets.
I can not agree with the previous review that stated that the food here was spectacular, and my wife and I are Egyptian and therefore very accustomed to this kind of diet. Most of the food that was supposed to be eaten warm was in fact cold, and much of the jams and jellies were very bland. The worst was the 'orange' juice, which tasted like a very bad version of Tang, and the red 'mystery' juice, which had just enough flavor to make it taste like cough syrup.
If all this wasn't enough, on one night the power went out in our room. Also, there are only one or two english channels on the TV, which is not a big deal since we did our best to spend as much time out of the room as possible.
In conclusion, if you can find availability in another hotel in the same location, stay there. The other thing this hotel has going for it is its prime location, near the main street leading to Aya Sofya, Blue Mosque, and Topkapi, but not on it, so the noise is controlled yet everything you want to see is within walking distance.
Good...recommended for a first time visitor.
The location is excellent. You are within easy walking distance (less than 5 minutes in most cases) of Istanbul's most interesting sights.
Views from the rooms are variable. High floor rooms are recommended. Rooms 501 and 401 enjoy particularly good views out over the Marmara sea and the Blue Mosque.
The rooms themselves are modern, clean and comfortable. Some could be described as small, but not uncomfortably so. Bathrooms are extremely nice and modern. Even single rooms feature two beds. Interior design of the hotel has aspects of cheesiness bordering on kitsch, but this was endearing rather than irritating.
Breakfast is a spectacular experience, located in the 6th floor bar area which is surrounded by sweeping views. Food is plentiful and delicious, though Western tastes are not especially catered for. If olives and feta for breakfast are not your thing you may wish to get breakfast at an outdoor cafe, of which there are many in the area.
The TV channel selection is superb and there is no danger of falling out of contact with the modern world while you are staying at this hotel.
The staff are friendly if you make an effort to get to know them. One night the nightshift staff invited me to share dinner and drinks with them at about 2am, which was fun.
Un magnífico hotel con un personal agradable
Acabo de regresar de Estambul después de tomarme un pequeño descanso en el Hotel Mina. Está muy bien situado, a poca distancia de las atracciones principales, como por ejemplo el Blue Mosque y Aya Sofia. El servicio que prestan los empleados del hotel supera con creces los niveles de calidad de otros hoteles, ofreciendo el trato mas amable que jamás he visto en todos los años que llevo viajando. Como profesional del sector del viaje me impresionó mucho el alto nivel que este hotel ofrece en la prestación de servicio. Los empleados eran muy amables y dispuestos a complacer. El responsable del mostrador principal, Serkant, es el recepcionista más profesional que puede uno encontrar. Siempre ofrece un trato amable y es capaz de atender a todos los requisitos de los clientes. Serkant y absolutamente todo el equipo del Hotel Mina dan un gran valor al hotel y gracias a ellos mi breve estancia en Estambul se convirtió en algo inmemorable. Y para finalizar, las vistas desde el restaurante del hotel son impresionantes. Si lo que buscas es un hotel de 3 o 4 estrellas, limpio, cómodo y muy bien situado, la visita al Hotel Mina es obligada. El desayuno y el café no son demasiado buenos, aunque es conveniente explorar los numerosos restaurantes de calidad que Estambul puede ofrecer.
Wonderful hotel for single female traveler
I have been to Istanbul 4 times in the past 4 years, and I have stayed at Hotel Mina 3 times. (Once I found it, I could not imagine staying anywhere else in Istanbul.) And by the way, each trip I was a female traveling alone in Istanbul. The hotel is close to the main drag, but not on it so it is quiet.The front desk staff is first class, very engaging. When the airlines lost my luggage, the staff kept me posted on what they knew until the luggage was delivered to the hotel. When they arrange a ride to or from the airport, or a tour, there are no surprises. The ride is there on time and as expected. The rooftop restaurant does have a wonderful view. However, when I was there in the winter, they served the breakfast on a plate they bring to you, rather than a buffet. The hotel is very convenient to the Grand Bazaar. The Blue Mosque and that whole area is a pleasant walk downhill. The tram is a short walk from the hotel, and it's an easy ride to the waterfront on the tram. The bank and ATM are just around the corner from the hotel. Who could ask for more?
Great hotel with professional and friendly staff
I have just returned from a short break in Istanbul at the Mina Hotel. The hotel is very well located in walking distance form the major attractions, such as: The Blue Mosque and Aya Sofia. The service in this hotel is above and beyond hotel standards with the friendliest hotel staff I have ever come across in all my years of travelling.
As a travel professional I was very impressed with the high level of service delivery in this hotel. The staff was friendly and eager to please. The front desk clerk, Serkant, is the most professional receptionist one can meet. He was always pleasant and was able to accommodate all the guests' requests. Serkant and the entire team at the Mina are an asset to this hotel and thanks to them, my short stay in Istanbul was a memorable one.
Finally, the views from the hotel restaurant are breathtaking.
If you are looking for a 3 to 4 star clean, comfortable and well located hotel, the Mina is a must.
The breakfast and the coffee are not great. However, when in Istanbul, one should explore the many excellent restaurants this great city has to offer.
Such a helpful stuff!!! and great location!
I can't begin to tel you how nice and helpful stuff was at Mina Hotel. We had a reservation for 4 nights there, but when we arrived there we were told that that they don't have a room for us for the last two nights (they doublebooked by a mistake). Because of that mistake, that they made they offered us: free dinner (in their briekfast room with wonderful views), fruit and wine, free airport transfer. They found a 5star hotel for us for the same price we paid for Mina Hotel(but further away from the historic old city) and they helped to move to to the other hotel. So even after all inconveniences we had, because of moving to another hotel, I am sure we will return to Mina hotel again.
Pluses:a location, a view out of briekfast room and the staff.
One minus to this hotel is that tey need to do better job of cleaning the rooms( scrubbing toilets...), and there bath towels were not very white and clean( but it was the same way in the 5 star hotel as well); and carpet in the room needed to be cleaned. I wouldn't give more than 3 stars to this hotel, just because of their poor job of keeping the rooms spotless.
There are couple of nice simple places to eat around the hotel, a couple of mini-supermarket around the corner. One place with a good food we liked a lot is : Cemberlitas Saray S Kebapcisi (tel: 0212 518 4722), about 100 meters away. It;s a simple, clean, affordable place with great food. We paid 35Lira (about 26 US $) total for water, bread, 3 salads, and 2 plates of grilled meat.
Warm, friendly staff - clean hotel in great location
We thoroughly enjoyed our stay in the hotel. It is well located (maybe 6-7 minute brief walk to the Grand Bazaar and 10 minutes to the Blue Mosque) and the staff were so helpful, warm and friendly. Seriously, you could not want for better staff. I checked a few other hotels in the area and no other staff were as friendly or helpful as at this hotel. We felt safe and well looked after at this hotel.
The hotel is not old, so the fixtures and fittings were in good order. We had some minor plumbing problem in the bathroom - the shower dripped a little but not so much that we wanted it fixed whilst we were there. The only complaint was the bathtub - it really was quite a step up to get into it. Though I am not so short - 5'4", I found it a bit of effort to get in and out as I am a bit awkward.
We arrived late at night to this 3-star hotel and the hotel staff ordered food for us from a nearby restaurant. They didn't hike the price and the food and their service really was great. The view from the breakfast area is fabulous - it's on the top floor. The view from our hotel room was a wall with what looked like some sweatshops around the corner but as we were only in there for sleeping, we didn't care. The room was small but big enough to fit a 3rd bed for one night (with no ability to walk around any furniture once the 3rd bed was in the room).
Turkey is a country of smokers and it seemed that all the other guests in the hotel smoked but even so the air-conditioning didn't seem affected by their smoking - that was a huge relief. Breakfast of course was a bit of a trial surrounded by smokers.
Some websites categorize this hotel as charming or in the Ottoman Style. I think this is overstating it. The facade of the building is identical to the photos and in that sense is historic but the interior just felt like a regular hotel.
Breakfast was ok for the price and I think fairly traditional for the region - feta, cucumbers, tomatoes and traditional Turkish bread and buns; cereal, whole fruit, 2 types of cold meat, boiled eggs, chopped sausage (similar to cabana), basic cake, 2 types of halva and fudge, tea, coffee, juice.
We would definitely stay there again.
Good Value for Money and Perfect Location!
For the price that we paid i.e. EUR45 per night, we got more than what we expected. And the location was perfect, everything was within walking distance.
Room size was reasonable and the overall hotel interior was excellant for a small boutique hotel. The breakfast was nothing extravagant but enough. But who wants to complain when the room price is all inclusive.
The reception staffs were nice and helpful as well.
Lovely small hotel
This hotel is in a prime location for an exploration of the old city. You can walk everywhere. It is clean, modern and the rooms and bathrooms are nicely equipped. Breakfast is included in the reasonable rate and is served in a room with a lovely view. I highly recommend this hotel for a stay in Istanbul.