Side Hotel and Pension
Travel Blogs from Istanbul
Today is the start to another amazing day in Istanbul! Matt and I woke up to have breakfast this morning on the hotel terrace at 10:00AM, and enjoyed another breathtaking array of views accompanied by bright sun, cool breezes, and yummy Turkish breakfast food! We wake-up with the Black Sea to one side of us, the Blue Mosque to the other, and …
Tuesday 11th. October
This is a day for our ladies. We will be visiting a couple of Istanbul's iconic markets, as well as traversing local shopping streets. The males gird their loins in preparation for a tiring and expensive day.
Indispensible Rick Steves offers us his "Old Town Back Streets Walk" and we start off up …
Monday 10th. October
The day is overcast with occasional drops of rain, which we hope will soon go away.
We have asked David to find out which station in Izmir we were scheduled to depart from, and he has in turn phoned the car rental company in Denizli. The owner assures David that he will be waiting for us at the …
We have stored our luggage earlier in a little cubbyhole beneath the hotel reception desk. We squeeze in to extract it, then try out our wheeled suitcases on the cobblestones, hauling our worldly goods uphill towards the tram stop. Michael is soon frustrated.
"Let's take a taxi" he moans.
“A taxi to Asia?” I remark …
It's our third day, and it’s time to see the highlights of Istanbul, namely the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia and Topkapi Palace.
Today is Sunday. There are cruise ships in port and we have been told that all of the above attractions will be swarming with tourists. Deciding to jump the gun, we plan to visit the Blue …
How has this hotel rated in the past?
Historical Traveler Reviews Side Hotel and Pension Istanbul
Simple, Clean, Basic & Excellent Location
Side (pronounced sid-aay) Pension & Hotel are two buildings just 15 meters from the entrance of the Four Seasons Hotel. The entrance is through the hotel building door, but the reception desk is placed in the pension building.
We stayed in a double bed pension room which was a pleasant experience (paid US$57 for one night). The room was very basic with a bed, a small sofa and a cupboard. There was one bed side table. Just like the room, the washroom was very clean and the shower was great.
A small corridor is converted into a seating area with free tea (black tea & apple tea) and a fridge. You can buy mineral water and soft drinks from the fridge and pay for them at the reception - which is at the end of the same corridor. Mineral water is 1YTL, soft drinks 1.5 YTL and juices 2 YTL.
The other end of the corridor are free lockers you can use to put your passports etc. Next to the lockers are the two computers hooked to the internet. You can use 30 mins for 1 YTL and 1 hours for 2 YTL.
Breakfast is served at the rooftop where you can see the Blue Mosque. If you go further up the stairs, you can also see the Aya Sofia and the Bosporus (but there are no tables there).
They only serve Turkish breakfast (bread, boiled egg, cheese triangle, jam sachet, honey sachet and olives).
They also have some storage space where you can keep your luggage for a few days at your own risk.
The best thing about Side is its location, it is 30 seconds away from the Blue Mosque and 30 seconds from Aya Sophia. It will take you about 3-4 mins to walk to the Underground Cistern and about 4-5 mins to walk to the Sultanahmet tram station. If you want to go to the Grand Baazar, you can take the Tram as it would take you about 15-20 mins if you decide to walk. Trams cost 1.10 YTL to any station.
Although the whole sultanahmet area is downhill, the hotel is almost at the same level. If you take a hotel a 2-3 streets behind it, you can expect a steep uphill walk to the main area. The hotel street is very quite but the side street of Four Seasons can be a bit crowded especially when someone famous is staying over.
Excellent Location, Friendly Staff and Guests
I stayed at the Side Hotel on my first trip to Istanbul, on an 18 hour layover. I decided to stay downtown to get a quick look at some of the major sites. The Side was the perfect choice. I arrived at night, very tired. The man at reception, I believe his name is Adam, was extremely friendly and got me into my room quickly. He spoke perfect English, which was good as I speak no Turkish. I stayed on the hotel side (as opposed to the pension rooms, which are cheaper). The room was comfortable and clean, although by no means luxurious. However, for $50 at this location, it was a great deal. The bathroom was very clean and there was plenty of hot water and good pressure.
The next morning I was able to wander up to the Grand Bazaar, which is probably a 20 minute walk if you know where you're going, and I visited the Hagia Sophia which is literally 2 blocks away. Wonderful! Breakfast is served upstairs, with a view of the Blue Mosque. When the weather is nice you can have breakfast outside on the terrace. Breakfast was included with my room, and was tea or coffee and a set plate of bread with butter and jam, an egg, and tomatoes and cucumbers.
There is also a little reception area downstairs, with a TV and free coffee and tea, as well as magazines and books that you can borrow (many in English). They also sell sodas and snacks. There are three computers, with cheap internet (I think 1 lira per hour). There were lots of young people passing through, and I got the sense that if I had stayed longer I would have gotten to know the other guests better. I was sad to go after such a short time, and will probably go back!
Stayed in December 2006 and found Side to be a really attractive and good value place. We stayed on the pension side and the small double room was absolutely spotless and very attractively and simply furnished. A nice light room overlooking the quiet street. We had an en-suite room and the bathroom was roomy and very clean. The shower functioned well and there was limitless hot water. ( I think this place would also be fine for staying in the very cheap pension rooms 'without bath', as the communal bathrooms were very very clean and good. )
The terrace had a view over Blue Mosque and Ay Sophia - breakfast (inclusive with price) was 'turkish': good fresh bread, a hard boiled egg, tiny triangle of cheese, jam, olives, cucumber and tomato. Good tea, served black (coffee available). Small communal area downstairs with TV, shelf of books, a postbox, 2 internet terminals and free tea! Excellent and the people who run it are helpful.
This place is well situated for many of the main sights, and the transport connections from here are good too. But you *are* in a tourist enclave here - many of the restaurants are geared to visitors, and will get a lot of interest from touts. It is a lovely and interesting area, but think will stay in an area less geared to tourists next time. The hotel is absolutely excellent though.
Side ideal for visiting Istanbul's great sites
Istanbul's Side Pension & Hotel is an ideal, inexpensive, small hotel suitable for travellers wanting to be within walking distance of Istanbul's most famous sites. Situated in Sultanahmet district, we could easily walk to the Blue Mosque, the Agia Sofia, and Topkapi Palace. Nearby small restaurants were very reasonable and good. The 24-hour staff is friendly and helpful, the small rooms are adequate if not fancy, the rooftop terrace breakfast is quite acceptable. The fans in our rooms were all we needed for early September weather, so we didn't pay more for air conditioning, which was available in some rooms. Our group of three couples very much enjoyed having our own happy hours on the roof, bringing our own beer and wine, and we noticed many other groups doing the same. We stayed four nights and we would have been quite content to make it a week !
Good hotel, but didn't like location
The hotel was very nice and cheap, but Sultanahmet area is the top for museums, but soooo turistic and sooo far away from real istanbul. In the night just the desert, in the day just turists, rug vendors and tour guides everywhere. If you might be interested in the city life I'd suggest you to stay in sultanahmet for no more than 2 days then move to beyoglu or somewhere else. Or the better choose is maybe staying in the area in between, around karakoy and eminonu.
A couple of the people of the staff were very friendly, the others quite insensitive to your presence or not. The breakfast terrace is probably the best topic of the hotel. Lots of Americans.
Great location - price is ok - rooms are so so
As it says in the title, the rooms are just so so, particularly the bathroom. The room itself was ok and reasonablye clean, nothing esspecially bad or good. Bathroom was a bit dark cramped. No elevators so keep that in mind if you have heavy luggage.
It is very near the Blue Mosque, Aya Sofia and other tourist attractions.
They do have 2 pcs with internet connection for a fee and free luggage storage with almost no security. breakfast is served on the terrace and suffices: bread, egg, and watermelon mainly.
As Good As It Can Be
What a great location -next to one of the most expensive hotels in Istanbul. Plentyful breakfast from roof top resturant thah has a really great view of the area. Most of the historic structures are only a few blocks from you. Trollys are less than five minutes walk.After traveling over most of Turkey the Side Pension is a wonderful place to stay. Only thing ,like all major cities in Turkey the rug dealers and their touts are really -really bad-bad-bad.Don't looke at them or speak to them. All in All I love Turkey
Barney Miami Fl.
See the roms first
We booked a room at the Side from their web site. Bad mistake. Turned out to be a large, dark, hostel like room facing an air shaft with an old and sagging double bed, a stray single in the other corner and a disgusting bathroom. All this at 60E which normally buys you a really nice room in Sultanhamet in June. They told us we couldn't cancel without 3 days notice whatever the room was like - got really nasty and agressive - and they'd bill our Visa whether we used the room or not. Travelers be warned - there are lots of better hotels for less money in Istanbul ...
Side Hotel, great value in Istanbul
Great value in Istanbul. Great location, clean, well maintained rooms, nice breakfast.
Great location and very comfortable rooms (comparable to even the more expensive options around the Sultanahmet area). Good value choice. Staff was friendly and helpful. Would definitely recommend.