My Hotel in Sultanahmet

Okay, the last of my [accommodations] post. Today I shall be showing you the place I was staying in for my Istanbul return leg, a cheap hotel in the Sultanahmet area.

The ironic thing was that I booked this place through AirBnb. It was probably my own mistake. It was my first time trying to use AirBnb, and I never thought that hotel(s) would have property listings on AirBnb. I thought it was all apartments and houses with hosts living in them. I basically saw a [Private Room] property that was:

  • in the right location – Sultanahmet
  • with the right amenities – High speed wifi, laptop friendly workspace
  • at the right price – USD 110 for 3 nights

So I just went for it, made the booking and paid up.

I thought I was booking a room out of an apartment or a house or something, until I received the confirmation email from my “host” that goes something like this:

Hi, thank you for making the reservation with us. We at Naz Wooden House Inn will gladly be at your service to ensure your stay is an enjoyable one. We have a 24-hour reception and provide airport transfer for 25€… bla bla bla…

Naz Wooden House Inn? Inn??? Dafuq is an inn doing in AirBnb??? Turned out my “host” is actually the manager of this hotel…

Well, I could’ve backed out of the deal and cancelled and hopefully get my money back. But I thought the pictures of the place were quite lovely, so I thought, heck, just take it lah!

So here I was, lugging my luggage from the Sultanahmet tram station across the Sultanahmet Park, making a detour to a bogus travel agency no thanks to a fake “Information Manager”, and checking into this lovely hotel at 7 PM in the evening.

By the way, I turned down their airport transfer services and took the metro instead. Had to switch to a tram midway but the point is I spent 4.70 TL or 1.50€ instead of 25€…

And you know what’s even funnier? I thought I have a bunch of photos of my room. Turns out I only have this photo to show of my room…

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The double bed

No, actually it isn’t funny at all. While I agree that the room is clean and nice, I thought the AirBnb pictures have been somewhat misleading. Not fake pictures, but pictures deliberately angled to create the misconception of space.

The double bed, it was half of my room. The other half of it was home to a closet, a fridge built into a small table, and space for my big luggage to sleep. If I wanted to walk from the bed to the bathroom then I had to make the luggage stand upright to free up floor space.

Laptop friendly workspace my ass. I guess they define “laptop friendly workspace” as “placing your laptop on your thighs while you sit on the comfortable bed” ZZzzzz…

And the bathroom… the bathroom was about half the size of the bathroom in my Taksim apartment, I had to shrink my belly to squeeze into the shower compartment thanks to the tight glass sliding doors.

To put it simply: I did not like my hotel room.

But I do want to show you the place where breakfast was served. The breakfast place is on the Terrace, a.k.a fourth floor rooftop. So it means a little climbing exercise before we get to eat…

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One thing that sold me on this place when I was looking it up on AirBnb was that it comes with Turkish Breakfast Platter. It also said these:

The breakfast terrace overlooking the Blue Mosque on one side and The Sea of Marmara on the other with The Asian Side shores and Princess Islands behind. Open buffet breakfast consists of home made cakes and fresh seasonal fruits.

Well, they were true to their word about the Turkish Breakfast Platter…

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You may have seen this in a previous post

But the open buffet breakfast?

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Breakfast counter

Yeah, basically there’s five plates of food, a basket of bread (self-service), two jugs of juice and some hot tea. All on the left side table in the picture above. If you’re wondering about those stuff on the right side, they’re empty.

Maybe their “home made cakes” mean the pastry, and “fresh seasonal fruits” mean the olives…

I wonder if this is typically how Turkish hotels serve buffet breakfasts.

Okay, the “buffet” did not impress me to be honest, but food is food, and it did the job of making my tummy full. What about the view?

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You may have also seen this in a previous post

They said Blue Mosque view on one side, and the Sea of Marmara on the other side.

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Blue Mosque view
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Sea of Marmara view

Yeah, I took one quick glance at the Blue Mosque view, and settled down on the table on the other side for the rest of my stay, facing the sea. I actually tried to sit on the balcony outside, once. I lasted 15 seconds before rushing back indoors because it was bloody cold in the morning.

So, yeah… I don’t think this is a particularly terrible hotel in the Sultanahmet area. I think this is typically how all the budget hotels in this area are. Looks good on the surface, but… you know…

And coupled with how I don’t like staying in the Sultanahmet area because of the danger zone,

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Nope, I can’t imagine myself staying in this area again if I ever visit Istanbul again, let alone this particular hotel.

These are all my personal opinion. I know many people actually love staying in this area and don’t much care about what ticks me off. After all, look at the map. Basically 80% of the famous tourist attractions are concentrated in the Sultanahmet area. Staying in this area can be a massive convenience. Just… if you plan to visit Istanbul, just… read through this post and my previous posts (links above), see if my concerns are your concerns as well, and make your own decision…

28 Comments

  1. Now that is what is called making use of minimal space. The room is tiny and there is no space to walk around the bed. Imagine if two people stayed in the room – one person who be always climbing over the other to get up or to use the bathroom.

    • I was traveling solo, so I did not think about how that room will be for two, but you’re right!

  2. During my Europe trip, my son also booked the apartments thru airbnb… all were fine actually.. they allow us to cook but of course, we did not have much time for that, only one meal per day we did cook… and the rates are quite affordable..

    • Yalah, normally AirBnb is fine, if you really get an apartment. I was a fool because I actually booked a hotel room through AirBnb! >.<

  3. Like some of other commenters and what you said, I do think that’s how budget hotels roll. Did you feel comfortable showering after you managed to squeeze through the door? For me, I know it would be no problem 🙄

    • How can a small shower compartment be comfortable to shower in? It was an epic struggle to even reach some body parts effectively as I could not bend down, if you know what I mean 🙄 … Yeah, you’d have less of a problem here…

      • Well, now you make the shower space sound tiny. I’m sure there are bigger people than you who have come and go by the hotel. If you can’t bend down in the shower, stretch. That is your only option… 🙄

        • I honestly don’t know how bigger people than me get into that compartment. Maybe they didn’t and just pulled the shower head out. The shower head is connected through a hose after all… (Why didn’t I think of that at that time???) 🙄

  4. the room size is about those u get in First World standard room with tiny shower room and not much space for walking. As long as the room is clean & has a comfy bed and heater, I’m fine with it. The Marmara sea view from the terrace is nice too. I think I can jst sit there for an hour or two enjoyin’ the nice view.

    • Yeah, I can sit there to just stare at the sea too I think, but I did not, because that would not be the wise move hahaha! Have to go out and about to explore the museums and churches and mosques… 😛

  5. Yes, hotels and accommodation websites are very good at angling their photos to show the illusion of space. I’ve been fooled myself a couple of times…but now I just look at these photos and tell myself it’s not as spacious as it seems. 🙁

  6. well at least you can still suck in your tummy and get into the shower!! as for the view of the mosque and the sea during breakfast, ah, I don’t care about that, I probably only spend 20 minutes there.. even if that’s from my room, I’ll probably spend most of the time outside of the hotel.. no big deal..

    • Actually I thought the sea view was not bad (for me lah). I did kind of enjoy myself staring at the sea while eating… 🙄

  7. USD 110 (RM478.50) for 3 nites sounds good to me, but it’s like a homestay hor.. Err, if homestay, RM160 per nite is expensive.. I’m comparing with Msia, but like you said, stop converting and comparing, then ok kua.. Haha, the buffet spread looks “mm hoi wai” to me, but well, to get the tummy full, ok la, got egg, got cheese, got croissant, enuff jor kua..

    • Er.. Hotel wor… not really like homestay..

      Hahaha the “buffet” is actually food placed into a plate for you, you don’t even get to stuff yourself silly. Just good enough to make tummy full..

  8. I have been wary about AirBnB booking reviews until I told myself to rely on reviews rather than advertised photos. Even big hotels often misled people esp in China.
    Your room looked nice actually! Bathroom was too small or you were too big? Wakakaka

    • Might I break your bubble by revealing that with AirBnb, even the reviews cannot be easily trusted. It is sort of “I help you, you help me” thing. The host and the guest both need good reviews to build up their profile, in guests’ case so that they will not get rejected when they make bookings of other properties in the future. So you can hardly see very negative reviews there…

      Hahaha it is a combination of both, I reckon… 😀

  9. Oh, thank you for the information that there are hotels on AirBnB. I did not know this. As long as there are bread and cheese for breakfast, I guess I am fine.

    I have been to very tiny shower cubicles in UK BnB rooms that even I find it difficult to get in so I guess if you get those, forget about getting in at all. Maybe one day I will dig out the photos and write about them. So I guess since your shower cubicle can fit you in the end, I should be able to fit in.

    In a nutshell, for someone on a tight budget and wants to live close to all the attractions, your hotel is a very suitable place. Thanks for the warning about the danger zone. You have given us all some very important information for people wanting to travel alone to this place. Thanks again!

    • The hell… Actually I thought the shower cubicle in my Liverpool accommodation was tiny, but that seems huge compared to the ones I got in Istanbul. I wonder how small was the one you got. 😐

      Yes yes, you summed it up nicely. The place would be perfect for budget conscious people who wants to stay close. Although food is crazy expensive in that super touristy area too 🙄 …

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