Initially underwhelmed, but grew to like it a lot
Posted Oct 12, 2015
I have to admit that when I first arrived at the hotel, I was disheartened by a) the difficulty of finding the hotel on an unmarked side street and b) the underwhelming exterior and receptionist check-in once you enter the hotel. However, over the course of our 3.5 days here, I stand resoundingly behind my 4-star rating for the hotel. I can’t vouch for room service or the hotel restaurant, but fret not, just venture out for a 10-minute walk and eat at any of the restaurants along the Galata Bridge or on either ends of the bridge (Hamdi Restaurant and Karakoy Ozsut (the kaymak was delicious) are worth a visit.) Also, Galata La Bella is a stone’s throw from the cable car which took us into the heart of Sultanahmet and surrounding areas. The hotel staff also was kind enough to book a boat/bus tour for us, which was worth every Turkish Lira. The nice thing about this hotel is that it’s a convenient middle ground between the Taksim Square/retail shopping area and the mosques and bazaars on the other side of the Bosphorus River. If you are expecting the Four Seasons, then move along; this is not the hotel for you. But, if you want a great location, proximity to good restaurants, solid continental breakfast selection (the borek and pastries – yum!) helpful staff (Unal, the Galveston, TX enthusiast stands out), an amazing rooftop view, and clean rooms and showers, then look no further.