Fantastic -- all around!
Posted Sep 6, 2016
I came to Turkey for a solo motorcycle trip that began/ended in Istanbul, so I ended up staying here twice; by the end, it felt like a home away from home. The hotel location is fantastic. It's a little difficult to find the first time (the door is right next to the Karakoy Lokantsi (restaurant), which is owned/operated by the same owners), but it's just a few blocks from both the Karakoy ferryboat pier, the foot of the Galata Bridge, and the Karakoy tram stop, and from there it's just 10-15 mins. by tram to either Sultanahmet or Taksim Square. It's convenient and close to everything touristy, but the Karakoy neighborhood itself is trendy and young, with lots of restaurants (including the hotel's own excellent restaurant), bars and nightclubs, and no people trying to sell you carpets or silver. The hotel rooms themselves are huge, and decorated in a hip, modern style, with high ceilings, Edison bulbs and exposed copper conduits. At least one of the rooms has its own kitchenette -- if I hadn't known better, I could easily have mistaken it for a chic loft apartment somewhere. The owners - Aylin and Oral -- are great. Aylin helped me with my bad Turkish pronunciation every morning, and Oral is a fellow motorcyclist. When they found out I'd be traveling alone, they gave me their cell phone number and told me to call from the road with any problems. The staff are young, energetic, friendly and helpful. If I come back to Istanbul, I will try to book a room here first.