Good location, but this is not really a hotel
Posted Jul 19, 2012 on Hotels
The location of Elma Suites is excellent, within walking distance to Taksim square in the heart of the city. Even though it is listed as a hotel, it is actually a small apartment building on a small street. Don't expect standard hotel services such as reception area, daily room cleaning, towel change, room service, standard credit card payment and receipt, etc. You are essentially renting a flat in an apartment building. (They provide clean towels and bed sheets at check-in.) We stayed in a suite with a small kitchen, and the bed/closet was hidden behind a wall. The living area was comfortable with a sofa, TV, etc. While pictures on the web showed suites with nice views from balconies, our flat did not have a balcony and its windows were directly facing the walls of the adjacent buildings.
The bathroom and the kitchen were reasonably clean, but the floors were not. We could see the dirt on our socks after 5 minutes in the suite.
The biggest problem we encountered was regarding payment and receipt. They wanted the payment in cash, and did not want to accept a credit card. Also, they were not able to provide a proper receipt. I had to call the owner (he was out of town) and talk to him for almost half an hour on the phone explaining that I needed a real receipt. He finally agreed to provide one, but their office was closed (it was Sunday), so he mailed me the receipt later. The entire payment/receipt process was much more hassle than necessary.