Empress Zoe Hotel

, Istanbul, Turkey
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Empress Zoe Hotel

, Istanbul

Rooms: 25

10 Akbiyik Cad. Adliye Sok - Istanbul - 34400 - Turkey Hotel Website | | 90 (212) 518 25 04
296 Traveller

Reviews - Empress Zoe Hotel

Historical Traveller Reviews of Empress Zoe Hotel

Amazing Views and Kind, Helpful Staff

from A TripAdvisor Member
We just returned from a three and a half week trip in Germany, Greece and Turkey. After a full day of airplane travel, we were greeted in the Istanbul Airport by an employee of the Empress Zoe. He quickly grabbed as many of our suitcases as he could and shuttled us via van to our hotel. Upon arrival to the "Empress" we noted the beautifully decorated lobby and the spiral staircase that is mentioned in the website. We had every intention of dragging our overloaded suitcases up the spiral staircase. Instead, the hotel staff wisked our suitcases up the staircase to our rooms. Then they showed us the amazing terrace that overlooked the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia. My husband, daughter and I couldn't believe the breathtaking view of the lit up historic sites just a few blocks from our hotel. I knew that the hotel was in a good location but I didn't realize that it was only a five minute walk to the middle of the old section. After touring all day in the busy area of Istanbul we arrived each evening to our quaint section. Some nights we nestled in the cozy, quiet, garden of the EZ. Other nights we ate at restaurants nearby that served good food at fair prices and then sat on one of the two terraces to catch the night views.

For the first two nights, we stayed in the Family Room. The decor of the room was exotic and fun. Our only complaint was the length of the two twin beds. Both beds were too short for our tall daughter but the staff helped us rearrange the beds to meet our needs. We moved to the Garden Suite for our last two nights. When we first entered the suite my daughter and I squealed with delight. We loved the bathroom with the large walk-in, marble shower and Turkish sink. The master bedroom had a comfortable bed and the room had it's own A/C which my husband greatly appreciated. My daugther felt like a queen sleeping in the second bedroom which also had a patio overlooking the garden, A/C, glass table for four, small refrigerator and electric tea pot. Although the two beds in her room were twin size and she is six feet tall, she was able to sleep comfortably.

Breakfast was served each morning in the garden. The garden is even more beautiful than it appears on the website. Breakfast food was healthy and delicious. Being cat lovers, we enjoyed being greeted each morning by purring cats that liked being pet. In addition to the beautiful flowers, sculptures and fountains, the hotel was smoke free during our four day stay. (See the website for smoking in the Empress).

Every person that worked at the Empress was helpful and kind. The front desk staff were particulary helpful addressing questions regarding Istanbul touring. We were especially touched by Yusaf and Omer who tried their best to teach us a few Turkish words.

The Sieverings

Gorgeous and perfectly located

from A TripAdvisor Member
My family and I stayed in a triple room for three nights in early July. The decor is beautiful -- spiral staircases, hand-painted walls in the room, marble bathroom, nice roof deck, and a wonderful garden that is perfect for a quiet breakfast or afternoon drink. The staff was incredibly helpful, with clear walking directions (the hotel is walking distance to practically all historical sites) and courteous 24-hour service. The only problem my family had was with the shower -- uneven temperature and pressure -- but that's a minor complaint, compared to the charm and convenience of the Empress Zoe.

Calm in Center of Storm

from A TripAdvisor Member
I stayed at this hotel for a week and was overall very pleased with the property. The staff (including the resident cats) were an absolute delight, as well as the hotels garden where breakfast is served daily. I tried to book one of the newer garden suites, but they were not available, so I got the "Family Suite." I was slightly disappointed by its lack of a view, somewhat small size for a suite, and crowded bathroom, but the decor of the room was quite charming. Despite this, I would stay at this hotel again since it was utterly unique and welcoming.

Truly, a Turkish Delight

from VillaJacaranda
I stayed one night (but would have gladly stayed a lot longer) in one of their suites - absolutely fantastic experience. The garden a tranquil haven after hurly-burly of Istanbul - I was transported to some wondeful time gone by in this place. The room oozed good taste, breakfast was sumptuous. Strongly recommend a stay at Empress Zoe for all those who love the good things in life.

Empress Zoe : an honest, unfussy delight

from A TripAdvisor Member
We spent 4 days in Istanbul, arriving at Empress Zoe in early June '05 as the entire street was being dug up, re-cobbled and pavemented. (I expect that this comment will be obselete as I write it, given the 7-day early-late work rate we observed)! EZ proved to be an honest, unfussy delight.

We had booked for 3 days originally in an aptly-titled, characterful "petite suite", but once a room became free for us to move to on day 4, we jumped at the chance. It turned out to be a roomier "family suite"...and although right above the energetic roadworks, the tasteful double-paned window proved virtually soundproof and the air-cond was just fine. Some negatives : if life's occasional background noises bother you, if you hate staircases or you like to walk around in your shower - think 4 Seasons!

The garden and the roof terrace provide space and quiet in this tightly-proportioned hotel, which is a great jumping-off point for most Istanbul destinations - with a taxi-rank at the bottom of the road for the footsore.

Staff were smiley, accomodating and helpful. Our request for help with a pre-trip restaurant reservation was admirably handled via e-mail.

All in all, we were favourably "empressed" and will certainly return.

Loved it

from A TripAdvisor Member
An amazing hotel. Go for it. location, staff, everyt hing. I can't praise them highly enough. Disregard the 2 negative feedbackas they obviously wanted grandeur without paying the price. But this hotel really was the biz. we can't wait to come back again!

A gem of a Hotel

from claky
We stayed in the Penthouse for three nights and it was well worth the climb. As stated this hotel is not for the unfit, we are in our mid forties and fairly fit so could manage the huge amount of stairs required to get to the penthouse. Perhaps a garden suite is the answer for people who can't manage stairs? The staff were wonderful and are so helpfull, they even allowed us to store our two huge suitecases with them for 4 days while we visited Cappodocia. We will recommend this hotel to our friends who wish to visit Istanbul

Empress Zoe has great extras

from A TripAdvisor Member
We spent 7 nights at the Empress Zoe this trip and loved it. The location is great, but there are lots of little hotels in the immediate area, so location by itself that is no reason to choose Zoe.

What is particularly special about Zoe is the fabulous garden and the excellent roof terrace. From the garden, you can see the Haghia Sophia while listening to a fountain burble, pet the cats, and imagine the former glory of the charming ruined hamam. Not many hotels come with their own ruin! Litterally topping off the hotel is the multi-storied roof garden. Incredible views of Blue Mosque, Haghia Sophia, and the Marmara! My first morning I watched the sun rise turn the Marmara pink while the full moon set behind the Blue Mosque with the call to prayer echoing over the city -- it was heavenly.

Empress Zoe is a hotel with character. There are plenty of atmopheric decorative touches without being fussy. One gets the feeling of organic growth, as one winds through the many twists and turns of the building.

On a practical level, our rooms were spacious, simple, and very very clean. The windows have great soundproofing and the surrounding streets get little car traffic, so noise was not a problem. The staff was friendly and very accomodating of early arrivals, offering breakfast and notice of the room as soon as it was available. Breakfast is "Turkish plus" with a nice pastry, cereal, and strawberries available to suppliment the standard cucumbers, olives, and bread.

There ARE people who should not book at Empress Zoe. The statement on their web site that it is not for people who have trouble with stairs is very true. There are stairs *everywhere* especially to get to the oh so lovely roof terrace. And I am not sure I would book here in the winter. If I couldn't enjoy Zoe's many extras, I think the price would be a bit steep.

But for 3 seasons of the year, Zoe would be my choice again and again.

Hated the Zoe

from A TripAdvisor Member
Stayed at Empress Zoe during February. A little below average.
Would not stay here again. Rooms were typical, nothing out of ordinary. A little scruffy and felt a bit used and outdated.
Staff was ordinary, a bit on the cold side. Not rude, but not particularly endearing.
Would recommend other hotels in Istanbul.
Management Response from Clarity
We have only 2 bad reviews posted on trip advisor so far and both of them use exactly the same phrase "hated the Zoe".

This seems strange to me. I can quite understand why it would not be for everyone - but "hated" ? The rest of the review is not particularly vitriolic - it sounds like someone travelling by him/herself in February when it was cold and having a miserable time in general. I must say that the phrase "typical, nothing out of the ordinary" is exactly the opposite of what we are.

I will be adding a section to our website on our philosopy - what we are about, how we started and grew and learned, what we are trying to offer our guests. Maybe that will be illuminating both to people who are looking for an Empress Zoe kind of experience and those who would rather avoid it.

We are not a conventional hotel but I am happy to say that on the whole (99% of the time) our guests say that they loved their stay with us.

Sincerely yours,
Ann Nevans, Owner of Hotel Empress Zoe, Istanbul

Excellent Location;

from LMCTraveler
We stayed at the Empress Hotel in September. The staff was, for the most part, was friendly, and the location was unbeatable. All the main attractions (i.e. The Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace) were within walking distance. The rooms were a good size, although the ones facing the mini-market can be a bit noisy at night since the restaurant next to the mini-market closes after midnight. The room was very clean. The hotel garden is really nice to sit and have breakfast before sightseeing.

Top Local Tips for Istanbul

Nice Hotel but Terrible Receptionists Hotel Empress Zoe has a good location and beautiful rooms. But the receptionists are very unfriendly and rude especially towards the clients' guests and people who call the guests. The receptionists are very unreliable in terms of the reservations for the tours, Turkish Bath and Whirling Dervish Ceremony. There are many tour agencies next to the hotel and I wish I buy the tours from these companies rather than making the unfriendly receptionists rich through my reservations.

getting around and drinks The only negatives about Istanbul are twofold: 1) Traffic is a nightmare, so if possible, take mass transit (alhtough it is not great); and 2) Mixed drinks (or martinis, shots, etc). are very expensive (e.g., $14 for a gin and tonic). Stick to beer or wine.

Getting around Use the public transport system, at only 70 kurus a trip (approx USD$0.50) you can get anywhere you need to quickly and effeiciently using the tram, funicular or metro.


Other names for Empress Zoe Hotel

  • empress zoe hotel istanbul
  • Address: 10 Akbiyik Cad. Adliye Sok - Istanbul - 34400 - Turkey
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