Empress Zoe Hotel, Istanbul
Reviews - Empress Zoe Hotel
Read 296 additional reviews of Empress Zoe Hotel at TripAdvisor.
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Historical Traveller Reviews of Empress Zoe Hotel
Amazing Views and Kind, Helpful Stafffrom A TripAdvisor Member
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.
Gorgeous and perfectly locatedfrom A TripAdvisor Member
Calm in Center of Stormfrom A TripAdvisor Member
Truly, a Turkish Delightfrom VillaJacaranda
Empress Zoe : an honest, unfussy delightfrom A TripAdvisor Member
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 itfrom A TripAdvisor Member
A gem of a Hotelfrom claky
Empress Zoe has great extrasfrom A TripAdvisor Member
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 Zoefrom A TripAdvisor Member
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.
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.
Ann Nevans, Owner of Hotel Empress Zoe, Istanbul
Excellent Location;from LMCTraveler
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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