Historical Traveller Reviews of The President Hotel Istanbul
Good location, dated decor, thin walls
As with many Best Western hotels I've stayed in - the price is good, the service efficient but the hotels themselves have a very dated decor. There is no wow factor when you enter the reception or your room, it's very standard and uninspiring. We were woken up two mornings running by the family in the room upstairs - either they were very loud or the sound insulation is poor. The bar fridge was great if you like fizzy orange but alcohol was restricted to two bottles of beer - so no Martini if you wanted one! The so-called swimming pool is the size of a dog bath and while the restaurant has a great rooftop location, it was empty when we ventured up one evening. On the plus side - and why I would not rule out returning - was that the location is great. You are very near the Grand Bazaar in one direction, the fish restaurants of Kumkapi at the bottom of the road and easy walking distance to Sultanahmet and the glories of Hagia Sophia. So, on balance, go for the city sights and forget this hotel's shortcomings. Location is everything.
I just returned from an eight-night stay at the President hotel. I had a suite on the 4th floor facing the Marmara Sea. From the minute of my arrival to the minute of my departure, all I experienced a pleasant atmosphere and caring genuine staff. My stay included a full breakfast buffet, which it was outstanding and generous. While there, I visited the Orient house club, which was another experience full of history and culture, which was a mix folklore & Turkish dance, belly dance, singing, and a magnificent dinner show.
The hotel is located in an excellent location in the old city, just a few minutes walk to the Grand Bazaar, the Blue Mosque, and Hagia Sophia, and other historical sites. I walked and shopped all day. The only thing is it was hot due to the month of August, and smoking! The hotel has two PCs on the 1st floor to send or to check your E-mails. The staff and the reception desk are muti- lingual and very knowledge and friendly.
I enjoyed talking to all of them, and they even speak Arabic. I felt I was home, and very welcomed. I enjoyed dinner at the terrace restaurant facing the Marmara Sea. The food is of an excellent quality, and you can say it is a gourmet presentation, while listening to the evening prayer and a wonderful ocean breeze after a hot humid day. I will definitely stay again visiting Istanbul at the president.
One of the Worst Hotels I have Ever Stayed in
I am sorry to dissent with the favorable reviews but my experience at this hotel was awful. I had been backpacking in Northern Africa for two weeks and decided to splurge on a nice hotel for my one night in Istanbul and from the minute I walked in the doors it was one disaster after another. I waited 2 and a 1/2 hours for a room even though I had called ahead. The room was plain, with a tiny tv, and a bathroom so small you couldn't turn around in it - with no bathtub and a shower that overflowed and drained into the bathroom floor. The computers in the buisness center were running on pirated software and the home page for internet explorer was a pornographic web site. The front desk staff was rude and personally offensive - of the 24 hours I spent in this city 5 were wasted waiting for things to happen or being ignored or even verbally insulted by the staff (who asked if I was "angry 24 hours" - although I literally did not raise my voice or speak rudely once - and condescendingly asked if "anything ever goes right for me"). I don't know if it is because I am young and they did not feel the need to give me the same respect as the other guests but I have never had such a dissapointing and upsetting stay at a hotel in my life (and been forced to pay over $100 for it). Through the entire experience no one ever apologized or even offered me a drink or breakfast while I sat waiting in the lobby for a room. The only two nice things I can say about this hotel are that it is a good location - 5 minutes from the bazaar and 15 from the major attractions, and that the pool and breakfast buffet have a nice view of the city. Honestly I feel bad writing this but I really rely on Trip Adviser and feel like I should be telling others about this experience. You should draw your own conclusions, but my experience at this hotel tainted my enjoyment of what should have been a wonderful though brief stay in a beautiful city like Istanbul.
President Suite + pool = great for family
With 2 kids under 10, the President Hotel was perfect for us. For 260 euro, we got a nice clean 1980's-era 2-room presidential suite with 2 TVs, lots of closets, 2 minibars and a water cooker. We used the nice fitness room which is one treadmill, 1 of each kind of bike, and 1 stair-climber plus free weights. Nice big jacuzzi, small steam room and sauna -- all v. clean and staffed with a nice guy/masseause who gives you robes and towels. Good massage, too! The indoor pool was nice, on the roof, but a bit cold. Free internet. Tacky bar and cafe. The Orient Club is part of the building -- I guess that's where lots of tour groups go to see sufi- and belly-dancing. $$$! The hotel is close to the Bazaar and the tram that takes you to most other sites, in a leather district with better prices for briefcases than we got in the bazaar! Free breakfast was fine and varied. Down the hill is a cafe where you can buy a big bottle of water for under 1 YTL -- the minibar costs much more, of course. Oh, and everything in the hotel is in English, too.
Great Staff and Superb Location
from A TripAdvisor Member
I have justed returned from a week at The President Hotel. The Hotel is very well located. 3 minutes walk to Grand Bazaar and 10 mins walk to other major sites such as St.Sophia and Topkapi Palace. The staff at the front desk was information and very helpful and friendly. The valets greeting us at the door were very friendly and it was always good to see them as we returned from our visits around the area and city. The restaurant was excellent and the staff very good. The room service was very good also.
The exterior of the Hotel was under renovation which was completed during my stay.
Breakfast is given on the 6 floor with a marvelous view of Istanbul
The rooms were midsize but big enough to fit an extra bed.
All in all I will stay with The President again and will recommend to anyone . Seriously, you could not want for better staff. We would definitely stay there again.
there are better ones in Istanbul
There really are some better ones in Istanbul for the same or even less amount of money. I only stayed here because it was paid by work. I would have never chosen it myself.
There is construction going on --horribly noisy.
Rooms are old, look dirty, and service is nothing special. The hotel looks old too.
Yes, it right next to a tram stop, and grand bazaar, but still, with a little bit of internet research one finds a much better hotel. To me this hotel doesnt give justice to what Istanbul can be....
I stayed at this hotel for 14 days in November 2005. I was a female traveler alone. This hotel is all that it claims to be and more very clean, very tidy, the service is excellent the breakfast in the morning was second to none a great choice of fresh food breads fruit and a whole lot more. The staff are very helpful and they all speak English I think really the hotel should have a 5 star rating. It's location is fantastic i walked to all the historical sights ie Blue Mosque, Grand Bazaar. All in all the hotel really made my holiday even more special and i really can not wait to go back to this beautiful city.
I booked into this hotel based on its proximity to the Grand Bazaar - only 5 mins walk. There was a concierge and 3 bell boys who helped me with a taxi and the price of that taxi when I left. I was booked in as a single but had a large room with 2 single beds, a pull out sofa bed that went to straight to the floor when I sat on it to write some postcards, and a large modern bathroom. The hotel had a small giftshop, 3 restaurants and an English Pub where the food was good. Breakfast was also adequate with cereals, breads, fruits, hot food (but no bacon of course), but disgusting tea. The breakfast restaurant was at the top of the hotel so you had commanding views of Sofia Mosque, Blue Mosque, Bosphorous Sea while having breakfast. The Terrace restaurant at the very top and surrounding the indoor pool had excellent food. The building is shaped like a U and they gave me an inside room as they said it was less noisy - I only heard the call to prayer one afternoon. Yes I would stay here again.
Great location, but ....
from A TripAdvisor Member
The President's strength is it's location - handy for the Grand Bazaar, and for the tram to the Mosques and further.
However, our room on the top floor suffered from a water dripping problem from the ceiling (reported twice) which gave the room a damp feel, and ruined the decor - the drips had been dripping for several weeks judging by the staining on the ceiling, walls and floor. The free internet access was greeat - however after the 2nd day of our weeks stay our side of the hotel lost reception (again reported - with no result) so I had to keep goingdown to the lobby, abondoning my wife, to keep on-line.
Room service reasonable, and a great soup!
Best Buy*very closed to Grand Bazaar
from A TripAdvisor Member
The location of this hotel is perfect--it is in my favorite part of Istanbul. you are within minutes of walking to the famous Grand Bazaar *just 250 meters and other touristic places such as St sophia, topkapi Palace and Blue mosque. The staff at reception and restaurant is perfect--always very helpful with suggestions, directions, reservations. They were truly so friendly and so attentive, it was unbelievable. the staff's help made me feel totally safe and confident. There is also a full buffet breakfast served in the dining room upstairs with a splendid view of Marmara sea, the price of which is included in the room. (There is also free wireless internet connection in my room. And there's air conditioning, a typical English Pub in the lobby) this is the ideal hotel according to its location and great value rates
Top Local Tips for Istanbul
Use the tram/metro system when you can; it is very cheap. Taxis are also reasonable during the day, but the meters go up by a factor of 1.6 after midnight. Also, frequently you can bargain a fixed price with taxi drivers and not use the meter (some cabbies drive around in circles to run up the meter; this happened to us twice).
Some tips that can make your stay even better
1. Good restaurant around the corner from the hotel: Sar Restaurant. Friendly service, excellent Turkish food, competitive prices and alcohol served (not on Friday though).
2. Hamam, Gedikpasa Hamam, also 4 minutes from the hotel. 5 YTL cheaper then the ones in the more touristic spots. Excellent value for money. Over 500 year old, friendly people and nice, not wild, massage. Both men and women. Visit www. gedikpasahamami.com for more info.
3. When taking the Bosphorus tour and you want to do more that day, take the boat trip one way and get of at the last stop on the European side (Rumelli Kavagi). There you take the bus to the 4 Levent metro station and there the metro to Taksim. The return trip by boat will get you back in Eminonu around 17.00. This way you still have an afternoon as you will be in Taksim around 13.00