DONTstay at Spina Hotel, Istanbul

May 31st, 2001, 05:41 AM
  #1  
gina
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DONTstay at Spina Hotel, Istanbul

Hi,
I just got back from a trip to Turkey.
I would not recommend staying at the Spina hotel in Istanbul. The rooms are small, not very clean and overpriced. I e-mailed the hotel directly and got a price of 75 US. I bargained it down to 60 US. In an e-mail they said that it was possible to pay with a credit card. When it was time to pay, they wanted to charge 18% just for using a visa. We agreed to pay in cash and were charged $70 a night instead of $60 because of the exchange rate.
At that point there was not much we could do.
If you can, try to get a price in Turkish lira when booking a hotel from the US. Also, if you they know that you are American, they charge at least triple what something costs.
 
May 31st, 2001, 07:37 AM
  #2  
bobbie
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My daughter and I stayed there last June and we had arranged for them to pick us up at the airport. We arrived around 2 am and there was no one to meet us. Imagine trying to figure out what to do at that hour! Anyway we did take a taxi and prayed that he was indeed taking us into Istanbul but it took forever for him to find the hotel although he asked several taxis and garbage men along the way...we did find the rooms to be small but the breakfast was interesting and the staff friendly and helpful, but I wouldn't go back either.
 
May 31st, 2001, 08:38 AM
  #3  
George
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Unfortunately, you simply won't succeed in getting an advance quote for a hotel room in Lira. The Turkish economy is in turmoil with rampant inflation and dramatic currency slides (down 70 per cent agaisnt most "hard" currencies since the beginning of this year.
 
May 31st, 2001, 09:36 AM
  #4  
Rosenatti
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After spending some time in Sultanhammet, was there a hotel you spotted that you wished you'd booked instead? I'm shopping for an Istanbul hotel and am feeling a little overwhelmed by the choices. At least I can strike Hotel Spina from the list.
 
May 31st, 2001, 09:37 AM
  #5  
Rosenatti
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Also, please feel free to post a trip report...!
 
Jun 1st, 2001, 04:23 PM
  #6  
mh
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Rosenatti -

We stayed at two Istanbul hotels last month, the Sultanhamet Palace and the Nena Hotel.

The Sultanhamet is a more upscale (and pricey: $140) hotel right behind the Blue Mosque. Rooms are clean and medium in size. Great location and a nice courtyard, too. One of the attractions is supposed to be the traditional hamam in the bathrooms, but we didn't find it to be very practical. And we had an unhappy experience there, too: We had reserved a room there at the start and the finish of our trip. Upon arriving back in Istanbul, we found that the hotel was full, a German couple had to decided to stay an extra night in what should have been our room and that the hotel wouldn't honor our reservation.

Which led us to the Nena Hotel, a block or two up from the Blue Mosque. It's operated by Best Western. The staff was helpful, and the rooms larger and cheaper than they were at the Sultanhamet Palace. We paid $100 for a top-floor room with a balcony and a great view of the Blue Mosque and the Bosphorus. The rooms on the lower floors were $70. I'd stay there again.

Hope this is of some help.
 
Jun 1st, 2001, 04:43 PM
  #7  
M&J
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Rosenatti--we enjoy our travels to Turkey and if you wish, email us for a report for first time visitors to Istanbul. But, there is a catch----we
"charge" you to share your trip with us.
 
Jun 1st, 2001, 07:36 PM
  #8  
Rosenatti
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Thank you for the info, mh. I'd already decided against the Sultanhamet Palace because of the hamams -- if I want an authentic Turkish bath, I'll go to one of the public ones. In my room I just want quick, easy convenience. I haven't looked into the Nena Hotel yet, but I will based on your experience. I've also read good things about another Best Western, the Hotel Spectra.
M&J -- Thanks for the offer; sounds like a good deal. I'll be in touch.
 
Jun 1st, 2001, 07:43 PM
  #9  
Rosenatti
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Wow! Just checked out the Hotel Nena website. mh, is it really as beautiful as it looks?
 
Jun 2nd, 2001, 08:17 AM
  #10  
mh
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Rosenatti -

I just checked out the website, and I think the pictures are a little misleading. It's not as big as it appears in the photos. It is a very nice, comfortable hotel but not exactly in the class of the Four Seasons. I actually had the best shower of the trip there. We had one of the suites on the 4th floor so we had a great view - I doubt the lower floors had such a view so you would need to ask for a suite (good sized room with a regular bathroom, balcony and a view).

Don't let the word 'suite' discourage you. It's quite reasonable ($100).
 
Jun 2nd, 2001, 02:16 PM
  #11  
Rosenatti
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Thanks, mh!
 
Jun 3rd, 2001, 07:53 AM
  #12  
Debbie
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I would like to encourage you to look at the website for the Hotel Spectra in Istanbul. Our family stayed there in March and really enjoyed our time there. They picked us up at the airport(complete with our name on a card in the baggage area),have an internet free use cafe in lobby(great for keeping in contact with loved ones at home),nice breakfast on the enclosed rooftop overlooking the Blue Mosque and the Bosphorus River.The rooms were clean,had TV,some had views of the Hippodrome area,etc. We walked to everything in the area except to Grand Bazaar(took the electric bus line down the street for 40 cents and 5 minute trip!). Its about 70 US dollars and is discounted if you pay in cash or travelers cheques.The staff were very sweet and helpful.Wasn't the ritz but an old ottoman house that had been transformed into a hotel that is under the Best Western logo(good for nowing standards!).
 
Jun 3rd, 2001, 07:58 AM
  #13  
Debbie
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I do know how to spell-its knowing.I pushed button before I realized my proofreading.Anyway,the hotel rooms in most of the old city are not going to be huge-American style rooms.Th nice thing about staying in the area around the old city is the history,sights,
the prayer calls,etc. The Hilton and others on the other side make you feel as though you might as well be in NYC.f you want the real Istanbul-find a hotel in the old city.Have a marvelous trip!
 
Jun 3rd, 2001, 01:11 PM
  #14  
nejat
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If you ask to a native dealing with tourism over 20 years you have better chance to get better rates and recommandations.
regards
nEJAT iNCEDOGAN
GUIDE LECTURER
 
Oct 5th, 2002, 07:01 PM
  #15  
asdf
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Nejat.
stop posting stupid messages..
 
Oct 6th, 2002, 05:23 AM
  #16  
Patrick
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I am not a user or lover of Traveler's Checks, but when going to Turkey I had three different hotels all quote me in US dollars and offer a 10% discount for paying in dollars cash or travelers checks. That was one trip I did carry the travelers checks and paid those three hotel bills (also a hot-air balloon excursion in Cappodocia) that way.
 

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