hotels in Athens & Istanbul

Old Nov 20th, 1997, 02:03 PM
Dave Jones
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hotels in Athens & Istanbul

Planning visit to Atthens and Istanbul in late Ap[ril and Early May. Would appreciate any advice on hotels (good or Bad) in both cities. Also, best district for a hotel in Istanbul. Is it better to take a tour package or arrange your own sightseeing after getting to Athens and Istranbul? Thanks for the help.
Old Nov 21st, 1997, 01:11 AM
George Holt
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For sightseeing undoubtedly the most convenient area for a hotel in Istanbul is Sultan Ahmet, unfortunately the hoteliers in Sultan Ahmet know this and charge accordingly. The neighbouring districts of Alemdar, Cagaloglu (pron.something like jayalolu the g's actually have a twidly bit on top and serve to make the preceding vowels longer),and Beyazit are very convenient. Istanbul is well served by (crowded) buses and taxis so nowhere on the european side is bad, just less convenient. Traditionally travellers on the Orient Express favoured the Pera Palas Hotel in Beyoglu (pron. bayolu, you'll have fun with Turkish) and many of the big name hotel chains are around Taksim. A hotel on the Asian side of the Bosporus could be awkward. Armed with a good map and a guide book you don't NEED a tour of Istanbul but sometimes its worth taking a tour to get the taste (and the commentary) and visiting the highlights on your own later. Most of the well known sights are clustered around the Sultan Ahmet area. One place where a tour IS useful is the Dolmabahche Palace, I've never managed to be patient enough to get to the front of the long queue mainly because tours arrive and go straight to the front!
Old Nov 21st, 1997, 05:04 AM
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In Athens I have stayed at both the Divani Palace, which is down a side-street at the foot of the Acropolis, and at the Caraval, a hotel located a ten minute walk or four stops on the bus from the Plaka and entrance to the Acropolis and somewhat less expensive. The Divani Palace has a very glittery lobby and then very modern but somewhat small hotel rooms, while the Caraval has a less ostentatious lobby and good sized rooms. I also liked the two restaurants in the Caraval, particularly the one at lobby level (the other is a few steps up a landing) and the fact there were literally dozens of local cafes around the hotel where I wandered to have meals, snacks etc. The view of the Acropolis from the roof top exercise club at the Caraval is worth staying there for particularly if you are a photography buff looking for standout photographs. Bring your zoom lens to maximize opportunities.

Old Nov 21st, 1997, 06:39 AM
Neal Sanders
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I've stayed at the Royal Olympic, which has a convenient location (adjacent to the Plaka and a short walk from the entrance to the Acropolis), but which has a dreary 70s-era feel to it. The Grande Bretagne is the most centrally located and nicest hotel, but also has the highest rates in the city. Definitely avoid the Intercontinental, Hilton, and Marriott; all are far away from the tourist sites. You do not need to join a tour group in Athens; English is the second language for museums and historical sites, and the Greek National Tourist Organization will send you mountains of maps and other literature. If you're thinking of venturing outside of Athens to Olympia, Mycenae, Delphi, etc., you can also see those places on your own with a rental car and a good Michelin map.
Old Nov 21st, 1997, 08:28 AM
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I have stayed at both the Inter-Continental Hotels in Athens and Istanbul. Both IC hotels have very big rooms. If you decide to stay at the IC in Istanbul, be sure to ask for a river view and at higher floors. I stayed on the 14th floor facing the Bosphorous River and the view is absolutely breath taking (be careful though-I think if you get a room that does not face the Bospherous River, the rooms can be small). It also has a wonderful outdoor pool, although at the time of your trip, it might still be a little cold. Be careful in Istanbul when you take taxis. I was ripped off on two occasions by the taxi drivers. In Athens, I thought the IC hotel was a little far from all the sights although the hotel was very nice. The hotel also does not have a view of anything. If you decide to stay there, the hotel offers a shuttle that will take you to the main areas. Be sure to check out a restaurant called the Greek House and ask to be seated on the roof-top.
You get an awesome view of the Acropolis plus really good food. You won't regret it. Have fun!
Old Nov 21st, 1997, 09:14 AM
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I made a reservation for next year at the Best Western President Hotel in Istanbul. It is rated **** and the price is $112/nite. Looking at a map, it appears to be close to all the attractions and is not very far from Sultanahmet. Does anyone have any experience with this hotel? I fiqure that I can cancel up to 48hrs in advance in case something better comes up.
Old Nov 21st, 1997, 09:15 AM
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I made a reservation for next year at the Best Western President Hotel in Istanbul. It is rated **** and the price is $112/nite. Looking at a map, it appears to be close to all the attractions and is not very far from Sultanahmet. Does anyone have any experience with this hotel? I fiqure that I can cancel up to 48hrs in advance in case something better comes up.
Old Nov 22nd, 1997, 07:40 PM
L. Montgomery
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We will be staying at the Grande Bretange in May before our Cruise, as mentioned in previos post, it is rather expensive, however, it is a member of the Sheraton Luxury Collection so if you are a Sheraton member and have 1,500 sheraton points, or one of the Airline Certificates for Sheraton, you can have a room at 1/2 price. We chose to take a suite at about what we would have paid for room otherwise and other couples with us took the room at half price. This makes it a very good deal.
Old Dec 2nd, 1997, 05:41 AM
M.F. Ding
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Hello ! I am amazed at the extent of information available here and the willingness of fellow travellers to share information. Bravo!
I was wondering if anyone could help out. How would one obtain maps etc from the Greek national tourist board ? Could one just obtain them when one arrives in Athens or can one get them thru mail before that ?
Do island cruises operate during winter ?? Is it worthwhile to go in winter in the first place?
Is it safe to bring a toddler along to Athens for a trip?
Thank you and I would really appreciate some help !
Old Dec 8th, 1997, 10:52 AM
Lincoln Chan
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You wrote:
> Do island cruises operate during winter ??

What do you meant island cruises? If you mean those 1 day crusie...yes, they are year around. I just returned from Athens two days ago. I took a 1-day cruise. The weather was nice, but too cold to go swimming. As for ferries or boat services to the islands, it becomes infrequent during the winter months.

Old Dec 21st, 1997, 05:26 PM
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Hi Gearge.
I am back from Turkey. If I get a chance I will send you some pictures of Cappadocia. We got lucky with the weather. It was a little cold but nice. It was
confortable walking weather in the Ihlara valley.

Thanks for your help.


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