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Istanbul hotel recommendation: Faros Hotel Sirkeci

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I'm unlikely to get around to a trip report anytime soon, so I wanted to post this as a one-off for anyone seeking a moderate-priced hotel equidistant between the top sites in Sultanahmet and the Galata Bridge hub (Ferries at Eminonu, Sirkeci Station, Spice Bazaar,etc etc)

When we wanted a small, reasonably priced, immaculately clean and very friendly hotel near the top sites, the Faros Hotel Sirkeci was recommended by a friend.

We booked online direct with the hotel and stayed 5 nights, so we got a free, private airport pick-up and drop-off – a smart Mercedes van and one of Istanbul’s few careful drivers. Arrival and check in were smooth; this was our introduction to the very committed and helpful hotel staff, who booked restaurants (and cancelled them, when it poured rain), arranged airport transfers, etc.

We paid 90 euros per night, which included breakfast, the transfers and, I believe, all taxes. Many hotels in the vicinity charge 50% more.

Our 5th floor room was quite small, yet we found space to store everything. We appreciated the spare modern décor – white walls, bed linen and curtains, blond wood floors and furniture. Great view of Gulhane Park from the double French doors. There was everything from a sewing kit to a mini-safe for valuables. I would have liked an extra chair, though.

The bathroom had a lot of pale marble and a super glass-walled shower: both hand-held shower and rainforest shower.

Breakfasts in the main floor restaurant were ample and the youthful staff were very cheerful.We ate dinner there one night, too. The menu was far more inventive than I expected from a small hotel restaurant.

We walked almost everywhere from this location: Topkapi, the Blue Mosque, Basilica Cistern and Aya Sofia are 10-15 minutes away. There is a tram stop 2 minutes from the hotel; the tram passed under our windows but with the French doors closed, we heard nothing at all.

Sirkeci district, especially Hudavendigar Caddesi where the hotel is located, is not an atmospheric location. But its convenience outweighed any negatives. Anyway, the warmth of the people were the essential ingredient in making this hotel one of our fonder Istanbul memories.

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