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where to stay on Turkish coast, in Istanbul?

where to stay on Turkish coast, in Istanbul?

Feb 1st, 2006, 07:55 AM
  #1  
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where to stay on Turkish coast, in Istanbul?

Hi there,

My husband and I are planning a 2 week trip to Greece and Turkey. We are planning on taking a ferry from the greek isles to a spot on the Turkish coast (Kusadasi, I believe - any advice on booking ferries would be greatly appreciated!) and would like to spend three or four nights somewhere near there.

The only place we know we want to see is Ephesus, but I'm not sure if people actually stay there, or stay in a town nearby? I would love recommendations.

After that we are flying to Istanbul for another 3 or 4 nights (should we spend the extra night on the coast or in Istanbul?) and are also looking for a hotel there. I would like to be near the Blue Mosque, and one thing I would really like is to have a hotel with a balcony so we can hear the call to prayer. Looking for someplace with tons of charm - not a sterile chain hotel. We can spend up to $300 per night on hotels. Thanks so much in advance for your help!
hawaiimoon05 is offline  
Feb 1st, 2006, 08:17 AM
  #2  
 
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Two places I stayed at a few months ago and liked very much:

Sirince. Small town in the mountains about a half-hour drive from the ruins of Ephesus. Nisanyan House Hotel is a lovely guest house with all the comforts and you feel as if you are in an upscale Turkish home. Easy access to the ruins. (The town closest to the ruins is Selcuk and while there are many hotels there, it is much nicer to stay in Sirince) Sirince has cobbled streets leading up the hillside, a lively market with good shopping, a local wine industry, whitewashed houses..unmarred by ugly modern concerete development. A great place to spend a night or two or three, with easy access to the beaches as well as the ruins.

The other place is recommend is the town of Foca on the sea north of Ephesus. This is a beautiful port town with beaches, good fish restaurants, and friendly people. Great place to stay is the Focantique Hotel in a restored stone house on the water.

I would recommend that you get a copy of the book, Special Places to Stay: Turkey. This will give you lots of ideas for charming hotels and guest houses all along the coast and throughout the country. The author is the owner of the Nisanyan House Hotel in Sirince. Let me know if you need more info..we had a wonderful trip and you can read about parts of it by accessing my report on this site.
ekscrunchy is offline  
Feb 1st, 2006, 08:23 AM
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If you want to be close to the Blue Mosque and have that kind of budget, you can check out the Istanbul Four Seasons; I think I paid about $330 for a room last fall and in this case I would say it is worth it although I normally do not spend close to that amount on a hotel. This is a small hotel in a converted prison and not at all a chain type place despite the affiliation. If you do not want to spend quite that much there are several other good choices but since I did not stay at any of the others in that area of the city I will let others give you more detail. The Four Seasons, however, has double glazed, or thicker, windows and you can only hear the muzzein's call if you open the windows, as I remember, or with the windows closed, if you listen very intently. Some of the rooms have fabulous views of the mosque, as does the rooftop area.
ekscrunchy is offline  
Feb 1st, 2006, 08:30 AM
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I'd totally agree on the Four Seasons recommendation. We got a rate of $220 during the winter, and it is one of the best hotels I've ever been to. When the doorman greets you by your name when you arrive, you know you're in for a treat. It has very nice rooms with great beds and huge marble bathrooms, a terrace bar with a great view of Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque, and the level of service is simply amazing.
Jean_Valjean is offline  
Feb 1st, 2006, 09:14 AM
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Thanks very much for your suggestions! I just checked the 4S but it appears that it is $370 for a room on the 1st or 2nd floor - and after all of the fabulous planning I'm doing, perhaps I should keep the hotel a bit lower! Foca and Sirince sound like great options - I will check them both out!
hawaiimoon05 is offline  
Feb 1st, 2006, 09:15 AM
  #6  
 
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I would suggest either stay in Sirince or in Kusadasi. Kismet is very favorible hotel within American travellers, beautiful garden & view etc. Rooms a bit old style and need quite some make up but location is great. Kusadasi town itself not my favorite. If you choose to stay in Kusadasi you are about 20 minutes away from Ephesus which is in selcuk. Do not skip the Selcuk Museum and Virgin Mery's House. If you happen to stay in Sirince you are 8 kms. away on a hill top village and 15 min. drive will take you to Ephesus.

For a luxury saty in Sultanahmet is ofcourse 4 Season. But there are other options too.

I would come to Marmaris and Drive to Bodrum. Drive to Ephesus and stay around 2 full day even one overnight and fly to istanbul from Izmir. day to 4 days istanbul is good enough to give you a glimpse of the beauty.
Happy travelling,

Murat
propertravel is offline  
Feb 1st, 2006, 10:23 AM
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Hyatt in Istanbul with a room overlooking the canal...in Kusadasi..the charming Kismet is lovely.
Stu T.
tower is offline  
Feb 1st, 2006, 10:28 AM
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If you want charm and proximity to Blue Mosque, try the Yesil Ev in a restored Ottoman townhouse. Or what about a lower-priced room at Four Seasons if they have one?
ekscrunchy is offline  
Feb 1st, 2006, 12:33 PM
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We visited Turkey in September 05, going first to Kusadasi, where we stayed at the Kismet. I totally recommend this hotel, which has a charming, helpful staff, great breakfast buffet(included) a wonderful garden with a view of the marina, Bird Island, and the harbor. They even serve beverages in the outdoor garden which is such a tranquil spot at the end of a long day of sightseeing.
The restaurant for evening meals serves a la carte or buffet, and we found the food and sevice to be very pleasing, and the setting was marvelous! It's an easy drive to Ephesus, and we drove another day to Didyma to see the temple of Apollo--awesome! We had a Turkish travel agent book for us, and we got a 2 room suite on the corner overlooking both marina and harbor for $100/nite. If I had booked online it would have been $145.
We drove back to Izmir, flew to Istanbul, and sayed at the Celal Sultan Hotel in Sultanahmet. Fabulous location near Aya Sophia, the cistern, and the Blue Mosque. Also it was easy to grab the tram for rides to the waterfront. The breakfast was excellent, and the rooms quiet and comfortable, though small. I would certainly stay there again. Our rate including breakfast and one way from the airport was about $100/nite.
Barb_in_Ga is offline  
Feb 1st, 2006, 12:54 PM
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The $370 rate at the 4S is actually the lowest they offer right now, and I think that since there seem to be so many great, less expensive hotels in Istanbul (from tripadvisor.com reviews) that maybe we save the money there and spend it on the more expensive accomodations on the greek isles. I think the Hyatt sounds too american for me... will definitely check out Yesil Ev.

As for the coast and our visit to Ephesus, I think we would like to stay on the water even though Sirince sounds lovely. Does that mean spending 3 nights in Kusadasi, then 4 in Istanbul, or should I spend less time in Kusadasi and add another local (Marmaris or Bodrum?)

Lastly, I would be trying to do WAY too much by adding a drive to Cappadocia in there?

Thanks so much to all.
hawaiimoon05 is offline  
Feb 1st, 2006, 01:20 PM
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Barb in Georgia...so happy you liked the Kismet...if you recall, I strongly recommended it to you last year...I think I've touted it to at least six others, all of whom liked it very much.
Stu T.
tower is offline  
Feb 1st, 2006, 05:36 PM
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Stu--that's why I love this board! I don't participate as much as I used to, but I still can't resist checking in almost daily to see what looks interesting.

Thanks to the Fodorites who helped me settle on the Kismet in Kusadasi, it was perfect. We spent 4 nights there--one day for Ephesus and the museum, one day for an all day boat trip on the Aegean that took us to several coves for swimming, one day we spent the morning resting and reading in the garden, then drove to Didyma to see the temple of Apollo, stopping along the way to visit a small town fresh market, where we bought fruit, cheese, and olives for a picnic.

Our hotel in Istanbul was also based on recommendations from fodorites, and it, too, was great.

The trouble with reading the board when I'm not in the planning stages of a trip is that it makes me really wish I were going to London or Paris for a quick few days. This year's "big trip" is to Malaysia, Singapore and maybe Bali--I have the FF tix reserved on Singapore Airlines in Bus class, so it is time to start visiting the Asia board to plan, but I "know" so many more people here, it's hard to resist checking in.

hawaiimoon, you should have a great time in Turkey. I decided against including Cappadoccia on our first trip, since we only had 9 nights, and I'm not sorry. We loved taking our time in Kusadasi and Istanbul.
Barb_in_Ga is offline  
Feb 2nd, 2006, 05:30 AM
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Thanks so much to all for your input!

After reviewing more threads and taking a look at the cave hotels in Cappadocia, we are rethinking the Turkish coast... we will just have spent a week in the Greek Isles which will certainly take care of any relaxation we may need, and we just love the look of the cave hotels and the hot air balloon idea.

My question to you all - going over there with the idea that we may never return, (you never know!) would you try to squeeze in all three (Ephesus, Capp and Istanbul with 2 nights, 2 nights and 3 respectively) or would you stick to two locales?

Is Ephesus truly not to be missed, or would you say the same for Cappadocia?

Sorry for all the questions! Thanks again in advance.
hawaiimoon05 is offline  
Feb 2nd, 2006, 06:39 AM
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Hello Hawaii,
I personally would not leave out Ephesus, but that's just me. You will be amazed, as it's a truly awe - inspiring place. You may not need a 2 night stay, however. If you arrive early enough in the am you can view the ruins the first day and return the following day if nec. and possibly add a tour of the very small musuem close by (you'll need a ride) and then depart to your next location.

We picked up a wonderful retired English speaking guide at the entry gate - he was great and not too costly. Because the history is a little complicated, I'd recommend a private guide.
Hope that helps;
Sherry
cybor is offline  
Feb 2nd, 2006, 06:57 AM
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If pressed for time, setting aside one night only for Ephesus might be adequate. Since you'll be spending time on the Greek Isles, Cappadocia and Istanbul would offer some wonderful diversity to your trip. I loved them both. Spent six nights in Istanbul and four in Cappadocia and was sorry to leave them.

Kusadasi, on the other hand, disappointed me, especially compared to the rest of what I experienced in Turkey. It lacked warmth, charm, and was very touristy in a tired sort of way. I only spent a night there, then moved my base to Selcuk (which I'd recommend over Kusadasi) before catching my flight to Istanbul.
camp_packaway is offline  
Feb 2nd, 2006, 07:06 AM
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I agree..one night close to Ephesus..not in Kusadasi. And then Cappadocia. Given the choice between Efes and Cappadocia, I would choose Cappadocia but it looks like you can do both. You could stay one night in Sirince and visit Ephesus from there. I also agree about 4S being too costly..check out Yesil Ev and the other hotels in the restored Ottoman mansions near the 4 Seasons.
ekscrunchy is offline  
Feb 12th, 2006, 10:14 AM
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If you are coming to Cappadocia, may I suugest www.goremehouse.com for modorate nice homey atmosphere or www.sacred-house.com for a luxury one

Happy travelling,
Murat
propertravel is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2006, 08:44 AM
  #18  
 
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I have a question regarding Barb in GA's post here - What company did you use for the all day boat trip? I am planning a trip for my family to Istanbul/Aegean and we were hoping to a do a 4 day boat trip, but one person in the party is hesitant to sleep on the boat so a one day trip like you described would be perfect! I will also be looking into the Kismet since it got such a positive response here. One more question though - another possibility while down there is renting a villa. Has anyone had any good experiences with any villas in the larger area around Ephesus (like within 40 min-1 hour drive)?
Thanks!
jk1234 is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2006, 12:32 PM
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A friend of mine has a beautiful villa in Kas Peninsula, a bit far from Ephesus but you can enjoy it after Ephesus if you like...
Happy Travelling,
Murat
propertravel is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2006, 01:03 PM
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Thanks Murat,

I will actually be stopping in Kas on a blue cruise the week before (on a sidenote, I visited Kas last year and it was absolutely my favorite town on the Turkish coast! We ate at a wonderful, charming restaurant called The Sun, if i remember correctly, that I highly recommend) so we're thinking of staying more west on this visit. In my research I have read many glowing remarks about the towns of Sirince and Foca, either of which might be a nice base.
Thanks Again!
jk1234 is offline  

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