4 out of 5 stars4 Stars

Ahirkapi Street 24, Sultanahmet, Istanbul, 34400, Turkey

3 Reviews

Armada Istanbul Old City Hotel
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Satisfaction Excellent
Very Good

Value Score Average Value

Similarly priced and rated as other 4 star hotels

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Good For Business
  • Families89
  • Couples92
  • Solo95
  • Business96
  • TheWanderingCamel's Profile Photo

    Pretty, wee rooms


    1. Such a pretty room
    2. Armada Hotel
    3. View from our room
    4. View from the terrace

    Our time in Easter Anatolia at an end, it was time to return to Istanbul for a last few days, to yet another hotel - the Armada. Any misgivings we had about the location - in Sultanhamet but near the water between the railway line and the city walls - were soon dispelled. Tucked away as it is, the hotel is very quiet but only an extra couple of minute's walk from the heart of Sultanhamet than our favourite Sebnem Hotel. It's also considerably bigger and rather more expensive than the Sebnem but, within its class, we felt it offered good value.

    Our room was on the small side, and the bed a little hard for some folk perhaps, though the pillows and duvets were positively downy - but city space is expensive, and what it lacked in space it more than made up for in details such as the immaculate white bed linen with its simple green trim and the pretty Ottoman-style painted panelling - both a long, long way from the more usual predictable hotel decor. Both bed- and bathroom were spotless and the bed linen beautifully laundered and as fresh as white has to be.

    The desk staff were obliging and helpful, the breakfast crew upstairs not always quite so, but breakfast time was always very busy and some people can be very pushy and picky! The breakfast buffet, served up on the roof terrace came with a fabulous 360 degree view that took in the Blue Mosque, Ayasofya and the Sea of Mamara. Squeezing our own orange juice involved queuing and sticky fingers but it ensured the freshest of juice as opposed to the dreadful ersatz stuff so many hotels have the temerity to call fresh. There was plenty of choice but, knowing what the gold standard of Istanbul breakfasts is, this one probably rated silver. With all the choice of restaurants Istanbul has to offer we saw no need to eat in the hotel at night.

    Unique Quality: The walk from the Armada to the centre of Sultanhamet is uphill going and down hill coming back - just as well at the end of a day sightseeing. I really grew to like that walk, past the silk weaver's shop - the last in Istanbul the young man working there told me - and under the railway line, it had the feel of a place people live rather than simply come to to service the need of tourists. The location was a real advantage in fact when using taxis as it so easily accessed without having to deal with the traffic snarls in some of the area's narrow streets.

    Our room faced the sea. The building across the way blocked some of the view but, between the buildings, there was the constant sight of ships plying the busy waterway and a view of the city walls.

    We really appreciated the thoughtful touches provided (cool cotton bathrobes, slippers, a complimentary copy of the current Istanbul Time Out, natural oil soaps, tea and coffee making facilities) along with all the more usual hotel room amenities.

    Directions: An excellent sketch map -

  • bill32's Profile Photo

    Great hotel and location


    Spent 4 days at this hotel in Istanbul in 2007. First class service, good food. Location is just one block off the Bosphoris. Staff speaks English and other languages. Has a great bar off the lobby. Has a roof top restaurant with good views. All the old world tourist sites are within 5 -10 minute walk, just up the hill. The Grand Bizzari is about 15 minute walk or short taxi ride. Hotel staff can arrange tours, including private guides (which is did, cost about $100 for the day). Great, small eating places nearby. HOtel is only about 15 minutes from the airport

    Unique Quality: Hotel inside is beautiful. Staff is very helpful (I needed a back and neck massage after 15 hours on the plane, and they had someone to my room within an hour). Hotel bar always has people from all over the world in it to talk to.

  • greenfarmer's Profile Photo

    Stay in Istanbul


    Good stay. Good restaurant.
    Ideal for tourists as you can see the marmara sea from the room itself.
    You can also see the blue mosque from the roof restaurant.
    Service is highly appreciated.
    Oriental style rooms are quite comfortable.

    Unique Quality: Not too far from the Metro station.
    Not too far from Aksaray also which is another metro station and hub for a lot of activities.
    Good market around aksaray.
    The hotel is not too far from taksim.
    Next to the sea.

More about Armada

Wonderful roof terrace!

by TripAdvisor Member MumLondon

The hotel was excellent in every way from the reception help when I arrived and found I had taken someone else's bag from the airport (!) to the quality of the food and rooms. But best of all is the superb roof terrace for evening drinks and breakfast with what must be one of the best views of the Blue Mosque on one side and the Marmaris on the other. Breathtaking!

Fabulous Terrace Views; Rude Reception Staff

by TripAdvisor Member Jumbocat

Although 15 minutes walk away from the principal tourist attractions, we found this hotel to be ideally located for a four night city visit. It was quiet and very clean and, if you pay a little extra for a superior room, you get a splendid sea view. A lot more could be done with interior of the hotel, which consists of long dreary corridors and we never met any of the "friendly staff who you know by name" as referred to in previous reviews!!
The crowning glory of the hotel is the rooftop Sera restaurant, which has fabulous views of the old city on one side and of the Bosphorus on the other side. The 3 dinners we ate were truly excellent, as was the service. Breakfast is a different matter; whilst the food was quite good, the outside tables and terrace were poor and the service indifferent (most of the staff just stood around chatting to each other).
On checking out, the service was awful. As noted by a previous reviewer, staff ignored one if something "more important" happened and later on when we wheeled our suitcases out through the front door, a receptionist at the desk shouted right across the foyer (20 metres or more) to ask if we had paid; he then recognized me as having paid earlier; we were absolutely furious; it ruined our stay and I have written to the management to complain.

Well Below Average

by TripAdvisor Member LondonGlobetrotter

By the time we booked, this was one of the few hotels that had spare room and only through Expedia - not through their own website. Oh dear.

1 Close to the motorway from the airport into town but you do not hear the noise with windows closed.

2 Location was good - walk up the hill in 10 mins to get to all the sites.

3 They changed us to two single beds without asking (we were two men). Bed was very hard. There is an option to get a softer matress. This turned out to be a duvet on top of the mattress. The air con is not air con - but a noisy heater. No shampoo but the option to ask for some. We did and it never appeared. There is also an option to get curtains fitted which actually block out the light fully! The hotel is very faded-1980s.

4 The service was pretty rubbish. We asked reception to book us into a restaurant in the morning. Came back in the afternoon, the restaurant had not been booked and the bloke on reception did not own up to even knowing about it.

5 Breakfast was not great. No cereal, the toast machine didn' do toast prioperl;y, they mixed in tomoatoes with the scrambled egg so it looked like warm vomit.

6 General impression - it is a big hotel with little investment made in it and it showed in the small things but most importantly the service.


by TripAdvisor Member zizzi

Stayed at the Armada in November, low season in Istanbul. The hotel has an atmosphere of its own, spatious lobby in "traditional" design with a small turtle pond. Turks also attend the restaurants and one evening we were invited to join a singing group of friends - really nice. Best of all is the location, in residential quarters, away from the hotel-ghetto further up the hill, and a truly magnificent view of the Bosphorus, Ayasofia and the Blue Mosque from the rooftop restaurant - fairly expensive, but good food a nice wine-list with good turkish wines and OK service. Breakfast here is a real treat due to the magnificent view. We did not mind the 10 minute walk uphills to the main attractions at all, lots of Istanbul life to watch while walking. Rooms were very good, clean with ample storage space and soundproofed, heating worked fine. Our main complaint is that the reception definitely could be more alert, as they wanted to give us the (only?) noisy room at the hotel by the stairs on top of the lobby. This despite the fact that we had clearly stated both in our reservation and through separate e-mail that we wanted a quiet room. After stubbornly refusing it we were given a nice quiet room with a view of the Blue Mosque. Also, having to pay about 3 Euros extra for fresh orange juice for breakfast is rather stingy. Otherwise a very nice experience, recommended.

Good Hotel, Great Location, Good Price

by TripAdvisor Member Carmel_CA

Our travel agent originally had us booked at the Istanbul Hilton but after looking at location (primary) and price (secondary, but significant), I consulted Trip Advisor. After reviewing the positive responses for the Armada Hotel from Trip Advisor, my wife and I selected this hotel. We stayed five days and loved it.

As noted by others, the rooftop terrace is unbelievable. With the two mosques in one direction and the Sea of Marmara in the other direction, it is a fabulous view. We had dinner on the terrace two times and the food was good and the view terrific.

The breakfast offerings were large but with mainly Turkish food and is served on the rooftop terrace. While a few may find it lacking of Western type foods like ham or bacon or other meats, it was really quite sufficient.

Our room was very good and a decent size and we had a view of the Sea of Marmara. We noted that there were a limited number of non-smoking rooms with views.

The assistance at the front desk was extremely variable. We had asked for the hotel to provide a taxi from the airport to the hotel for us (not knowing anything about the airport situation) and they forgot. When we arrived at the hotel, they did not even say they were sorry, which got us started on a bad note. However, the majority of the staff were friendly and helpful.

What else?
We would stay there again.
The location in the old town is fantastic, yet far enough away to avoid the more touristy and congested areas.
The price was very reasonable when compared to other hotels we researched.

Istanbul is a fantastic city. Get a tour guide for at least one day, or two days if you have time. We had a guide for two days and he was great and it made all the difference.


Newport Beach, CA

Avoid any Turkish owned Hotel in Istanbul, stick to a global chain

by TripAdvisor Member Jimboza

I recently spent a week at the Armada, I did not choose the hotel - it was a business conference venue. As with everything in Istanbul, expect agressive "win-lose" negotiation on anything that you would expect to have accorded to you as a part of the offer anywhere else. I had to check out 2 days early on a 7 night planned stay, the hotel was given 3 days notice of my early departure and was not full. Still I was forced to pay for a night I did not stay there with the duty manager agressively wavng my check-in documentation in my face with the planned date of departure shouting "is this your handwriting!!?". The hotel has a salsa club on monday that makes it impossble to sleep before 3 AM, it also regularly hosts weddings on the roof with once again no regard for the ability of paying guests to sleep. The breakfast is poor, with watery coffee and juice (you can pay extra for fresh juice and espresso!). So, although well situated - close to the blue mosque & Hagia Sofia and with a nice terrace (when its not closed for a wedding) this is one to avoid at all costs. Hey I would just avoid Istanbul altogether, but if you feel like you have to go, go to an international hotel where you can appeal to a non-turkish management team if things go wrong.

Lovely Old City hotel, fantastic terrace restaurant

by TripAdvisor Member DCtravelin'girl

Have stayed in some splendid hotels in Istanbul including the Cirgan Palace Kempinski but I really liked this hotel - and would go again. in a second. You want to stay in the Old City if you can, so you can walk to all the sights and shop to your heart's content.
I paid a little extra so my room had a view of the Bosphorus, the decor is traditional Turkish (which I liked) but up to date, the bed very comfortable and fresh, pillow and comforter fluffy and new. The most wonderful part is the rooftop terrace -- I called my colleagues staying over at the Ritz Carleton and told them to come join me -- The setting and view is the most spectacular you can imagine -- the most romantic dinner with a view of the Blue Mosque with seagulls soaring in the updrafts and Bosphorus and ships passing on the other side, good Turkish food (which is to say, some of the world's best vegetables, fruits, lamb, fish), and again on the terrace for a splendid Turkish breakfast with a huge variety of foods. To get the water view, I paid a little more for a junior suite, so some may not have that view -- if so, just spend your time on the terrace upstairs or out in the Old City and all will be well. Do not take cabs! -- the Old City is awful for traffic, it is a pedestrian zone really. Bring comfortable walking shoes and a hat for the sun. It is a 15 walk up to the Blue Mosque area through interesting little streets full of shops and places to eat if you prefer. The hotel is nice and quiet since it is below all this activity and also one street in from the main perimeter road, inside the old walls. I would not stay in the far-away hotel zone again if I could avoid it. And stay in a hotel chain -- in Istanbul??? why?

Great Hotel, Highly recommended

by TripAdvisor Member ColinandKathy

Stayed 4 nights 3rd to 6th June 2008

Room double bed, fabulous view over the Bosphorus.
All normal ammenities, Safe, coffee/tea /kettle, TV , Hairdryer, Aircon., etc.
Wonderful terrace restaurant with 360degree view of the old city.
Good breakfast selection and good quality food. - Try the Sea Bass or Sultan Delights.

Its a bit of a climb up to the Blue Mosque etc, very steep but only takes about 20mins for my age group (ten if your fitter).

I rarely recommend places as peoples expectations vary but this is an exception.

I note others comments about the reception staff. We had a problem with our Expedia booked airport transfer but the reception people sorted it out promptly and without "looking for reward".

Well done to them and the Armada.


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