More about Armada
Wonderful roof terrace!
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
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 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.
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
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.
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
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
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
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.