More about Garden House Istanbul
Excellent Service and Comfort
If you are searching for a pleasant, boutique atmosphere where the service is first rate, the room accomodations are clean, spacious, and comfortable, and "off the beaten path" then Garden House Istanbul is your place. Selcuk, the hotel manager, and his helpful staff made my stay enjoyable. I was made to feel "at home" with every request fulfilled. I booked my stay using their website and received a prompt reply to my request. I paid a fair rate for the room and was able to pay with US currency at check out. Overall, a most satisfying stay.
I booked this hotel because of the great reviews I had read, and to cut a long story short: It does what the label says.
The location is excellent as you are 5 minutes away from the Blue Mosque and the neighbourhood is quiet.
All this is great but for me the most important thing is that it was a home away from home. We were travelling with a 3 month old baby and the hotel´s staff were fantastic: They assisted us at all times. We couldn´t be more thankful.
The reviews say it´s great, and that´s exactly what it turns out to be. When you treat clients the way this hotel does, you´re bound to be successful.
A Wonderful Holiday
Stayed here after the New year period, a lovely and well appointed hotel with all the rooms being renovated to the original ottoman style, with a very high standard.
Our room was extremely large and comfortable, with a wonderful wooden floor ( also some pillows to sit on! ) and quiet!! Bathroom was spotless with a lot of amenities.The staff were quite superb, what a friendly helpful bunch, they made our stay perfect with their recommendations and suggestions!
The location is perfect, you can really walk everywhere in Sultanahmet and with a short taxi ride in the evening you can go to the Taksim area, plenty of bars end restaurants.
I really want to thank Selcuk, the manager. If he goes on running hotel this way, he will certainly do great things!
If you are going to visit “ The Lovely Istanbul” this hotel is a must!!!!
Elena & Domenico
a hidden gem
The other reviews got it pretty much right. This is an outstanding establishment. From almost any perspective, the location is convenient. The rooms are very clean, quiet, and well-windowed. Both the interior and the exterior of the hotel as well as its immediate neighborhood (cobbled streets weaving ancient landmarks together) create a sense of charm that is hard to replicate. As someone who lives in New York City, vacationing at Garden House was what I needed: I got authenticity and peace without paying through the nose.
What makes this place stand out, however, is the service. The service felt like that of a five-star hotel without the five-star-hotel prices (I visited during the off season). Let me just give one example of what I mean. In the dining area, the staff pipes in catchy Turkish tunes via an overhead system. After getting fond of some of the tunes, I tried to find them in the local CD shop but failed. Upon my departure, the hotel manager personally gave me the CD I was most interested in as a parting gift. Small gesture but a big and telling sign of their commitment to service.
I don't say this lightly: this was the best hotel stay I remember.
Everyone really went out of their way to make our stay so lovely
We stayed here for 5 days during the first weekend of January 07. All the staff are extremely friendly and most helpful, especially the manager, Selcuk. He appeared to take us under his wing and gave us so many helpful hints and advice and went through each step in so much detail to help us plan the perfect way to spend our trip. Selcuk deserves his own review!
The rooms are lovely, and the big pillows on the floor were a sweet touch. The toiletries were nice, and were always replaced by new ones each day which made us feel a bit bad as we hadn't finished the previous day's supply!
The bloke who helps make breakfast really made us feel looked after and welcomed as he offered to remove the alcoholic beverage from the minibar, probably knowing that we were Muslim and we wouldn't feel comfortable with it there. This was an unexpected gesture as we hadn't said anything as we have travelled a fair bit and so are used to minibars but we felt he really respected our faith in this respect, and so we really appreciated this.
The lentil soup is indeed lovely! And the hotel's location is great as you're near the blue mosque, hagia sophia, the underground cistern and the turkish and islamic arts museum.
Selcuk went to so much effort to organise a private trip for my husband and myself to Bursa. Unfortunately my card was taken by an ATM machine and so we couldn't pay for that trip in the end. Even now we feel incredibly guilty about this as Selcuk really spent so much time and effort trying to organise this trip and tried to negotiate a good price for us.
My husband and myself would like to thank all the staff, including the other manager who was a lovely bloke and really looked after us as well, and the driver who took us around, as without you all we don't think our trip would have been half as enjoyable as it was and we sincerely mean that.
I just hope you can keep up the good work!
highly recommended hotel
We had a wonderful stay at this small hotel in a quiet area of Sultanahmet. The hotel staff was very friendly and helpful. The spacious and clean room was tastefully decorated, had comfortable beds and a beautiful wooden floor. The bathroom was also in a perfect state every day.
A wonderful place for a first visit to Istanbul
We booked this hotel based on previous reviews and have to say, we were not in the slightest disappointed.
This hotel is very close to The Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia and Topkapi Palace which is in the touristy old town, but it is also very close to the proper Turkish village and shipping area of Kumkapi where you can immerse yourself in the real, regular surroundings of Istanbul as lived by Istanbulis.
We were met at the airport by the hotel transferman and as our stay was for four nights this was free of charge.
Our welcome at the hotel was warm, our room was large and very clean, and kept very well throughout our stay. Selçuk, who has been mentioned in many other reviews was a great help and source of information, as was receptionist Servat and we also want to mention the waiter named Feridun who was friendly, polite and very helpful also. We were really taken care of by all the staff at this small hotel with a personal service. Also, it's worth noting that the area it is in, is very quiet too - a big plus, all you are likely to hear are the calls to prayer that happen during the day (a wonderful sound).
Istanbul itself is a rich and rewarding city, filled with many different types of attractions, there is much to see and I can honestly say, I have visited few other places with a more welcoming people in general. It is a pleasure to walk the streets and keep taking different routes each day, often rewarding yourself with another great find - it is very hilly though so be sure to bring good shoes, many streets are also narrow so beware of the traffic.
We also advise taking a commuter ferry to the Asian side of the city, boats leave very regularly, are very cheap and the 20 minute ride is a pleasure (we were lucky enough to see wild dolphins in the water on the sunday morning we travelled on one).
Word of advice for shoppers, make sure you agree prices and dont allow the stall holders to scam you, in the spice bazaar, a shop keeper tried to sell us russian caviar for 20 euros a jar, but we actually bought the exact same jar for 20 Turkish Lira in the fish market on the coast at Kumkapi - a brilliant market and almost half the price they tried to sting us for in the bazaar, also, shops are not necessarily more expensive than stalls.
Finally, just to say again, for a first timer, or a seasoned revisitor - the Garden House Hotel is a definate recommendation from us - we were not disappointed, we would be very suprised if you are.
Paul and Andrew
Deserving of its ranking
I was very pleased to see that the Garden House Hotel has moved up in the rankings among Istanbul hotels. Its management team, led by the very capable and congenial Mr. Selcuk, are not only warm and welcoming but very consciencious and dedicated to making your stay an unforgettable experience.
The hotel itself is about a ten minute walk to the major sights, the Blue Mosque and the Saint Sophia. Our room was very large and quiet, and impeccably cleaned every day. Breakfast is served in a spacious dining room and on request they will whip up a delicious omelette or serve an intimate dinner for two in the evening in the same area overlooking a delightful patio.
If you are arriving late and are a first timer like we were, I would highly recommend the airport transfer service which is included free of charge with a three night stay. It made arrival effortless, and we were happy just to arrive and collapse after a day's worth of flights to get to Turkey.
We initially thought we would just be staying at the hotel for three days before heading south of Istanbul, but found the hotel (and the city) so enchanting, we changed our plans and stayed there the entire time! One simply cannot do better than to stay with here where virtually all the sights are walking distance from your door, and where every night when you return from a busy day you will feel you are coming back to a second home.
Clean, comfortable, but not four star
I booked the Garden House for a three-night stay with my girlfriend. First thing: make sure your cab driver knows where it is - even with a print-out of the address, our driver spent half-an-hour driving around Sultanahmet, asking passers-by if they knew where it was! On the plus side, the hotel is well located for the central sights, it is clean, comfortable and relatively cheap. However, the inclusive breakfast was generic southern European, and not much to write home about. More worryingly, the lack of facilities made me consider this a three-star, rather than four-star. I don't consider a mini-bar and satellite TV enough these days. I'm not looking for a gym, sauna or massage, but the lack of a bar (no pre-dinner G&T!) or comfortable seating area, and the spartan rooms and decor made me judge this place to be bland and dull. Not a luxury place to stay, more a clean base for sleeping. I won't book it again, despite the helpful and friendly staff (they were brilliant and charming).
Happy times in Istanbul
Preston, Lancashire, England
Took my sister to Istanbul for her birthday. Chose the hotel from the internet. It had a very good write up and I wasn't disappointed. It is a small cosy hotel. Very clean and boasts the best customer service I have come across. The personal interest taken by the staff to ensure a perfect holiday can't be beaten. The hotel is well located with all the 'atractions' within walking distance. Look out for the narrow cobbled street with little or no pavement and cars travelling very fast. Flat/walking shoes a must. Got ripped off by a local yellow taxi, the meter wasn't working so the driver made up his own price. Check the prices at restaurants/shops before committing to the service. A boat trip along the Bosphorous is a must. The Larihi Cesne restaurant for the freshest, best cooked, reasonably priced. food. I will be coming back to Istanbul