Our Stay @ Ilkay Hotel Turkey
Ilkay Hotel is a budget hotel, centrally situated in Turkey. In walking distance of Mosques, restaurants, Bosphorus, trains etc. Book online for an excellent rate in comparison to other hotels in Istanbul. Stay for more than three nights and ask for the 10% discount as well as one free one way transfer to or from the hotel to the airport. Plse obtain this in writing. Child stays free with parents and this includes free scrumptious, healthy breakfast. Will definitely stay at the IlKay again. regards. Sumaya, Ismail & Kauther Petersen.
Hotels I've Stayed in Istanbul
Hotel Inter Istanbul - opposite Grand Bazaar
Arya Hotel - near the Galata Tunnel in Beyoglu/Taksim
Arafat Hotel - Taksim
Cordial House Hotel
Atlantis Hotel - Sultanahmet
Ilkay Hotel - Sirkeci
Agan Hotel - Sirkeci
Grand Seigneur - Sirkeci
... there are others I forgot.
My experiences and reviews on the above hotels can be found in my previous Istanbul Page here .
Noisy at Night!
Considering lots of good reviews at Tripadvisor, I booked this hotel.
The airport pick-up is a plus. The hotel is located in between the tramvay stations of Gulhane and Sirkeci, so you have to walk about 2 - 3 minutes to get to the tram station to get around the area. It's a 5 to 10 minutes walking up the road to Topkapi Palace, Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque & Basilica Cistern.
The hotel is near to shops, kebab restaurants, and two supermarkets, and a small variety store beside it.
Ilkay is a small 3-star hotel with basic rooms, nothing fancy.
So here's my personal experience in comparison to other people's very satisfying stay at Ilkay. I booked a double-bed for single occupancy, they gave me a twin room, they said there's no availability and the hotel is fully booked. Fine. The room is on the first floor facing the tramvay track - no view except for the top floors of the building in front and the obstructive back of the hotel's signboard and the engines of the split airconditioners. The curtain seems to not fit the size of the window or maybe several years of washing made the textile smaller than the window...hmmmm.
The small room is ok - TV with, at least, an english BBC channel, cabinet and ample lightings.
The bath/toilet has a shower stall separated by (as usual) sliding frosted glass/plastic doors, clean with complimentary soaps & shampoos, small and large towels.
At night, on several occassions and on those 3 nights I was there I heard noises. On my first night I heard people scurrying around the corridors onto the stairs, several people - maybe group - running and shouting, it startled me because it's way past midnight. And in other nights - it's dawn, they may be hotel guests in group, but becoz of the "friendly atmosphere" of the hotel, they were well tolerated, or maybe it's the hotel staff themselves, I never bothered to inquire afraid of getting a rude response. The noise wakes me up every now & then. So if you are not a deep sleeper, this would pose as a major problem. Walls of the room, like people term it "paper-thin" so you could hear people from the other room especially inside the bathroom where I could hear the water flushing and shower spatters... you can even hear (sorry for this) farts!
On my second night, a friend of mine came to stay with me, and I was being charged almost double of the regular single occupancy. It was 24euro as booked directly with the hotel, and they were asking me additional 25euro for my guest and when I told them that I am only charged 24 for single so why 25 euro for the additional guest? (making that 49euro in total for a night!), only then they lowered the rate to 20euro for the additional guest and was demanded outright in cash in YTL and no receipt issued! The original bookings were paid upon checking out with my card.....hmmmm.. figure.
The breakfast was modestly OK, but, even in winter, the atmosphere at the breakfast hall which is located at the basement is very warm...must be the heater turned full.
Staff expects tips on extra services like leading you to your room. I don't have any problem with that, but only FYI.
Reception staff are "over-friendly" to the point of throwing my room key three meters away one time when I came back from outside, instead of handing it directly to my hand as all hotel reception do and must do. This gesture may mean different things to different people of various cultures, but, it means a bit of a surly joke to me, and it's certainly NOT funny, not cordial, and definitely NOT the proper way of handing room keys specially when I normally handover keys by hand and not by throwing it from a distance.
Recommendation? I dunno.... I may stay there again... only IF I didn't find availability in other hotels nearby.... BUT... when will that happen? Istanbul has more rooms to offer from shoestring budget to luxury.
I won't advise people to avoid this hotel as it also has it's strengths and it may appeal to some people and may not on some... I happen to be on the latter.
Right beside the Ilkay Hotel is a small grocery/deli named Yusuf's. They have a lot of local canned goods (I had to resist bringing home bag after bag of lentils and stuffed grape leaves), soft drinks (though my stomach really doesn't agree with Cola Turka) and make sandwiches as well. They sell absolutely heavenly sausages, and were nice enough to lend us masking tape when, while packing our bags when headed home, the zipper gave up the ghost. A simple cheese-and-tomato sandwich. So good!
A hotel with character
I booked the Ilkay hotel through their own web-page and very quickly received a written confirmation. I was asked for the flight details so they could pick me up, but I decided to use the free airport transfer to the airport instead since I arrived to Istanbul by train.
I arrived to the hotel at about 10 AM, and was happily welcomed by a lovely male receptionist. I didn't get a room right away, but they took care of my luggage for a few hours while they prepared my room. I was assigned a room 104 on the 1st floor, which at first I thought was a bad thing, but when I got in there I noticed that there was no noise whatsoever from the busy street. The only thing that woke me up at 5 AM was the call to the mosques...
I was very happy with the breakfast and that they had an internet point in the lobbybar. There was a small fee to use the computer.
One evening I tried to order roomservice, but they informed me that there was no restaurant in the hotel, even tho they had a room service menu in the room..
Throughout my whole stay the staff always knew who I was. I had many friends coming over who asked for me and they were able to contact me very easilly from the reception.
The only thing that worries me is that you leave your key to the reception every time you leave the hotel, which of course is better. When you come back you just ask for the room number and they don't check your name or ID or anything. I trust that they know their guests!
In general the hotel was clean and the staff was extremely lovely. I spent my birthday while in Istanbul and the lovely receptionist who welcomed me the first day gave me a present! I was very touched! The transfer to the airport was very smooth and I was very happy with that.
I recommend the Ilkay hotel to people who are on an easy-going holiday. It's a small holiday with limited resources, but they're doing the best they can and I truly respect that!
I really recommend this hotel, everything is so clean and tidy. The breakfeast so delicious. The location is great, We have got a really good stay. The hotel is quite and is good for a relaxing time. The staff are so polite and helpful, specially Ugur the receptionist, he is so kind, helpful , he is doing a great job. I hope come back one day to Istanbul and to stay in Ilkay hotel.
Thanks for everything, Istanbul is a great city.
This hotel really is a budget hotel and does not look like it does in the pictures. The rooms are small and very basic and the AC doesn’t work properly in any room. It is well located but there are many better hotels on the same road. The staff are polite but not the sharpest bunch. We booked 3 rooms and specifically asked that they all be on the same floor but when we got there we were told that they wouldn’t even be in the same building! After a tiring night flight we had to run around the hotel looking for adequate rooms, most of which were not even ready. Eventually after asking to speak to the manager we were given 3 rooms adjacent to each other – almost 2 hours of hassle which could have been avoided. The night we were leaving we were given a wake up call at 5am when specifically asked not to several times – when on holiday no ones needs a 5am wake up call. We also booked an airport transfer for 7 people and a van with 4 seats owned by a ‘friend’ of the receptionist turned up late. Half of us had to sit on the floor and we almost missed out flight back. Istanbul has given us lovely memories – Ilkay Hotel not one of them.
loved the stay at ilkay but....
Me and my husband stayed at the ilkay for 7 nights in may 07- i had booked online with thomas cook- got a great deal, we had slight problem with our transfer coming to hotel as the guys who was supposed to collect us were a bit late, (was ok as reservations manager agreed to knock off some money for the transfer and apologised). Got to ilkay, loved the room, very clean and basic, room service was good, towels changed everyday, staff at reception was nice especially Can (pronounced Jan!)/ had a bit of problem with one of the waiters who was very rude regarding money for tea we ordered,spoke to operations manager who dealt with matter very well, and apologised on behalf and sorted our problem out for us, over all i would stay at the hotel again, good location, everything within walking distance...
Excellent value for money
The Ilkay represents excellent value for money. My wife and I recently stayed for four nights. The room was clean and comfortable, the choice at breakfast was extensive and tasty, all fresh produce. But above all the service was excellent - the staff just could not do enough for us and they were extremely friendly too. They even helped sort out a problem we had with a local travel agent when we were leaving for the airport. Very well priced and a handy location within walking distance of the main sites. The tram runs outside giving great access to the rest of the centre. We would definitely stay there again. I understand there is going to be a refurbishment soon, so it will be even better!
Istanbul in September
I am planning a trip to Turkey in Sept for about two and a half weeks. I'll be in Istanbul for 6 days. Im staying at Ilkay Hotel. I have a few questions if anyone can help me out.
1. Any restaurants that are not too be missed?
2. For Side Trips I'm planning on going to, Bursa, Cumalikizik and The Princes Islands. Any thing else that you could Recommend? From what i gather the Ilkay hotel is just down the street from Sirkeci station(is this a rail station, or metro?) and not far from the port, so I would be willing to use either. Any recommended spots to go check out while i'm there would be great.
3. How are the Turkish people? Are nice to tourist? Are there any things i should avoid doing while there that might be common in the states?
Anything you could help me with would be great.
RE: Istanbul in September
Try the local cuisine. As american you must be familar with steakhouses. Here they also have meat restaurants that's just as serious about meat as the steakhouses in teh USA.
The best of them is called Beyti. It's really famous and has been visited by the famous people of the world. But what's real surprising is it's price. Extremely reasonable.
Try the lamb kebab....it's like no lamb you ever tried in the world.Google there website.
Turkish people are real friendly and hospitable...but can be real pushy too. Esspecially at the bazaars etc.And if you are a woman...the attention could be a bit unsettling.
RE: Istanbul in September
Check VT pages lots there.For the Princes Islands just go to the sea front between Sirkeci and Eminonu,the ferry goes from there.The train station is normal trains but you have the trams passing through,good to get across to Dolmabache palace,and Taksim,just go to end of line at Kabatas,walk along to palace or take funicular upto Taksim,or get off tram at Karatas and take old metro upto Tunel and walk along Istiklal caddesi,Galata tower etc.
RE: RE: Istanbul in September
thanks guys! i actually did get to look thru the VT guides their pretty good.
RE: Istanbul in September
Doy Doy is a restaurant that I highly recommend. I've listed the location and other information in my Istanbul travel pages. One warning that you might want to keep in mind: There are a lot of "touts" in the touristy areas who will try to get you to stop and talk to them. Essentially what it boils down to is that they want to show you around and you'll end up at a shop where they get a commission if you buy anything. These people are everywhere, and they are an extreme annoyance. My advice is to never, ever stop and talk to anyone who acts friendly to you. I know this sounds very rude and impersonal, but trust me, they have an ulterior motive. Just say "no thanks" and keep right on walking. Same goes for the very aggressive shop owners that you will encounter.