The Vardar Palace was an excellent choice for us. Being on Siraselviler, right next to Taksim square, it put us only a few hilly blocks from our daughter's appartment. It is very convenient to any of the transportation you might choose; taxi, metro, dolmus, bus. This major hub is 1 block from the hotel. It is also just down the street from the exclusive Marmara hotel, so you know that the neighborhood is fine. We felt perfectly safe out walking each night, returning late.
The hotel staff was very kind. English is spoken by most of the desk staff. For stays over 3 days, they will have you picked up at the airport. I have read other reviews that this didn't work well, but it certainly did for us. We arrived around 10:30 on a rainy night. When we emerged from customs, someone holding a large sign with our name was waiting for us and led us to a van which took us straight to the hotel. When it was time for us to leave, they also arranged for the taxi to pick us up.
Our room was lovely and spacious. The bathroom was elegant and had a shower/bath combo, which I really like when on vacation. The breakfast in the morning was very nice and fresh. It's definately not the type of breakfast that Americans are accustomed to, but my daughter assured us that it is the "typical" Turkish breakfast: hard boiled eggs, rolls, olives, cheese, cucumber, I think they had yogurt and fruit, plus tea, juice, and nescafe. We were suprised at this, but nescafe is a very common coffee over there. Brewed coffee is most unusual.
Unique Quality: The one drawback to the hotel was the noise. The Turkish people enjoy a wild nightlife and it all takes place right outside the Vardar Palace. However, all of the hotels that I was looking at are on this same street, so you will have the same noise whichever one you choose. This is the main hotel and club street if you want to stay in the Taksim area.
I thought that the price we got was reasonable. For our 11 night stay, the cost was only $1095.00. And that included having our son stay on the last night so that we could make the early morning flight. Another nice touch, even though we were in the lobby, waiting for the taxi well before they started serving breakfast, they brought us all cups of coffee before the taxi arrived.
Directions: just off Taxim square
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Address: Syraselviler Caddesi No.16 Taksim, Istanbul, 34433, Turkey