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Istanbul: Hotel Daphne

Binbirdirek Mh. Su Terazisi Sok. No : 14 Sultanahmet
www.hoteldaphne.com

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Reviewed by: Kaydee from TN, review #3152

When: July 2011

Very friendly boutique hotel in the Sultanahmet area of Istanbul, just a five minute walk from the Hippodrome and the Blue Mosque.

My daughter and I stayed a total of seven nights at the Hotel Daphne in July 2011 as part of our first trip to Turkey. Our friends (another mother and daughter) stayed just across the hall. We stayed six nights when we first arrived in Turkey, then were away in other parts of Turkey for four nights, and returned to the Hotel Daphne for our last night.

This is a small, family-owned, "boutique" hotel on a narrow street on the hill rising from the Sea of Marmara to the main tourist areas around the Hippodrome. You're just a five minute walk to the Hippodrome, so it's an incredibly convenient location, but you have the feeling of being in a real neighborhood ... not in a tourist area.

There are 20 rooms on about six floors. Our two rooms were on the second floor (one floor up from the lobby), across from one another. My daughter and I had kind of a funky twin-bedded room... featuring Marilyn Monroe! I didn't get the feeling that other rooms had any such "theme" (our friends' room was a normal room and so were others on our floor that we peeked into), but strangely the room really grew on us and we asked to have the same room when we returned for the last night at the end of our stay.

Our room was small but comfortable, with air conditioning (a bit noisy), WIFI, and a decent bathroom. We were on the back of the hotel with a terrible view (given our low floor and situation), but our friends had a nice view over the street and some rooms look out over the water. If I were to stay here again, I'd ask for a room looking over the water. There was an elevator if you were on an upper floor.

Breakfast was included, taken in a sunny breakfast room off the lobby. There was an extensive buffet of all sorts of things, inicluding really great fresh bread. We loved the breakfast.

The very best thing about the hotel (beyond the location and breakfast) were the friendly people that work there. They were so friendly and incredibly helpful. When we returned after our four days away from Istanbul, they greeted us like family. (We honestly felt like we were returning home!) We noticed that there seemed to be several returning travelers, a mix of people from all over the world.

We were able to send out laundry, returned the same day, for a very reasonable price. Also, they let us store some of our luggage while we were away for the four days visiting other parts of Turkey.

There was a restaurant on the top floor, but we never ate there or even went up to look. Our first night a British family recommended a restaurant just up the street on the corner, Sokullu. We ended up eating there four nights and just loved it... great food and atmosphere, really friendly and welcoming people... once again we felt like we were at home.

We traveled independently, but we booked our trip to Turkey through a travel agency (Ephesus Tours) and just paid a lump sum for everything, so I don't have any idea how much we paid for our room at the Daphne.

One note: Taxi drivers sometimes had a hard time finding the hotel. Be sure to carry a card with the address and phone number.

This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.

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