Damany and I chose Art City because we didn’t want to do the hostel thing in Istanbul…let’s face it, almost every hostel in the city has reviews that start with “the bathroom was flooded”…and yeah, there may be minor leaks that occur in all hotels or hostels, but I’m not into the idea of showering with a pool of dirty water on the floor. I guess if I were on a RTW backpacking trip, I might suck it up and try one of the budget options, but Istanbul is one of those cities that makes you want to treat yourself anyway, and we weren’t backpacking.
Clean, comfortable, and perfectly situated on a quiet residential street behind the blue mosque, Art City is just a few blocks outside of the main tourist center of Sultanahmet – not too far, but not right in the middle of the madness. Getting to Sultanahmet Meydanı (Sultanahmet Square) from the hotel takes about five minutes by foot, but requires walking up one of two steep hills (though I believe exiting the hotel to the right is the lesser of these two evils, there are fewer cars to avoid by exiting to the left).
The rooms are lightly decorated with traditional Iznik ceramics, with trim fabrics of deep red and gold, against mostly white/neutral details and linens – helpful in keeping a clean and airy look. All rooms have a small complimentary bottle of red wine, and are stocked with a mini-bar (non-complimentary) for your pleasure. Damany and I got the chance to stay in two different rooms. The first had two separate twin beds. The second, which was supposed to be a double, also had two twin beds – pushed together – it’s something that you get used to as a traveling couple when you leave America, in my experience this is the norm for double rooms worldwide.
The staff at Art City is very helpful, and it may or may not be a good idea to ask for suggestions, depending on who is manning the desk at the time. Emre, one of the members of the staff, was nice enough to show me a book in their library which was about eating on the backstreets of Istanbul (appealing to me in a search for the less touristic restaurants). Meanwhile, another staff member suggested the restaurant Kalamar on our first night at the hotel, which wasn’t bad (actually, it was delicious) – it was just overpriced for what it was, and very touristy (especially for a couple who is visiting Istanbul for the third time).
Breakfast is included in the price of your room, but as I never wake up in time for complimentary breakfast no matter where I am, I really can’t speak on the quality of the food, or the variety offered. I can say that their Turkish tea is exactly what I expect of all Turkish tea – delicious and plentiful.
Overall, I don’t really have any complaints about Art City…there was a bathroom issue, but it wasn’t major.
Küçük Ayasofya Mh., Katip Sinan Cami
Sokak 30, 34122 Istanbul, Turkey
+90 212 518 7007