If you are traveling to Istanbul for the first time you will probably want to stay somewhere in the historical part of the city. While you cannot miss a lot with narrowing down your choice to Sultanahmed area, it is always great to aim for that cherry on the top of the cake. In my case that was the view from the terrace – I wanted the view of Hagia Sophia or the Blue Mosque. And since I stayed in a 3-star hotel in Istanbul a couple of months ago (I wasn’t happy with my choice), I wanted an upgrade this time. The Magnaura Palace hotel reviews promised to deliver it all, so I decided to give it a go.
The Magnaura Palace hotel is located in Sultanahmed area, literally around the corner from most major attractions of the old city. The taxi from Istanbul Airport will cost you around 30€ (I decided to book the transfer with the hotel directly – it was a bit more expensive but at least it was hassle free, the driver waited for me at the airport, no extra charge for the baggage, no extra charge for traffic jams and he offered me a bottle of water). The location is also convenient if you want to hop on to the Big Bus Istanbul which is a good way to explore the city.
The hotel has 17 rooms, from standard to deluxe and corner suite with sea view. I tried both, standard and corner with sea view. I asked to be moved from the standard one because I had really loud neighbors and the receptionist kindly agreed to switch it the next day when the hotel was not completely full. Both rooms had parquet floor, which I find much cleaner compared to carpets and small french balconies. The bathrooms are rather small, but at least they have normal water handles and showers, which was a relief after the previous Istanbul hotel experience. The room also offers complimentary coffee and tea, a safe and free Wi-Fi. If you can, book the sea-view room because they are a bit less noisy if you open the windows. Not to mention the sea view of course 🙂 If you don’t have an account on Booking.com you can register and get 15€ off if you book through this link.
Breakfast with a view
The best part of the hotel (which was the decision breaker for me) is the terrace which offers nice views of Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque and the Marmara sea. 3 in one – it can hardly get better than this. Breakfast is served on the terrace, where you can also enjoy the company of seagulls – they can be quite photogenic when they are expecting some food. Breakfast choice is rich, from various fruits, to cold and some hot dishes. It was really delicious, and they also serve wholegrain bread which is rare in Turkey.
The staff, among other things
Having read the reviews of Magnaura Palace hotel, I kind of expected this and I was not disappointed – the staff in the hotel is really great. Receptionists speak perfect English, which is also not very common in Istanbul. I had the chance to meet the manager, who was really kind and you could see that he trained the staff very well. I also have no complaints about the cleanliness of the rooms and the general condition of the hotel.
Anda’s rate: 9 from 10
Bottom line: If you want a good hotel with nice views, good breakfast, fantastic location and helpful staff, the Magnaura Palace hotel is the right place for you. The only thing that bothered me was the noise from other rooms as the building is only noise-proof from the outside – while you practically don’t hear the noise from the streets if your windows are closed, the inside of the hotel is less isolated, I guess due to the old structure. But that was also the case in my previous choice. At last but not the least, keep in mind that in Turkey (at least in my experience so far), all the hotels are one standard lower compared to European hotels, so if you usually book 3-star hotels, you should aim for one star higher.