We might be back!
Found out about the hotel on the internet and made a reservation online with confirmed price and room availability.We managed to strike a deal at US$110 which supposed to include a total two nites stay with breakfast and transfer from hotel to airport (this is off-peak period). When we reached the hotel (pretty convenient since the hotel is actually not very far, about 100m from the main Taksim street, so luggage transport is really easy if you are on a free and easy trip).Upon check in at the reception, the reservations lady tried to adjust the rates to US$110 per nite stay, giving some lame excuse and the hotel is fully booked (note during off-peak time esp winter season, hotels are usually less than half occupied!). We insisted on our internet reservation and pulled out the reservation number, and to suggest checking into nearby Hyatt and Inter-continental at a better rate instead if we are not given our original rate, and she finally gave in (again giving another lame excuse having checked our confirmation and it's okay now). The room is also pretty decent, with a small living reception separate from the double bed, each having a TV. (therefore two T.V in a single room), a decent fridge with usual beverages provided. Bathroom use is averagely big although the bath area can only accomodate one person while the other can blow dry the hair at the mirror area (ie comes with hairdryer, not so bad!). We only found out in the first nite and the central heating is not sufficient and really chilling when the nite falls, and decided to ask for 2 more blankets on our second nite which more or less kept us reasonably warm for the nite. Apart from the previous little episode at the reception, the hotel is really convenient to get around the Taksim centre, where the shopping areas are all within walking distance (ie if you have a map of course!). Little grocery shops are around the corner of the hotel and opens till late into the night. Bars and clubs are just around the each corner and so it's really easy to go down to get a drink when the moods calls for it. You can see locals on the streets in the middle of the nite hustling to invite you to their clubs but if you are not interested, just ignore them and they won't persist. On our departure, the hotel staff said that hotel transfer would cost Euro20 per person (this was suppose to be inclulded ??), we didn't want to argue since we later found out a coach service (name something like Havad) which charges 8million turkish lira (that's about US$5-8) per person, the pick up point is directly opposite the main Taksim street next to the hotel, which leaves every half hour from 6am in the morning till midnite, and reaches the airport is just 30minutes.So we took the coach service and continue to our next destination. Not bad for the location and facility, if you are able to deal with the hotel staff decently, be sure to negotiate the hotel rate and confirm before checking in.
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