Now that I am back home, settled into my routine and really getting back into the swing of things, I thought that I would start with my travel journey through Istanbul. Of course that journey starts with the perfect accommodation. I haven’t travelled internationally in a while so finding the right accommodation was really left to the last minute – even after the flights to Istanbul were booked. Let me just start off by saying that accommodation makes 50% of your trip, so if where you’re staying is not perfect (for you) and then your entire trip will be a bummer.We settled with Holiday Inn Istanbul City and I wish I could sum up in words how great the location and hotel is. When I say great I mean the location is central and makes it super easy to commute around. We had restaurants, convenient stores, shoe stores and the tram right on our doorstep. After just a few minutes it felt like “home”, navigating our way to and from the hotel became second nature and even staying out late and taking the tram back at night became one of our favourite things.We stayed in the Executive Suite on the third floor, overlooking the huge pool, mini tub and tall skyscrapers in the distance. The room felt spacious and luxe. With a massive queen sized bed so soft it hit the spot perfectly after a long flight and layover in Dubai. Our room had an entertainment area, as well as a fully stocked mini bar fridge and coffee making area. One of the things that I most loved when staying at Holiday Inn Istanbul City is the free unlimited WiFi. I didn’t need a SIM card for the duration of my stay as I would hardly ever be with my phone, only when I got back to the hotel after a day of exploring or going out at night. With the Pazartekke Tram Station being only 50m away, all of the popular attractions such as the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia being within a 10 minute tram ride away, made it the ideal location to stay at for first time visitors in Istanbul.The Executive Suit has its own hot tub in but if you wanted the full hotel stay experience, the hotel offers an array of services such as a fitness centre that features cardiovascular equipment and offers yoga lessons. There is also a traditional Turkish bath which is one of their most popular features. There are quite a few free services that the hotel offers that one wouldn’t normally get at hotels such as using the sauna, gym, Turkish bath, WiFi and parking. No matter the time of day, we would always be greeted with the warmest hellos from the staff and it really is the smaller finer details that makes a place worth staying at, especially if it’s for almost two weeks. Our room also had a safety deposit box and ironing facilities in it which I appreciated as my clothes just got all wrinkly in my suitcase.
While we were in Istanbul, Turkey experienced its first heatwave in years and cooling down at the pool or in the room with air conditioning was one of my saviors after a long day of wandering around in the heat. With that being said, Holiday Inn Istanbul City will definitely be at the top of my recommendations list for accommodation for anyone visiting Istanbul and is keen to tour the city’s hottest attractions.
Thank you for reading my first post in my Turkish Travel series. I will be back next week with another post on my wanderings in the beautiful Istanbul.