1. A fairly quiet location on a pedestrian street only two short blocks from the Grand Bazaar.
2. Experienced, caring family management. Members of the Duyar family (who also own Istanbul’s Dersaadet Oteli in Sultanahmet) are at the hotel every day. It shows: only five hotels in Istanbul qualified for Expedia’s Insiders’ Select award, and both Duyar family hotels were selected, beating out numerous five-star luxury hotels.
5. An attractive rooftop lounge-cafe-bar-restaurant with views of the Sea of Marmara.
6. No hassles such as Sultanahmet carpet touts or postcard sellers: this is a real, working Istanbul neighborhood. People here welcome you but don’t bother you.
The Hotel Niles is only a 12- to 15-minute walk from Sultanahmet along Ordu Caddesi/Divan Yolu, the historic “road to Rome,” past historic mosques, medreses, shops, Turkish baths, sultans’ tombs, and the Çemberlitaş. If you take the tram, it’s even quicker (map).
Not only that, the Grand Bazaar, Istanbul University, the Old Book Bazaar, Beyazıt Square, the imperial Beyazıt Mosque and the Süleymaniye Mosque—Istanbul‘s largest and most splendid imperial mosque—are much closer to the Hotel Niles than to any Sultanahmet hotels. And you won’t be bothered by carpet touts here, because this is more of a business district than a tourist district.
The Niles has a refined, Ottoman decor and ambiance, and all the expected services: English-speaking staff, elevators/lifts, free use of the guest computer, and free Wifi Internet throughout the hotel, but with the difference of particularly careful and friendly service. It looks and feels far more like a four-star hotel, but prices are three-star because it’s not right in the throngs of Sultanahmet.
The newly-renovated (2013) air-conditioned guest rooms all have chic decor, modern private baths, color cable TV with foreign channels, and minibars. The small but well-equipped exercise room helps guests to keep up with their exercise routines.
The luxury junior suites are works of art: mahogany floors, fine linens, hand-painted Ottoman ceiling trim, İznik faïence accents, luxury drapes, sheers, and light-blocking curtains. The bathrooms are done completely in beautiful banded Marmara marble. More…
The excellent Turkish breakfast buffet, typified by the Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil that is produced expressly for the hotel in small family olive groves near Antakya, is served in the all-glass rooftop café-lounge complete with soft music and resident parakeets/budgerigars. The setting is very agreeable: in fine weather, leave the air-conditioned glass dining room and sit at a table on the open-air terrace, set with jasmine vines and potted citrus trees, to enjoy the sun and the view.
The experienced staff are very friendly and accommodating, all the more because they are accustomed to hosting European and American visitors.
The Hotel Niles is on a narrow side street in Istanbul’s “garment district,” alive with workers and traders on any weekday—a nice dose of real life (in contrast to all-tourist Sultanahmet). The narrow street (map) can make the hotel a bit tricky to find (but keeps it away from most traffic noise.) On the south side of Ordu Caddesi/Divan Yolu right by the Kapalı Çarşı (Grand Bazaar) tram stop, just east of the Barceló (Beyaz) Saray Hotel is a narrow street, Dibekli Cami Sokak. Look for the Türkiye İş Bankası on the corner. Just as you turn the corner off Ordu Caddesi you can see the Hotel Niles in the distance. Go south (downhill) on this street for two blocks, past the little Dibekli Mosque, to reach the hotel, quite obvious before you on the left-hand side of the street, which excludes most vehicular traffic.
Coming by taxi, the driver may want to turn right (south) down broader Mithat Paşa Sokak, then left (east) on the first side street to reach the hotel. Here’s a little map:
When you contact the Hotel Niles, be sure to mention TTP. Here’s why.
—by Tom Brosnahan
|Hotel Niles Suites|