Istanbul‘s Hotel Yunus Emre is an excellent choice for budget-conscious travelers who want a hotel with a very convenient location (map), comfortable rooms, a friendly family atmosphere, and reasonable prices.
Mr. Bülent İrem and Ms. Maria İrem, managers of the hotel, have put a lot of care into the renovation of their hotel. I particularly like the cheerful colors of the guest rooms (even though I’m not one who usually thinks much about color). They’ve made the rooms shine. (Their daughter Yasmine’s favorite is the pink one, of course!)
All the comforts are here, of course, from modern private bathrooms to TVs, wireless Internet and air conditioning in all 14 rooms (mostly doubles, but with a few triples for families). Make-your-own hot drinks (coffee, tea, etc.) are available 24 hours a day.
Stay at least three nights, and the hotel will provide free transport from Atatürk Airport to the hotel.
For the very thrifty, the hotel has a hostel section with several tidy 4- and 6-bed dormitory rooms, each with private bath.
Take the elevator/lift to the top floor to enjoy the roof terrace for relaxing and enjoying views of the neighborhood and Sea of Marmara.
The Hotel Yunus Emre’s location is excellent: on a short, quiet low-traffic street just a short walk downhill from the southwest end of the Hippodrome. Walk a just a bit further downhill to get a good view of the Sphendoneh, the Byzantine engineering marvel of brick, stone and mortar arches and fill that holds up the southwestern end of the Hippodrome.
By the way, the hotel takes its name from Yunus Emre, a famous 13th-century Turkish mystic, poet and troubadour whose poems and songs are still popular in Turkey today.
—by Tom Brosnahan