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All reviews spiral staircase garden suite the penthouse call to prayer topkapi palace blue mosque charming hotel turkey old city roof terrace living area no elevator flights of stairs turkish style single room top floor major sights
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Reviewed 13 January 2016 via mobile

My family and I visited Istanbul for the first time this last December, soon after Christmas. We were looking to stay close to most attractions to live without taxis or long public transport transfers; we wanted to avoid big, fancy international hotels and stay in a characteristic Turkish place; still we were looking for informal elegance and upmarket service. Well, Empress Zoe ticked all our wishes!
As soon as we stepped into the lobby, we felt we had definitely made the right choice. Lovely and homely, check
in was easy and fast. Someone helped us with the luggages very conveniently as the place is full of stairs. We knew it and had no issues with that. They actually add character to the whole place.
We stayed the first 4 nights in the one bedroom garden suite for 4 people and 2 nights in the 2 floors, 2 bedroom suite. Needless to say that the second accomodation was our favourite. Apart from the space and the gorgeous views of the Marmara sea from the 2 ! terraces, we also had a very pretty dining room on the second floor, with a kitchenette, table with chairs, two couches and the television. Perfect to relax before dinner!
The smaller room was also very pretty, with everything one would need, but more demanding to manage for a family of 4 people.
One suggestion to the helpful management: make firmer pillows available for people with neck issues. They can improve sleep quality enormously.
Staff was great. They helped us with everything we needed and gave us very good suggestions.
Breakfast was good on savoury food (even if eggs were always quite cold) but very limited on sweet things: no pastries or cakes. Muffins were there but we found them a bit too tough for us. No croissants either. But we all found things we liked, so it was not a real issue.
One day we came back mid afternoon and we were starving as we had no time to eat at lunch. Despite the fact that the hotel has no restaurant, they prepared some local cheese, bread and tomatoes for us with some tea. Delicious and they did not even charge for it. So very kind!
We found the location also so good: it is very central in Sultanhamet. However, it is a bit hidden from the tourist trail and so quiet at the same time. It's very close to tens of restaurants: so no issues for dinner if you are tired and do not feel like exploring.
We popped in the Four Seasons for a cup of tea as it is next door... and we felt even more lucky to be at Empress Zoe and have not considered a luxury international chain!
Well done Empress Zoe. Keep up the good work and see you next time!
PS: It snowed too and that too added magic to our stay :)

Stayed: January 2016, travelled with family
Thank Raffaraf
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 January 2016

The location is wonderful and so is the unique layout of the hotel lending itself to private settings. We had one of the most expensive rooms and I don't think it quite lived up to the standard they portrayed on the website. There was little view, mostly of the gardens. I will say it was clean and very warm but felt a bit bare and lacking.
The man at the front desk could have been more helpful with recommendations. Make sure to use the printed restaurant guide in the room, that was useful

  • Stayed: December 2015, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Thank CaptainRolio
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 January 2016

Great location, in the middle of sightseeing, but very quiet and full of charm. The rooms are clean and well designed, beautiful common areas, attentive stuff. Lots of stairs to climb.Will definitely stay there again.

  • Stayed: November 2015, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank Tanya L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 January 2016 via mobile

This hotel is unique and makes a holiday really a holiday. Why?

First of all because the people managing this place are great, helpful and real hosts.

Secondly, yes, the location is top if you want to be in the middle of everything in Sulthanamet. The hotel itself, the public spaces and the rooms I have seen are so nicely decorated: marble, wood etc.

The secret and silent garden invites you to have a rest, maybe reading a book and for sure observed by at least one of the beautiful cats, part of the hotel.

In the evening, sitting in front of the fireplace with a glass of turkish wine makes the day so enjoyable.

We went to the Empress Zoe for the third time and I hope there will be more visits to come.

...may be it is one of my preferred hotels in the world!

Stayed: January 2016, travelled with friends
Thank Pat70
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 January 2016

We had the absolute best time staying at this Hotel for a number of nights in August 2015.
It is a quirky boutique Hotel but in the best position for location for many of the tourists sights. The staff were delightful and took the time to answer any question we had. The breakfast out on the terrace was a lovely start to the day with a great choice of food. We also enjoyed an evening drink either before dinner or after dinner out on the terrace and quite ofter in the company of the Hotel's cats. I would love to return to Istanbul one day and I would definitely stay at the Empress Zoe, loved it.

  • Stayed: August 2015, travelled with friends
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank Pippi5956
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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