Friday, June 27, 2008

Sultan Hostel Istanbul

The Sultan Hostel, Istanbul, is a classic hostel, from the rooftop garden overlooking the Sea of Marmaris (and the Blue Mosque), to the dubious plumbing. The best part of the hotel were the very helpful staff, with useful tips, such bas taking the metro to the airport, not the slow tourist bus.

The street cafe is a great place to meet other travelers (you will not meet a local unless they are trying to sell you a carpet or a trip to Anzac Cove). The rooftop cafe is blissful in the twilight. The free cybercafe is hectic. The rooms are cramped, but usable. The bathrooms are improved after a recentl renovation, but not without problems: some helpful person had straightened out the flexible drain under the handbasin, which removed the trap and allowed smells to come up the pipe.

According to the Lonely Planet guide, some rooms have excellent views of the sea. I didn;t see one of those. One room had a view of a brick wall, while another had a much more pleasant view of the internal courtyard behind the busy street. More of an issue than the view is the noise from the rooftop cafe and adjacent ones at night. The top floor rooms are just under the cafe and very noisy. The best solution to this is, of course, to join the party. ;-)

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