from Bangkok, Thailand
Submitted on 25-07-2016
I was a little sceptical at first, because I managed to secure an exceptionally low room rate for this hotel. I booked it anyway after looking at some online pictures taken by other travelers and also found out that the hotel's location appeared to be fantastic, just a couple of minutes walk from the Blue Mosque, Ayasofya and Topkapi Palace. On arrival, I was pleased to discover that the hotel was located in a rather quiet, cobble-stoned street in Sultanahmed district, which brimmed with plenty...
I was a little sceptical at first, because I managed to secure an exceptionally low room rate for this hotel. I booked it anyway after looking at some online pictures taken by other travelers and also found out that the hotel's location appeared to be fantastic, just a couple of minutes walk from the Blue Mosque, Ayasofya and Topkapi Palace. On arrival, I was pleased to discover that the hotel was located in a rather quiet, cobble-stoned street in Sultanahmed district, which brimmed with plenty of inviting restaurants. The reception staff was very courteous and friendly (they even re-charged my smartphone, since I had forgotten to pack my own charger). My room, located on the third floor of this small hotel converted from an old Ottoman family home, was large, airy and impeccably clean. It came with more conveniences than I had expected for the room rate paid: swipe card key, air conditioning, minibar stocked with very reasonably priced drinks, programmable safe, complimentary WiFi, comfy bed, LED flatscreen TV (although English-language channels were a bit on the thin side), large bath room with h/c water/bath tub/shower cell/blow dryer - and a fantastic window view across the rooftops towards the Marmara Sea. The room furniture was traditional and tied in well with the family atmosphere the hotel obviously intended to create. If you like super-hip, super-modern hotels, the Hippodrome is not for you. As for myself, I dislike polished, cold chrome palaces, so the Hippodrome was right up my alley. I already knew from the booking website that the complimentary breakfast was served in nearby Hotel Azade, which is under the same ownership as the Hippodrome. It turned out that Hotel Azade was literally two minutes walk down the street, so no effort at all - and I do enjoy a brief morning stroll. Breakfast was served on Hotel Azade's fabulous roof terrace, with a choice of sitting outside in the open air or settle down in a spacious glassed-in section. I opted for the former in order to enjoy the cool and fresh morning air coupled with a fantastic panorama view. Breakfast was a generous buffet with different types of cheeses, salads and vegetables (including several varieties of marinated olives!), cereals, cold cuts, warm dishes (sausages, fried eggs, etc.) and plenty of coffee, tea, cocoa, milk and fruit juices. If you're alone and leave a filled plate on your table outside in order to get some coffee, beware the sea gulls, though! In the barely 60 seconds It took me to fetch a cup of coffee, they had swooped down and cleaned off my plate! I found that hilarious, but had to return to the buffet to get me another helping. The restaurants along the street all turned out to be very good, which made the fact that Hotel Hippodrome has no in-house restaurant (nor room service) irrelevant, in my opinion at least. On the day of my departure, I received a warm farewell from the staff on duty and they even called me a taxi. I can heartily recommend Hotel Hippodrome to everyone who doesn't need to dwell in OTT luxury and instead likes to stay at a very atmospheric place in close proximity to all major sites and attraction of Old Constantinople. I'll surely return. Oh, I almost forgot: No smoking is allowed indoors, but the hotel provides a charming small outside patio in the back surrounded by ancient high walls, where you can puff away whenever you want to.