Doctor's Review: Medicine on the Move

October 20, 2021

A room at Garden House, Istanbul.

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Old Istanbul for less

If this is your first foray in Istanbul, chances are most of your days will be spent in Sultanahmet, and no wonder. A chunk of the city’s must-sees are here, including the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia and Topkapi Palace. The area is also home to hotels and inns for every wallet, including the centrally located Hotel Sultan Hill. An 18th-century house from the Ottoman period, the B&B boasts 17, clean and cosy (read “small”) rooms, each decorated simply (“sparsely”). All have a bathroom, telephone, TV, AC and Wi-Fi. Plainly put, if a practically priced room is all you want, this is a great option. An added bonus is the courtyard and rooftop terrace. Bear in mind that the B&B is so close to the mosque that guests will hear the daily calls to prayer, which begin at 5AM. Rates are $90 for singles, $120 for two, breakfast and tax included. Triple and family rooms available. (011-90-212) 518-3293.

In business since 1996, the family-run Hotel Sari Konak aims to be your home away from home — and it certainly does a good job trying. The Sari Konak, meaning “yellow mansion,” has 19 rooms and four suites, each decorated individually; many are muted in taupe, others are mostly white accented with blue or green, others are draped in red. All have an antique flair. All also have bathrooms, a few have kitchens and can accommodate families (additional guests $15 per). The lobby (dressed in Turkish antiques and Turkoman rugs)is lovely for reading, as is the rooftop terrace with views of the Marmara Sea on one side, and the Blue Mosque on the other (calls to prayer can be heard here too). High-season rates from March 15 until November 25 start at $160, single or double, breakfast and tax included. There’s Wi-Fi throughout. (011-90-212) 638-6258.

The Garden House Hotel is housed in a 19th-century mansion from the Ottoman period. It has 20 rooms, about half of which are modern in style (clean, contemporary furniture, Ikea bed frames), the rest traditional (a lot of wood). The penthouse suite has a little living space as well as a balcony. All have the basics: a bathroom, telephone, TV, AC and Wi-Fi. A basket of fresh fruit will greet you every morning, which can be enjoyed in your room, or in the courtyard dotted with ancient walnut trees. There’s also a café/restaurant on site. High-season rates from March 1 until September 30 are $160 for singles, $180 for two, breakfast and tax included. Triple rooms available. (011-90-212) 517-9111.

This article was accurate when it was published. Please confirm rates and details directly with the companies in question.


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