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May Hotel Istanbul
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Reviews (240)
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Reviewed June 5, 2011

This isa small quaint nicely located hotel. If you want luxury then go to a five star one. If you are looking for a good value hotel with clean rooms, great service, friendly staff and a homely atmosphere with a large selection in the buffet breakfast then this should be your choice. We really enjoyed our stay with a 3 minute walk to the tram way street and the Grand Bazaar. Very close to the historical centre and all tourist attractions. We will definately stay here again !

  • Stayed: May 2011, travelled with friends
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Thank Zalobeidi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed June 2, 2011

We stayed in this hotel for 7 nights in the end of May 2011.

When you come to the hotel, they will to sell you a map of central Istanbul (5TL) without asking you if you need it, they gave it to us and after marking on the map where we are staying they demanded 5 Turkish Lira for it. It is not the cost I am complaining about (they rip off tourists everywhere), but the very principal of selling me what I do not need (I had my maps with me), but ended up having to pay for additional map.

We arrived in the evening and they gave us a room on a ground floor. It was very tiny double room with very tiny wardrobe (not big enough for 2 people), nowhere to put suitcase (and we had only one suitcase!), so we put it on top of the wardrobe. But it was not the worst point. The worst was that the noise was terrible, we felt like we were put to sleep on the street (windows were facing very busy street with people walking up and down and lots of factories working 24/7 (with night shifts), so noise was really (and I mean REALLY) loud (and we did request a quiet room in our reservation form). The bathroom was small, but the shower was a joke, you can hardly squeeze in it (and I am UK size 8!!!). You definitely cannot move in it, it is like standing coffin.

I went to request another room. Receptionist said that it can be arranged, but next day after 12pm, as the hotel was fully booked. I was not happy, as I could not unpack, because we were changing room next day. However, we did not have a choice.

Next day we got a room on top floor with a small balcony (only top floor rooms have balconies in this hotel, 1 person can use it at the time, no space for chair or small table on it, you can just stand there alone and look around). Room was hardly better (apart from balcony), but the noise was just the same! So we understood that we will be stuck in this noise for all 8 days of our holiday. Windows were facing factory windows, so it was noisy at all times. Roof terrace was nothing special, again facing factory windows and a small bit of Marmara Sea). And the "icing of the cake" was that there is a mosque few meters away from hotel, and mosque's minarets with its speakers face the hotel! Therefore, every few hours there was a 10-minutes long call for prayer - extremely loud. I could not believe it. The 1st call for prayer is at 5am every day. You are guaranteed to be woken up, as the noise is as loud as in rock concert! So forget about any sleep there... We literally could not sleep well a single night. Maybe it is like this everywhere in Istanbul hotels, I don’t know, as mosques are everywhere and cover all area of Istanbul.

The location of the hotel was quite good - 20 min walk (or 5 min by Tram) to Sultanahmet old town centre with Blue Mosque in it and 25 min walk to Aya Sofia, 7 min walk to Tram stop "Beyazit" (Tram costs 1,75TL for a plastic coin-like jeton for single tram journey, you can buy them from the machine just by the tram stop). You can only pay with Turkish Liras in Istanbul (unlike seaside Turkish resorts, where you can use other currencies, too). Hotel is also 8-10 min walk to Grand Bazaar (and the tram takes you to Blue Mosque, Eminonu Port (where you will take your Ferry for Bosforus river cruise (25TL each) or visit Spice Bazaar (nice for buying spices, tea, nuts and dried crandberries), Spice Bazaar starts near Eminonu as well); please note that the walk to the tram stop and Grand Bazaar is up very steep hill, which was not a big problem for me, but if you are not very sporty and fit, it might be quite a challenge). Fish restaurants (quite a rip-off) are downhill from hotel (3 min walk), and they are open until late, we had dinner after 10pm. So location is convenient for touring Istanbul despite all the noise from factories, which are everywhere (including in adjacent houses from hotel). These factories produce shoes and leather goods and accessories for bags, belts, shoes, etc... By the way, I wanted to buy shoes in the area, as below factories there are normally shoe shops (all over the place near hotel), but they sell shoes only in big boxes, in packs of many (for other traders), so in most of shops you cannot buy a single pair of shoes, despite of nice display of single pairs of shoes. They are displayed for traders, not individual buyers.

In order to get to hotel from Sabiha Gökçen Airport, we took Havas bus to Taksim Square (costs 14 TL each), and from there we took a cab to hotel (he was going in circles and could not find the hotel, and the payment is counted by the meter), 25TL for taxi from Taksim Square to hotel. So have some Turkish Lira with you, you cannot pay with other currency even for your bus or taxi from airport.

Breakfast (buffet-style) in a hotel was very poor (served from 7am to 10:30am every morning), stale bread and processed cheap meat, fresh oranges (which was probably the best part of it), tea/coffee, fresh cucumbers and tomatoes, nothing much, every day the same stuff. The waiter was rather rude, harassing us for tips every single morning (it is self service there, so I don't know why he thought he deserved a tip).

Istanbul itself is a fantastic city and I enjoyed it every minute, there is a lot to see and do. istiklal Caddesi (near Taxim Square) is the best street for going out at night - shops, clubs, restaurants, busy and lively street, especially at weekend. We found a few live music venues on a Friday night - very good! I loved this magical city despite of a little disappointment from hotel disadvantages.

Room Tip: do not agree to ground floor rooms facign the strt
  • Stayed: May 2011, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank Kate_London_123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed May 31, 2011

I spent 5 nights in the May Hotel after having read the reviews in Trip Advisor (before reservation). And the hotel offered exactly what I expected: a good location, not far from the Grand Bazaar and Sultanahmet for a small price.

The room was not very big, for the shower you'd better be thin and the view from my room was a chunk of poor appartments, but I only looked for a clean place to sleep near the center without giving out too much money as I did not plan to spend much time in my room and that is exactly what I got.

Not to advise for people looking for much confort, service or a romantic weekend. Breakfast is also no highlight, I tried it only once. Wifi worked quite good also in my room on the last floor (3rd). There is also a terrace on the top of the hotel, but I must admit I forgot about it as I was more in the city than in the hotel.

Also an important information: the hotel is located in a very steep street presenting a first physical exercise in the morning when leaving the hotel to the tramway or to the Grand Bazaar.

  • Stayed: May 2011, travelled solo
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1  Thank Renaud G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed April 9, 2011

We stayed at this hotel at the end of march 2011. The hotel looks new, the rooms are clean, normal-sized and nice. It has a nice balcony overlooking the Marmara, and it is also very cheap for Istanbul standards. The service was very good from everyone in the hotel, and the breakfast they provide is also good. There is a tram station 400 mts away (Beyazit) but you have to consider that the hotel is in a very steep hill, so it can be exhausting for some people. The neighbourhood is working class but it felt safe and we did not have any problem. The only real problem of the hotel is that rooms are very noisy as walls are very thin, almost like sharing the same room with other people. At the same time, a lot of noise from the street is filtered through the windows and balcony. We had to use earplugs to be able to sleep. If you can manage to use them, or can sleep with noise, we definitely recommend this hotel.

  • Stayed: March 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank daniel_osorio
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed March 24, 2011

I stayed there over 4/5 days and the service provided by the staff was excellent, they all spoke good English and always willing to provide assistance. The hotel location is reasonable, approx 20 mins walk from the main attractions of Istanbul ( The Blue Mosque or Sultanahmet, Topkapi Palace, The Grand Bazaar & Hagia Sophia).
The room size is very good, and the service provided are up to good standard. Taxis & Trams are running very close by on a regular basis, plenty of money exchange places and restaurants, tea shops etc.
I will most certainly be going back and would recommend May Hotel to all my friends.
Asif Qureshi
UK

  • Stayed: March 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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1  Thank afu_q
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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