After five days in Amsterdam, we leave for Istanbul today. Our Turkish Airline flight departure is at 12:00 p.m.
As if god wanted to test us again, the flight was delay to 1:30 p.m. then rescheduled to 2:00 p.m. and finally took off at 2:30 p.m. A delay of 2½ hours.
Upon arrival in Istanbul, the airport shuttle provider Efendi Travel Agency was waiting for us and transfer from Ataturk to Sultanahmet was smooth arriving at our hotel around 7:00 p.m. This late arrival didn’t worry us as this is our 3rd time visiting Istanbul and staying at Star Holiday Hotel, the same hotel we stayed previously.
Star Holiday Hotel is located in Sultanahmet and we have stayed there once. The hotel is small with 20+ rooms. The room is rather small and opening your luggage makes it difficult to walk around. The bed is comfortable and the bathroom is standard size. Fully renovated about 1½ years ago, it now has a lift. The breakfast terrace is on the roof top and you get a nice view of the Bosphorus Straits as well as The Blue Mosque and the Hippodrome. There is a restaurant on the ground floor but it does not belong to the hotel.
Star Holiday Hotel, Sultanahmet. The famous (1960’s) Pudding Shop is just beside.
Star Holiday Hotel frontage. From the entrance you can see the Blue Mosque and the Hippodrome.
The lobby on 1st floor.
The double room on 2nd floor. Nice turquoise color scheme.
Bosphorus Straits from the rooftop breakfast terrace.
The tram lines in-front of Star Holiday Hotel. At the background is Sultanahmet tram stop.
The tram line is just in-front of the hotel and it is about a minute’s walk to the Sultanahmet tram stop. So coming by tram is convenient as well as getting around to other parts of Istanbul. But be informed, because of the tram line, no private nor commercial vehicle can stop in-front of the hotel. You need to drop-off a little further if you come by taxi.
But for it proximity to Istanbul’s attractions, it beat all other hotels hands down. It’s about a minute’s walk to Sultanahmet Park, two-three minutes to the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, Hippodrome and Basilica Cistern. Four-five minutes to Arasta Bazaar, Tokapi Palace and Gulhane Park. About the furthers, is the Grand Bazaar which took us a brisk seven minutes walk.
Star Holiday Hotel is well worth considering because of its proximity to visiting Sultanahmet’s tourist attractions barring the inconvenience of coming by taxi to the hotel and the smallish room.
Sultanahment’s tourist attractions nearby Star Holiday Hotel.
Useful Istanbul tram route. Click to enlarge. Credit :de.wikipedia.org
After dinner, we walk over to Sultanahmet Park. It’s close to our hotel and a minute’s walk we are there. Sultanahmet Park is a lovely small park in between the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia. In the middle it has a large illuminated fountain which changes color. The park provides a spectacular view of Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque especially at night when both are lit up.
Hagia Sophia from behind the fountain.
Tulip garden in-front of Hagia Sophia in April.
Different varieties, colors and forms of tulips.
Pink tulips near a bench.
White tulips in Sultanahmet Park.
Sultanahmet Park facing Sultanahmet Mosque a.k.a. the Blue Mosque.