The Fehmi Bey is a modest hotel built in 1996 in an exceptional setting near to the city's historical monuments. The Blue Mosque is only 2 minutes away on foot! The district is lively, and ideal for walking around both by day and night.
This is the hotel's real strong point. The hotel is a stone's throw away from the main monuments of Istanbul, such as the Blue Mosque, the Saint Sophia Basilica, and Topkapi Palace, and ten minutes away from the Grand Bazaar.
There is rather an unusual shop on the very premises of the hotel - a carpet shop! Whether made by hand or by machine, making carpets is an ancestral art passed down from generation to generation. They previously served the purpose of decorating and heating homes. They were given as dowry to married couples, or as a gift to mosques. There are two types: knotted ones, and kilims, which are flat woven, and consist of vertical and horizontal threads. Before buying a carpet, lay it out completely flat on the floor to make sure there are no folds or lumps, and do not be afraid to bargain: the stated price will be at least 30% in excess of the amount anticipated by the seller.
Built in 1996, the Fehmi Bey is a good base for those wanting to visit and spend a maximum amount of time out and about during their holidays. To tell the truth, the hotel is not extremely comfortable, but is perfect for a cultural holiday. The lobby is decorated in Ottoman style, and you will feel right at home in the lounge (library, books available, watercolours on the wall, plasma screen). There is also an internet area available in the same room. If you have your own laptop, you can connect from your own room (Wi-Fi). To reach your room or the restaurant, you are better off taking the lift, as the staircase is not lit. The hotel also has a sauna (fee-paying), which was turned off at the time of our visit. There is no guarantee that it operates at all, particularly as the showers just beside it are far from being clean, and do not really make you want to investigate further.
The hotel has 27 rooms, including 4 junior suites. They are simple, but welcoming. The light wooden parquet and flowery bedcovers give the room a little warmth. However, there are a few downsides. The beige paint on the walls is a little cracked, the mini bar is in full view, and the windows and curtains are not exactly brand new. Whether the rooms are standard or suites, they look out over a ruin of a building (when you set eyes on it, you will probably think your room is not so bad after all...). The rooms also have a direct telephone line, a television, and a safe, together with a small wardrobe. Regarding the bathroom, the edges of the bath leave a lot to be desired, but the rest is adequate. 24-hour room service is available.
The single restaurant, the "Light House", located on the fifth and top floor of the hotel. It serves local cuisine, even for breakfast (included in the room fee for one-night stays), which is served as a buffet from 7.30 am to 10.00 am. Lunch is served "à la carte" from 1.00 pm to 4.00 pm, and dinner from 7.30 pm to 8.30 pm. In the evening, you are best off dining on the terrace. Here, you can appreciate the view over the illuminated minarets of the Blue Mosque and the Saint Sophia Basilica. It is magnificent.
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