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Hotel Ayma Hotel Hotel 2 star
Mesihpasa Cad. No:17 Laleli Istanbul, Turkey -
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Amy Adejokun Section editor

This establishment really is too outdated to be able to appreciate its positive aspects, such as its restaurant terrace and its location in the very heart of the shopping district of Laleli.
It is a small and rather unimpressive hotel offering a pretty average level of service.
If you particularly want to stay in this area, we'd recommend you try the Grand Emin instead, which happens to be run by the same people.

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    Location 5.4 /10

    The Ayma stands on an unnamed street in the city's Laleli district.
    Quite a way from the city's main thoroughfare (the one where the tramway crosses right through the city centre and notably Sultanahmet), it is poorly signposted and therefore difficult to find.
    Other than the tramway, you'll also find plenty of taxis in the area.

    Accommodation 5.95 /10

    The hotel has a total of 41 guest rooms which come in 3 categories: single, double, and triple.
    The rooms are pretty neglected (carpets 'adorned' with cigarette burns and dirty remnants of chewing gum, torn wallpaper, poor finishings, and very basic bathroom accessories) and very small, with barely enough room for the bed.
    There's no chance of you really feeling comfortable here, as you'll barely be able to move. Plus, the rooms overlook the rear of the building.
    It is perhaps this basic appearance that makes the curtains, made with high quality fabrics and a boasting striking off-white colour, stand out all the more, while bringing a soothing touch to the surroundings.
    Incidentally, these are the same curtains you'll find at the Grand Emin, which has the same owner.

    Overview 5.45 /10

    From the outside, this hotel is the picture of indifference.
    The grey entrance topped with a rather soulless sign bearing the name of the hotel is pretty much all the Ayma has to offer by way of a welcome, so needless to say, your first impression might make you not want to venture any further.
    Unfortunately, the lack of detail and banality of the materials are in some way the leitmotiv of the hotel, which, even inside, really fails to impress. The reception is tucked away down a corridor and the entrance hall somewhat resembles a hospital waiting room.
    Elsewhere, the hotel really doesn't make the most of its location, since despite being outside the heart of Laleli itself, it could still take greater advantage of the flow of tourists passing through this vibrant shopping district.
    The entire establishment just oozes precariousness. You get the feeling that it's a miracle it's still standing, as it offers the bare minimum in terms of service and its sole advantage is reasonable rates. They seem to have skimped on every little detail here, such as the safety barrier missing from the lift (showing how old the lifts are!).
    The nicest part of the hotel is undoubtedly the covered terrace that serves as the hotel restaurant, overlooking the mosque and the entire city.

    Food and drink 5.95 /10

    Boasting a prime location up on the 8th floor, the restaurant occupies a sort of covered gazebo offering spectacular views across the hills, the mosques, and the Bosphorus.
    The views are certainly best by night, thanks to the lighting effects on the buildings created in the street below, the majestic appearance of the mosques, and the 'remote' feel of the terrace, along with its interior design and peaceful ambience.
    The menu is pretty international, with a few more traditional dishes thrown in for good measure. The bar up here is open during the daytime too, which is great if you fancy a coffee or a pre-dinner drink.
    We didn't have the opportunity to sample the cuisine during our stay.

    To know

    The hotel opened 16 years ago in 1995 and despite being renovated in 2008, still appears rather outdated on the surface.
    Whilst the surrounding area (and even the hotel for that matter!) might not look like the most appealing of places, you'll soon find that Laleli is a vibrant shopping district. Within minutes you can find yourself surrounded by crowds of passers-by going about their business, people dropping off deliveries, and mobile fruit sellers. There are many facets to this noisy, teeming part of the city, which also makes a great base from which to explore the less touristy side of the capital.
    The Grand Emin is not far from the Ayma and belongs to the same owner.


    • Car park
    • Restaurant
    • Internet access
    • Air conditioning


    • The location


    • The neglected appearance of the place
    • The building is showing its age and you wouldn't think it had been renovated
    • The language barrier

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    • Overall Score -/10
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