Where to Stay in Istanbul: Hotel Tulip House

Where to Stay in Istanbul: Hotel Tulip House

When you get off the tram line at Sultanahmet, walk past the Hippodrome, once the center of Constantinople’s (Istanbul) political and athletic life. As you walk through the Hippodrome you’ll pass the Obelisk of Thutmosis and the Serpent Column, an ancient Greek sacrificial tripod that was originally housed in Delphi. You can’t miss the Serpent Column since it’s right in front of the Blue Mosque on your left and is surrounded by fencing. On your right, you’ll see a hotel with an inviting restaurant in front of it. That’s not the hotel you’re staying at, but your Istanbul hotel is nearby. Keep walking.

Across the road from that hotel, you’ll enter a residential area where on the left side of the road you’ll find wall murals depicting images of Istanbul. Walk a few blocks down past the murals and turn right. If you see a cart full of fresh pomegranates on the corner where you’re to turn right, you’ll know that you’re headed in the right direction.

As you walk, you’ll likely see Turkish kids playing in the road and Turkish moms hanging clothes on the laundry lines overhead. They will greet you with warm smiles. Return them in kind.

Turn left at the first available corner and walk a few blocks until the street dead ends and turn left again. A few hundred yards up the road, you’ll see the sign for your hotel on the right. Alas, about ten minutes after passing the Blue Mosque, you’ve arrived at Hotel Tulip House!

Sit down in the reception area as your host checks you in. Don’t refuse when you’re offered tea. Get comfortable. Here, in the reception area, you can use the computer and even Skype your friends and family back home. Just be courteous and use earphones. But if you’d rather use your own laptop, take advantage of the free WI-FI.

You can either stay downstairs near the outdoor breakfast area where your room will be a bit less expensive, or you may opt for an upstairs room where you’ll have views of the sea and a balcony if you’re lucky. Settle in and get cozy, but keep your voices down as this intimate hotel only has nine rooms and hallways that echo.  Unless you’re loud, the only time this quiet hotel fills with any noise is during the gently soothing azan which rings out from nearby mosques.

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When you awake from a sound night’s sleep, get ready for breakfast downstairs in the covered outdoor eating area. It’s a Promised Land that’s overflowing with milk and honey. Fill up on the fresh breads, pastries, boiled eggs, vegetables, cheese, juices, and coffee on offer as you’ll need all of the energy you can get to explore this culturally rich city.

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After a day out and about in Istanbul, feel free to chat with your personable hosts in the reception area. They’ll teach you a little Turkish, recommend some great places for dinner, and generally offer a listening ear and sound advice for your travels. Use this time and space to get to know some of the other guests as well.

When your stay is up and it’s time to say your goodbyes, you’ll feel like you’re leaving behind old friends. But stay in touch with them through Facebook and e-mail – they will appreciate you occasionally checking in to say ‘hello’.  When it’s time to leave, you’ll more than likely have an instinctive feeling that a return visit to Istanbul is inevitable. And when you return, your hosts at Hotel Tulip House will welcome you back with open arms.

Visit Hotel Tulip House’s website for more details and click here to book your stay.

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Does Hotel Tulip House look like a place you’d want to stay?

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  • I would never regret visiting istanbul for more than once. It is such a beautiful and charming place. 🙂

    • Dana Carmel

      I agree, Lahcen! It’s one of my favorite cities.

  • lisa

    This place gets so many great reviews. I noticed how many of the hotels and guesthouses seem a little sterile looking in their decor. No vibrant colors, beading, art, etc that I would expect. The rooms here look very plain. I want an authentic, cozy place to stay and do like the price Im getting from Tulip House. Are the rooms good? as plain as they look in pictures? is there character in the rest of house?

    • Dana Carmel

      The rooms are great although you’re right in that the decor is somewhat plain. I like to think of it as having a “clean” look. In any case, this is a very authentic B&B in a residential neighborhood in the heart of Sunltanahmet. Also worth noting is that this used to be an Ottoman mansion. It really doesn’t get much more authentic than this. Don’t let the minimalist decor deter you!

  • I stayed at the Tulip Guesthouse as well. It was a great place and great location.

    • Dana Carmel

      Glad to know that you had a great stay there as well. I’ll always stay there whenever in Istanbul.

  • That food is making me feel hungry! Great pictures. I still haven’t been to Turkey yet 🙁

    • Dana Carmel

      I’m sure that you’ll make it there someday. And the breakfast at Hotel Tulip House was definitely delicious!

  • This hotel reminds me of my latest stay in Berlin. The place I was staying at was also very cozy and rooms looked very similar. The food is the kitchen looks so delicious. If I ever make it to Instanbul, I’ll look for this place so thanks for sharing!

    • Dana Carmel

      Glad to help, Agness!

  • I love the juxtaposition of images – the kids playing in the street, women hanging wash on clothes line, and wifi and Skype.

    • Dana Carmel

      Yes – Turkey in general is a country of contrasts which is probably why I love it so much!

  • Thanks for a comprehensive review! That bit about it being walking distance to interesting places to see plus the wifi makes this place a winner 🙂

    • Dana Carmel

      Hopefully you’ll consider staying there whenever you’re in Istanbul, Freya. You won’t be disappointed!

  • Will hopefully stay one day! Love the review 🙂

    • Dana Carmel

      Thanks, Becky!

  • Ohhh, you definitely had me hooked at that breakfast! I love that it features traditional foods, and I also get the sense that the owners of the Tulip House are real locals that can guide you in the right direction!

    • Dana Carmel

      I really loved the Turkish breakfast diet. The fresh cucumbers, tomatoes, cheese, and bread. I replicated this breakfast for several weeks after my return from Turkey. I especially loved putting the cheese on my fresh bread and drizzling it with honey – yum! And yes, the owners are the perfect local guides.

  • This was so much fun to read, Dana! I love how you took us on a little “guided” blog tour to get to the hotel. Genius! I would definitely want an upstairs room with a view. And I liked the breakfast food spread, of course! It sounds like everyone is very nice there. Great post as always, my friend 🙂

    • Dana Carmel

      Thanks, Mike! I hope you make it to Istanbul someday, and if so, you should definitely stay there.

  • Sounds like a great place to stay! I’ll all about free wifi and a yummy breakfast. Thanks for sharing!

    Happy travels 🙂

    • Dana Carmel

      You’re very welcome!

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