Hotel Ayasofya – Top Suite – End of trip luxury

Back in Istanbul, we once again caught the ferry to the Sultan Ahmet and walked from Eminonu to the Hotel Ayasofya. It was early, but the guys told us that they would have our Suite ready for us by 10:00 AM and that we could go downstairs and enjoy the complimentary breakfast.
It’s funny to come back to a city you’ve visited during travels in which you’ve seen nothing but new places. The sense of being home is something truly comforting and strange because really, as in our case, you might have just spent a few days there and still feel a stranger except since you are returning from places that are all new, you lose that sense of being a stranger…can that possibly make sense?
Tourism, Istanbul, Ayasofya Hotel
Anyway, it felt nice to be back in Istanbul and back at the Hotel Ayasofya. The breakfast was as wonderful as we remembered with the plumpest, most delicious dried figs I’ve had just about anywhere and some lovely Turkish cheese and yogurt.
Suite, Istanbul, Great hotels of the World, Hotel Ayasofya
After breakfast our suite was ready and the bellman led us up to the room. Once again we had complete luxury. A massive private balcony looking out over the Marmara Sea and the old city walls of Istanbul. A salon, a big ultra comfy king sized bed, Ottoman furnishings, slippers, robes, and yes…another jacuzzi bathtub!
Istanbul, city walls, ancient house
We do alright traveling on the cheap! It’s really a matter of choosing where to suffer and where not to. As I said before, I don’t like to suffer at the end of a journey nor at the beginning. During the middle, I don’t mind a bit. If you think about it, it makes sense. The two things you usually know are when you will arrive and when you will leave. Book a hotel for those nights and play everything else by ear.
So anyway, we’d slept badly on the bus and spent a lot of the night in the Ankara Otogar, but somehow that was all behind us as we put on fluffy white robes, room slippers, and lounged on our big balcony at the Hotel Ayasofya.
I heartily recommend the Hotel Ayasofya. The top suite is worth the price and whether you book it at the end or the beginning of your trip, a stay at Hotel Ayasofya is worthwhile. It is situated near all of the attractions of Sultan Ahmet, has a top notch staff that is friendly, helpful, and ready to go the extra mile for you, and it’s the kind of hidden gem luxury that you will remember for years to come.
the streets of Istanbul
To book a room at the Hotel Ayasofya you can go here.

Arriving at the Hotel Ayasofya in Sultanahmet, Istanbul

One of my hard and fast rules (which I often break anyway) about travel are that a journey should begin with a small amount of luxury so that you can get your head on straight in a new place and end with a lot of luxury so that you have something to look forward to during the privations of hard travel. On this trip, I picked the ideal hotel in Istanbul to start and finish with: The Hotel Ayasofya in Sultanahmet.
Ayasofya Hotel in Istanbul
We arrived at the Hotel Ayasofya in Sultanahmet a little after 4:30 am. It’s owned by Turkish/Australian partnership. During our stay we met with the wonderful Australian partner, Gaye Reeves who has worked tirelessly to turn it into one of the nicest places I’ve ever stayed. Centrally located near the Blue Mosque and all of the major attractions, the Hotel Ayasofya is the perfect place to stay.
If you had seen it back in 1980, you wouldn’t believe it is the same place (just for reference, I didn’t see it in person back then). Originally built in the 19th century in a classic Ottoman style, the private home was allowed to fall into neglect and disrepair. By 1980 it had become derelict. After ten years of painstaking restoration in the original style, it was opened up as a hotel in 1990. Sumptuous rooms, plush classic furniture, and gorgeous decor combined with an attentive staff and the best complimentary breakfast we found anywhere in Turkey, this was a wonderful place for us to begin our Turkish adventures.
Rooftop Terrace in Istanbul, Hotel luxury
With a traditional Turkish atmosphere, gorgeous views of the Princes Islands in the Marmara Sea from the rooftop terrace and a location that allows for easy exploration of the hippodrome, the Ayasofia, the Blue Mosque, the Grand Bizarre, and the many museums of Sultanahmet.
Historic Istanbul Hotel
Not that we took advantage of all of that within minutes of arriving before 5:00 am. What we did do was shower, turn on the air conditioner, see what channels were on the TV, and then go to sleep in the amazingly comfortable bed and linens for five hours. After that we woke up and had breakfast with Gaye who was kind enough to help us out with suggestions for our trip and who even typed up an itinerary based on our conversation complete with personal recommendations and contacts in the places we wanted to visit.
We were so impressed with the basic room we booked for our first night that we booked the top suite for the last night of our trip so that no matter what privations we might suffer on the road, we could know that our last night would be in the total and complete luxury that the Hotel Ayasofya offers.
To arrange a stay at the Ayasofya Hotel you can book directly
Kucukayasofya Caddessi,
Resit Sok Number 28
in Sultanahmet
you can call them at
(90) 212-516-9446
To find out about rates and the various accomodation options you can visit their website at
I can tell you in brief that our return to the Ayasofya was even better than the first night, but I’ll give you the details about the luxury of the top suite in due time.
Istanbul Hotel, Luxury Sultanahmet

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