Santa ROsa, California
November 15, 2002
The hotel is located about a 5 minute walk from the Blue Mosque, and it was pretty easy to find. As you try to find your hotel, you *will* be hassled to go to another hotel. Just ignore the pushers; they are not persistent. If you take a taxi, and he claims the hotel is no good, or is already full, insist on going there anyways. They're often paid a commission to re-route you to their brother's hotel.
The hotel is in a nondescript, small building with few rooms. The room was a reasonable size and very clean, although the railing on the stairs had fallen off, and the lights in the hallway were often broken. (We once had to use a flashlight to get back to our room!)
We paid 50 Euros per night, with AC in the room. The AC worked well (although sometimes a little too well). The price for our room also included breakfast on the rooftop, which unfortunately started rather late (8am) and was slow to arrive. The wife of the owner of the hotel made and served the breakfast. They had a very cute (but sadly unentertained) child hanging about on the rooftop. What was strange was that every morning we had breakfast, the child had a different set of filthy clothes on. It was upsetting to us that we were paying what (in Turkish lira) was a huge amount of money, and yet this child did not appear to be being taken care of properly.
We didn't prepay for our room, or leave a credit card imprint. The owner was fine with this until the day before we were supposed to leave, when we could feel he was getting a little uncomfortable. We offered to pay with a credit card, but suddenly the price of the room jumped 5%. We told him fine, we'll pay cash then, but we need to hit an ATM, we'll be right back. But even that he was uncomfortable with: we ended up splitting the difference of the 5%. It was just sort of surprising to us. (of course, unintentionally, we got him back: When we returned to California we realized we'd stolen the room key.. that's what happens when you leave a hotel at 5am!)
From journal Istanbul (not Constantinople)