August 5, 2005
To our surprise, hotels in Edirne were more expensive than in Istanbul.
Rüstempasha Kervansaray Hotel, İki Kapılıhan No.57 (right in the centre; no address is needed, as everyone knows where it is), is undoubtedly the best hotel in Edirne. It was beautifully restored and converted into a hotel some 30 years ago. Price of a double room is 85€. (but their website says 80€).
There is a cluster of hotels in Maarif Caddesi (Maarif Street). We had a look at Efe Hotel, with a very average, small, standard hotel room. It was comfortable, but nothing special at 80€. We bargained it down to 60€ (we were here in the low season), but found it still too expensive for what we got.
We then tried Park Hotel, also in Maarif Caddesi, with the same comfort and furnishing as Efe Hotel, but lower in price at 60€. It was impossible to bargain.
Anil Hotel, on Ortakapi Caddesi, the side street off Saraclar Caddesi, is an old traditional house with huge ceilings, huge doors, and creaking floorboards. The owner is an old man who slowly led the way upstairs and said, "Hush! Madame." So we took it that his wife was taking a nap. Our room had seen better days, with flaking paint but fresh-smelling linen. And a cupboard full of blankets (winters are cold in Thrace).
There is no en-suite bathroom, but the communal one was next to our room and very clean, with hot water for the shower. In fact, it was too hot, as the cold tap did not work. The downstairs is like a big family living room. There was a large table with chairs and old family friends sitting around it. We were invited to join them, but unfortunately our Turkish was not good enough, nor was the proprietor's French. We had no other conversation than Edirne güzel. Edirne is beautiful. But we could watch television together, as not much conversation is needed in this case, apart from some approving or disapproving sounds.
If you like to rough it (slightly) and if you like a homely atmosphere, I can highly recommend Anil Hotel.
From journal West of Istanbul: Edirne and Kiyiköy