Where to stay in Istanbul – affordable luxury
I’m all for travel hacks and travelling in luxury, but saving money at the same time. By saving money I do not mean sleeping in hostel dorms that are filled with snores of strangers, slamming doors and lights switching on and off (although this can be a fun experience too, if you enjoy the social side of hostels). I have learnt to crave for impeccably cleaned hotel rooms, nice and fluffy bathrobes and great service. I want to be able to ask the staff for things like booking the taxi for me, and get an answer with a smile. If you want to read my tips about taxis in Turkey, click here. Feeling that you are really looked after makes you enjoy your holiday a lot more. I would love to be so satisfied with the hotel that when I check out, I feel like writing a blog post about the service and offer them a bit of free advertising too! So this is not a paid advert by the hotel, but a spontaneous “thank you” post. As the quality variation of hotels in Istanbul is huge and as you often end up paying for something that can only be described as tolerable, I recommend you check out the hotel comparison sites I use, as one of them found me this gem. I’ll tell you all about Hotels.com and HotelsCombined below. I will also share my trick of competing these two sites against one another, so I can squeeze out the best possible deal every time.
Are you looking for ideas what to do in Istanbul? Then check out this ultimate guide on Istanbul on Tripblan! Here’s my hotel review of the Bricks Hotel in Istanbul – this is where price, quality and service really meet.
Hotels in Istanbul: About Bricks Hotel Airport
Bricks Hotel Airport in Istanbul is just over 3km away from the Istanbul Ataturk airport. I was able to find a great deal through Hotels.com: a Deluxe Double room for just 32€ (27 GBP / 35 USD). At the same time, I collected one of the 10 credits towards a free hotel night, which is a part of the free Hotels.com membership. The price on the hotel’s website was twice as much at the time of my stay. Hotels.com and HotelsCombined are the only hotel room booking systems I use these days.
Already at the check-in it became clear that this hotel was going to have a great level of service. Someone came to help me with a piece of hand luggage that I could have easily carried up myself. They showed me all the way to my room and made sure I had everything I needed. I waited a few minutes for the reception to add my details into their system, and was then able to log in the free wifi. But what was best about this hotel was that the room was fabulous. I had a bathrobe and slippers waiting for me, and many complimentary things were nicely laid out. I also expect hotel rooms to be very well cleaned, and it was obvious that the level of cleanliness is a priority in the Bricks Hotel.
Bricks Hotel Airport facilities
Facilities for working
Firstly, I would like to mention that this hotel is fantastic for anyone working remotely. The wifi connection is strong enough throughout the building and didn’t drop off. There is also a super cosy cafe downstairs – ideal for getting some work done on your laptop. Also the lobby area is very suitable for quick meetings.
The Bricks Hotel gym and spa facilities
I tested the gym and the spa on the evening of my arrival. I was offered a free towel and a pair of rather noisy, wooden clogs for my feet. First I visited the gym. There I wasn’t able to switch the treadmill on (two guys managed to use them just fine after me though..). The machines were slightly over the top in the sense that each machine was designed to do many things (so they did nothing really well). There were a few benches and a bar for chest press too. Unfortunately there was no real dead-lift bar available unless you count the one used on the bench, and most of the hand weights were plasticky. I still managed to get an OK workout and then headed for the saunas next.
The steam room was warm and there was lots of steam. And although the door handle of the Finnish sauna came off when I pulled it, I still loved this sauna. As I am Finnish myself, I take saunas quite seriously. Here you could pour water on the sauna stones (for a Finn this is absolutely essential) and the heat was nice and hot. This is certainly a good sign. Therefore, I give the saunas of the Bricks Hotel a good rating. All of the gym and spa areas were also super clean, which was a huge plus for me. Many hotels in Istanbul offer Turkish hammams, but this one also does the traditional spa very well.
How to get to the BRICKS HOTEL AIRPORT, ISTANBUL
This hotel is located only a couple of metro stops away from the Istanbul Ataturk airport. Although an airport transfer can be arranged by the Bricks Hotel, they charge 25€ one way or 40€ for a return. As I’m always looking for ways to spend less on my travels, I weighed my travel options from the airport to the hotel. There is no shuttle bus to the Bricks Hotel from the Ataturk airport. The Istanbul taxis are all on the meter, but as you hop in the cab, you need to make sure that the meter is actually switched on at the start of your journey. If you are taking a taxi from either of the Istanbul airports, please read this, as it may save you lots of money and valuable time. The hotels in Istanbul tourist areas are completely over-priced so why wouldn’t you consider a higher quality of accommodation for less money? The only trade-off is some of your time spent in the Metro system.
To get to the Bricks Hotel from the Ataturk airport, the drive is just over 3 kilometers, so I found the 25€ airport transfer quite excessive. Instead, I took the metro for 4 Turkish Lira (LT). This is the equivalent of 1 euro (1,25 USD or 0,9 GBP). The yellow taxi would have cost me 12 TL, which is about 3€ (2,60 GBP or 3,40 USD). If you decide to follow in my footsteps and choose the metro, it’s good to know that the metro ticket machine doesn’t accept large notes, such as 100 TL. Sometimes the machine agrees to speak English, other times not.
How to get the best deal by competing two price comparison sites against one another
If you are comparing hotels and prices, whether you are looking for hotels in Istanbul or in a completely another country, try my two favourite sites: hotels.com and HotelsCombined. Put your destination and travel dates in the form below and see which site gives you a better deal. The reason why I love using Hotels.com is that when you sign up as a member, you get deals like Bricks Hotel Airport for as little as 30 euros. But here’s the trick: HotelsCombined offers their customers a price guarantee – if you find a cheaper deal, they will refund the difference. When you run these two sites against one another, the consumer really is king! Go on and give it a try, as you should be paying less than you are paying on most price comparison sites right now! Hotels in Istanbul vary so much in quality that I recommend you consider options along the Metro system but outside the most touristy areas.