neorion1The magnificent Neorion, named after the Byzantine harbour that used to exist on what is now the Eminönü waterfront, is housed in a spendid building in a Gülhane/Sirkeci side street designed to emulate the early 20th-century style of architecture known as First National (of which there  are fine examples in the back streets further down the tramlines). 

The Neorion is a hotel run with great panache and attention to detail. My beroom was one of the best ones, on a corner and with a small balcony that offered a spendid view out over the rooftops and towards the confluence of the Golden Horn and the Bosphorus.

An enormous bed was richly adorned with Ottoman-themed coverings and offered a pillow menu for those with special needs. A large sitting area at the end of the bed centred on a giant television screen although most visitors would probably be too distracted by the views to have much time for TV viewing. 

The bathroom was also sizable and featured a fashionable look-through window with a blind which means that someone in there can communicate with someone in the bedroom if they want to but can also opt for privacy at other times.neorion2

The bedrooms offer every comfort including welcome tea and coffee-making facilities and copies of Time Out İstanbul in English. 

Breakfast is taken at the back of the reception area and the choice is unbeatable - you'd be hard to come up with anything missing from this particular smorgasbord. Afterwards you only need walk a few steps to be able to relax in the front-of-hotel lounge which comes with its own small library of books on İstanbul and Turkey. 

neorion3This is a hotel with many amenities including that absolute winner on a hot day, a basement swimming pool. Here, too, there is a small marble-lined hamam for guests who want to get a taste of what they're like before venturing into the more public offerings of İstanbul's many historic Turkish baths. Staff will be happy to direct you to nearby restaurants and cafes owned by the same group as well as to the many small offerings of Hocapaşa, just a short walk down the road.

Thumbs up: Great location within walking distance of all the main sites and the Eminönü ferries, beautiful bedrooms, excellent breakfasts, swimming pool, lift access to rooms

Thumbs down: Rooftop views can't quite match some of those up the tramlines in Sultanahmet/Cankurtaran

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Tel: 0212-527 9090

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