I found it on Lonely Planet. And yes: if it is on Lonely Planet it isn’t probably a secret hint and quiet place. But it was! Maybe I was only there in the right time of the year. The Hotel Empress Zoe is a wonderful hotel in Sultanahmet, the touristic corner of Istanbul, Turkey – only a five minutes walk from Hagia Sophia.
The place is easy to find, you’ll have plenty of bars and restaurants around and can simply walk to places like the Blue Mosque or Topkapı. The hosts are very friendly and welcoming, the hotel has a great ambience and breakfast is like magic: you can sit outside in the ruins of an old cistern, enjoy some olives and ewe’s milk cheese and get a kick-start into the day.
Unfortunately the hotel is nothing for the handicapped – because you inevitably have to use stairs. Next time in Istanbul I would look out for a hotel in a less touristic neighborhood, maybe around Galata or in Beşiktaş. But for a first stay in this wonderful city it was absolutely perfect!
Hotel Empress Zoe
Akbiyik Cad. No. 10