Affordable Hotel
Near Center of Istanbul
Melissa Miller

Melissa traveled to Istanbul, Turkey this fall. When she returned, she submitted a letter to the "San Francisco Chronicle" about her trip. It was published on Sunday, November 5, 2006 in the "Follow the Reader" section. Below you will find a copy of her letter.

Photograph by Melissa Miller



I recently returned from a 12-day vacation in Istanbul, where I had lived for three years back in the 1960s. I searched the Internet for an affordable, centrally located hotel, and found Hotel Villa Zurich.

The hotel is about a 10-minute walk to Taksim Square, at the center of town in the area called Beyoglu. The neighborhood is alive with restaurants, shops and buzzing with energy 24 hours a day. There are plenty of banks and grocery stores close by.

The hotel is small, only 47 rooms, all recently redecorated in pleasing blues and beige. I had a single room with two beds, mini bar, TV, full bath and coffee bar.

My room was 65 euros a night ($83 US), including taxes and breakfast.

Contact: Hotel Villa Zurich, Akarsu Yokusu 44-46, Cihangir, Istanbul, Turkey. (011) 90 212 293 06 04,

The hotel is right next door to a wonderful cafe, Kahvedan, owned by a San Franciscan who fell in love with the city and bought the cafe. There are seats inside and a patio with seating as well. Turkish, Italian and American food is on the menu and it was all fantastic and very inexpensive. The owner, Shelley Corman, has a DJ come in on the weekends.

Contact: Kahvedan, Akarsu Cad. 50, Cihangir, Istanbul, Turkey. (011) 90 212 292 40 30.
I highly recommend both places for an unforgettable holiday in Turkey.



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