Radisson Blu, Ankara, Turkey ****

The hotel is quite a drive away from the airport, but seems to be pretty centrally located (I say that, because I saw nearly nothing of Ankara when I was there).

Internet access is free in the room.

Green Park Hotel, Istanbul (Asian Side), Turkey **

Istanbul’s “Asian side” features some really neat sights and sounds. For example, there is a huge area in the Bostanci district that consists of rows of garages that work on cars from different manufacturers. I’ve been told that the mechanics are usually much better than at the official garages, so if your car breaks down in Istanbul, consider going here.

Where I would not recommend you go (or rather: stay) is the Green Park Hotel, which happens to be smack in the middle of this car-repair island.

To be fair: the area is relatively low-traffic at night, mainly because no one is working on cars at that time. Unfortunately, this makes the area very popular with stray dogs, which also prefer to “live” where there isn’t so much traffic.

I had a really tough time falling asleep here just from the dog barking. If you’re used to that sound, it probably won’t bother you, but it certainly irritated me. Especially, because one particular dog barked continuously for at least half an hour - I didn’t know this was physically possible (learned something new)!

The room was spacious enough but not particularly attractive. The hotel is apparently one of the first to be erected on the Asian side, and it shows. More annoying is, however, that the folks that work here are just plain unfriendly, something not at all common in Istanbul.

The price was okay at 90€ plus tax (Istanbul is expensive!) including breakfast. The latter was also quite good with a relatively large variety of food.

Our partner in Istanbul booked me at the Green Park due to the fact that the Marriott Asia was fully booked. If necessary, I would probably stay here again (instead of staying on the European side), but only if necessary.


Marriott Asia, Istanbul, Turkey *****

What more do you want: a brand-new hotel, with well-insulated windows (to keep out noise), large and comfortable rooms, a large pool and nice gym? Okay, it is quite pricey, but Istanbul hotels tend to be expensive.

Our partner was able to get a rate of 159€ per night. Mind you, this doesn’t include breakfast or internet access...

If you can afford it (or if you get a really good rate), I highly recommend this hotel!