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THE MARMARA PERA, İSTANBUL

themar1In a great location more or less across the road from the famous Pera Palace Hotel in Tepebaşı, The Marmara Pera is not beautiful architecturally since it's housed in a high-rise block. But what a block it is, though, with a small pool and a bar right on the roof to scoop up the spectacular Golden Horn views. 

Bedrooms obviously vary depending on how much you're prepared to pay. The one I stayed in struck me as being on the small side although my companion had no complaints. Our view was an uninspiring one of the car park beside the TRT building; pay more and you will probably get a better lookout. 

Size aside, I had no complaints though as everything in the room was in good working order, the bed was comfortable and housekeeping was efficient. We wanted to have the window open for air at night and didn't find the street noise too bad, probably because we had opted for a room on an upper floor. 

Our bathroom was also on the small side but did come with a tub and plenty of regularly replenished toiletries. 

A big plus was the splendid buffet breakfast served in the light and airy ground-floor dining room that is broken up by bookcases so that even at busy times it rarely feels crowded. The choice of breakfast items was almost limitless, and the waiters and waitresses were always polite and helpful. themar2

During the day the same area converts into a sitting area that sprawls over into the reception. It's not especially homely but it's great if you want a table to do some work on. 

Back up at the top of the building the Mikla Restaurant (tel: 0212-293 5656) is renowned for fine dining with a great view. 

Staying here is not quite as convenient for sightseeing as Sultanahmet but the Tünel funicular is less than 10 minutes' walk away and will drop you at Karaköy where the tram runs onto the main sites. The eating, shopping and nightlife choices of İstiklal Caddesi are right on your doorstep as, too, is the wonderful Pera Museum. 

Thumbs up: Good location, excellent breakfast, comfortable rooms

Thumbs down: Some rooms smallish and some street noise inevitable if you open the windows. Low on oriental charm in the immediate vicinity

Click here to book now

Tel: 0212-334 03 00, www.themarmarahotels.com, Meşrutiyet Caddesi No. 117

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