BLUE HOUSE HOTEL
Verity Campbell: (Lonely Planet)
The ugly wedding-cake exterior of Mavi Ev (Blue House) is super twee. We'd be leaving this place out if it weren't for the simply magnificent views. Don't come near this place unless you like modern rooms.
In keeping with the overdone exterior of this old-time Istanbul apartment block, the Mavi Ev inside has been modernized within an inch of its life. It has all the ambience of a chain motel, right down to the piped music in the lifts. Rooms have marginally more personality, with arabesque motif bedspreads and carpets on the floors. Speaking of floors, you could eat off these, and the bathrooms are squeaky-clean too. But the reason we like Mavi Ev is for its simply breathtaking views of the Blue Mosque: the best view you'll find from any Istanbul hotel. Rooms 35, 36, 37 and 46 enjoy these views. The rooftop terrace looks over the Blue Mosque and beyond, to the flotilla of fishing boats moored outside Kumkapi and the Princes' Islands - divine. The rooms here are great value for money in low season, but too expensive otherwise.
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