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After flying from Seattle to Newark to Frankfurt and finally landing in Istanbul (and paying the hefty fee for a tourist visa at the airport) we were met by a taxi driver dispatched by the Hotel Empress Zoe, our first stop on our tour of Turkey. The airport is distant from Sultanahmet, the old historic center of the city; and we felt it was worth the premium charged by the hotel for this service to know that our driver knew where he was going.

The hotel is a charming older building remodelled to create a variety of pleasant rooms, run by an American expatriate. It is located on a quiet street a short walk from the most popular tourist destinations in Istanbul. The staff was extremely knowledgeable and helpful.

Hotel Empress Zoe Web site