Looking for a hotel recommendation in Istanbul

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Am going to have a layover in Istanbul and was wondering if anyone had a hotel recommendation. I am interested in staying in the Sultanhamet area within walking distance of the historic sites. I've stayed at the Ayasofia Mansions (former Ayasofia Pensionlari (has gotten very expensive) and the Hali Hotels), but it was some time ago. Would love to find out about a reasonably priced historic or boutique property with lots of character that might also do airport transfers. Thanks so much!

Last time I was in Istanbul I stayed here: http://www.emzoe.com/

Very central, very comfortable, but you need to be able to climb spiral stairs.

On previous visits I stayed here: http://ayasofyahotel.com/

Not as comfortable or central, but I see it has new management.

We just stayed at the AND hotel in Istanbul while on an OAT trip. It is within easy walking distance of the major sites--easy walk to Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, Roman Cistern. Comfortable Hotel and good breakfast. Wonderful nearby places to have dinner. Have no idea what the price might be.

i have booked 4 nights at the Hotel Sapphire. It is reported to be near all the main sights and is in the area you requested. Also, by booking 3 or more nights, you get a free one way trip from airport to hotel.

I have stayed at the Agora Life Hotel and thought it was a great hotel for a first-time visit to Istanbul. I researched a lot of hotels at all price ranges before my trip in February and wanted to be in the historic district that was more than just one of the many cookie-cutter tourist hotels. For me, it was between the Agora Life and the Empress Zoe. I went with the Agora Life for its slightly better location. It was close to all of the historic sites (5-10 mins) and the Grand Bazaar (10 mins). We walked the area during the day and night and felt safe. The hotel also arranged transfers to and from the airport.

The only downsides are (1) there is no hotel restaurant (but The Fish House just down the block is great and the hotel will recommend other locations), and (2) it is very quiet at night if you are looking for a bustling atmosphere (a quick taxi ride to Taksim Square will satisfy that need). If it is available, the views from the Hagia Sophia suite are worth it.

Have a great visit.