Next up in the Turkey travel series is a review of all the services we used during our trip. We spent ten days between Istanbul and Cappadocia. I already wrote about our time in these cities in the linked posts. I also wrote a cost and trip breakdown that you can find here.
This follow-up article is a review of all the places we stayed and the services we used. The first review is of our flight to Turkey. We flew a redeye flight with Turkish Airlines. Here’s my review of their service.
Turkish Airlines Review
This was my second time flying with Turkish Airlines and it was just as good as the first. Our economy class seats were comfortable with enough legroom and the inflight services were excellent as well. Our flight from Nevsehir to Istanbul experienced a slight delay and I thought that the Nevsehir airport could do with a little more organization. Nevertheless, this airline gets a five-star rating from me for this trip.
Turkish Airlines flies directly to Istanbul from Lagos and Nairobi. The flight takes about 6 hours from both cities.
Osmanli Cappadocia Hotel Review
Choosing a hotel in Cappadocia was tough. There are many options to choose from and the margins are close. What it eventually came down to were price, location and aesthetics. So, for our first 2 nights, I chose to book us at the Osmanli Cappadocia Hotel.
What we loved
- Price – this was one of the most affordable places in Goreme, offering a terrace with beautiful views of the balloons. I loved that the terrace was not crowded at daybreak when the balloons took flight. All the guests who came out to watch the show were kind and courteous; this experience was one of my favourites during our trip.
- Breakfast & Baklava – The buffet was good; the baklava we had at the hotel was the best we had during our trip.
- Service – The hotel staff were very professional, courteous and always willing to help. The service was generally good.
- Noteworthy – Although there aren’t many rock formations or fairy chimneys around this location, I thought it was good value for money.
Local Cave House Review
The second hotel we stayed at was the Local Cave House, also in Goreme. It is one of the few hotels in the area with a pool and is quite popular on Instagram. It is also a hotel carved out of a cave. This happens to be one of the unique highlights of visiting Cappadocia.
What we loved
- Price – due to its popularity, I expected this hotel to be more pricey than it was but was pleasantly surprised to see that it was affordable.
- Beautiful property – looks exactly like the images online.
- Breakfast – Good breakfast buffet and dining area
- Location – The hotel is situated right within the heart of Goreme, close to other attractions and restaurants.
- Service – Exceptional service. The owners were very attentive to details. They were also kind enough to decorate our room when I requested it.
- Noteworthy: This hotel does not have a decorated terrace area to watch the balloons fly like many in Goreme. Also, the balloons rarely fly over it. So, if you are looking for that experience, you may have to book elsewhere. I do recommend at least one night’s stay here.
Mithra Cave Hotel Review
Our third and final stay in Goreme was at Mithra Cave Hotel. This hotel checked every box for where to stay in Cappadocia. It is located in Goreme, close to the city centre and attractions. It also has two public terraces to watch the balloons fly and it is a cave hotel as well.
What we loved
- Location – The hotel is situated right within the heart of Goreme, close to other attractions and restaurants. There are fairy chimneys all around it too.
- Breakfast – Good breakfast, although the dining area was often filled up at breakfast time and guests had to wait for an empty table
- Service – Good service
- Generally, a beautiful hotel.
- Noteworthy – This is one of the slightly pricey hotels in Goreme. It is still more affordable than the “big names” like the Sultan and Koza Cave Hotels in the area.
PS: Several cave hotels in Goreme are not soundproof, so you may likely hear outside noises when in your room. This wasn’t a big issue for me because we spent most of our time outdoors.
In addition, we travelled during the shoulder season and got good deals on hotels and activities. If you travel during the peak season and once travel has returned to pre-covid times, you may need to book your accommodation far out in advance as the good ones tend to get sold out pretty quickly.
The hotels we stayed at were in the mid-budget range for Goreme. You will find hotels for a few dollars less and several dollars more all over the town.
Dauria Galata Flats Review
In Istanbul, we spent our time between two neighbourhoods – Karakoy and Sultanahmet. In Karakoy, we stayed in an apartment in the Dauria Galata Flats. I choose this place because of its proximity to the Galata Tower and all the interesting places in the area, like Istiklal Street and Taksim.
An additional bonus was that this apartment had a washing machine which came in handy at the tail end of our vacation. It was also very budget-friendly.
What we loved
- Price – Very budget-friendly accommodation in a central part of Karakoy
- Size -The one-bedroom apartment was quite large, clean and well equipped.
- Location – This place was a walking distance (about 5 mins) to the Galata Tower, Kamondo Stairs, Taksim Square, Istiklal Street, restaurants and several other spots.
- Our apartment had a strange (bad) smell upon entry.
Henna Istanbul Review
In Sultanahmet, I was hoping to stay at a hotel that had a view of the Hagia Sophia and was close to the mosques. So, when I found Henna Istanbul via Instagram, I was delighted. We spent our last 2 nights in Turkey here and I enjoyed our stay.
What we loved
- Hotel Terrace – Gorgeous terrace with a view of the Hagia Sophia and the Marmara Sea
- Breakfast – Good daily Turkish breakfast
- Location – The hotel is located in Sultanahmet, 5 minutes walk from Sultanahmet Square, which houses the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia
- Service: The staff was great; helped organize our covid tests seamlessly as well.
- NoteWorthy – Double rooms are not very large.
Voyager Balloons Review
I found Voyager Balloons through Naija Nomads and immediately booked them for our flight. At the point of our booking, we were given an upgrade to an Ultra Comfort Flight, i.e. 2 people in a basket and a 75-minute flight. Though we eventually lost this upgrade (because of numerous flight cancellations), our actual flight was splendid.
What we loved
- Price – reduced flight prices due to shoulder season travel and tourism recovery due to the pandemic.
- Space – with only 3 people in our compartment, we had enough space to move around and really enjoy the flight
- Great flight experience.
- Service – Good service. Rescheduling of flights after cancellations was handled well. They also agreed to a discount when there was a mix up with our pickup from the hotel.
Also, do let me know if you found this review post useful and I hope you enjoy your trip to Turkey!