Save or splurge? What you should budget for a hotel in Istanbul

Hi Frugalistas!  Istanbul is cheaper than many other cities in Europe.  This is particularly true when it comes to hotels.  When you choose a hotel in Istanbul (or in any other budget destination for that matter) you have a choice – do you book your usual standard of accommodation, and pocket the change, or book to your usual budget and stay somewhere more luxurious than normal?

On my recent trip to Istanbul, and indeed on my previous visit last year, I was faced with that dilemma.  I decided to go with my usual budget.  But rather than choose a standard room in a more luxurious hotel, I decided on booking a superior room in my usual standard of accommodation.  So that meant booking what was described by the hotel as a Queen Suite.  My guide book described the hotel I chose as having views of the Bosphorus or the Galata Tower from some rooms.  For the same price as the bijou (read very small) room I booked in Paris, look what my money bought me in Istanbul (and it included breakfast!):

If you are staying in a budget destination what do you do?  Save or splurge?

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11 Comments on “Save or splurge? What you should budget for a hotel in Istanbul”

  1. Lady Light Travel 02/05/2014 at 7:27 am #

    Oh wow. I would have saved. Based on your photos that would have been the wrong decision. What a beautiful room!

  2. frugalfirstclasstravel 02/05/2014 at 8:25 pm #

    I need to try my theory out in other cities, but based on my experience now with two hotels in different parts of Istanbul, I suspect that a superior room in a cheaper hotel is a much better deal than a base grade room in a better hotel. This room was fabulous, and I had to keep pinching myself every time I walked in!

  3. Kimberly James 03/05/2014 at 5:39 am #

    Reblogged this on Booksand Wanderlust.

  4. Anne @ Pretraveller 03/05/2014 at 7:08 am #

    Jo, what a fabulous looking room. Great decision to book a higher level room in a cheaper hotel!

  5. pmaghamfar 04/05/2014 at 2:22 pm #

    Beautiful hotel room – we travel with hotel points and often score great upgrades. Thanks for stopping by One Road at a time.

    • frugalfirstclasstravel 04/05/2014 at 5:46 pm #

      Hotel and airline points are another great way to score fabulous rooms at a bargain price. Personally though I would save them for more expensive destinations.

  6. thebritishberliner 05/05/2014 at 5:52 pm #

    What a lovely room. Saving or splurging? Depends on the country. In a country like India, with experience now, I would pay more. In India, I did what you did by getting a delux suite in a “budget hotel.” Disaster! They claimed that they had no knowledge of my booking and asked me to go to another hotel although they had sent a driver to pick me up at 02:00!
    In Vietnam, I managed to get HighTea with all the works at the Sofitel in Dalat for €5.00 or $7.00!

    • frugalfirstclasstravel 05/05/2014 at 8:31 pm #

      This certainly wasn’t a budget hotel, but nor was it a luxury hotel either. I always like to book a middle ground hotel – but because Istanbul hotels are cheaper I took advantage

  7. one foot in Europe 07/05/2014 at 4:44 pm #

    This looks amazing. My sister and brother came to visit me out here in Istanbul and I booked the cheapest hotel in Sultanahmet for them at 20 TL. It was your usual no frills but needless to say they were horrified at the brown coloured walls and the industrialesque window views. I shall never be responsible for booking their accommodation again!

    • frugalfirstclasstravel 08/05/2014 at 6:22 am #

      Wow, TL20, that is budget! That’s the thing isn’t it? Budget means different things to everyone.

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