Staying in one of the top 25 hotels in the world for $81/night

A few weeks ago, TripAdvisor released their annual list of the top 25 hotels in the world. While scrolling through the list (which features some amazing properties!), I was taken aback when I saw #14 — Hotel Amira in Istanbul.

I stayed at the Hotel Amira back in September 2016, and I remember booking the hotel because it looked cute, had great reviews, and was cheap (I paid $81/night before taxes).

When I think of the top 25 hotels in the world, the first thing I think of is “expensive.” But when I think about my stay at the Hotel Amira, including the level of service I received, I think it makes sense that they would be listed in the top 25.

Although I booked on, I was somehow greeted within a day via e-mail by a concierge at the hotel, letting me know that they’d be available to assist in whatever way possible. Because it was my first time to Istanbul, they were nice enough to give me detailed instructions on how to find the property.

From the second I arrived at the hotel, I felt pampered. My room was beautiful and clean, the location was amazing and just off the water, and the rooftop area had incredible views (including of the Hagia Sophia). The gym was small, but well-equipped and never busy.

Sunset from Hotel Amira’s rooftop

Reception was always very pleasant and even set me up with the perfect day tour. Breakfast was so delicious, including fresh honey off a comb.

Looking back, it was one of the nicest hotel stays I’ve ever had, and reading through the review on TripAdvisor, you’ll see that others feel the same way.

It looks like prices have gone up (I’m finding $135/night) since my stay, but that could be for a few reasons. First, being named one of the top hotels in the world certainly can’t hurt. Second, I went to Turkey right after the coup attempt and also shortly after an airport shooting, which may have affected my rate.

That said, even at $135/night, Hotel Amira is a steal and, if TripAdvisor’s top 25 hotel designation isn’t enough, I would recommend it to anyone visiting Istanbul!