My stay at Sourena's place in Fatih was great from start to finish! Sourena was easy to contact and had great communication before and throughout the stay. I was warmly welcomed into the home and given a quick overview of the area from the beautiful rooftop patio with a view of the bosphorus and Balat.
Sourena and his dad were wonderful hosts, offering lots of information and suggestions. They were always willing to help and even invited me out with friends for dinner one evening.
The room was clean and cared for. The view was beautiful. There is no air conditioning, but a lovely breeze filters through the room if the windows are open and there is a fan to use if it is too hot.
Kitchen and bathroom facilities are shared with the family.
The apartment is a very local area. It is great for those who are interested in exploring off the beaten path areas of Istanbul, but would not be suitable for someone who wants immediate access to transportation, night life or many tourist attractions. You'll rarely see taxis in the area, the bus is a few minutes walk and there are only a couple of important tourist attractions.
The bus is 5 - 10 minutes walk from the house and on the return you have to climb a very steep hill. Great for exercise, but not great for anyone with mobility issues. Buses were super easy to use. 99A takes you to the old Sultanahmet area and 55T takes you to the Taksim area.
Taxis could not find the house easily (or at all), so public transportation was much easier. Or, have the taxi driver call Sourena for directions.
If you stay here, make sure you try the brownies and coffee at the Coffee Department down the hill in Balat. The young local owner is great.
Also, if Sourena offers the opportunity to try his neighbours ancient Turkish Bath (hammam), don't miss out! It was a wonderful local experience with no other tourists, only about a 5 minute walk from the apartment. Men and women are in separate areas. Ladies, take underwear to wear if that makes you more comfortable and an extra pair for after as they will be wet. You may also want to take hair conditioner if you normally use it, but they had everything else that was needed! Get the honey and coffee treatment ... you're skin will feel soft and you'll smell delicious!
Also, make time to climb the old city walls only a couple of streets away. Interesting and great views!
Looking forward to returning one day to explore Fatih and Balat further!
Hope you'll be as happy as I was at this apartment.