Trabzon Hotel Tips by maykal
Trabzon Hotels: 115 reviews and 16 photos
On my first two visits to Trabzon, I stayed at the Sancta Maria Katolik Kilisesi (Santa Maria Catholic church) which ran a hostel for travellers, whether Christian (in the case of my friend) or not (in my case!). Now it had everything that a good hostel should offer...clean bathrooms, hot showers, basic shared rooms, laundry, kitchen, backgammon boards, and a good place to sit...and the Romanian hosts were more than welcoming, but on my third visit to Trabzon, I just could not face staying there again! Firstly, the 10pm curfew was annoying...I had got used to sitting in teahouses reading and writing until closing time, and usually hadn't finished eating by 10pm, so for me, it was a bit of a restriction. Coming back a couple of minutes after the curfew meant ringing the bell, and having to suffer disapproving glances from the staff. Secondly, it might sound rude, but other travellers can be the most boring people to talk to! This place seemed to attract the hardened Wiwi ('When I was in...'), and once they start, there is no stopping them endlessly listing places they have been (it is even more annoying when they pronounce them incorrectly!). On a couple of occasions after curfew, the general conversations were so boring that the curfew felt as if it restricted your freedom...I mean, outside the church compound was a lively city waiting to be explored, and here was I, sitting with a group of the worst kind of Wiwis, covered head to toe in beads from Kathmandu, Delhi and Bangkok, listening to them bragging about where they managed to rip off the most locals and complaining about Turkey in every possible way.
Unique Qualities: I also felt a bit uncomfortable with the fact that it was run by Christians, as i am not in the least bit religious....granted, they didn't force religion down your neck (in fact it was the complete opposite, as some of the guests were Jewish or Muslim), but it just had that atmosphere of being like a convent...I can't put my finger on it, but I felt as if I shouldn't have been there, I don't know why! Undoubtedly, the hostel offered a clean and natasha-free place to stay, and was as cheap or as expensive as you chose to make it (payment was by donations to the church, although some wrongly saw this as a free bed for the night), but returning on my own to Trabzon, I opted to socialise with Turks and have some privacy at the afore-mentioned Hotel Nur.
No set charge, you donate what you think is reasonable...however they are thinking of bringing in a set charge, as many travellers see this as a fre bed for the night (or in the case of one Japanese man, a free month...or so the story goes!).
Comparison: least expensive
Directions: Between Ataturk Alani and the seafront...most people working in the square seem to know where it is, so finding it is not a problem.
Price: less than US$20
Ataturk Alani from Hotel Nur
Hotel Nur lured me in, not because it had lots of prostitutes (it did not...a strictly 'madame yok' establishment!!), but because it offered me the privacy of a single room with private bathroom, hot shower, great view over Ataturk Alani (Meydan) and breakfast, all for 15 Million Lira a night.
It wasn't the cheapest place in town...undoubtably there are some very cheap hotels down by the port area, but these are the domains of the Natashas (Russian prostitutes), and not really recommended for women travellers, or those who want uninterrupted sleep! The Hotel Nur did not allow prostitutes to operate there, and for a city centre hotel, it was extremely cheap.
Unique Qualities: The rooms were clean, had a TV and a fridge, a private bathroom with constant hot water, and breakfast is included in the price. Oh, and don't bother bringing an alarm clock...even the heaviest sleeper could not fail to wake up with the dawn call to prayer...you can almost touch the loudspeakers on the minaret next door! (see main picture!)
### June 2005 Update...the Hotel Nur has gone upmarket in price while not changing the rooms at all. The same room (with same furniture, same motheaten carpet, same dysfunctional TV) now costs 35 YTL, which is a considerable increase on the 15 it used to cost. When I stayed, it was full of tour groups, and I think people must be willing to pay over the odds for a budget hotel with a no natasha policy, unusual in Trabzon. For real budget beds without whores knocking on your door, head over the road to the Hotel Benli.
Comparison: about average
Directions: It is just off Ataturk Alani (Ataturk Square, also known as Meydan) the heart of modern Trabzon...
View from my bedroom
Just opposite the Hotel Nur, the Hotel Benli is still open for business despite the feeling that things haven't changed much for decades as you walk into reception. An old man shuffles over to see what you want, and gets a young boy to show you a room. There is no lift, so climbing up to the sixth floor, I got to see lots of dusty antiques on every landing. a very unusual place, but good enough if all you need is a bed.
A single cost me 15 YTL
Unique Qualities: My shower was an unusual one. It was en-suite, so much so that there was nothing separating it form the rest of the room! No wall, no door, no curtain....just water gushing straight into the corner of my bedroom. The first attempt at steering the shower head away from my bags ended up soaking the bed sheets, then the head flew off the wall and sprayed the windows. If anyone was watching from the building opposite, I'm sure they had a good laugh watching me charge round the room naked trying to save things from getting drenched...the thought of turning the tap off didn't occur to me for ages :@P
Address: Just off Ataturk Alani
Comparison: less expensive than average
Directions: Opposite Hotel Nur, an attractive mosque, and the tourist office.
Price: less than US$20
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