Whenever we have a good stay in a hotel, hostel or apartment in Turkey, we always like to give it a review so others can decide if they would like to stay there, too. In Istanbul, we’ve stayed at the Antique Hostel a couple of times and in Izmir, we wrote about our apartment in Alsancak. Well, now it’s the turn of our accommodation in Eskişehir, the SRF Hotel.
Because we always travel on a budget, semi decent hotels are often out of the question for us but Eskişehir is a bit different. It’s not a destination on Turkey’s backpacker trail so we didn’t come across any hostels when planning somewhere to stay. It’s not a big tourist destination (yet – we suspect Eskişehir is working hard to change this) so we didn’t get much luck when looking for short term apartments, either.
Fortunately, however, the SRF Hotel popped up in our online search. Even more fortunate was the fact that it was centrally located, close to the river, the photos at least made it look like it was going to be one of the posher hotels we’ve stayed in…and at £48 per room, it was one of the cheapest on offer for the nights we wanted. Great!
It’s always a relief when the photos on the website match the scene in real life. After getting off the bus from Fethiye, we eventually rolled up at reception, bog-eyed and completely disorientated at around 7am. The friendly guy on reception explained we couldn’t check in yet (which we knew) but we could sit and rest in the lounge if we wanted. “Go down and get yourself some breakfast or a drink,” he said. “It’s free. Help yourself. Relax.”
As we’d just sat and eaten börek, neither of us took him up on the offer of food, but the comfortable lounge was welcome, especially when we were given the password for the wifi internet. Time to get our bearings on the online maps of Eskişehir and work out some sort of plan of action…right after we’d been to our room and had a wake up shower.
We travel light – one large backpack between us and a couple of day rucksacks for the necessary gadgets, chargers and other daily necessities – but if you’re the type of person who packs enough for all eventualities, the built-in wardrobe and drawers were really spacious. Said wardrobe also contained two pairs of SRF slippers, too. Yes, we might be easily pleased, but this is something we’re not used to in our line of ‘just book the room if the bed looks clean’ type of accommodation hunting.
So you can imagine the silly grins on our faces when we went to inspect the bathroom and realised we had a jacuzzi bath, too. Wow. Huge bed, complimentary slippers and a jacuzzi. Not that we used the jacuzzi, but it was still good knowing we had one should we want to use it. This was like a grown-ups hotel room for us, one of those rooms where other people stay…except we were staying in it. And, if you’re British, you’re going to love this bit: tea and coffee making facilities. Oh how we Brits love a hotel brew before we go down to breakfast!
And what of breakfast? The dining room is a really pleasant basement room. The TV volume was kept low, just enough for background noise, and the Turkish breakfast was a self-service buffet served from 7am to 11am. Quite a generous window, we thought. We were first down on all three mornings, just after 7, so we could make the most of exploration time.
And it was easy to fuel ourselves for the morning with this breakfast! Cereal for those that wanted it. Six different cheeses (some marinated in chilli-infused olive oil), salami, boiled eggs, tomatoes, cucumber, shredded carrot, green peppers, lettuce, black olives, green olives, kaymak (thick clotted cream), honey, three flavours of jam, simit and two other types of bread – and a toaster for the bread. Çay and coffee were available, as were tea bags of various flavours and a fridge containing mineral water, fizzy drinks and fruit juices.
It was a breakfast to enjoy at leisure before hitting the streets to see what Eskişehir (the Turkiç World Capital of Culture 2013) had to offer. It was also the breakfast we hadn’t long since eaten when we took delivery of our first ever, rather large portion of an Eskişehir favourite; çibörek!
SRF Hotel, Eskişehir – Useful Info
- The SRF Hotel is in the centre of Eskişehir on Reşadiye Esnafı Sokak in İstiklal Mahallesi.
- We paid £48 per night for the room but this price varies, higher and lower, depending on exchange rate, the time of year you stay and the type of room you book.
- The SRF Hotel is about 5 minutes walk to the bars and cafes along the river and 10 minutes walk to the train station.
- We also walked to the parks and to the Ottoman houses of Odunpazarı. Odunpazarı took around 30 minutes to walk to but taxis and public transport are plentiful if you don’t fancy the trek.