Casual Comfort at i’zaz lofts in Istanbul

Staying at i’zaz lofts is likely the closest most visitors will ever come to feeling like they have a home in Istanbul — at least, without foregoing the conveniences of a hotel. That’s the best part of a stay here: the lofts provide the comforts of a home or apartment while the owners ensure guests never go without those extra amenities that make a hotel stay stress-free.

The second floor loft features a lovely daybed sitting area.

The second floor loft features a lovely daybed sitting area.

Each of the lofts have queen beds, flat-screen tvs with dvd players, hardwood floors, iPod players, coffee and tea makers, mini-fridges, laptop-sized safes, and ensuite bathrooms with rainshowers, hairdryers, toiletries and bathrobes. My room on the second floor also has a spacious wardrobe, a large ottoman in front of the bed, and a lovely cushioned window seat.

The bathroom at i'zaz

The bathroom at i’zaz

Opened in 2008, the idea behind the i’zaz lofts is to create a home-away-from-home for guests while still providing around-the-clock service. Sadi, the owner, provides guests with ample information prior to arrival, along with detailed instructions on how to reach the lofts (in both English and in Turkish for taxi drivers) and will help to arrange transport and tours or make dinner reservations during your stay.  Upon arrival, Sadi offered me a map and armed me with plentiful tips for where to eat, drink, shop and explore in the neighborhood.

While the individual rooms are on the cozy side, there’s plenty of room to stretch out within the loft building. Downstairs, a washer and dryer are available, free of charge, for guests to do their laundry. On the top floor, a spacious rooftop deck is an ideal spot to relax, plan your day, or meet other travelers.

The rooftop deck is a great place for gathering and relaxing, or cooking a meal in the communal kitchen.

The rooftop deck is a great place for gathering and relaxing, or cooking a meal in the communal kitchen.

The deck contains a communal kitchen with everything you’d need to create a meal, along with free filtered water (helpful in a city where it’s not advised to drink the tap water due to its taste).  The deck also offered lovely views of Istanbul and the surrounding neighborhood.

The rooftop deck also offers great views of Istanbul.

The rooftop deck also offers great views of Istanbul.

The neighborhood is ideal for those who want a more “local” experience of Istanbul and prefer to stay farther from the touristy Sultanahment area. Though the main tourist sites are easily accessible in about 15-20 minutes from the hotel, the Beyoğlu area has much more of a neighborhood feel. i’zaz is also ideally located for those who want to experience Istanbul’s nightlife as it’s very close to Nevizade Street, a busy strip of cafes and mehaynes (mezze bars) and only two blocks away from Istiklal Caddesi, Istanbul’s busiest pedestrian avenue and another nightlife hotspot. Despite this, there was minimal outside noise in our room and I felt very safe wandering around the area at night, though for added protection, i’zaz has an alarm system and on-site security guard at night.

Room rates start at 78 to 106 euros, depending on the season.

I was a guest at i’zaz lofts but all opinions are my own.

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