Writing a review of Cihan Palas Yeni Hotel, the budget-friendly hotel where I stayed in Ankara, was long overdue as I got super packed after publishing my review on the sleeper train from Istanbul Halkali to Ankara Gar last month.
It was my first time in Ankara, the capital city of Turkey (officially known as Türkiye these days), and I honestly didn't expect much from the city since I imagined Ankara would be a typical capital city almost everywhere in the world: with so many things going on that it comes off as borderline boring.
In this post, I'm going to write specifically about Cihan Palas Yeni Hotel, the hotel where I spent 3 nights in Ankara. It was also the first time I booked accommodation with the “room assigned on arrival” option on Agoda, so I will share my two cents about the booking process, the hotel, and my stay at the property.
So, how was Cihan Palas Yeni Hotel in Ankara?
The Best Area to Stay in Ankara
As it was my first time visiting Ankara, I practically didn't know much about the city or the area where it's recommended to stay since I had never been.
Honestly, I only got to book accommodation just a couple of days before my arrival since I wasn't sure where I should stay. The only reason why I ended up booking Cihan Palas Yeni Hotel in Ankara was that it was quite affordable, and the review on Agoda wasn't too bad. They had around 7.5 stars, making it sound quite decent for a hotel with a night rate of 145 TL (around $8 USD the current rate – but it was higher by the time I made the reservation due to the inflation in Turkey).
In this section, I'm going to cover some of the best areas to stay in Ankara, Turkey. So, where is the best place to stay in Ankara?
Based on the hotel details in Agoda, Cihan Palas Yeni Hotel is located in Altindag area in Ankara. However, it is worth knowing that this area is in the Ulus, the area in Ankara known as the Old Town and close to Ankara Kalesi, the Ankara Castle.
If you're a first-timer in Ankara and you're not sure which area is the best to stay in during your trip to the capital city of Turkey, finding accommodation around Ulus can be a good option with some things to consider, whether you see them as the pros or cons.
As the Old Town area, Ulus gives you a more authentic area to experience local life where you can easily find the best market and haggle with the sellers and whatnot. It's also close to the main train station Ankara Gar, making it more convenient if you travel by train to Ankara.
The downside is that it is also known as the red district area in the capital city. According to Oz, a friend I met through Couchsurfing in Ankara, during summer, you may get a chance to see some prostitutes around the area trying to sell you “services” and whatnot. This, I didn't experience as I stayed there during winter. However, I think it justified my experience of getting stopped by a car (that is not a taxi) a few times when I strolled around the area at night on my own.
I'm not saying Ulus is a bad area to stay in Ankara, but I want you to be more cautious about how one may perceive you if you stay around the area. Especially if you stroll around the area when it's dark outside.
Alternatively, you can also choose accommodation around Kizilay area. It is the hippest area in Ankara, as it's close to the biggest shopping center in town, and you won't run out of activities to do around this area since there are so many cafes, coffee shops, and boutiques around Kizilay.
If you stay in Kizilay, it's also only a walking distance from some popular spots in Ankara, including the famous Kocatepe Mosque, which is also the biggest mosque in Turkey's capital city.
Another area that you can opt to stay in Ankara is Cankaya. It is basically a business district in the capital city, where the government center and the international business hubs in Ankara are located.
If you stay around Cankaya area, the best bet is you'll stay close to the embassy of your country in Turkey, making it easier for you to contact your country's representative in case of emergency.
Other than that, there are still a lot of interesting places to see around this area since it's considered one of the fanciest neighborhoods in Ankara. Stop by Atakule, the observation tower where you can see the bird-eye-view of the capital city. You can enter through the shopping mall Atrium and go up to Atakule to enjoy the city view.
Review: Cihan Palas Yeni Hotel in Ankara, Turkey
Now that you know the best area to stay in Ankara, it's time to start focusing on the accommodation where I stayed for a few days in the capital city: Cihan Palas Yeni Hotel.
I booked a room at Cihan Palas Yeni Hotel just a couple of days before I arrived in Ankara, and there was this option to book a “room assigned on arrival” on Agoda that I was intrigued to see since I never chose that option before. I paid 450 TL (around $25 USD – the current rate) in total, which covered a 3-night stay with breakfast each day. It was quite decent at the time, even when the TL conversion to USD wasn't as bad as it is now.
Basically, by choosing that option, I accepted the fact that I could get any type of room at the hotel where I booked as long as it was available on my arrival. As I didn't pay much for the room reservation, I was quite open with whatever room I got at the hotel.
So, here's my experience!
As I previously mentioned that Cihan Palas Yeni Hotel is located in Ulus, the Old Town of Ankara. When I arrived in Ankara, Google map showed that it was only around 1.5 kilometers from the train station to the hotel.
I hailed a cab, and the driver looked annoyed that it was a short distance. And it was actually pretty close, as it took only around 10 minutes to arrive at the hotel from Ankara Gar. I paid 20 TL for the cab, and here's the thing…
I'm not sure if by now they've finally rebranded themselves as Cihan Palas Yeni Hotel, but when I stayed there in January, the brand they had at the entrance was only “Yeni Hotel.” Which was kinda funny, given the idea that “yeni” in Turkish means new, when it's almost obvious that the hotel is pretty old.
Despite that, Yeni Hotel is quite decent. The building and the furniture may look old, but at least they have some good facilities, including a nice lobby area, an elevator that works, and a top-notch location where almost all the popular spots around Ulus are within walking distance!
There are a lot of places to eat around the hotel, from the typical Turkish food to Burger King, you can just go across the street to grand something to eat there. If you want to commute when you travel around Ankara, there's also a nearby bus station. Although I have to warn you that figuring out how public buses in Ankara is not for the faint of heart. LOL.
I arrived in Ankara at around 9 AM and got to Cihan Palas Yeni Hotel around an hour later. I was prepared to have to wait until the regular check-in time, but at first, the receptionist mistook me for another guest called “Maha.” When I told her my name was Marya, he told me to wait.
After showing him my passport, he checked me in and directed me to a room on the third floor. A lady showed me where the elevator was, and let's just say it wasn't the most modern elevator I've ever seen.
The receptionist mentioned that the second floor was under renovation at the time, and I started wondering whether it was during that time that they were transitioning for the rebrand into what's now known as “Cihan Palas Yeni Hotel.”
I must admit that most of the staff were aging, but they were accommodating. And they speak English very well too, so while they appreciate the fact that I've been learning Turkish, they also gave me instruction in English when I looked confused with their response. 😀
When I picked “room assigned on arrival”, a little part of me wished I could get a room with a higher rate than what I paid. LOL. But I suppose that wasn't how it worked, and instead I got the room exactly as I paid for: the standard room.
Despite that, I wasn't disappointed. The standard room was quite spacious with decent furniture, although the small refrigerator didn't work. But other than that, it got everything that I needed for accommodation.
I got a room with a twin bed, so I could use one to sleep at night and the other when I just wanted to lie down in between strolling around Ulus.
The heater worked quite well, since I arrived during the terrible snowstorm in some areas of Turkey. The good thing was that I arrived in Ankara and escaped the terrible state that happened in Istanbul during that time.
The room also came with a phone on the side of the bed, so I could call the receptionist anytime I needed something. The great thing about Cihan Palas Yeni Hotel was that although the hotel looked quite run-down, the service at the hotel wasn't.
I could request a wake-up call on my departure day back to Yalova, and everything else worked fine. The wifi connection was stronger than I expected, they even got 5G wifi which was incredible given the idea that they weren't exactly a 5-star hotel.
The only downside is that the room isn't 100% clean. Like, they could definitely do better in the cleanliness area. The room also comes with a closet, where they give a pair of complimentary slippers that could come in handy since the floor was a bit dusty.
What surprised me was that even the shower was quite spacious, although just like the room, it could use a little bit of deep cleaning too.
The hot water worked well, and it comes with such a big mirror above the sink with an attached hair dryer. Even the hair dryer worked well, so I really had nothing to complain about the shower apart from the cleanliness.
Well, maybe there's another thing that could work better: the water pressure. While the shower worked well, I think taking a shower there could've been a better experience with harder water pressure. But other than that, everything worked perfectly fine with hot water available.
While they don't provide any extra amenities for the guests in the shower, they have an attached soap dispenser where you can use a 2-in-1 soap and shampoo there too.
Although breakfast is included in the night rate, I only got a chance to have breakfast at Cihan Palas Yeni Hotel in Ankara once. It was a super basic type of breakfast, but it was expected given the fact their night rate was quite budget-friendly too.
The breakfast at Cihan Palas Yeni Hotel in Ankara is pretty much the downgrade version of the breakfast I had at Cavit Duvan Prestige Hotel in Edirne. Super modest, pretty basic, but it was better than nothing.
Final Verdict: Staying at Cihan Palas Yeni Hotel Ankara
I have to say, I got what I paid for when I stayed at Cihan Palas Yeni Hotel. It was a budget-friendly old hotel in a pretty crowded area in Ankara, but it was quite a decent place to stay. A little bit run-down, but you wouldn't really complain about it since you didn't pay much for it anyway.
The only downside about this hotel was that… The receptionist wasn't open 24 hours, and they would close the main door after midnight. When I was in Ankara, I once stayed until after midnight after meeting an Indonesian student who lives in the Turkish capital city. We had fun to go bowling and basically just hang out to talk about a lot of random things, and we forgot about the time.
Well, bad news for me as when I arrived at Cihan Palas Yeni Hotel, apparently the main entrance was locked and I couldn't get in. Which was odd, since I thought the point of a hotel was that I could go in and out anytime I wanted.
Although don't worry about it, since I eventually found that they had a bell that I could ring to ask them to open the main entrance. So, what's the final verdict of staying at Cihan Palas Yeni Hotel in Ankara?!
- Great location, as it's within walking distance from the market and some historical spots in Ankara like Ankara Castle, Attaturk's statue, and various museums like the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations, Museum of the War of the Independence, Republic Museum, or IsBankasi and Ptt Museum.
- Super cheap night rate! I only spent a little over 400 TL for a 3-night stay at Cihan Palas Yeni Hotel.
- The staff was super friendly and accommodating.
- The room was quite spacious with decent facilities as well.
- It's an old hotel with a little bit run-down facilities, but it functions quite well.
- You may want to be more cautious during the peak season as it's also known as a red district of Ankara.
- The receptionist isn't open 24/7, and there's a chance you may get locked outside if you get back to the hotel late. Be sure to notify the available staff if you plan to come back in the wee hours.
Based on my experience, I would say I had to give Cihan Palas Yeni Hotel 7 out of 10 for a recommended place to stay in Ankara. Budget-wise, I think it's a perfect place to stay in Turkey's capital city with a fair night rate where you can also get a private room instead of staying at a hostel that may cost only a little less than the Cihan Palas Yeni Hotel.
However, if I get a chance to visit Ankara again, I'd probably stay in another area that isn't Ulus. While it's close to the train station, it's a bit quiet at night compared to other areas like Kizilay and Cankaya. I personally like Kizilay better at night, especially since it's almost like a lively area in Ankara.
Have you ever been to Ankara? Maybe got a recommended place to stay in the capital city of Turkey other than the Cihan Palas Yeni Hotel? Share your recommendation below, and cheerio! 🙂
Marya The BeauTraveler
I am the founder and main editor at The BeauTraveler. I spent 4 years working in the aviation industry but ironically got to travel more right after quitting the industry in 2015. Born and raised in Indonesia, I started working remotely in 2017, and while I stay at home most of the time, I also regularly spend 2-3 months living a semi-digital nomad life elsewhere every year.
This post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small commission at no cost to you when you make a purchase using my link.