If you've traveled to Istanbul in the past few years since the Istanbul New Airport (known as Istanbul Yeni Havalimani for the locals) at Arnavutkoy was opened to the public in 2019, you probably know how far it is to get to the city center from the airport in the European side of Istanbul. The distance makes it worth staying somewhere close to the airport. So in this post, I'm going to share my experience when I stayed at one of the accommodations near Istanbul New Airport: Skylon Airport Hotel!
Anyone who had previously traveled to Istanbul via Attaturk Airport would realize how much they took for granted the practicality and convenience of airport transfer in Istanbul nowadays. But when it comes to facilities and other things, Istanbul New Airport is definitely an upgrade from their old airport.
I booked a room at Skylon Airport Hotel in Istanbul for one night before my Emirates flight back to Dubai last year, because I thought it would make it easier (and cheaper!) to get the airport transfer from the hotel. So, is it worth staying at the accommodation near the new airport in the European side of Istanbul?
Accommodation Near Istanbul New Airport in Turkey
Before booking your accommodation near the airport in Istanbul, you need to know that there are currently two international airports that operate in Istanbul: Istanbul New Airport (IST) and Sabiha Gokcen International Airport (SAW). And this time, we're going to talk about accommodation close to the one in IST, the airport on the European side of Istanbul.
The airport area in Arnavutkoy is still developing, so choosing a hotel near Istanbul New Airport might not be a good idea if you're a traveler looking to explore Istanbul to the fullest. However, booking a hotel or Airbnb close to the new airport in Istanbul might be a good idea if you have a long transit before your next flight.
The good news is that there are so many hotel options around Istanbul New Airport, and Skylon Airport Hotel is probably one of the budget-friendly ones nearby.
Other than Skylon, there are also other hotels like Istanbul Airport Express Hotel or Fly and Stay Airport Hotel if you're looking for affordable accommodation close to the airport in the European side of Istanbul. If you have a bigger budget to splurge, you can also consider Hampton by Hilton or Operla Istanbul Airport.
While staying near the airport before your flight seems like a great idea, here's the catch you need to be aware of if you consider booking your accommodation near Istanbul New Airport: it can cost you more money than staying at a hotel in the city center!
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Even worse when I stayed at Skylon Airport Hotel last year, as the metro line from Istanbul New Airport to Kagithane was practically non-existent. Nowadays, it seems like the infrastructure around the airport is more seamless, making it more convenient to stay around the new airport in Istanbul.
Distance-wise, staying at accommodation nearby the new airport in Istanbul takes less travel time, but it would be tedious if you want to travel to other parts of Istanbul. On top of that, the public buses to the airport are almost always full while the taxi to the airport isn't any cheaper either.
Before deciding whether you want to find a hotel near Istanbul New Airport, it's better to decide what to do during your layover in Istanbul. Would you want to check out some prominent museums in Istanbul? Or a nice place to sleep is all you need? If it's the latter, go ahead and book that stay at the hotel nearby. If not, other areas in Istanbul, like Sultanahmet or Beyoglu, are probably a better option for you!
Review: Skylon Airport Hotel in Istanbul, Turkey
As I made the last-minute trip to Bursa, my plan to head back to Istanbul was quite in a rush and I left Yalova two days before my flight and stayed at Skylon Airport Hotel on my last night in Istanbul. I booked it through Agoda and paid IDR 354,705 (around $24 USD) for a night, and here's my firsthand experience of staying at Skylon Airport Hotel in Istanbul, Turkey!
Skylon Airport Hotel is only around 15 minutes drive from Istanbul New Airport in Arnavutkoy. When I took the bus from Yalova to Istanbul, I bought a ticket to the new airport and took a cab from the terminal. It was quite convenient, but since it was the airport taxi… It was pretty expensive for both rounds.
I paid around 200 TL (around $10) for one trip between the hotel and the airport. Considering if I took the Havaist bus from the city center, I wouldn't pay that much even though the journey would take a little over an hour to the new airport.
There's no metro station nearby, but there's a bus stop not too far from Skylon Airport Hotel where you could commute to the city center. However, the buses passing this bus stop were always full and the commute could be super exhausting as I tried to take the public bus from Arnavutkoy to Taksim, and it took around 2 hours to get there.
So here's my two cents… I personally don't think it's worth getting accommodation near Istanbul New Airport since it doesn't make the trip to the airport cheaper, and it takes a lot of effort to even get to the city center.
In fact, I'm currently planning a trip back to Istanbul with my boyfriend, and I already told him to stay away from the hotel near the airport although we'll fly a couple of times from Istanbul to our other destinations in Turkey.
Check-in & Check-out Process
The check-in process at Skylon Airport Hotel was quite seamless, my only issue was with the staff's hospitality, who didn't feel so welcoming to the guests. It was totally the opposite of what I experienced at Kule Hotel in Bursa or Cihan Palas in Ankara.
I stayed at Skylon Airport Hotel when it was still required for me to take a PCR test before the flight back to Indonesia, so I asked the hotel staff whether they had an in-call PCR test, and they told me that it cost 500 TL. I thought it was so expensive, given the idea I only paid 200 TL when I did it in Izmir for my flight to Serbia. I ended up getting tested in Taksim, and it only cost me 150 TL, so I assume it's the common practice for them to overcharge things for nothing.
Overall, I wasn't quite happy with my experience of staying at Skylon Airport Hotel due to their poor customer service. However, the check-in and check-out process were pretty smooth so I didn't have anything to complain about in that regard.
Deluxe Room at Skylon Airport Hotel in Istanbul, Turkey
The good news is that the room isn't too bad for the nightly rate of $25 USD. In fact, it is quite spacious with a nice small workspace that is quite cozy to use if you need to get on your laptop during your stay at Skylon Airport Hotel. The only downside is probably just the chair, but other than that it was quite great!
It was a double bed, equipped with an electricity socket by the bed which makes it quite convenient if you're planning to just slack off while waiting for your next flight from Istanbul New Airport. The room also has a shelf that could be useful for hanging your clothes or coats. Pretty useful, since I was there during winter.
I don't know if it was faulty design for entire hotels or just the room that I stayed in, but I couldn't understand why the bathroom door was opened to the hall direction instead of the bathroom itself.
Another downside is probably the thin wall as I could hear things from next door, whether the guest next door was taking a shower or even some airplanes passing by. But other than that, I suppose the room was pretty decent for a short stay near Istanbul's new airport.
Amenities for Deluxe Room at Skylon Airport Hotel Istanbul
The good news is that Skylon Airport Hotel provides almost everything you need for a stopover in Istanbul. Inside the bathroom, you can find an attached hairdryer and some toiletries that you can use during your stay or take home.
Another downside is that when I stayed here, the bathroom light was super weak on the day I was supposed to check out. It wasn't really a problem since I could still slightly see things around me, but it was a bit annoying too. Then again, it happened on my last day, so I didn't bother to complain about this, although I told the receptionist (who wasn't friendly at all!) about the issue.
Final Verdict: Staying at Skylon Airport Hotel in Istanbul
I had a good rest when I stayed at Skylon Airport Hotel in Istanbul, Turkey. But I have to say that I'm not 100% satisfied with the service, especially with some unfriendly staff that I met during my stay.
I may be biased, since I was looking into going to the city center when I stayed there, but I think finding accommodation in the city instead of those near the airport is worth the longer journey since you could actually save some money by taking the airport bus. I mean, the taxi from Skylon Airport Hotel to Istanbul New Airport costs even higher than the airport bus ticket!
- It's so close to Istanbul New Airport, as it takes only around 15-20 minutes to drive from the hotel to your departure terminal.
- Skylon Airport Hotel is within walking distance to the nearest bus stop and supermarket. However, keep in mind that the journey will take so long if you're planning to take a bus to the city center of Istanbul.
- All the facilities work well, from the wifi, hairdryer, and heater.
- The unfriendly staff at the receptionist's desk is a total red flag, even worse when they charge double for an in-call PCR test compared to the average price in Istanbul!
- It's located pretty much out of nowhere. Like the only advantage of staying here is only the fact that it's close to the airport, and nothing else!
On a scale of 1 to 10, I would say I'd give this a score of 6 simply because the room was quite decent, with a nice bed and cozy workspace. In fact, compared to some other accommodations that I've ever booked in Istanbul, the room at Skylon Airport Hotel was the best. But in terms of location and services, Ariya Yildiz Apartment in Beyoglu is so much better!
FAQ About Accommodation Near Istanbul Airport
Now that you know my takes on Skylon Airport Hotel, in this section I'm going to list some of the frequently asked questions about accommodation near Istanbul New Airport so you can gain more insights before deciding to book a hotel nearby. Here we go!
Is there any hotel inside Istanbul New Airport?
Yes. So far, Yotel is the only hotel inside Istanbul New Airport. However, the hotel is split into two types: landside and airside. Yotel landside in Istanbul New Airport is suitable if you're waiting for your next flight the next day or looking for accommodation as soon as you land in Istanbul. Meanwhile, the Yotel airside is a perfect place to stay if you already hold a valid boarding pass for your next flight.
Is it worth staying at a hotel near Istanbul New Airport?
Yes, and no. It really depends on what's your plan during your stay in Istanbul. If you're planning to go to some of the must-visit places in Istanbul, then the airport area in Istanbul is not the place to be.
Plus, any hotels that claim strategic locations near Istanbul New Airport usually don't provide any other value. Unless you stay at the hotel inside the airport, it still costs some money to pay for the taxi to get to the hotel and it'll still be quite pricey since it's the airport taxi we're talking about.
A public bus goes to the airport and connects to the area nearby, but the public bus is almost always full so it won't be that convenient, especially if you bring luggage. It only makes sense to choose accommodation in the city center like Sultanahmet, where it's close to the Havaist stop, so you just need to sit back and relax before heading to Istanbul New Airport.
So, have you traveled out and about Istanbul New Airport? Do you have any other hotel recommendations to stay near Istanbul New Airport? Drop a comment 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.
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