Before I begin writing further about Liva Suite Hotel in Istanbul, I think I want to put some disclaimer about how difficult it is to deal with Agoda’s customer service if you book accommodation through their platform.
This was something that I experienced myself when I booked Family Room at Liva Suite Hotel in Istanbul. My flight with Emirates changed with the result of arrival later than it was scheduled.
My booking at Liva Suite Hotel in Istanbul was already confirmed, and God knows the effort I got to contact Agoda for this change of schedule. It was pointless to even try settling this through their website and app, but I finally could manage to modify my booking when I called their customer service center on their Indonesian phone number.
It was difficult, but at least I didn’t have to cancel my booking for my short layover in Istanbul.
Liva Hotel Suite in Istanbul
This isn’t my first time to be in Istanbul. I’ve been to the city a couple of times before, and with my previous job as a flight attendant, I didn’t even know how many times I’ve been in the city without leaving the aircraft during my duties years ago.
When I was looking for accommodation in Istanbul, I knew I wanted to stay somewhere around Taksim. That was why I decided to book a room at Liva Suite Hotel. On top of that, the pictures they have on their Agoda’s page looked quite decent.
To my disappointment, the reality was a downer for me. Why? I’ll elaborate in my review below!
Originally, I booked the accommodation for two nights as I was supposed to arrive in Istanbul on December 16th. However, due to the change from Emirates, my arrival date was changed to December 17th.
I already booked through Agoda with no refund option on my end (big mistake!), but at least I managed to modify the booking and informed Agoda through their call center that I wouldn’t use the first night. I couldn’t contact the hotel directly, so everything I did, it was through Agoda customer service.
In total, I paid 25.66 euro (around $30 USD) in total for what’s supposed to be the Family Room at the hotel. Initially, when my flight was changed, I was planning to sell my booking but then since I couldn’t find a buyer for that, I decided to just use the second night for my crash during the short layover in Istanbul.
Boy, was I relieved when I found the hotel and how much disappointment that was for me that I didn’t have to deal with others’ complaints about how much a downer that hotel was!
Location-wise, it is definitely close to Taksim area and it’s within walking distance to a lot of eateries and cafes around the area. While it isn’t so far from the famous Istiklal Street, I still wouldn’t recommend Liva Suite Hotel for a short layover in Istanbul unless you travel super light!
Why? Because unlike how they state the hotel as a 3-star hotel on Agoda, the reality didn’t look that way. If anything, Liva Suite Hotel looks like a love motel at best.
It’s a really small hotel on some tiny street around the Beyoglu area. It certainly doesn’t have a decent parking spot, when I had to get off from the taxi, the driver kinda got nervous because it was located around some ascending street on Beyoglu and there was a line of cars behind us when we had to get off of my bags. It was quite stressful, and I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone.
Even worse when I found out that the hotel doesn’t have an elevator. I got super nervous that I would get a room on the higher floor that I had to take all my bags on my own. Thankfully, I got one on the ground floor, even though it was still quite disappointing in a way.
Family Room at Liva Suite Hotel in Istanbul, Turkey
I was fooled by the title “Family Room” and how convenient the room looked like in the picture plus how affordable the night rate was when I booked the accommodation at Liva Suite Hotel in Istanbul.
By the time I entered the hotel, I knew something wasn’t right. From their entrance that looked super small compared to all the room pictures on their Agoda page, to their customer service!
The receptionist didn’t even hang up the phone when he checked me in. And based on my basic Turkish skill, I knew it wasn’t a work-related call, but rather a call he made with his gf or something! Definitely 0 out of 100 for customer service, that’s how much disappointing the accommodation was!
The room was absolutely smaller than those I saw on the pictures of the property through Agoda. I don’t even know whether such rooms exist at Liva Hotel Suite at this point.
I really thought that I could at least expect a small pantry in my supposed-to-be “Family Room”, but nope! The room wasn’t even that spacious that I was a bit struggling to pack my bag because it was so small. 🙁
Even worse, because the light was off when I checked in. I literally had to wait for the guy at the receptionist to change the lightbulb after he finished that ‘important’ call. It kinda sucked, both the room unit and their customer service in general.
I don’t know when was the last time the room was cleaned, but it didn’t look clean when the light was on. Definitely a downer for sure that I decided to take the first bus to Izmir the next day!
While the bed wasn’t so clean, at least the bathroom was quite spotless when I checked in.
There was no amenities like toothpaste or toothbrush at the hotel, but they provided some soap bar and small shampoo bottle. I didn’t use it since I’ve got my own toiletries, but if that’s something you’d consider for accommodation, then they got them.
They also had a hairdryer in the bathroom that made the decision to book this hotel wasn’t a miss on my end. Everything in the bathroom function well, from their water heater to the hairdryer.
Other than that, their wifi connection actually works so after all the disappointments about the hotel and the staff’s customer service, at least the other facilities weren’t so bad after all.
Final Verdict: Liva Suite Hotel for a Short Layover in Istanbul
Personally, the hotel was a downer for me even for a short layover.
If you’re planning to spend a short layover in Istanbul and take the flight to your next destination, the hotel isn’t so recommended as it’s quite far from the main airport in the European side of Istanbul, Attaturk International Airport. It’s even much farther to the one on the Asian side, Sabiha Gokcen International Airport.
I spent around 150 TL (around $11 USD) for the taxi to the hotel from Attaturk Airport.
However, if you’re planning to take the bus to your next destination as I did, the location wasn’t that bad. I spent 50 TL (around $3.65) to get to Alibeykoy Otogar by taxi from the hotel. Although be mindful about how hard to get the parking spot around the hotel, and that’s why I decided to take the first bus to Izmir at 6 AM.
- The hotel is quite close to Taksim square, and there are a lot of restaurants and shops around the hotel in Beyoglu area.
- The night rate is cheap.
- Their wifi connection works well.
- The receptionist speaks English.
- I don’t even know whether they have real pictures on their Agoda page, but the room that I stayed in certainly didn’t look like those on their commercial page on the platform.
- Terrible customer service! I mean, how hard was it to hang up the phone for the receptionist to actually serve their guest after a long flight?
- There’s no decent parking spot if you have a lot of baggages, and they don’t have any elevator either so good luck to you if you end up getting a room on the third floor!
- Despite the name “Family Room”, the room that I stayed in didn’t seem to be suitable for a family. It was even cramped for me only, I couldn’t imagine bringing my family here!
Based on my experience, given the idea that I brought a big bag worth of 3-month stay overseas and some souvenirs for my friends, I wouldn’t recommend Liva Suite Hotel for your short layover in Istanbul.
However, if you’re a light traveler and budget is your concern, Liva Hotel Suite could be your choice next time you stop by Istanbul.
Got any experience with a short layover in Istanbul? Or do you maybe have a different experience staying at Liva Suite Hotel in Istanbul? Share in the comment below, and cheerio! 😉
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