Car Hire Istanbul

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Over the past 5 years we have rented quite a few cars from Istanbul Ataturk Airport. If car hire could be made to be complicated and difficult then you could hold Istanbul up as the model example for having achieved this goal.

We hire between 3-4 cars a year through Istanbul Airport. The results have been a mixed and varied assortment of disappointing experiences. The professionalism and reliability of local firms leaves something to be desired. After 5 long years of hoping to find a better experience we have come to the conclusion that you are better off sticking with the big brand names rather than trying to find cheap car hire online.

Most of the online car rental sites are just brokers. They pass their bookings onto the likes of local firms like Circular Car Hire and Essence so in actual fact you think you are dealing with a branded company but you are  actually dealing with a booking agent and the hit and miss service that often comes with a local provider.

We have used Economy Car Hire, Economy Rentals, Cizgi Car Hire and a host of Online Bookings through Travel Up, Expedia and Car Trawler which inevitably almost always put you at the mercy of a local small operator.

There are many pitfalls to booking online. The Online sites claim to provide full insurance but the first thing that the car rental company does is to try and sell you additional insurance to cover the windscreen, tyres and undercarriage of the vehicle. They then add the HGS or OGS Highway Toll at anywhere from 10 to 30 Euros and leave you with a car with no fuel in it.

Local agents are only interested in taking your cash. There is no going through the controls of the vehicle and explaining how things work. You should also check your car very carefully for damages as anything not listed on the original hire documents paperwork could result in you having to pay damages when you return the vehicle.

Perhaps the most frustrating element of hiring a car in Istanbul is that you are promised to be met by a company rep of the car company your car hire has been placed with. They are hardly ever present waiting for you. Ultimately it is up to you to contact them from the number you were given with your booking form. Not a great start when you arrive tired off a flight and then have to make contact yourself to actually acquire your vehicle. To top it all they will expect you to pay for the car park charges for the vehicle having been brought to you.

We have heard every excuse there is to hear about why we have not been met. We have been fobbed off with sub standard vehicles and cars that varied considerably from what our booking specified.

Chasing a cheap rental price will ultimately end in tears and frustration. It really isn’t worth it. Our very last trip via online booking was through Travel Up via Car Trawler but with a local operator. The price was good. We were promised a Fiesta or similar vehicle with full insurance and the confirmation that we would be met at the airport. What followed was comical.

The car company Rental Provider was Essence. The meet and greet did not take place. We phoned the company. They struggled to find our booking and then promised to deliver the car asap. Half an hour later they turned up with a battered Fiat Punto with a cracked windscreen.

We started to go through the paperwork. The rep could not process our credit card for the deposit or the rental fee. He would not take cash and the deal was terminated there and then. Such unprofessional behavior is the norm here in Istanbul.

I went back into the main terminal and approached Rent Go who have an agency in the main hall. They promptly produced a new Ford Fiesta for £19 a day with full insurance. Really! Was it worth all the stress to get a car 25% cheaper online. Nope. Not at all. The stupidity of the whole situation is that I used the same card that the other rental company had declined and it worked fine with Rent Go.

Seriously. Do yourself a favour and go with a decent Car Rental Company. Life really is too short.





Troas Beach Hotel

The Troas Beach Hotel has to be one of the nicest places to stay along this coastline. We recently bought a house in Tavakli village which needed renovation and since this hotel is right on the beach in Tavakli Iskelesi it was one of the most convenient locations we could have chosen.

The beach is very clean and the crystal clear waters of the Aegean are the first thing you see when you turn up for breakfast in the morning. Above is an actual view of the beach from the restaurant which consists of a well designed terrace on stilts surrounded by a beautiful and well kept hotel garden.

Half board at this hotel is about as good as it gets anywhere. Having stayed at numerous good quality hotels around the world this simple and yet tasteful establishment could give many of them a run for their money.

The photos here were taken at the end of August at a time when most places in Turkey would be pretty scorched and the grass would be brown and dried up. However, the abundance of water in this region, the skills of a good gardener and a clear desire on the part of the hotel to create the perfect environment have all paid off to make any stay here a very pleasant one.

Despite its location right on the beach the hotel still has its own pool which is meticulously maintained and which always looks so clean and inviting. A games / television room adjacent to the pool provides a place to chill out and relax if you need to go indoors.

This hotel has an appeal that will suit families, couples or single occupancy visitors. It is in an enviable location for those on honeymoon, for people who want to explore this beautiful region of Turkey or just a great place to chill out for those escaping the big cities.

The rooms here are modern, light and spacious. The bathrooms are tastefully decorated and the rooms have balconies and air conditioning.

The light and airy atmosphere and simple modern furnishings add to the ambience of the surroundings.

This hotel scores highly in so many ways. The food both at breakfast and in the evenings is buffet style but varied so that over a period of a week you still find it interesting enough to enjoy it as much as the first day you arrived.

However, what really makes this hotel special is the staff. The chambermaids smile, the waiters and assistants run around constantly trying their best to make their customers feel special and the level of service is actually better than what you would receive at many 4 or 5 star hotels.

Would we recommend the Troas Beach Hotel? You bet we would. You will search high and low to find accommodation as good as this and at such a reasonable price for what is on offer.

This is what the Troas Beach Hotel have to say about themselves on their website;

Troas Beach Hotel is located by the sea in Tavakli Iskelesi of Canakkale. We have 37 standard and 3 suit rooms. Once upon a time, the biggest ancient city of Anatolia, Alexandreia Troas is situated 7 km from our hotel. All of the rooms have sea view and designed to meet all your needs .