Sleep like a Sultan at Tasodalar Hotel in Edirne, Turkey
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(Edirne, Turkey) – I came to Edirne in Thrace, the European part of Turkey, as a guest of the Thrace Tourism Board. The occasion was a trip to follow along with the wine route of Thrace and Edirne, close to the border with Greece and Bulgaria, was the starting point.
I spent the night in a fairytale hotel, the Tasodalar right next door to the famous 16th century Selimiye Mosque.
How to get there
Edirne does not have an airport. The nearest international airport is in Istanbul. The distance is approx. 250km or 3.5 hours by car along the O-3 motorway, depending on traffic. You can hire a car at the airport, take a taxi (approx. €130) or, if you have time, make your way to the central bus terminal and go by coach. Turkey has many bus companies as it’s the preferred means of long-distance transport in the country and the coaches are first class and very modern. The biggest bus companies are METRO and Kamilkoc. If you take a taxi, agree with the price first.
Tasodalar Hotel (hotel info) is a unique combination of history and luxury. The rose pink stone and wooden, 2 story building, once formed part of the first Ottoman Palace built in 1362. After a new palace was constructed the mansion became home to Beys and Pashas. According to records, Sultan Mehmet II, the conqueror of Istanbul, was born on 29th March 1432 in this very mansion.
If you get lucky and suite 208, the Hurrem Sultan Suite is available, you can sleep in his birth chamber. The Tasodalar hotel (customer reviews) underwent extensive renovations in 2016 making it the luxury hotel it is today.
It has only 9 suites over two stories, each of them vast and furnished with antiques. Wooden floors and a 4 poster bed big enough the accommodate even more than two people, as well as two spare beds, provide room for a family if need be.
The bed curtains are silk gauze woven through with gold thread, an antique desk with free wifi connection to work on, gilded mirrors, paintings, silk rugs on the floor and silk upholstered chairs and armchairs make the room feel more like a private home than a hotel.
The bathroom with tub and rain shower is of vast proportions with hand painted tiles, a rain shower and a basket with fabulous Turkish cosmetic goodies continue the feeling of being pampered throughout.
Check in and check out is quick and easy. The multilingual receptionist sits behind a hand carved, antique desk and will help you with anything.
There is no lift but plenty valets and bell boys will carry your luggage upstairs if your room is on the second floor. An added bonus is the manager who happens to be a historian and is happy to explain the long and fascinating history of Edirne, her two fabulous mosques, the ancient medical school and complex of Selimiye Madrase and even the national sport: oil wrestling.
Breakfast is served downstairs in a glassed-in Veranda with views of the Mosque to one side and a well-tended tea garden on the other. In good weather, you can have breakfast outside at wooden tables and benches.
Turkish breakfast is legendary and the one at Tasodalar hotel (check rates and availability) is no exception. The buffet offers hot and cold dishes, a tea and coffee urn and cooks will prepare egg dishes to your specification. Just remember: Turkey is a Muslim country, so no ham or pork, but if you are adventurous, try grilled camel sausage.
Next door is a traditional hammam, free to use for hotel guests. It opens at 7am so you can start your day with a good scrub and massage.
Behind the hotel towers is the Selimiye mosque which invites to a visit any time of the day. Avoid prayer time though and take off your shoes and women cover their heads. Men wear long trousers, shorts are a no, no.
Next to the mosque is a vast cemetery with many interesting headstones.
The center of Edirne is only a few hundred meters away and easily reached by foot. You find a bazaar, small local shops and a modern shopping center for all your needs or souvenirs.
If you don’t want to walk or to venture further afield, the hotel will arrange for taxis or private cars with drivers.
All that luxury comes at very reasonable prices. Depending on the season, they start at €54 and go no higher than €100 which includes breakfast.
One of the most comfortable, luxurious and at the same time warm and welcoming hotels I have ever stayed in.
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Address Tasodalar Otel, Selimiye Camil Arkasi, Tasodalar Sokak 3, Edirne, Turkey.