Emre is the most helpful, responsive and friendly Airbnb host I've ever had!
When we took a cab from the airport, I showed them my Airbnb reservation. I didn't know that the cab driver actually called Emre to inform him we were coming. We found out later that this is common practice in Istanbul where drivers call up hotels/ hosts to get exact addresses (yay). When we got to the apartment, Emre was waiting downstairs for us and insisted on taking our bags up. I was super thankful as the apartment is on the 4th floor of a lovely old spiral staircase, and I was beat after 2 sleepless nights. Emre's wife and son were waiting in the apartment and showed us around.
The place itself is gorgeous - you feel the history and the charm, but it's all a modern setup - best of both worlds! Spotlessly clean with a well equipped kitchen, stocked with supplies and comfortable for a full family (we were 5 adults). The 2 bathrooms is a huge plus. We also went up to the roof that had awesome views of the busy city!
The location is fantastic, steps from Taksim square and a 10 min walk to Istikal Ave. Emre gave us directions to these and had suggestions on restaurants, sights etc. Cabs and public transportation are steps away - Emre even gave us 2 cards to use on the metro. There's a convenience store downstairs open 24/7 that sells everything you would need for a short trip. I couldn't stop eating the yummy wafer chocolates they sell ... but I digress.
Now stupid British Airways never sent my checked bag from NYC to London (we stopped in London for a night before flying in). They weren't able to deliver it to our temp address in London either so I asked them to send it to Emre's place. I told Emre of my quandary and he straightaway offered to help, asking me to give the BA guys his number. The second night we were there, the bag arrived. Emre made sure it got to the right address (at 4am!) and had the store below keep it. All I had to do in the am after seeing his texts was go down and get it! I have never seen any host as helpful - Emre, drinks on me when you get here!!
I would gladly recommend his apartment to anyone wishing to have a comfortable yet charming stay in Istanbul.
Istanbul has a lot to offer, but definitely try to spend an evening in the apartment's hall with some wine and kababs. The sounds from the streets, the breeze, the views, being in an almost 150 year old building lit up with candles is an experience in itself.