A serious option for visitors with a restricted budget and/or a developed sense of humour. The Londra is an eccentric survivor of the high Victorian grandeur of Pera and a contemporary of its more glamorous near neighbour, the Pera Palace. A showy, ornate façade, replete with a graceful row of caryatids, is matched for attention by the period interior décor of the lobby. The occasionally raucous bar (it’s where Istanbul’s foreign correspondents club holds their monthly meets) has elaborate ceilings mouldings, enlivened by rather glaring colour choices that compete for attention with voluptuous chandeliers and loud wallpaper. The (few) staff, meanwhile, are more likely to be playing solitaire on computer than paying attention to anything in particular. Those are the high points. The rooms, though large, range from the threadbare to the unsympathetically renovated, with basic bathrooms throughout. The whole place is slightly reminiscent of those hotels in India that attempt to maintain the style and etiquette of the days of the Raj on shoestring budgets and only hazy, second-hand recollections of what they were in the first place.