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Travel Blogs from Istanbul
I left my house in Irvine, California at 3:30 PM on Thursday, October 9. I landed in Istanbul, Turkey at 12:30 AM on Saturday, October 11. I'll let you do the math.
Thanks to my thorough (ok, compulsive)review of the seating chart for my flight I lucked out with an aisle seat with three free seats separating me and the guy in the other …
Remember when I went to Istanbul? Yeah, me neither! Good thing I took all these pictures. Let's see what comes back to me...
I worked all day Sunday. Interviews all morning and the MBA fair in the afternoon. I met a new school rep from the University of Buffalo while I was doing interviews in the lobby of the Hilton. We both had an hour break …
Day 387 -Monday 19th March - Cairo to Istanbul Well we are glad to say that we survived the Cairo Air flight and arrived in Istanbul. It was so nice to be greeted at the airport and chauffeur driven to the Hilton. We were so shocked to see that Istanbul was a major cosmopolitan city and so different to Cairo, given that it is only a 2 hour flight …
purpose: fun, HIGHLY recommend
stayed--hilton. fabulous hotel near taksim square (less than 10 min walking). clean, spacious rooms, friendly staff and beautiful views of the bosphorus. got lucky with hilton's any weekend, any time promo E85 inc breakfast. One of the best lebanese restaurants in istanbul is located on 9th floor--Al Bushra-- …
I will upload the content of this post later, but for now, here are some pictures from this last visit.
Some highlights: the fashion district, nisatasi (pronounced nishantasi), suada island owned by galatasaray FC, cay (chai), istiklal and riddim nightclub...
For tourism information, check http://blog.travelpod.com/travel-blog-e …
How has this hotel rated in the past?
Historical Traveler Reviews Hilton Istanbul
Beware lost reservations, rude staff, expensive extra fees
The hotel facilities are nice, and the location near Taksim square is great for shopping, eating, and taking a cab or bus to popular sights in Istanbul. However, I would never recommend staying here after the 5-night experience I had in June 2006.
I called Hilton 2 days before arriving to verify my reservation of a non-smoking room. I was assured everything was fine with my reservation, and late checkin would not be a problem because I had prepaid the first night by credit card. When I arrived at 1AM, the lobby was full of 5-6 other guests who were being rudely talked down to by the manager. We were told there were no rooms available due to various excuses, such as existing guests extending their reservations, water pipes bursting, etc. Since it was 1AM and I had no choice, I agreed to take a room at the Park Hilton down the road. Upon reaching my room, the desk manager phoned and told me breakfast and the night's stay would be covered by Hilton.
Checking in at Istanbul Hilton the next day, I was told no non-smoking rooms were available. Desk agent said "we will have the room made up as a non-smoking room and none of our rooms smell". This is a complete lie. I called the manager again, and was told I could move the next day to a non-smoking room if desired. But I did not want to move yet again. I was also told that beyond the first night's free stay and breakfast, there was nothing more that could be done to compensate me.
The extra fees are ridiculous. Phone calls to USA/Canada are US $15/min. Using a calling card incurrs a $3 connection fee. Breakfast is $38. Internet usage in their business center is $20/hr.Perhaps this is the norm in Istanbul, but I was not expecting all these extra fees in a 5 star hotel. Also,beware that the $180+tax rooms do not face the Bosphorus but only the rear of the hotel.
Checkout was the last straw. There was a 10-15 min lineup. The same manager who shipped us to the other hotel, and who I called during the week to verify my room charges, had no recollection of offering a free night's stay. I argued with him for 15 min, but finally gave up due to his rudeness and my being late for the airport. I paid for all 5 nights since I get reimbursed for conference expenses. But I would not spend a single cent of my own money at this hotel.
Clean and spacious rooms
I got a room with balcony facing the Bosphorus. The room is clean, and spacious. Stayed here for five days. It has a large variety of food for its breakfast buffet.
Toilet is clean too. No stains on the edges of the bathtub, toilet bowl or sink. There is one aspect they can improve though. The hotel should provide each room with an electric kettle so that guests can make their own beverages at their own convenience.
The good and the bad
I stayed at this hotel for 2 nights and though i enjoyed it i could say that much could be improved.The view is lovely but the staff, though kind, had a very low level of spoken english and even the waiters could not understand what i asked of them,often doing the very opposite of what i required and by the time they understood i wanted a toothpick i had gotten up and got it myself!! It also is a little old in style( it's the first Hilton outside the US).The breakfast is unbelievingly expensive and by the time i knew what it had cost the taste of my fresh apple juice went sour in my mouth. It is so much more expensive than other 6 star hotels in Dubai where i live and that have a much larger variety of food.
Was I in Tokyo!?!?!?
Well, of course, it's the Hilton, but the wireless connection was impossible to get when I needed it ("Our IT manager isn't here yet" (9:00 AM) and by the time I could connect, the information I needed was too late to be of use.)
The health club is lovely,despite the rather tepid turkish hammam, and if you're a guy, the hours are fine (3:00-10:00 PM) but for the tired female executive the facilities are only availablee during the day.
And the prices!!!! $12 for a cup of coffee in the lobby while I waited for over an hour for my room to be ready for check in. $25 for a day's worth of rather unreliable internet connection. $35 for the breakfast buffet--the only game within walking distance, though lavish and enough food to last you for most of the day. I have NEVER seen these kinds of prices except in Tokyo!
The Staff here have lots of energy to look after you. The building is starting to look outdated. It is in a complex surrounded by gardens and people have to pass security before they can get in. It feels safe, but there's an uneasiness about why there is so much security. A good location within walking distance from Taksim Square.
We stayed here for 4 nights on our first trip to Istanbul a few weeks ago and cannot say enough about how great it was.
Our room with a balcony overlooking the Bosphorus was wonderful. The staff was always eager to help, and the amenities, especially the authentic turkish bath, were amazing. An excellent buffet breakfast was also included in our rate. My only complaint was that the prices for drinks were exhorbitant, but we simply walked 5 minutes to the local Store 24 and purchased our own wine and spirits! Ice from room service is free!
The location is not close to the sights, but it's a quick walk into Taksim Square to the trolley, or a taxi from the hotel will get you anywhere. Keep in mind thgat Istanbul has some of the worst traffic I've ever seen, so try not to get a cab during rush hours. It's nightmarish.
We have just resturned from a stay of several days at the Hilton in Istanbul. This is a great hotel. The service is first rate. The food in the restaurants is impeccable. The staff could not do enough to ensure we had a perfect stay. At the rate we had, which we booked on short notice, it is a wonderful value
Everything but the room is overpriced!
We stayed in this hotel for 4 nights and were very pleased with the overall quality of the hotel. My main complaint is that the restaurants and bars in the hotel are incredibly expensive. I consider $14 for a glass of Turkish beer to be a bit over the top, as is $15 for a cappuccino. The prices were higher than New York! Also, I would not necessarily recommend the neighborhood. It is very corporate and you are in walking distance to virtually nothing. You must take a cab to go anywhere. If I am lucky enough to return to Istanbul I will definitely look to stay elsewhere.
Also, although the staff were most accommodating, we found the concierge desk (we talked to more than one concierge) to be lacking in both ideas and enthusiasm. I would hope for more at a 5-star hotel.
We stayed in this hotel several times that`s why when I stayed other Hiltons in England I got so dissapointed afterwards because they can never reach Istanbul Hilton`s quality and service. Therefore you do not compare this Hilton with any other. It is the first 5 star hotel in Istanbul and kept very well. The rooms are spacious and if you have a Bosphorus view room you are very lucky! The staff is very friendly and professional. The food is superb. Especially if you go there in summer you can enjoy the swimming pool and the gardens. It is in the new part of the city and the district where all 5 stars are located. You can reach everywhere easily by taxis. As a last tip do not forget to go to the roof bar at night! While you are sipping your coctail enjoy the magnificent view.
We stayed here in Sept. 2003 ( after our cruise ) and we cannot say enough effusive things about it. Our deluxe room was the size of a suite and we faced the Bosphorus . What a view !! The staff bent over backwards to please us and the comfort and cleanliness of the room was A+ in standard.
The breakfasts we had each morning were the very best I had ever had in my life. ( Freshly squeezed cherry, apricot and peach juices (!!!)
We are very seasoned travellers and stay in great hotels wherever we visit but this hotel surprised and delighted even jaded "us".