Travel Blogs from Istanbul
... that took place that night with just a few 100,000 people. It seemed odd to have the square set up for Ramadan celebration while this parade was going on, but all was peaceful and festivities went on as usual. Our third day we took a boat cruise up the Bosphorus. It really gives you a beautiful view of the city both the European and Asian sides. As you go north, the more expensive the areas get. There are some amazing hotels and private homes along the water. After the cruise we went ...
... an album of Turkish pop songs at full blast, while he made his way through the sea of traffic by making up his own lanes and ignoring the toots. As we got closer to the city, we were bewildered by the endless landscape in front of us. It was like a movie set, where they just repeated the view into the horizon using mirrors or fake sets. Each time we thought the sky met the buildings, we would turn a corner and another layer of mini stacked squares would be there. The sun ...
Gizem has been so kind to us! We had a house to ourselves today, which felt really luxurious. Spent most of the day sleeping in, doing laundry, cleaning up for the next leg of the trip, and researching for Ethiopia!
Walked up the Galata Tower for sun set-- quite beautiful view from the top. We saw all the places we had visited already, and got some good panoramic shots... I will upload these once I get to a place with internet AND ...
... rooms, and gain a glimpse into the life and times of the Ottoman royal family. We imagined, as we walked through exquisitely tiled rooms, secluded courtyards and tree-lined pathways, the sultan, his wives and concubines, guards and court officials to be living their lives around us. It must have been quite a sight!
Some of the things that impressed us were the colourful and varied tile designs, the highly decorated ceilings, ...
... The famous Galata bridge spans the mouth of the Golden Horn connecting Eminonu with the Galata district. Strange as it may seem, a bridge was built for the first time only in the mid-19th century, during the waning years of the Ottoman empire. All previous plans to build a bridge (and there were many) were deemed too ambitious and shelved. The original bridge has since been replaced many times over the years and the fifth and latest version was completed only ...
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Historical Traveler Reviews InterContinental Istanbul
We stayed in the Intercontinental, Istanbul for 5 days to celebrate my birthday. We'd booked a club room with a sea-view (which are on floors 16 to 18), but were upgraded to a much larger suite on arrival. Unfortunately this was on the 8th floor so we could only see a small section of sea! The club lounge were we had breakfast, tea, and evening cocktails was open from 7 am to 11 pm and on the 16th floor with amazing views, so we didn't mind too much.
Splendid as always
This hotel never fails to deliver and I would live there permanently if I was a bit waelthier.
Handsome staff and more handsome men down at Taksim.
It is a moderen, world class hotel, in the centre of one of the world oldest surviving cities.
Go there and enjoy it all from the Intercontinental.
They upgrade you to the club floor by merely asking and those rooms are NICE
We decided to splurge and booked a 5 day stay at the Ceylan Intercon. It was worth it. As a plus, when we checked in they upgraded us to a corner suite on the fifth floor overlooking the Bosphorus. The reservation we made had specified a Bosphorus view and breakfast included (with a corresponding higher rate), but the suite's size was a definite luxury that we appreciated.
Go someplace else
not worth the price. service is really bad. they wouldn't help me call home (sri lanka) during the tsunami when I was desperate to contact relatives. they said my options were to call through their calling plan (~$50 / minute) or to buy a calling card. when I bought a calling card, they did not help me in decoding the instructions. and this was in the midst of the disaster. can't imagine how they would be for more mundane matters.
rooms are nice, clean. location is good.
but management is terrible.
I travel to Istanbul to visit and aunt, every six months or so. She owns a lovely house in the old city near the Blue Mosque. The past few times I have stayed at the Intercontinental rather than stay with my aunt. The hotel is comfortable and so close to the bustling night life of the Taksim area (that my aunt disapproves of!). It really is the nicest hotel in the area for comfort and service.
We spent 4 nights at the Ceylan Intercontinental in Istanbul from 10-14 February and found the comfort, luxury and service to be extremely high. The staff must have noticed from the check in details that it was my companion's birthday and how pleasantly surprised we were when room service knocked on the door with a complimentary birthday cake!
An excellent choice.
Lavish and attentive
My partner and I stayed at the Intercontinental twice in a period of four weeks and I found it to be the nicest, cleanest and most comfortable hotel on our trip (except, perhaps the Jumeriah Beach Resort in Dubai).
The hotel has fantastic views from most rooms (especially over the Bosporus) and the rooms themselves live up to the most luxurious expectations. The staff are soooooooo helpful and the place is really secure.
Its location lets you wander around the corner to Taksim where food, coffee and all kinds of clothes can be found. Just go down the cobbled street to recharge for your monring.
Bravo Intercontinental. We gays found you really friendly.
A superb Hotel!
I do not recognise the hotel from the July review.
The hotel shows no sign of wear and tear. The staff were charming,and always helpful, particularly the concierge who, for example, arranged our participation in a tour 10 minutes prior to it's departure from the hotel.
The California Brasserie,used for breakfast, serves excellent evening meals.However, be warned, the portions are enormous.
The Skyline Bar provides a magnificent view of Istanbul.
One has the impression that this is more a business hotel than a holiday one. When we were there last month an International Finance Conference was taking place.
Just back from a week on the Exec Club Floor, July 2004. The hotel was very quiet apart from the weekend (when quite a few Istanbul hotels seem to do local "deals"). Hotel lobby is glitzy in a 1990s way but showing wear & tear! Comfortable room but no separate shower (difficult to shower in a bath tub without creating a puddle of water around the toilet bowl!) Lovely hamam and well equipped gym, small pool crowded at weekend (most Istanbul hotel pools are open on a day pass basis). The hotel is let down by the poor service and this runs right through the hotel from restaurants, concierge, door man, health club etc - there is always an excuse for something not being right (HINT: hotel managment if you're reading this - guests don't want to know abt problems, after all, we're paying a premium rate for a hassle free "5 star deluxe" holiday): I'm not so interested in why over 4 days a massage couldn't be arranged, why there's no soap in the gym, why the haman isn't hot, why the hsekeeping and turn down is erratic, why a room isn't made up at 4pm, why room keys don't work - between the 2 of us we were issued with at least 8 keys, why I booked a Bosphorus view room and was palmed off with a "side view" (despite being charged the extra US$100, etc etc) - it is endless - right down to check out when my bill had incorrect minibar consumption plus an unexplained donation to UNICEF - not that I mind making a donation, but I do mind being billed without being asked first - all corrected very begrudgingly by an "executive floor", "sassy" manager with attitude! This is a "classic" example of a hotel where the staff are very much indifferent to the guest and possess a noticeably different attitude to any of the guest-oriented hotels eg Peninsulas, Shangri Las etc): if you want anything done you have to interrupt staff who tend to be on the phone, talking to each other loudly - anything but greeting guests with a simple "can I help?" - this gets trying after a while - it's easier to follow a tennis ball than to catch the eye of a waiter! Overall the poor service and at times arrogant & self-important staff, made this an unsatisfactory and, in my view, far from a "deluxe" hotel - if you want a "deluxe" holiday, I would recommend the Ciragan - impeccable if not impressive world class service (as well as wonderful cooking, delightful spot lit / candle lit garden terrace right on the Bosphorus, magical!) - beware the heavy traffic, although being the Ciragan, they will probably send someone out to shoo away the cars or arrange a river taxi.... The Intercontinental has much to learn from the competition!!!
We stayed at this hotel in May of 2001. It was one of the most luxurious hotels we have ever stayed in while traveling in Europe. The location is great. It is right off of Taksim Square. There is a large pedestrian area right near there with tons of restaurants and shops.