How has this hotel rated in the past?
- Airport Transportation
- Minbar in room
- Breakfast Available
- Smoking rooms available
- Reduced mobility rooms
Historical Traveler Reviews InterContinental Istanbul
Fantastic views from the top floor! :)
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.
The Safran restaurant on the top floor is very good. The bar on the same floor has a fantastic night view, but the drinks are very expensive. Don't bother with the Brasserie Restaurant, and certainly don't take the expensive hotel breakfast unless your room rate includes it.
Our suite was comfortable, and the staff were attentive and professional from start to finish.
The PAY TV system needs to be updated - not up to usual 5 star standards where there is a selection of films on demand - it's only 2 channels (exclusing the 2 adult channels) with 2 films per channel running at specific times.
Make sure you go on the Bosphorus boat trip run by the Turkish Martime Line - it was just 7 Euros 50 and departs from Port 3 at Eminonu, and you have great views of many Yalis (boathouses), palaces, and the Fortresses of Europe and Asia. The trip included a 2 hour break for lunch at the last stop on the trip, Anadolu Kavagi - which is on the Asian side. We had a fanatastic fresh fish and meze meal there at the Yedigül restaurant - a whole delicious fresh seabass for 8 million turkish lira (less than 4 UK Pounds!)
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
A great choice for a luxurious Istanbul base
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.
I had asked for high speed internet access, and this was something the room lacked (apparently some rooms have them and some don't). But they did offer to give us a room on a higher floor with a better view (all the way to Sultanahmet) that did have internet access. However, this room was "only" a deluxe room and not a suite. We asked to see both rooms, and chose the suite (it was a no-brainer).
During our stay I used the business center to connect my laptop. I asked for a discount on their 24 hour rate (about USD25) and they gave me 24hrs for the price of 12 hrs (USD15).
Views from the room: great. Not as good, perhaps, as from a higher floor, but we are not complaining. The room, huge, with picture windows looking out 180 degrees, made up for it.
Service: no complaints. The people at the front desk were uniformly gracious and helpful. They made restaurant reservations for us, and responded promptly to all requests. They also solved minor problems that cropped up.
The hammam downstairs is great. We used it once, after procrastinating about going to a real one downtown. It was a good alternative: quite warm, clean, comfortable and relaxing.
I should warn guests about huge telephone surcharges at this hotel. I made two calls, both local (in fact, in the same neighborhood as the hotel). The longest call, 8 minutes long, cost me USD20+. I suggest you buy a Turk Telecom card somewhere (Taksim has booths where they sell them) and use the public payphones at the Lobby floor, somewhat hidden away behind the front desk. I can't imagine what international calls would cost.
Breakfast: good, but not great. The variety is more than the usual hotel buffet: even with a few items for Japanese breakfast, but not up to the quality of other five star hotel breakfast buffets I have had, especially in Asia. But the orange juice was freshly squeezed and unlimited, the yoghurt was fantastic and in general we had more than our fill every morning.
Location: just about perfect. Off the hustle of Taksim, but just a 3 minute walk away. Istiklal, the pedestrian shopping street, starts at Taksim. The metro (which we never rode) has an entrance about 2 minutes away from the hotel lobby.
Minor faults: the first night there was no turn down service. I called the next day to inquire and they said, sure, no problem, we didn't know you wanted a turn down service, which I found a bit unusual in a five star (to have to request it). But there was turn down every night after that.
There was also a slight problem with the room rate which inexplicably rose slightly after the first night (about USD20 more). I had made the booking on the Intercon's own hotel Web site (which is, by the way, excellent) and the room rate was confirmed as the same each day (it was Euros 200 a day including taxes and charges). The manager said it must have been a computer error, and promised to fix it. The charge popped up again the next day (I checked), and again he said he'd take care of it. When we checked out, all was in order.
All in all, we enjoyed our stay immensely, and have nothing but good memories of our stay and the great service from its people. I wouldn't hesitate to stay there again (if the budget permits).
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.
A true oasis
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.
The first few time I was there I stayed in a club room whilst only paying the rates for a standard room. I believe the Turks still love titled guests.
Whenever I check in now, I stay in a lovely Bosphorus suite with a truely amazing view.
The thing I love the most about the Intercontinental is it is a clean and discrete hotel in the heart of an amazing (but dirty) city. A few paces off the street and into the hotel and you feel like you have just had a bath.
Bravo for the staff there.
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.
Pity abt the poor service
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.
The major sights of Istanbul are on the other side of the Galata bridge, but it is a short cab ride there. I can't say enough about this hotel. The concierge was most helpful with this rather confusing city.
The breakfast that was included in our room rate was amazing. It was served up in the restaurant on the top floor of the hotel. The quality and variety of the food along with the gracious service was fabulous.
My husband and I took a "turkish bath" in the hotel and it was an unforgettable experience. The best! If you want a coed bath experience the local ones can't accomodate you. It is easy to get to the airport from the hotel because there is a direct bus from Taksim Square.
Overall it was an amazing experience.
TripAdvisor Reviews InterContinental Istanbul
Travel Blogs from Istanbul
... experienced a vibrant and truly welcoming environment. Today, the mosques dominate the skyline and punctuate the day with calls to prayer.
There were areas and restaurants where there was no alcohol available. In some places we felt we had offended by even suggesting we may get a beer there. Others were more 'open', tolerant or perhaps just mercenary and enticed us into the restaurant with beer and then served it ...
... some of the cats were even on the decorations! Then we left the Hagia Sofia and walked around a bit more, we also got water and postcards. Then we hopped on a train to the Archeological Museum and saw lots of sculptures and carvings, especially on ancient tombs. Then we got a bagel type thing from a street vender. We hopped on the train again and went back to our neighborhood. When we got there we got ice cream and watched a couple help ...
... could probably run our own tours. Ha !
We trammed to Sultan Ahmet square and got off in front of the blue mosque. Here we checked out the hippodrome and the two obelisks. The hippodrome doesn't really exist in its original state, but in its heyday it was the biggest chariot racing arena in Constantinople. Apparently the whole city was divided by the supporters of competing chariots. Kind of like different sects of football fans in London, but with ...
... for the last of the days daylight by exploring the old town and walking along the harbour outside the massive fortified walls of the old town, it was easy to see how this would be an incredibly enchanting place in the summer when the daylight lingers and the breeze is cool but not so biting. After a delicious greek inspired pizza (it had feta and olives on it) I tucked myself in for an early night and enjoyed the concept of not sharing space with anyone else. ...
... more water, we managed to get a trickle running in, whilst we waited we had lunch, a lady who had been shouting at Les as he connected the water pipe came over to us she was chattering away, we didn't understand, we told her we had been to Yedigoller and were now going to Istanbul. She went off across the meadow with a large basket on her back. There are a few cattle around and a couple came to drink at the trough below the water spout. ...