The Ritz-Carlton Istanbul
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Our visit to the Ritz Carlton, Istanbul was perfect. The service was top notch, from the bellmen to the waitresses and the chambermaids. The concierge always bent over backwards to please the guests. We have absolutely nothing to complain about ... in fact, we would highly recommend this hotel to anyone coming to Istanbul. With respect to the lobby bar, it was expensive, however, I wouldn't expect anything else. If we return to Istanbul, we would stay here again - definitely!
5 star experience
Stayed for 3 nights during the height of tourist season. This property met all expectation for a 5 star experience. The morning and lunch buffets were excellent... and we aren't buffet people. The service was up to standard for all non-US Ritz Carltons...eg. better service. The direct Bosphoros view was worth the extra $$. One must consider the location prior to reservation. Will return again.
Room for improvement.
Just visited Istanbul and found the city very interesting. Highly recommend the half-day/full-day city tours suggested by the hotel for those with little time. However, there's room for improvement. For example, when I was hungry after a late afternoon flight, there's only room service and the restaurant downstairs. Little option for a simple bite. Also, although the hotel is on a hill with a wonderful view, it's hard to get around unless you catch a cab (watch out for cab driver scam). And if you care for a king size bed over a queen, it may be helpful to requst for them. I didn't fuss about this but thought it was rather peculiar that they called a queen, a king.
We stayed here for two nights on honeymoon in April 2005 - we loved it. Everything you expect from a Ritz-Carlton - clean, very nice room, excellent service, good location and even a little welcoming chocolate scuplture in the room to recognize our occasion. The concierge was outstanding - they had an answer and recommendation for everything.
The hotel also had excellent security.
One of the best!
I satayed at the Ritz over 2 years ago, but since I will be re-visiting Istambul in July, I decided to check the website, and decided to write a review.
I got a park-side view, could actually see part of the Besiktas soccer stadium. The view was ok, you could do with it since the view from the lobby towards the Bosphorous is great, so having the view from your room will depend on how much you want to pay for it.
The room was very good indeed, great huge bed, amazing sheets and pillows, good size room and a more than normally big bathroom with separate areas and beautiful turkish style details.
Service was excellent, staff remeber your name (not the most important of things for me, but a nice touch anyway).
The only 2 things that were not perfect for me were: The gym (small and not many machines) and improvable food. I also believe they do not have an outdoor pool (although they do have an indoor).
Overall, it is a modern hotel, quite big and with "Grandeur". I really donīt understand how it is not ranked higher at tripadvisor... I donīt know what rating system is followed, but it is difficult to compare it to smaller boutique hotels that are ranked higher. My humble personal opinion is that hotels should be broken into a couple of categories.
Excellent stay -- great service & views
My wife & I just returned from a 5 nite stay at this hotel. In short, the hotel was great. Great room, great service, excellent gym, great spa treatments. The only shortcoming/flaw is that the prices in the restaurants & bars are very high, even for hotels of this caliber.
We stayed in a room 1110, a king-bedded room with a Bosphorous view. The view is *definitely* worth the extra cost (compared to a park view) -- it's wonderful to wake up and watch the ships as they cruise up the straits. Also, these rooms are larger than the park view rooms, and the furniture layout lends an even more spacious feel. The bathroom is very nice, esp. the separate shower. And the room's ceiling was 10'+ ft.
The staff exemplifies warm Turkish hospitality, from the front desk to the concierge to the bellhops. Several of the desk staff were calling us by name by day 2 of our stay (and our name can be a tongue twister!). The concierge was esp. helpful, recommending shops & restaurants for us and respecting our tastes when we asked for moderately-priced options.
Although the lounges & eateries are overpriced, we did enjoy several French press pots of excellent chocolate-rasberry coffee in the lobby lounge during our stay. And the lounge has, again, an amazing view of the Bosphorous.
Incidentally, we looked at a room at the Four Seasons while we were in the Old City. It's a beautiful hotel, but the Ritz stacks up very well against it. IMO, they're geared for different tastes and types of visits. The Ritz is walking distance to Taksim Sq and much closer to Ortaky and Tunel Sq, for example, whereas the Four Seasons is ideal for an Old City-centric visit to Istanbul.
Faultless, faultless, faultless. Simply the best!
My wife and I spent a week at this fabulous hotel and can not speak too highly of it. Number 13 on the Tripadvisor hit list? You can not be serious!
This hotel is tops. No contest!
This was our 4th Ritz Carlton experience and oh my these boys just keep excelling themselves. Previous delights have been in New York and Barcelona. Fellow travellers, please post details of a better hotel experience than a Ritz Carlton! It's got to be one hell of a challenge! Despite the grandeur and imposing architectural daring of this blue glass obelisk American Remington styled electric razor of an hotel that towers above the Dolmabahche Palace, the hospitality inside is warm and very Turkish. Do not be put off by the commercial aura and some might say arrogance of this luxury chain.
We checked out the opposition. The Four Seasons is more central, more chic and has the novelty value of being very obviously a converted prison.
My 20 YTL vodka and tonic was fine but the barman did not feel that swift service should be part of that price tag. Indeed he walked off at one point to sort another matter out. The service just did not compare and a generous 5 YTL tip was swept up with the utmost nonchalence. This small hotel is cramped and lacks the sweeping views and grand ambience of the Ritz Carlton. Similarly we had dinner at the Turga restaurant at the Ciragan Palace. A fabulous hotel but with a very formal and slightly anachronistic feel to it. There also comes a point where mere mortals have to consider price.
Yes, that all imporatant factor price! We discovered an amazing flight and 7 night room package for Ģ1097 for the pair of us. It would have been criminal not to have taken advantage! We then spent a lot of time emailing the hotel with a view to upgrades. Following some brilliant intervention by Danielle Hayes, director of Transient Sales at Ritz Carlton, Knightsbridge we were lucky to secure a Club Lounge package on the 12th floor. Thank you Danielle!
Oh my the Ritz Carlton Club lounge. 5 food presentations per day and a bar service that would please the most eager of palettes. We were made so very very welcome.
Malda, our personal concierge was sheer professionalism, organising our limousines, tours and restaurant reservations with charm and faultless (there's that word again) expertise.
Atike was so genuinely kind and lovely as she helped us through our breakfasts from what can only have been a heavenly sphere every morning. MMM, a tasty selection of spicy Turkish foods and pastries complete with scrambled eggs, sausage, and Tabasco sauce on request! An excellent 5 star breakfast with strawberries and smoked salmon for those that wished, all beautifully set out as guests watched the ships traverse the Bosphorous.
Fetiye was the Turkish princess from heaven who, forever smiling, catered to our every need, which much of the time involved supping prodidgious quantites of bloody maries and gin and tonics. Fetiye arranged 2 beautiful golden Ritz Carlton bookmarks as gifts for us, embossed with a map of Turkey, a bridge for me and a temple for my wife. So thoughtful. We love reading on holiday and managed to devour all of Dan Brown's work as we treasured our new bookmarks. As the pope lay dying, we read of papal intrigues in a Muslim country complete with the haunting calls to prayer starting at 5.40 every morning! Fetiye was also very helpful with the free internet access available to Club Lounge guests. I blame Fetiye for leading me astray and recommending the wonderfully deceptive combination of vodka and apple juice! Princess Fetiye!
Last, but not least, Serkan our barman catered to our every parched whim. Serkan not only served the meanest Bloody Mary on Planet Earth but also played our Turkish CD acquisition by Sezen Asku. One seriously cool guy is Sergan!
Why all the anecdotes? Well, to illustrate that the service is impeccable at Ritz Carlton Istanbul. You are treated like an absolute lord, without feeling out of place, embarrassed or patronised.
The comfiest beds in the world, the linen, the bath room and shower and all those exquisite toiletries, the steam room, the enormous swimming pool with decorative fish tank, the chocolates, bottles of water and goodies on turndown, the fresh flowers, hell, even the darned sewing kit is 5 star!
On our final night we were presented with a chocolate cake like no other to celebrate a special birthday. Individual chef's craftsmanship was well to the to the fore. This was as much a culinery creation as a chocoholic treat!
Istanbul was a holiday we will never forget.
Tips. Eat at Hamdi's. Don't be put off by the entrance of bouncers and elevators. We had a fabulous, totally Turkish meal for Ģ30 all in. Raki included! Packed even on a Monday and full of locals.
Do the temples..all breathtaking. Sultanahmet carrying the swing over blue mosque.
Drink Efes beer at Is tav rit cafe above the CD shop on the main drag.
It's a lovers' hideaway and full of cooing couples being serenaded by the eclectic sounds from the CD shop downstairs.
And finally, if resources allow, stay at Ritz Carlton!
It's worth every penny.
Stayed at the hotel last October. Great location near all the sites and close to a large number of restaurants. Rooms are large with even bigger bathrooms that come with a seperate shower. Views from the Front Bosphorus rooms are incredible. Superb service and a spa that has a Turksih hamam along with other treatments. Indoor pool was nice in the monrning. Overall the nicest hotel in the city.
Perhaps the perfect hotel
My aunt and I, hotel snobs, stayed in the Ritz Carlton in Istanbul two years ago. Our stay at this hotel ruined us for stays at all other hotels worldwide. The Ritz Carlton Istanbul is nearly perfect; my only complaint is that it lacks a good desert menu (no chocolate).
When we stayed at the hotel, it was six months old, so its youth no doubt contributed to its luxuriousness. Brand new oversized down pillows were as soothing to touch as cheesecake is indulgent to the lips, and an enormous picture window in our room provided an awesome view of the Bosphorus Strait. And the bathroom was a palace-opulent marble and frosted glass adorned the salle de bain, which featured separate toilet and shower rooms, a double vanity, and a wide sunken tub.
The hotel staff was spectacular. For example, doormen ensured that we only rode with reputable cab drivers and carried our Turkish/English Ritz Carlton phrase card and map (few cabbies speak English so the R.C. had business-card-sized maps printed in Turkish and English with a map of the city and the location of hotel clearly marked). And when my husband in Philadelphia called the hotel at 4 a.m. Turkish time, the desk clerk couldn't have been more pleasant and helpful.
We ended up calling the Ritz Carlton in Istanbul our "sanctuary," and would eagerly rush back to it after days of somewhat harried sightseeing excursions. [If you're not used to aggressive Turkish sales tactics, they can feel like a verbal assault, especially for two American women.]
This hotel should be the standard for all hotels worldwide, but as I said in the beginning, I am a hotel snob. At any rate, this hotel is a must, if you're a person who appreciates fine things and is after only the best experiences in life.
Located on a hill above the bosphorous, the hotel offers fanstastic views, spoiled only in part by the football stadium close by. It is on a hill by a busy road, so although you are within walking distance of some of the attractions of modern Istanbul, taxis are the most sensible mode of transport.
The rooms are what you would expect from a top quality hotel, spacious, well laid out and with quality toiletries and other accessories.
This is a hotel that redefines the word service. Staff are obsessively helpful and friendly. At times the level of help offered can be too much. It takes effort to fight the waiters off who want to carry your plate back to your table after you have filled it at the breakfast buffet!
Only gripes were the music in the restaurant/bar area, where they only appeared to have 1 CD, and the exorbitant bar prices. restaurant meals were reasonably priced, but drinking alcohol could increase you bill exponentially.
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Travel Blogs from Istanbul
... especially that day as she was wearing a red spotted dress so much for surreptitious shopping. We bought some beaded jewels from a nice little nam in an out of the way shop. He gave us tea which magically appeared from nowhere. It seems that you can just raise your hand and a tea arrives we saw lots of men carrying trays of tea to all the shops and shopkeepers they certainly love their tea. Silver jewellery is sold by the gram and each piece is weighed so you have no way of ...
... be picking up ingredients for a traditional Turkish breakfast. We walk through the main 'tourist' part where the prices are all inflated, and go to the back where all the locals shop. He makes our purchases, and we're off to our first stop - a Turkish tea house, which was located in the back streets where the locals go. Our breakfast consists of simit (Turkish type bagel), bal kaymak (buffalo clotted cream with honey), pastirma (beef pastrami), goats cheese, cow cheese and olives. ...
... and had gotten our land legs back we ventured out with the intention of finding the Grand Bazaar again - Sarah had had enough of being sick and had decided that hell or high water she was going to do some shopping at this iconic labyrinth!!! Off we went with our mission in full focus, but wait, what's this awesome little street, and this one? And this one? Istanbul is a maze of restaurants, markets and enticing cobblestone streets that tend to make you ...
... in fact they were so unaccommodating that we were forced to stay the night in an airport hotel, and in the end it was cheaper to fly with a different airline! Qatar Airways and Jake from STA Travel came to the rescue, and were able to put us on a flight the next day. So although our amazing trip came to a slightly abrupt end, we had seven weeks of heaven in between some pretty gruelling cancer treatments. We discovered a mutual love of fresh anchovies in Cinque Terra, broke ...
... sore throat :( We wanted to see the Harem quarters but with only 15minutes before we were due to leave and costing 15tl to get in we didn't think it was worth it. We managed a look at some other things - all very opulent! Then we walked to the Blue Mosque and saw the outside but again queues were over 200metres long at both entrances as Friday is a prayer. Day and the mosque is only open for viewing from 2.30-4.30 so we were unable to get in and see the inside. Next we walked to ...