I wrote a review on the FS Sultanhamet as well as my friends and I stayed there the first three days in Istanbul before heading out to Cappadocia for one night and then three more nights in Istanbul at this FS location. We arrived at night to this FS and although we were upgraded to a room with a Garden view, I didn't find the hallways, public areas or our room to be unique to Turkey and a matter of fact could have been located in any large city in the world. Clean, comfortable, luxurious as any Four Seasons is but still not unique like the Sultanhamet location.
Firstly the area this hotel is in is very different than the other FS in Istanbul. It is along the waterway of the Bosphorus, between two Palaces, near a large park and in a more residential/commercial section of the city which at first I didn't appreciate but grew to enjoy. I didn't appreciate this as the first night my friend and I went walking in the Beskitas area and were harrassed somewhat by some drunken, seemingly homeless guy begging for money in an aggressive way. That put us off although seeing the area in daylight the next day made me feel like this was a one-off incident and we ended up enjoying walking around the area and finding little Turkish Coffee/tea shops for breakfast. Speaking of which, this FS has coffee and tea and a small pastry basket and fruit basket although no coffee/tea/expresso maker in the room which would have been convenient.
On the plus side, the two pools, hot tubs, steam rooms, sauna are the best I have ever seen in my life. The mosaic tiled indoor pool almost made me cry walking in. The large columns surrounding the pool were so grand it left me speechless. The sound system underwater was just as good as the sound system above the water. I could have done with a little less Christmas music although still enjoyable.
I had read that getting to and from this hotel can be difficult due to the high traffic volumes however we were there in off-peak season and never had any trouble with taxis going to and from the hotel. On one journey back from the Grand Bazaar area we took a ferry from Eminonu over to Uskudar and then got another ferry to Beskitas which is under a ten minute walk from the hotel. If the roadway would have been blocked this is an easy option to get to and from Sultanhmet that is convenient and quite scenic. Alternatively we walked from the hotel to the tram at Kabatas which didn't take more than 30 minutes in total! You pass the lovely Dolmabache Palace and Mosque on this walk. Don't miss a visit to Oratakoy area under the bridge as the Mosque is spectacular and the waterside restaurants and bars were very lively indeed.
The service at this hotel was excellent as well. We were enjoying drinks at sunset on the terrace and happened to mention how cold it was and the staff brought out blankets to keep us warm. Lots of nice touches indeed!
We did eat at the Mediterranean Restaurant called Aqua at the hotel. Very enjoyable meal although nothing so fabulous I would recommend if you were to visit!
Overall I do recomend the Sultanhamet Four Seasons although a visit to the pools at the Bosphorus location is a must!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Welcome to Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul at the Bosphorus. On the European bank of the Bosphorus – which flows through Istanbul’s history and heart – Four Seasons gives a 19th-century palace a fresh, eclectic spirit. Alluring facilities include a chic urban spa. Fine restaurants and pools by the quayside overlook the Asian shore. And all are awash in the light, space and excitement of this water’s-edge location. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- 4 Seasons Istanbul At The Bosphorus
- Four Seasons Istanbul At The Bosphorus Hotel Istanbul
- Four Seasons The Bosphorus
- Istanbul Four Seasons