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“This place grew on me after a few days!”

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Four Seasons Istanbul at the Bosphorus
Ranked #26 of 1,135 Hotels in Istanbul
Certificate of Excellence
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
92 reviews
58 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 110 helpful votes
“This place grew on me after a few days!”
Reviewed 10 December 2010

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!

  • Stayed December 2010, travelled with friends
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Thank TORN1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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London
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviewed 9 December 2010

We are recently back from a fantastic trip around Turkey. The Four Seasons lived up to its reputation for great service and wonderful luxury.

This hotel was our bit of luxury after travelling on public buses and staying in 3 star hotels on our trip arpund Troy, Pergamum, Ephasus, Pamukkale, Konya, and Cappadocia. Everything was great at the Four Seasons and we couldnt fault it, particularly the buffet breakfast.

A must here is to have a drink over looking the Bosphorus in the evening as there arent many places in Istanbul with this superb view (I would also recommend a boat trip up the Bosphorus to the Black Sea).

The room was beautiful and large and the bathroom was a great bit of luxury especially the bath!

  • Stayed August 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Jobo27
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sao Paulo
Level Contributor
9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 November 2010

I have to agree with the other reviewers, the Four Season at the Bosphorus it's on the top of others 5 stars hotels.
It was by far the best 5 star hotel we stayed during our trip. The location is great, you have a beautiful view of the Bosphorus, the staff is super helpful and the bedrooms are excellent. I felt I was staying at my home, but a much better one : ]
Their breakfast it's what made me write this review, because was really something else. And I have to say I am celiac, so they had a special bread for me every morning specially made.
If you can afford it, you should go for it.

  • Stayed November 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank nobrepaula
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 November 2010

After experiencing the superb George V in Paris, and now the even better Bosphorus, Istanbul establishment I suspect the Four Seasons hotels occupies the (very) top of the 5 star category. Staying there was more memorable than Ritz, Plaza, Lanesborough etc and even put the Burj al Arab to shame for service. I booked a deluxe room and was upgraded to a junior suite going for more than double the price. The decor was very comfortable, but not elaborately luxurious, housed in the annexe wings which unfortunately have a slightly declasse feel compared to the main palace building and afford you narrow angled views to the Bosphorus - this is intentionally a hotel where you must pay top dollar for really good views. But that's where the disappointment ended. The expansive sweeping terrace is great, even if you don't use the open air pool. The spa is comprehensive, and has the biggest indoor hotel pool I've ever seen. The food is also worth coming for (unfortunately priced in euros), especially as so many Istanbul restaurants are not of the highest quality themselves. But their biggest selling point is the famous staff courtesy, who remember your name and greet you anywhere they see you. The whole package is better than the Sultanahmet branch. It is the best hotel in Turkey.

  • Stayed November 2010, travelled solo
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Helpful?
Thank capevas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Pasadena, CA
Level Contributor
89 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 November 2010

After our stay for 4 nights at the Four Seasons Sultanahmet, we moved to their Bosphorus property for an additional 3 nights in the wonderful city of Istanbul. The weather was glorious. We enjoyed this side of the city much more than the historical side, because the property faces the water and this is the side where the locals are.

The Bosphorus is simply wonderful and gorgeous. The scale is monumental, and the water serves all sorts of commercial activities. It is alive and full of energy. This hotel property takes full advantage of its location. The rooms are open, modern, and bright. The automated black-out screen (yes, operated with a switch) is a cool feature at both properties. Service is, as usual, top class. Love the breakfast buffet. Charming bay window offered a generous glimpse of the Bosphorus. The large plaza facing the water also offers a rare treat for Istanbul: smooth and level marble flooring! (Istanbul street paving is nothing but one giant tripping hazard).

The ferry stations nearby (all within walking distance) provides easy access to the Bosphorus and the Asian side. A 15-minute walk northward took us to Ortakoy, a charming little port area favored by the locals and tourists alike. Dolmabahce Palace is a 15-minute walk southward. Taksim Square and Istanbul Modern are close by via taxi.

There is a splendid fitness center equipped with state-of-the-art exercise equipment and includes a pilates studio complete with reformer and cadillac machine. The indoor mosiac pool is sublime with its underwater music system. The spa is huge and elegant. The husband enjoyed his hamman treatment, and I enjoyed my massage by a nice Balinese lady named "Su" (water in Turkish).

On the downside, both Four Seasons property boast large televisions but the image and audio quality is nasty by US standards (HD TV anyone?). The main building is a former private palace that has been converted nicely. However, the annex buildings, although modern and plush on the inside, are not very attractive on the exterior. In fact I would venture to say the two white and brown annex buildings constitute a bit of an eye sore, especially compared to how attractive the rest of the place is. The large bed in our room (#3304) has sagged on both sides enough for me to notice during sleep. The circulation of the place is a bit awkard since the annex buildings are only connected on the ground floor. Especially if you are staying in the north annex building, and have to return to your room after using the Spa which is located in the basement of the south annex building. The husband, after his great hamman treatment, had to parade through the main lobby with a big towel rolled over his head (like a sultan!), and his robe and slippers.

We asked for the hotel to arrange for an encore 4-hour private tour from Seda (who was our trusted guide a few days back and had galantly lead us on an 8-hour private tour when we were at the Sultanahmet side). Once again, Seda saved us a bunch of time because she knows where to go and essentially helped us free up another whole day. She is fun and easy going. Seda is more than a guide, she has become a good friend to us. Hooray!

See my separate review of the Four Seasons Sultanahmet.

  • Stayed November 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Redraisinz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
12 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 October 2010

We are recently back from a fantastic trip to Istanbul. The Four Seasons lived up to its reputation for excellent service. Everything was over the top great from the check-in service to the buffet breakfast (with the best waffles) to drinks along the Bosphorus. There aren't many hotels that would have this much frontage along a big city waterway with a spectacular view...and the water is wonderfully clean as is the entire city. The rooms are very beautifully appointed and spacious and the bathrooms are top end. Make time to enjoy the hotel and splurge!

  • Stayed October 2010
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank lulu131313
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto
Level Contributor
70 reviews
67 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 168 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 October 2010

Stayed at this hotel for a total of 5 nights (with a break in between to go to Cappadocia) and enjoyed my stay. Service is flawless and top notch. The fitness gym is expansive with a personal trainer on hand. The spa and the hamman is decadent. Every staff member is there to help.

  • Stayed October 2010, travelled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Anonymous8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Four Seasons Istanbul at the Bosphorus

Property: Four Seasons Istanbul at the Bosphorus
Address: Ciragan Cad. No. 28 | Besiktas, Istanbul 34349, Turkey
Phone Number:
Region: Turkey > Istanbul > Besiktas
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Business Hotel in Istanbul
#10 Romantic Hotel in Istanbul
#10 Spa Hotel in Istanbul
#10 Family Hotel in Istanbul
#18 Luxury Hotel in Istanbul
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:5 star — Four Seasons Istanbul at the Bosphorus 5*
Number of rooms: 170
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

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