My wife, daughter and I spent the last two nights of a two week Turkish vacation at this hotel. The hotel itself is a marvel of technology and modernity: smoked glass and chrome in a many-storied structure on a hill in a modern and very wealthy section of Istanbul called Etiler, far from the tourist sites of Sultanahment. If Le Meridian sometimes seems to try too hard to be "cool and modern" ("curated" Muzak described by a plaque in the elevator!), it still provides a lovely and luxurious experience.
The hotel is luxurious, with two pools (one indoor and one out), fabulous views of the Bosporus from our room on the 19th floor, and a lovely but small executive lounge (where a light breakfast is served in the morning and fruit and snacks throughout the day). Service was flawless, and my wife was very pleased with the onsite hair salon.
On the downside, the hotel is a guarded fortress (perhaps as a result of the politicians, wealthy individuals and corporate executives who seem to frequent it), with metal detectors and nowhere to walk--the local hotspots which were very Euroamerican (Starbucks, sushi, American style steak houses, and a large glitzy mall) were at least a mile away. The prices in the hotel restaurant were those one might find in NY, a problem since there was little in the way of alternatives.
Finally, the hotel is far from the center of town, and about as far from the international airport as it is possible to get in Istanbul, especially given the constant heavy traffic on Istanbul's highways. Though we had left ourselves three hours to get the the airport, we barely made our flight home, and would not have made it but for some daredevil driving by our cab driver.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Rising 34 stories in Istanbul’s prestigious Etiler district, Le Méridien Istanbul Etiler will be one of the city’s most impressive contemporary landmarks. Featuring a modern design with panoramic views of the Bosphorous and the city, the hotel is conveniently located along the TEM Motorway and Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge. 259 rooms including 18 Residential Suites of sophistication and elegance with floor-to-ceiling windows that frame breathtaking views of the cityscape and Bosphorus. A club lounge on the 14th floor provides comfort and luxury. Hotel's restaurant promises the ultimate dining and the Roof Bar puts you on top of Istanbul. Seven stylish meeting rooms, two VIP boardrooms and a Ballroom with private foyer feature among Le Meridien Istanbul Etiler's more than 2000 square metres of conference space. For contemplation and vitalization the Explore SPA & Fitness with Steam Rooms, Sauna, Jacuzzi, Hammam and 8 treatment rooms as well as an Indoor & Heated Outdoor pool are available. ... more less
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