We stayed at the Ritz Carlton-Istanbul May 27-June 2, 2009, during our Girls Week Vacation and enjoyed our stay at the Ritz.
Restaurants: Apart of our vacation package, we were able to eat the breakfast buffet in the main restaurant. The buffet has a wonderful mix of traditional Turkish, European, and Western cuisine. The wait staff immediately sat us each morning and always offered a variety of teas, coffees, and juices. One evening we had a late dinner in the lobby of the hotel (at the Lobby Bar), and sat and watched the wonderful view of the Bosphorus. Again, the late night menu is very tasty with a variety of "snacky" foods (mozzarella sticks, salads, soups), etc. There is also an outside Lounge with heated lamps for the breezy nights. However, only drinks are served here and not food.
Spa/Turkish Bath: The hotel offers a full service spa and Turkish Bath. This is a GREAT alternative to have a traditional Turkish Bath in the hotel, but not at one of the many public Turkish baths that are found in and around Istanbul. Two of us tried the Turkish Bath and it was great! I was totally scrubbed down and relaxed by the time my Bath attendant finished. :) Definitely a well deserved treat to try!
Staff/Concierge: Very welcoming, friendly, ethusiastic. There was a slight mix-up/miscommunication in the initial rate when we booked the hotel three months prior to our arrival. However, the staff literally did everything possible (with a little help of American Express Travel) to fix the rate. Even when we were going to move to another hotel (nothing personal, but trying to stay within our original budget), they were able to match the rate of the new hotel. Yes, clearly EVERYTHING is negotiable in Turkey.
Rooms: We had two rooms on the 9th floor (914 and 915), which were conjoining rooms. This is a perfect set up if you are traveling with a group of 4 or more and/or have two rooms. Room 915 (which was the corner room), was larger than the other room and had an EXCELLENT view of the Bosphorus (see picture attached, as taken from the room view).
Points to Consider....
Security at arrival: Upon arriving at the Ritz Carlton Istanbul, all cab drivers (and other vehicles) must be swept for bombs. This was a bit overwhelming at first, but I understand why. You will also go through a metal detector everytime you enter the hotel.
Internet/Business Center: I did not bring my laptop along on vacation, but I wish I did! There is free wireless internet in the lobby. However, there is a "business center" available, but its 8 Euros per every 15 minutes!
Location: The Ritz sits up on a hill above the main Stadium in Istanbul. During our visit, the Soccer team was celebrating its successful Soccer season--and celebrate they did! For two nights in a row, there was a HUGE HUGE HUGE fan celebration, which spilled out from the stadium and into the streets. If you decide to stay at the Ritz-Istanbul, make sure you inquire if there are any major sporting or other events. As this will be a logistical concern on how to get in and out of the hotel.
All in all, I had a wonderful time at the Ritz Carlton- Istanbul. There were some positive and negative points about Istanbul itself, but I'll leave those comments on the Lonley Planet website!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Ritz-Carlton, Istanbul is an authentic luxury hotel offering breathtaking Bosphorus views for its high-end business and leisure guests, continuously providing genuine care and unique service delivered by its empowered Ladies and Gentlemen. Guests enjoy their stay in one of the 243 guest rooms, ranging from 38-sqm park view rooms to 64-sqm suites with panoramas of the Bosphorus or the city of Istanbul, offering a wide array of amenities as well as complimentary Wi-Fi. Located in the heart of the city overlooking the Bosphorus, The Ritz-Carlton, Istanbul is just 15 minutes from the famous historical old town attractions of Sultanahmet, Topkapi Palace, Blue Mosque and Grand Bazaar. The vibrant nightlife districts of Beyoğlu and Karaköy as well as the famous Galata Tower are a 25-minute stroll from the hotel. Istanbul's sophisticated shopping neighborhood of Nişantaşi is located within walking distance from the hotel, while the luxurious shopping centers of Zorlu Center and İstinye Park can be reached in less than 30 minutes. Guests at 'Bleu Lounge' can enjoy Bosphorus views alongside Mediterranean inspired snacks and innovative signature lab-cocktails in imaginative laboratory glasses. As the night continues, vibrant live musicians start their performance, performing the latest hits and raising the tempo to suit guests' mood and the night's feeling. With sunshine warming the city of Istanbul, the venue's retractable glass roof slides back, opening up 'Bleu Lounge' to delicious cool air. At The Ritz-Carlton, Istanbul, the passionate pursuit of simple delicious food has been elevated to a fine art form at the hotel's new restaurant, 'Atelier Real Food'. Guests are welcomed by glittering views of the Bosphorus while the open kitchen entices with its French Rotisserie. Here, all dishes use fresh local seasonal ingredients and culinary excellence is celebrated by delicious 'farm-to-table' flavors created uniquely in the chefs' 'atelier'. The restaurant enjoys an indulgent winter garden terrace 'Atelier Terrace' for social celebrations and lovers of alfresco dining, as well as a private chef's table for those seeking dining exclusivity and a showcase cellar with 150 local and international wines. The lobby lounge 'Atelier Lounge' is a specially designed place to meet, eat and drink, offering Mediterranean-inspired Turkish dishes, along with breathtaking Bosphorus views. The spacious 'Club Lounge', reserved for 'Club Level' guests, provides complimentary culinary presentations throughout the day and a comfortable space to unwind with colleagues, friends or family, with a dedicated Concierge to attend to guests' every need. The views are extraordinary, of the Bosphorus and the timeless city of Istanbul. Two Smart Fortwo cars are also exclusively at the disposal of 'Club Level' guests offering a uniquely stylish way for urban explorers to enjoy the city or for corporate guests to get to their next appointment. The Ritz-Carlton Spa offers eight treatment rooms, a unique 17-metre indoor pool and authentic Turkish Hammam, spread over an area of 1,500 sqm. It also features a unique 'Couples Hammam Suite' which enables its guests to share an authentic memory of Turkey. The hotel also boasts the first 'Open Air Spa' terrace in the city with three contemporary Jacuzzis, a stylish sleek sunbathing terrace, two massage rooms and a pool. More than 2,403 square meters of meeting and conference space, highlighted by a magnificent Bosphorus view, are available for memorable events. Superb catering and entertainment services, high-speed Internet access in all meeting rooms and public areas, plus state-of-the-art audio-visual services and technicians all combine for our guest requirements. The Ritz-Carlton, Istanbul was recognized 'Best Luxury Hotel Turkey, 2014' by Business Destinations Travel Awards and 'Central Eastern Europe's Best Employer of The Year 2013' by Aon Hewitt as well as 'Best International Business Hotel' 2009 and was recently recognized as one of the 'Best International Overseas Business Hotels' 2015 by Condé Nast Traveller Readers' Award. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- The Ritz-Carlton Istanbul Hotel Istanbul
- Istanbul Ritz Carlton
- Ritz Istanbul
- Ritz-Carlton Istanbul