I stayed here for 5 days and since I had a very positive experience I thought I share it with the rest of the TA community:
I arranged to be picked up by the hotel’s BMW 7 Series and while it will cost you probably 4-5 times more than a taxi ride, I feel like it is definitely worth it specially after a 17 hour plane ride in my case. I was greeted by the hotel’s uniformed greeter and he quickly filled me in on some quick facts regarding Istanbul while at the same time asking for the car to be brought up. The ride was about 30 minutes to the airport and although driving in Istanbul is rather more “thrilling” than your average US city it’s definitely up to par with places like Rome and most of Eastern Europe so it was nothing new to me specially since I have actually driven in Rome for a few days. I was greeted at the hotel entrance by a multitude of people who all called me by my last name, just like they’ve known me for years.
Check -in, Check-out:
Probably one of the quickest I ever experienced. All the paperwork was done in the car during the trip from the airport (another advantage of the hotel transfer) so by the time I was met by the check-in supervisor at the lobby there was little to do except heading to my room while he explained to me a few pointers regarding the hotel and locations of different amenities. I had booked a Four Seasons Executive Suite but they had upgraded me to a One Bedroom Suite which is a bit more roomy and they also really wanted to try and get me in to the Presidential Suite for half the rack rate or about USD 1500/night which I declined cause simply the One Bedroom was overly big enough for me. Check-out took a bit longer cause they were having issues with their system, although the reception staff probably appologized 4 times in 5 minutes despite the fact I assured them it was just fine and I completely understood problems do happen.
This place is right in the heart of the old city. Basically expect a lot of commotion during the day with a lot of taxis and tour buses going through the nearby streets, however don’t be afraid of the noise! This hotel is surprisingly quiet and except for the prayer calls from the nearby mosques you can hardly ever hear anything. Special note regarding prayer calls, yes they are LOUD during the day but fortunately our Turkish hosts turn down the volume during the morning call which is around 5:30 AM or so. I never really woke up by the sound in the morning and I could hardly imagine anyone would and if you do, just chalk it up as a part of the whole Turkish experience! Again watch out for cars and buses as you will have to share the streets with them as sidewalks are uneven and narrow not to mention they just simply end at some points in the middle of the road!
Food & Drinks:
Bottled water is provided everyday (at least in my suite, not sure of the regular rooms). The food at the restaurant was good but not really exceptional. Service at the restaurant was very nice and quick although it seemed like they are “acting” at some points and weren’t really fluid but still I say it was good. You could actually forget where you were for a second of two, so I give it zero points on originality which again is expected and not a negative but just to inform you.
Room Service food was OK, again nothing superbly tasteful but very well presented nontheless.
My biggest issue was with the lounge! It’s decorated really rather untaistful and to top it I had a martini served to me in a whisky glass cause they didn’t have any martini glasses! No garnish no nothing! I say this was probably the worst martini I ever had so avoid the over priced bar/lounge and head to so many better ones in the town.
This hotel is very well maintained. My suite was spotless! The housekeeping staff meticulously cleaned my messy suite everyday never missing anything. I’m a germ freak and I can tell you this was by far the cleanest Four Seasons I’ve ever stayed in! I actually left a very small tip everyday for the housekeeping staff for such a superb job they did everyday. Hotel’s common areas also follow on the same footsteps. There is always one or two people cleaning something somewhere, always moving immediately out of the way before you’ve even approached them in the hallway, then continuing when you move past.
Last but not least is of course service. The Turks are generally a very friendly and happy nation and the staff in Four Seasons Sultanahmet are not any different, if not more exceptional! I received probably the most friendly and professional service I have ever received so far at any property be it Four Seasons or not. These guys are really over the top even for a Four Seasons! Aside from pretty much everyone calling you by name, it’s just the general attitude of the staff that makes the difference. Somehow everyone here seems to be genuinely happy to be here and to be of any assistance to you! They make you feel as if they are your family. The concierge team handled every interaction with utmost friendliness and professionalism. I booked two restaurants through them and both turned out to be superb choices. Four Seasons name carries a weight in Istanbul, the two extremely busy restaurants I visited both gave me their best tables despite me booking just few hours earlier and despite being almost a full house! Concierge also gave me good directions to a few shops I needed to check out as well as handled a few itiniary changes again with professionalism and efficiency. Doormen are also particularly friendly here always watching out for you making sure you know where the directions and offering you umbrellas before you even realize it’s raining!
This hotel delivers top value for the $. I see a lot of complaints about how expensive this hotel is, but I remind you all some things you can never buy. This hotel provides beyond what you can simply buy. Stay here and experience it for yourself but be sure to come back and rate this great hotel and it’s superb staff.
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- Also Known As:
- 4 Seasons Hotel Istanbul At Sultanahmet
- Four Seasons Istanbul
- Istanbul Four Seasons
- Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul