Having stayed at the Pera Palas Hotel both before and after its 2010 renovation, my opinion is that while the quality of the lodging aspect of the product has been brought to a rather high modern standard, much of the old establishment’s nostalgic charm has been corralled into a few display cases containing historic documents of indifferent interest. Thankfully, the original elevator has been preserved, as has the décor of the Kubbeli Saloon, and the Ataturk museum room (open to the public by appointment) remains as it was during our original visit years ago. The renovation of the Orient Bar had not yet been completed during our late July, 2011 visit. The rooms and suites have been fully modernized and are spacious and well furnished, though without much ambience that would invoke the hotel’s Ottoman history. My overall rating for this property would be above average if this were the only factor considered.
The hotel’s implementation of a modern, customer-oriented service component has been less successful than the physical renovation. Individual staff members were, with a few exceptions, extremely pleasant and eager to oblige, when able to do so. For example, the concierge desk, having recommended a restaurant a few blocks away, sent along one of the young bellmen to walk with us through the area’s confusing maze of streets. That was nicely done. On the other hand, the concierge desk, when asked for restaurant recommendations, pushed several that have been identified in other reviews as “concierge favorites” at several of the big hotels, and which offered indifferent food at exorbitant prices. Yet they did not mention a very fine restaurant just ten steps away. (We found it ourselves on Tripadvisor!).
Unfortunately, the front desk did not measure up to what should be expected in a first-class establishment. Interactions ranged from cold to hostile. Our rooms weren’t ready at checkin and we were upsold to what they called suites, though one of the two rooms certainly was not a suite. We were cheerily informed by one staff member that our room rate included breakfast, but after being presented with a bill at breakfast the next day we inquired at the front desk and were told no, the room did not include breakfast. When I said that we had been told it did by the staff member (who was then standing right next to the receptionist) the reply was “she made a mistake.” The breakfast charge was there at checkout, itself a very confused process entailing three separate credit card charges. Overall, the front desk operation was not customer-friendly, and was a weak point.
I can’t recommend this hotel for a tourist visitor. The areas worth seeing are open to the public, and in summer a walk through the lobby and Kubbeli Saloon, followed by a cool drink on the outdoor terrace, might be worthwhile. A visit to Ataturk's room offers a rare chance to glimpse the private life of one of the 20th Century's greatest political figures. For a business visit on an expense account, it would be a good choice if the business to be done is in the vicinity. Otherwise, this marvelous city offers many more attractive alternatives for tourist lodging.
- Also Known As:
- Pera Palas Hotel
- Pera Palas
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Gazing over the golden years of history, Pera Palace Hotel, Jumeirah overlooks the magnificent view of the Golden Horn and is located in Tepebaşı district of Pera once known as the “Little Europe”. With its 115 rooms, including 16 suites, retaining the characteristics of the 19th century elegance through historical furniture, the hotel combines refined elegance with state-of the-art technology to fulfill the needs of 21st century travellers. Enjoy a range of revitalized restaurant and bar choices, including the Agatha Restaurant, The Kubbeli Saloon, the French style Patisserie de Pera and the legendary Orient Bar & Terrace and rejuvenate yourself in the soothing atmosphere of Pera Spa. ... more less
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