A five-day business trip to Istanbul provided me the opportunity to stay at the W Hotel, thanks to corporate travel policy (Starwood hotels where available, please.). Because of all-day meetings outside of the hotel, I didn’t have the opportunity or need to access all of the facilities.
The W’s lobby is indeed a bit over-the-top night club-esque and doesn’t always mesh with the overall Turkish architecture of the place. (The metal detector at the door is all show in my view.) The staff is polite, speaks English, and is helpful, well-trained and accommodating. Most guests (not crowded mid-week in late October) were Americans, some on Starwood’s rewards program.
My low-end Wonderful room was completely adequate and the shower, toilet and sink each in a closet aspect are really not an issue. I wasn’t upgraded and my breakfast wasn’t free. (You pay a rock-bottom rate and get a rock-bottom room. My schedule necessitated me to eat all of my meals outside the hotel any way.) The bed was fluffy and the TV-in –the-mirror works just fine. Free Wi-Fi is available in the lobby and is adequate, but not spectacular. If you want to brew coffee in your room, stay at a Hampton Inn, not a W.
The hotel’s location is in a Georgetown-like neighborhood, with adjacent high-end retail stores (Marc Jacobs, Bottega Venata, Café Nero – Italian version of Starbucks with better coffee), but it isn’t close to the historic sites. (Do take the uphill 20-minute walk to the Cities mall. Yep, keep walking…) The hotel’s bar attracts a swanky local crowd on Wednesdays and Thursdays.
The Tram to the tourist section is a bit of a hike, but not excessively far. You can take a bus on the main street one block from the hotel to the Tram for USD$1.00. Also, hail a taxi on the main street instead of in front of the hotel to avoid adding to the length of your trip because of one-way street. (Not all taxi drivers know the hotel and most don't speak English, so have the hotel's business card handy.) And traffic is a nightmare at all hours, so allow plenty of time to reach your destination. The ferry is an easy walk from the hotel.
If you are an intrepid and independent, high-end, hip, status-conscious and Starwood member traveler, the W is for you. If you are expecting five-star service and a private tour guide to pick you up in a car at your hotel, stay at the Ciragan Palace nearby. (Several of my meetings were at that hotel and it appeared to be sumptuous. A delegation from the Russian natural gas company Gazprom was staying there, and those folks appreciate top-end hotels globally.) The best option for most Istanbul visitors is the Four Seasons in Old Town (not the one next door to the Ciragan) given its walking distance to tourist attractions. Be sure to visit the picturesque Ortakoy neighborhood at the base of the bridge over the Bosphorus for a drink or dinner at sunset. It is not far from the W, and an enjoyable lengthy walk for city dwellers.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Well Hello There,
Report response as inappropriate
It is a great happiness for us to read that we could reflect the W concept to you. We are so looking forward to welcoming you back to our charming city and of course to W Istanbul!
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.