Trip Report, October 2012
The time came for a quick trip away from the kids. Destination: magical Turkey. I had been there circa 1986 and remembered fondly as a young boy my father buying a chess set in the Grand Bazaar. My wife looked in the destination and was onboard. I debated where to stay; any of the places I really wanted to stay (Four Seasons, Çiragan Palace) turned out to be way too expensive to get into a Bosphorous view room (think 800+ euros a night). I decided if I couldn't get a Bosphorous view; then maybe I should look around for the best rooms in the city...
I stumbled upon the Park Hyatt. Fortunately, I also stumbled upon complimentary 90 day Platinum status as well. An application for the Hyatt visa turned that into permanent Platinum status, as well as 2 free nights and 2 free suite upgrades... In addition, this would be our first Park Hyatt stay ever...
I booked a virtuoso rate via a travel agent. The rate details include:
- Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability (from Park King rooms to Park Spa rooms)
- Complimentary buffet breakfast daily for up to two in-room guests
- One Welcome Drink per person on arrival
- One complimentary luncheon for two at the Lounge at Park Hyatt, once during stay
- Complimentary book of "Istanbul - City of Two Continents" by John Cleave
Now, given that I have no status (well just platinum) and that this was an anniversary trip, I wanted to ensure an upgrade. My desire was to secure a Spa Room at least, but the suite upgrades are only for a Park Suite. I applied one and contacted the hotel pre-arrival who further confirmed an upgrade to a Spa Room.
We arrived from IST airport via Backpackers travel. It sounds sketchy but I think the tariff was 30 euros each way for a Mercedes van. Definitely a much better option that any Istanbul taxi. They were always waiting for us at the airport and always on time to pick us up. There is the "security check" at the door but it seems like a mere formality. Check-in was quick; the representative apologized for being unable to assist us to our room as it was busy. We were also given two vouchers for the set lunch; available either in the lobby lounge or poolside.
We were given a 7th floor room, overlooking the pool (I think it was the 7th floor at least.) Much has been said about the room, but I think the bathroom is a highlight. Light therapy was a nice perk during a soak. I used a steam each morning after working out. I enjoyed the filtered water available as well. Nespresso was nice; and I asked for additional capsules which was granted (I am a 6 cup of coffee a day drinker). Couple of negatives: I know it's just considered a room but a little separated space would have been nice. It seems that the way it's laid out they could have done that. I didn't realize how much I appreciated a true suite when I travel because I typically get up earlier than my wife and read. Another negative is on Saturday nights there is a big club nearby which really thumps. One final thing is that we often heard noise from upstairs as well.
Breakfast is in a small area that seems to get quite busy. There is a buffet of cold items was well stocked and hot items available from the menu.. Mrs TDW give the pain au chocolat rave reviews even though she typicslly doesnt like pain au chocolat... I ordered the menumet each morning which was delicious. Room service breakfast was an option with the Virtuoso rate, which took about 30 mins to arrive. We also used the free lunch voucher, which was valid on a set 3 course lunch. It was actually quite a lot of food; truthfully not that memorable... I would have much rather had a F and B credit to pick what I wanted... We also went to happy hour once; 2 for 1. It was kind of confusing, we thought we could order just one drink and have two for the two of us. Instead, we each had to order a drink and receive a free one afterwards. Oh well, we managed to do just fine...
Small but sufficient workout room. Only ever saw one other person working out. But then again I tended to be there before 6 am each morning. We tried making spa appointments but they seemed to be busy on the day we wanted to go. The pool is nice, but doesn't receive a ton of sun. It was a bit chilly in early October but we went in it a couple of times. The business center is a joke. Two easy chairs with two laptops basically it's in the vestibule of someone's office. Seems like an after thought. Internet is provided via Swisscom and priced at 18 euros per 24 hours. However as a hyatt plat it's complimentary and when asked they replied that it was for multiple devices.
Solid. Room always serviced efficiently. Addressed by name frequently. The concierge provided an excellent recommendation for dinner: Mezzalune.. great great eggplant dish (and my wife doesn't like eggplant). I think that we ate there 3-4 times... We also needed some medicine because we had encountered the Sultan's revenge. The concierge offered to send someone out for it or to have a doctor visit. One thing to note is that Pepto is not available in Turkey (but nearly everything else is and without a prescription..)
Nisantasi is very very upscale. Louis Vuitton, Tiffany's etc. Great shopping but mostly major international brands... that doesn't mean that my wife didn't indulge... Lots of good eating options nearby.. we ate across the street one night at the Kebab place.. very tasty... One big negative (or positive) is that it's very far from the historic district... well 15 minutes without traffic but that doesn't exist.. taxis are easy from the hotel, and quite cheap... taxi's in the historic district a really really sketchy in my opinion.. definitely a big turn off. I also got scammed
No problems. Bill was proper. No issues with internet charges. Points credited appropriately.
So after three days in Cappadocia, we decide to return to Istanbul for some reason. This time I book a FHR rate for one night in a Spa room (that was the only room available) and a free night stay in a Park King. I contacted the hotel pre-arrival and asked if possible to not have to move. They agreed to keep me in the Spa room, which was great. The FHR rate includes breakfast, late checkout, and $100 credit. They did make me spend the $100 credit during the first night's stay. We were unable to secure a spa reservation so truthfully we blew all $100 on minibar.. yeah.. lame I know, but we also weren't feeling to well (this was the Sultan's revenge)... so we went shopping at the minibar for gifts to bring home (nuts, raki).. kind of a waste...
A nice city hotel. Great area if you want to stay around that area. Solid service.. Great rooms.. however, if it's your first trip to Istanbul I would pick an option closer to the historic district to avoid hassles with transportation.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The stylish five-star hotel houses a total of 90 generously sized deluxe rooms and suites. Decorated with Ara Güler's black-and-white Istanbul photography, traditional Turkish patterns and icons represented in contemporary scale and composition, the hotel fills the guest with what we call "unexpected pleasures". The finest food and beverage facilities at 'The Lounge at Park Hyatt' offering all-day dining, including breakfast. The outdoor facilities include an outdoor pool and The Terrace. The Spa offers the ultimate in relaxation after a busy day in town. Be it a business trip, a city break, a shopping spree, or the perfect honeymoon, our city hotel in Istanbul offers all that you need. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Park Hyatt Istanbul - Macka Palas Hotel Istanbul