HHonors Diamond writing a review here... Being a diamond member and a world traveler means that I've stayed at lots of different Hilton properties through out the word. I have to say that the DoubleTree at Istanbul Old Town definitely ranks towards the bottom of the list of hotels. There is no problem with the hotel's "hardware" sort of say - the decor, furniture, restaurant, spa and all facilities are quite new and modern which is a plus. However, there are simply too many other issues with this hotel which have led to this 2-star review. First of all, please do not consider this a 5-star hotel - even though the hotel may be newer (and therefore more modern/nicer) than some of the 4-star hotels in Istanbul, the DoubleTree is by no means comparable to a true 5-star such as the nearby Four Seasons. I mean, there is often very little difference in terms of facilities between a 4 vs. a 5-star hotel and rather you would expect perfection or simply better services at a 5-star compared to a 4 which is not our experience here. Speaking of location, DoubleTree is 3 tram stops away from the old town area where Haiga Sophia, Blue Mosque and all the sights in the old town are. This is about a 15 minute walk, or a short tram ride away. It is true that the hotel is conveniently located directly at the tram stop; however, I do not consider the location to be "great" or "brilliant" like some other posts have suggested. If you have to/want to stay at a Hilton property in Istanbul, it is correct that this is the best location. However, there are many many hotels (including 4, 5-star luxury properties) located directly in the Sultanahmet area where all the sights are. The issue with the location of the DoubleTree is more related to the fact that the hotel is in the middle of a very busy shopping district. Though not a long walk to the various historical sites, there is very limited restaurant choices around the hotel. In addition, the surrounding of the hotel is also very noisy. The hotel is on a very busy street where the tram runs. We had a room facing a side street and even then there were noise issues through out our stay until very late at night. One could only imagine how loud it must be if your have a front facing room! In comparison, a hotel in the Sultanahmet would generally be surrounded by more greens, nice cafe/restaurants and a much quieter night. An additional thing to be aware of is the hotel's false advertising on its website. Doubletree's website mentions that it "is the nearest hotel to the famous covered Grand Bazaar" and this is simply not true! The hotel is 1 tram stop away from Grand Bazzar yet there are lots of hotels which are directly located at the Grand Bazaar area all of which closer to the Grand Bazzar. I am not sure how or why DoubleTree thinks that they are the closest hotel to the Grand Bazzar. :( The service level at the hotel is also a bit of a miss-or-hit and certainly not what you would expect for a 5-star. Out of the 4 nights we stayed, we received turn-down service for 2 nights only!? I wonder why this is - initially we just thought that there's no turn-down service which is fine, but then we got a turn-down service one night. Housekeeping is also quite unprofessional. A man from housekeeping actually opened our door in the morning (around 9am) without knocking or any prior notice at all! This is simply unacceptable as we were in the middle of dressing! Furthermore, our reservation was for two guests which the hotel is very well aware of, but there is only one bathrobe and one hand towel in our hotel room! Well, there were two hand towels when we arrived, but ever since the second day, housekeeping decided to only give us one hand towel. We never had a second bathrobe either. On the morning of day 2, we stopped by the front desk (since there is no dedicated concierge desk) to get a map and some walking direction. We were told that we should buy an Istanbul card (it's like a metro card in NYC or an oyster in London). We were informed by the hotel staff that we will need to pay 10lira of deposit on each card and in return, each tram journey will only cost us 1.9lira as opposed to the standard 3lira fare. The hotel staff also told us that at the end of our stay, we can simply return the card and get our money back. He wrote down all the numbers on a piece of paper, so we definitely got the information from him "correctly". We confirmed again with him that we could get all the leftover credit back and the deposit and he said yes. Happy that we found a good deal, we bought two cards at the place we were told only to find out that all the information was WRONG! The deposit is actually 6lira, and there is actually 1lira service fee for the card, the tram journey with the card is actually 2lira, we only need one card between us (as you can swipe it twice), and that we would not get any leftover credit back! Unfortunately, we only found out at the end of stay when we tried to return the card that we wouldn't get any leftover credit back. Again, another piece of incorrect information provided by the hotel. To be fair, DoubleTree did at the end refund our remaining credit back (but not without hassle) - we had to deal with some very rude staff to get this done. Their immediate reaction after we explained what happened is that "who told you this?" Rather than being appologatic, the staff at front desk when we checked out was rather rude with some attitude one should not expect. It has completely ruined our holidays... My OH had a Turkish bath at the hotel spa one night, and after he returned back to the room, I noticed that his face, arms and body were very very red. He told me that it felt rather painful and it looked like a severe case of sunburn to me. We've both had Turkish bath a few times before, so it wasn't something new. We called the hotel careline and a lady came to our room. She started out not very understanding (for example, saying that this is normal, etc.), but to make a long story short, a doctor was called with medicine prescribed and a diagnosis was made. At the end, things were handled OK (acceptable level), but the reaction and the handling by the hotel staff of the incident initially was not really well. Perhaps the personnel just lacks experience and may get better next time, but I certainly don't want to be some training tool for their experience - at least not when I pay to stay at a 5-star property. On the last morning, both of our keys stopped working at 11:10am when we returned to our room from breakfast. Luckily, there was a staff working on our floor, so we simply talked to her and not have to go all the way to the front desk. She checked her paper and told us that our room has been checked-out already which is very strange as we didn't check-out, and didn't even receive a bill in our door for express check-out either. She then phoned front desk who asked to speak to me to confirm our identity. I asked him over the phone how come the key has stopped working when check-out isn't until noon. He said that there may be issues with the magnetic strip, which I don't believe it's true as both of our two keys stopped working - don't you think it's a bit "interesting" that both keys stopped working at the same time on the last morning? What's even more strange is that on the last morning before we checked out, housekeeping attempted to come in and clean our room (knocking on our door this time). It actually woke us up as it was just around 9am. I know we could've had the DND sign out, and we didn't simply because one would not expect housekeeping to come on the morning of your check-out day. All in all, the service at the hotel is probably around a poor 2-3 star hotel quality, the decor/interior/facilities may be 4-star, the restaurant prices are definitely 5-star (read very expensive), and the room sizes are also very small (only enough floor space to pen one luggage, but not two!) English speaking personnel is not always available at the spa. In addition, my OH got dirty looks and was shown the clock/time when he went to the spa at 9:15pm (the spa is open until 10pm everyday) - it was a case as if the staff would like to clean up and leave early and therefore tried to stop him from using the spa at 9:15pm. We would not recommend this place for your Istanbul trip. Though the furnishing and look of the hotel are good, there are simply too many issues and incidents. The service level is generally quite poor as well except for the great restaurant staff (both the cafe on the ground floor and the roof-top terrace, though expect high prices...) I would like to add as a last note, that yes, you do receive DoubleTree chocolate chip cookies at check-in (standard at all DoubleTree hotels) and yes you will sleep on the DoubleTree beds (read - rather soft).
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Explore nearby museums and Istanbul attractions from the DoubleTree by Hilton Istanbul – Old Town hotel. Located in Istanbul's central historical district, this Istanbul hotel is just 20 minutes east of Ataturk International Airport and a five minute walk from Istanbul's famous Grand Bazaar. Thoughtfully designed to blend into the Old City. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Doubletree By Hilton Istanbul - Old Town Hotel Istanbul