I was disappointed when my taxi swung into the drive of the Istanbul Hilton, since from the outside the hotel is as inviting as an East European apartment block from the 1950’s! But you can’t tell a book from its cover, since once you step inside the Hilton you are met with marbled opulence and elegance; it is everywhere in the cavernous foyer!! However, I wasn’t given much chance to view the initial elegance, since as soon as the desk clerk realised I was booked into an Executive room, I was escorted up to the 9th floor exclusive check in at the Executive Lounge.
Here, check in was relaxed and (almost) correct; at least my name was correct but all other details belonged to someone else – not even on the same Continent!
My Executive room on the 7th floor was nice and large (an advantage of 1950’s architecture when space was plentiful!) and had the added bonus of a staggering view of the Bosphorus!! Probably one of my best hotel views ever!
The room itself was clean and recently refurbished with desk, chair and a huge (and very comfortable) bed, but the 20+ year old television was a bit out of place; where was the modern flat screen TV that would be expected in the Executive room of any other hotel of this calibre? Wifi was good and strong; not free, but there was a variety of tariffs to choose from. The rooms all have large expansive balconies (another advantage of that 50 year old design!) that allow the opportunity to sit out and soak up the great view.
One problem arising from the old design of the hotel, however, is the lack of sound insulation; antagonistic followed by amorous noises from a nearby room at 4.00 in the morning caused me to imbibe from the well-stocked minibar! (though why no tonic in the bar to accompany the three miniatures of gin??)
The breakfast buffet was busy and bountiful, and nicely included in the room rate. The bar on the 9th floor was cosy, with the addition of that great night time view over the Bosphorus! The Executive Lounge also on the 9th floor served complimentary drinks and snacks all day and offered an opportunity to meet colleagues and friends in a comfortable environment. Service throughout the hotel – at all levels – was pleasant, attentive and always friendly.
The hotel is well located with only a 10 minute walk from Taksim Square, centre for bars and restaurants and nightlife, and also close to some of the best of Istanbul’s shopping. Excellent maps and info from the hotel concierge made things easy to find.
I will have the chance to return to Istanbul next year for another conference and I hope to stay once more at the most excellent Istanbul Hilton.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The iconic Hilton Istanbul Bosphorus with its landmark central location, stunning views and beautifully landscaped gardens is an oasis of serenity amidst the bustle of one of the world’s most vibrant cities. As the ambassador of Turkish hospitality, this legendary hotel serves its great heritage and service quality since 1955. Located in the heart of Istanbul next to the Congress Valley, this hotel is at walking distance to famous Taksim Square and responds every travelling purpose. Hilton Istanbul Bosphorus offers 500 spacious guest rooms, all with a balcony and with breathtaking Bosphorus or beautiful garden view. Hotel has various restaurants which offer different sceneries and exclusive dining opportunities. Extensive health club & spa services are designed for a fit body and soul. Open 24 hours, 7 days a week, the Health Club features state-of-art-facilities: Hilton Fitness equipment, outdoor and indoor pool, hammam ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Hilton Istanbul Hotel Istanbul
- Hilton International Istanbul
- Istanbul Hilton International