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“A great hotel but disappointed with the service....”

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Ciragan Palace Kempinski Istanbul
Ranked #51 of 1,159 Hotels in Istanbul
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed May 2, 2013

On the whole the hotel was good, I've stayed in Kempinski hotels and other equivalent hotels around the world and this by far stands out for the not delivering a 5 star service in my opinion...

On the first day of our arrival (27/04/13) we checked in around 3pm and headed straight to Laledan(one of the many restaurants) for lunch... It was pretty empty with lots of staff around- 'which I thought would be a good thing considering that we were very hungry'. We ordered some drinks and food - our order was taken quite quickly but that's where the efficiency ended! We ordered sprite with ice and a wedge of lemon ..We waited about 20 mins for 3 sprites to be delivered to our table, when I asked about the ice, I was told that another waiter would bring it over in a few mins, when the 2nd waited arrived 5 mins later , I asked again for a wedge of lemon for which I was told that waiter no. 3 is on his way with that 'how many waiters do you need to serve a lemonade?' So in all 28 mins later , 3 waiters down our lemonade's arrived! Hallelujah - and then not to forget we still had to wait a while for our main courses to be served ' on observation the restaurant was pretty empty at that time of the day with a few waiters chit chatting in one corner - I've had much better service in other establishments and a 5 star restaurant should have no excuse for that! On day 2 of our trip we decided to go to La fumair for some midnight drinks and a shisha.. On this instance it was quite busy with only 3 waiters in sight - I ordered mineral water for which I literally had to wait 30 mins (no joke!) I asked 3 different people and they all kept saying yes we will pass on the message to your waiter - how hard is it to get me water ? When the waiter finally showed up there was no apology... I feel there needs to be a good balance, in instance one you were overstaffed and under productive and in instance 2 understaffed and still under productive - so on the whole the hotel was good but we were let down by the service and decided to eat in other hotels and restaurants after those experiences for the remainder of our trip!

  • Stayed: April 2013
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4  Thank Anu C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CPKI, General Manager at Ciragan Palace Kempinski Istanbul, responded to this reviewResponded May 7, 2013

Dear Ciragan Guest,
Thank you for posting your comment on TripAdvisor following your recent stay with us.
I deeply regret that you had an unpleasant experience in our food and beverage outlets and we were not able to meet your expectations.
We appreciate receiving constructive feedback from our guests, even if it is of a critical nature, as this is the only way we can truly assess our guests’ needs, and continuously improve the luxury service we aim to provide.
We have already taken note of your feedback and proceeded to improve our service immediately. Please also note our Hotel Manager Leon Baum will be at your entire disposal if you would like to further discuss the inconvenience you experienced and you may contact him directly at leon.baum@kempinski.com, referring to this review in the email title.
I do hope you will give us another chance with a further stay in the future and we will have the pleasure of providing you with the finest Turkish hospitality here in the Ciragan Palace Kempinski Istanbul.
Yours sincerely,

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed April 29, 2013

Every amenity exists at this hotel. We had a Bosphorous view room which was well appointed. the spa is wonderful, the massage therapy beautiful. A very large gym is also available. The lush and vast grounds are magnificent as well incorporating several palaces with period furnishings.

Breakfast has every available option for the palate and other restaurants are also available, catering to different tastes.

The only drawback is the lack of English speaking wait staff at the restaurants which made ordering some simple items a bit of a challenge. Whilst it is somewhat obnoxious for a foreigner to suggest that English be spoken at a hotel outside of an English-speaking country, the staff advertise an ability to speak English, which just was not consistent. Check out was also labourious, for the same language reasons.

Having said that, for the money, this is an outstanding choice in Istanbul (having stayed at The Hilton at my last visit). Highly recommended.

Room Tip: Try and arrange a Bosphorous view room.
  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled with friends
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2  Thank Michael01UK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CPKI, General Manager at Ciragan Palace Kempinski Istanbul, responded to this reviewResponded May 1, 2013

Dear Ciragan Guest,
Thank you for posting your feedback on TripAdvisor following your stay with us back in last year.
We are glad to hear that we were able to meet your expectations. We have also taken note of your constructive feedback and please be assured that your comments have been passed on to the related departments.
We hope we will have the pleasure of welcoming you again.
Yours sincerely,

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 28, 2013

How can one describe the splendor of this hotel? It is absolutely beautiful. The staff and services are par none. For some reason, when we checked in they offered us a complimentary upgrade; I don't know why, but we were thrilled. The room was stunning, large, comfortable, and with extraordinary views. Our wish was their command. The hotel arranged for us to have a car and driver and guide which made life so easy. The restaurant in the hotel is fabulous. The shops amazing. It was a magical experience.

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank susan s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CPKI, General Manager at Ciragan Palace Kempinski Istanbul, responded to this reviewResponded May 1, 2013

Dear Ciragan Guest,
Thank you for posting your feedback on TripAdvisor following your stay with us back in last year.
I truly appreciate you taking the time to write such a review with great comments. We have shared it with the rest of the team as well and you really made our day!
I hope we will have the pleasure of welcoming you back soon.
Yours sincerely,

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 27, 2013

This is a stunning hotel, a little further out of Istanbul centre - right on the Bosphurus. WIth views of the Asian side of Istanbul from every room.

The hotel is a typical Kempinski hotel. Huge in size, with all the expected perks that come with a luxury hotel.

Breakfasts are outstanding; service is exceptional; and if you're lucky enough to go to a conference here, you'll find the views from the conference rooms quite inspiring.

The downside is that the rooms are quite small and basic for a luxury hotel - especially when you're paying way above average by Istanbul hotel standards.

In short, a beautiful hotel - though your room will probably not be as grand!

Room Tip: Ask for the rooms at the back of the hotel with better views of the Bosphorus.
  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled on business
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Thank Travelexpertdotcom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CPKI, General Manager at Ciragan Palace Kempinski Istanbul, responded to this reviewResponded May 1, 2013

Dear Ciragan Guest,
Thank you for posting your comment on TripAdvisor.
We were very happy to read your review, and are glad that our services and facilities could exceed your expectations during your business trip to Istanbul back in February.
We look forward to welcoming you back on many occasions.
Yours sincerely,

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 25, 2013 via mobile

This is a proper 5 stars luxury hotel. Service is excellent. Rooms are stylish and perfectly maintained, and so are the hotel grounds. Outdoor heated pool is spectacular. We had it to ourselves and it was like swimming in the Bosforus. It is however incredibly expensive. Not so much the room (you get what you pay for) but any extra.. Just to give an example, room service: a portion of manti (Turkish ravioli) was something silly like 22 pounds! Home branded bathroom products were pretty disappointing (not up to a luxury hotel).

  • Stayed: April 2013
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Thank Hic_sunt_leones_83
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CPKI, General Manager at Ciragan Palace Kempinski Istanbul, responded to this reviewResponded May 1, 2013

Dear Ciragan Guest,
Thank you for posting your comment on TripAdvisor following your stay with us last month.
I truly appreciate you taking the time to write such a detailed review and we are glad to hear that you enjoyed the view of your room with the city’s key landmarks including the Maiden’s Tower as well as our infinity pool and TV channel selection available in the guest rooms.
We hope we will have the pleasure of welcoming you back on many occasions.
Yours sincerely,

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 24, 2013

After our initial 3 nights stay in the Hotel Neorion to take in the top Istanbul sights, we flew to Cappadocia for another 3 nights. Then, its back to this Hotel for a 2 nights stay in order to see sights around this area. We felt that for first time visitors to Istanbul like us, its best first to stay in the Old town area to finish off the sights there, then stay here for the second or last leg to relax and see sights nearer to this Hotel.

Although we are members of the Leading Hotels, its rates as well as this Hotel's official website rates were somewhat off putting. Undeterred, I scouted around the other internet websites and found a bargain for a Superior Bosphorus view room at 445 euros for mid April, no breakfasts though (early booking, non-refundable). Though not cheap by Istanbul standards, this Hotel was quite worth it we thought.

Check in at around 1-1.30pm was not a problem and our request for a higher floor was also granted. The room was quite spacious, with a huge covered terrace offering views of the Asian side of Istanbul. We could even see the Maiden's Tower and the Hotel's great infinity heated outdoor pool from the terracer - nice and special! The bathroom with a tub was covered in gorgeous white and green marble, with nice veins, luxurious!

We were even more impressed by the Hotel's offer of many TV selections, English as well as CCTV in Chinese - felt really special watching China news in Europe, great! Our room was also quiet for sleeping as the Hotel offers a pillow menu (most 4 star Istanbul Hotels do, anyway) and a huge comfy bed. There was lots of closet space, too. I felt that though the terrace is not as private and the Bosphorus view is not a full frontal one, a Superior Bosphorus view room here would suffice. There is NO NEED to book a Deluxe Bosphorus or higher category room.

The negatives of staying here are - its location is pretty far from the top Istanbul sights in the Old town area and there is no tram nor bus to reach there other than by taxis. Lucky us, we knew that before hand, so be forewarned. And though the roads in front of the Hotel is not that busy, it could get jammed up during accidents (we witnessed one) and peak hours, so taxi fares do add up. There is no kettle to boil water but we requested and got one. That the Hotel's breakfasts charge for a Continental is exorbitant, more so for a buffet.

The most outstanding feature of the Hotel, is, of course, its huge infinity heated outdoor pool. Made use of it one cold morning and it certainly felt very special, looking dreamily at the restored old Ciragan Palace and the ships passing by in the Bosphorus. However, do not jump in as the pool is only 1.2m, probably to save on heating costs. Took a taxi to the Dolmabache Palace, 8-10 TL, otherwise a 2km walk, and it was certainly lovely, much more palatial than the restored Ciragan Palace.

Right opposite the Hotel is the Ciragan's old gradens, the Yidliz Park (spelling?). We even strolled 10-15 minutes up the hill to have breakfasts at the famed Villa where Sultan Murat was imprisoned along with his mother. Such gorgeous surroundings and only at a small fraction of the breakfasts at the Ciragan - great choice and superb value! Turning right out of the Hotel and walk 10 minutes, you reach Ortokoy, a laid back seaside town. Turning left out of the Hotel and you will reach a jetty with regular departures to Uskudar, the Asian side of Istanbul.

While here, we also took a short taxi ride to visit Taksim - a lovely and lively area with tons of restaurants and shopping, great for 3-4 hours of relaxing time. Overall, we did have a wonderful and special time staying at the Ciragan. Though very expensive, its an experience you would probably never forget, staying at a historical hotel were so many dignitaries, singers/actors, Heads of State have once stayed. Finally, we left for our last 2 nights stay at a new 4 star hotel, Hotel Sura, in the Old Town area for our last minute shopping.

Room Tip: Book a higher floor, Superior Bosphorus view room from numerous online website.
  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank JChua
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CPKI, General Manager at Ciragan Palace Kempinski Istanbul, responded to this reviewResponded May 7, 2013

Dear Ciragan Guest,
Thank you for posting your comment on TripAdvisor following your stay with us last month.
I truly appreciate you taking the time to write such a detailed review and we are glad to hear that you enjoyed the view of your room with the city’s key landmarks including the Maiden’s Tower as well as our infinity pool and TV channel selection available in the guest rooms.
We hope we will have the pleasure of welcoming you back on many occasions.
Yours sincerely,

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 22, 2013 via mobile

In short: great location, rooms are big. Suit is huge and normal rooms are big n spacious. Food is exelent. Very beautiful. Good shops in lobby. Free wi fi Internet. :-) that's good. Service is also nice but I think they should speak English better. On TV they have all languages channels. Very good hotel to stay. Better than others around. I do think it's overpriced though. But overall I had a great stay and would recommend it to those who looks for hotel in Istanbul n this budget. 570 euros per single room plus taxes. Breakfast 57 euros and it's awesome food selection, even sushi that I love.
Must stay !!!

  • Stayed: April 2013
    • Value
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Thank Juliet J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CPKI, General Manager at Ciragan Palace Kempinski Istanbul, responded to this reviewResponded May 1, 2013

Dear Ciragan Guest,
Thank you for taking the time to share your detailed review regarding your recent stay with us.
We are glad to hear that we were able to meet your expectations. We have also taken note of your constructive feedback and please be assured that your comments have been passed on to the related departments.
We hope to be your host again in your future trips to Istanbul.
Yours sincerely,

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Ciragan Palace Kempinski Istanbul

Address: Ciragan Caddesi 32 | Besiktas, Istanbul 34349, Turkey
Phone Number:
Location: Turkey > Istanbul > Besiktas
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#11 Business Hotel in Istanbul
#19 Spa Hotel in Istanbul
#28 Romantic Hotel in Istanbul
#36 Luxury Hotel in Istanbul
#42 Family Hotel in Istanbul
Price Range: $289 - $737 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Ciragan Palace Kempinski Istanbul 5*
Number of rooms: 313
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Cıragan Palace Kempinski Istanbul offers the ultimate in luxury and glamour of a genuine Ottoman Palace with its 313 rooms including 22 suites in the hotel and 11 suites in the historical Palace. This 5-star luxury Imperial Palace hotel is located on the shores of the magnificent Bosphorus overlooking the ancient city of Istanbul, provides a one-of-a-kind experience with its historical ambiance and excellent Kempinski service. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Ciragan Palace Kempinski Istanbul Hotel Istanbul
Ciragan Palace Kempinski Hotel Istanbul
Istanbul Ciragan Palace Kempinski
Kempinski Istanbul

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