There isn’t much left to say about the quality of this hotel. Earlier reviewers have stated many of the great features of this hotel. It is rated as the #1 hotel in Europe by Travel & Leisure Magazine.
But don’t expect to be swept off your feet here. This is a relaxing, “aaahh” hotel, not a “wow” hotel. The quality here is subtle, not glitzy. The lobby is understated elegance, but not palatial. The service is reliable and competent, but not obtrusive. The location is convenient, but is on a quiet back street. With only 65 rooms, it is not bustling.
The hotel is a converted prison, and it now captivates in a more pleasant way. The lore on the street is that the disused prison was the site for the filming of “Midnight Express”, but the hotel disclaims that. Apparently, the prison was a small one for political prisoners, and not a large one for common criminals.
Our cell, I mean room, (#418, a deluxe king) was comfortable, but not unusually so for accommodations in the USD500-700 per night range. It was spacious, clean, and well-appointed. The unique part of our room was the veranda with a view of Aya Sofya 250 meters to the WNW, and the Bosphorus to the east. However, the hotel is currently constructing an addition that will eventually obstruct that view. Most of the rooms have an ordinary street view or a nicer view of the central courtyard.
Extra touches included fresh fruit in the room, a flat-panel TV, and separate tub-shower. #418 is in the four-story portion of the hotel, which requires a short walk from the lobby and is served by a single elevator. One day, that elevator was out of service, and we had to walk up, but it was fixed a few hours later.
Breakfast was included in our rate, and was served in the courtyard restaurant. It was cooked to order, not a buffet. It is also available as room service at no extra charge.
As others have stated, the location couldn’t be better, but that applies for tourists only. The Sultanhamet district is the center of old Istanbul, and Aya Sofya, the Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace/Archeological Museum, and the Cistern are all within a 5-7 minute walk. The Grand Bazaar is about 15 minutes away, but unless you are eager to haggle over jewelry and carpets, it is really a tourist trap that only deserves a short visit. Taksim Square, the main shopping area, and the true commercial center of Istanbul are all a 15-20 minute cab ride across the Galata Bridge. An alternative is taking the tram, which leaves from a station a few blocks from the Four Seasons.
There is public transportation between (IST Ataturk) airport and Sultanhamet, but taxis are the better option, taking 20 minutes or so during all but peak periods.
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- Also Known As:
- 4 Seasons Hotel Istanbul At Sultanahmet
- Four Seasons Istanbul
- Istanbul Four Seasons
- Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul