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“What separates a good hotel from a great one?”

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Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul at Sultanahmet
Ranked #17 of 1,149 Hotels in Istanbul
Certificate of Excellence
Geneva, Switzerland
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“What separates a good hotel from a great one?”
Reviewed May 2, 2014

First things first--the Four Seasons brand alone demands a superior level of hotel. The standard is simply different for these hotels (as they are for Peninsula, Kempinski, Oberoi, Mandarin, etc.) With that in mind, the Four Seasons Sultanahment met the higher expectations that comes along with the brand. A quick word about the hotel--as you will be reminded, the hotel is in an old prison. While this is unique, it also presents certain design challenges (the rooms don't have balconies, for one) and the courtyard in the interior is completely shut off from the surrounding neighborhood. This is neither a good or bad thing, but something to be aware of. There is a roof top terrace, that offers partial views of the Bosporous, Aya Sofia, and the Blue Mosque. Unfortunately, while it had just opened for the season, they closed it immediately for construction. This was probably the only disappointment with the hotel itself that we encountered.

The location is good for tourist activities, and is even close enough to walk to the Grand Bazaar, and the bridge if you like. There are restaurants nearby, though they cater nearly exclusively to tourists. There are a few gems--just ask the concierge.

There is another Four Seasons in Istanbul, located on the Bosporous, next to the Kempinski. We visited the hotel for a bottle of champagne, before taking a yacht on the river (highly recommended!). There are definite, obvious differences between the two hotels. What struck me, was the difference in ambiance. Obviously, being on the river is a beautiful sight. However, the location of the Sultanahmet, despite being in a tourist area, provides a much more immersive experience, that really transports you to "old" Istanbul. The hotel on the river is what I would describe as a typical luxury hotel--big, a lobby lined with high-end shopping, a beautiful terrace, modern amenities, etc. It's in a more modern area of the city as well, though it is more difficult to walk to interesting areas, etc. It really just depends on the atmosphere you like, and I prefer the more intimate, unique, though also luxurious atmosphere of the Sultanahmet.

What really sets the Four Seasons apart, however, is the staff. I have been told that there is a 3-1 staff-guest ratio, and I would believe. What's remarkable about that is the staff's ability to materialize when you need assistance, and to fade away when you do not need them. They are present without being overbearing. They went above and beyond for us, as my wife had lost her diamond earring when we checked out. They not only found the earring, but arranged to have it dropped to us at the airport when we connected through Istanbul a few days later. Truly amazing. A great hotel, made by the staff.

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank Ben F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
FS_Istanbul, General Manager at Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul at Sultanahmet, responded to this review, May 27, 2014
Dear Ben F,

I can not thank you enough for taking the time to write such a detailed review about your stay in April. You made my day with your kind comments and I loved the way you described what separates a great hotel from a good one. As we always say, our biggest asset at Four Seasons is our people.

I'm delighted to see that you also visited our sister property at the Bosphorus and had a pleasant yacht tour, which is certainly a must-do while in Istanbul. With reference to your comment, I'm very sorry to read about the inconvenience due to the construction at our rooftop terrace, A'YA Lounge and I apologize for the timing. We had to postpone the season opening a few times because of the weather conditions.

We hope you come back and visit us again very soon...

Best regards,

Michael Purtill
General Manager
Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul at Sultanahmet
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Bogota, Colombia
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed May 1, 2014

We have decided to stay in this hotel to be close to the main attractions and we have found what we are looking for. The breakfast was more than excellent and the staff were very helpful and ready to answer your questions whenever you need. Highly recommended

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank silviaparrera67
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
FS_Istanbul, General Manager at Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul at Sultanahmet, responded to this review, May 27, 2014
Dear silviaparrera67,

Thank you very much for sharing this post regarding your stay in April and for recommending us to other travellers. I'm delighted to read that you enjoyed your time with us and you were happy with Hotel's location, the breakfast as well as the service.

We hope you come back and visit us again very soon...

Best regards,

Michael Purtill
General Manager
Four Seasons Hotel at Sultanahmet
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Orange County, CA
Level 5 Contributor
48 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
Reviewed April 28, 2014

Loved the hotel and loved the location. We were able to cover all of the highlights of Istanbul in the Sultanhamet area in 1 full day of walking straight out of our hotel. The breakfast is fantastic, great wifi, and very helpful concierge.

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
2 Thank gbernstein
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Jersey
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed April 28, 2014

Istanbul was amazing but my travel partner and I missed an American hamburger after several days. Well, you can get one at the Four Seasons Hotel in Sultanahmet (be prepared to pay)
and it is worth every penny plus a good single malt scotch.

If you do go to Istanbul DO NOT miss the Istanbul Cistern, underground, and totally amazing.
We hired a private tour guide because as two older women we are chickens, but that
too made the trip very memorable. It's great with a guide to jump a line, and have a BMW waiting for you outside after a visit to a historical sight. But again, it is not cheap, but when you are old you can be gone tomorrow, so what the heck? Go for it.
is is worth it.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
4 Thank PJP1949
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Doha, Qatar
Level 6 Contributor
109 reviews
35 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 137 helpful votes
Reviewed April 22, 2014

The staff were helpful the door people always cheerful and greeting us the total atmosphere was great . I loved the garden and enjoyed walks and meals there. the hotel sent us complementry juice and strawberry chocolate dip and upgreded our booking since we are newly wed couples. In all it was a great experience. the location of the hotel was perfect it was close to everything I wanted to visit.

Room Tip: premier room
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  • Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Maryam A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Singapore
Level 6 Contributor
132 reviews
53 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 185 helpful votes
Reviewed April 22, 2014

We booked for a premier room but was very pleasantly surprised to be upgraded to a Deluxe Suite of 80sq m. Even by 5 stars suites standards, this place is WOW.
Lets talk about it systematically. Full marks for the beautiful restored hotel. The traditional décor, finer touches, attention to details and cheerful colors - all excellent even by 4 Seasons standards. Likewise for the suite we had. Really got nothing to complain but sing its praises.
Service - Attentive, friendly, warm and yet discreet. Not there when you don't want them to be. And yet always around to help when you need. Concierge gives very good tips and advices. Restaurant service is good. Housekeeping is excellent. Check-in was smooth and uncomplicated.
Food - Good wide spread breakfast in the restaurant set in a beautifully landscaped garden.
Dinner was equally good.
Location - Excellent. You are 5 mins stroll from Sultanahment Park. And there are the Haghia Sophia, Blue Mosque, Basilica Cistern and within couple hundred metres - Tokapi Palace. For souvenir hunting - there is a nice bazaar just 200m away. And very importantly is the tram station, which is 12-13 min walk only. From there you can cover most of the other old city tourists spots like Grand Bazaar, Suleimaniye Mosque or connect easily to the Golden Horn, Galata Bridge, etc etc. So you can practically base yourself here and connect with most of the sights and shopping. Another useful place is the Ayasofya Hamman, newly renovated, it is reputed to be the best in Istanbul - very tourist friendly. It is only 5 min stroll from hotel.
The only downside - and it is no fault of the hotel - is that the old city generally has less option for really good food. Most of them are rather touristic. Tips - the best food is at the Beyoglu / istikal caddesi area on the other side of the Golden Horn.

Room Tip: What can I say....the deluxe suite was heavenly!
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  • Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Navigator22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jakarta, Indonesia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed April 21, 2014

one of the best four seasons hotel and its very suitable for honeymooners

You can also bring your kids along

Location wise is very nice and close to the all the places that you need to go in Istanbul.

Room Tip: good for honeymoon
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank Robert3072
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul at Sultanahmet

Property: Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul at Sultanahmet
Address: Teyfikhane Sok No 1 Sultanahmet, Istanbul 34122, Turkey
Phone Number:
Location: Turkey > Istanbul > Sultanahmet
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Business Hotel in Istanbul
#4 Family Hotel in Istanbul
#9 Romantic Hotel in Istanbul
#14 Luxury Hotel in Istanbul
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul at Sultanahmet 5*
Number of rooms: 65
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
4 Seasons Hotel Istanbul At Sultanahmet
Four Seasons Istanbul
Istanbul Four Seasons
Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul

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