The front desk and security staff at this hotel were friendly, helpful, and professional. I was at the front desk just about every day during my stay booking sightseeing tours or changing money.
And the food at the Grand Cevahir is excellent. The breakfast buffet was quite impressive with cheeses and meats piled high, lots of interesting breakfast choices including pasta some mornings, terrific breakfast pastries, and fresh unusual juices such as peach and cherry. Additionally, I recommend that you eat dinner at the hotel restaurant at least one evening. The food is delicious and the wine selection is reasonably priced. My husband and I ate there twice enjoying iskender kebab (a famous dish in the Istanbul area), other types of kebab, and a seafood pasta dish. The wait staff was attentive and professional.
However, more thought needs to be given to the hotel room experience. The first night we were there (a Saturday) , we could hear some sort of celebration (a wedding reception?) which went on past midnight. The music was loud and got more and more animated as the evening went on. As we were so tired from traveling we fell asleep but woke up several times due to the music. In checking with colleagues also staying at the hotel, if you had a room facing the courtyard you heard the party. If your room didn't face the courtyard, it was quiet.
Another feature of the room we didn't like was the shower. It took us a couple days to learn that you have to have the stream of water as weak as you can tolerate. Otherwise the water goes all over the bathroom and there aren't any extra towels to mop up the water. So your bathroom is a soggy mess until it gets cleaned. And while we initially got 2 bars of soap (one for the shower and one for the sink), housekeeping took away the 2nd bar. We asked a couple times at the desk for more soap but only got it our 2nd last day there. I find it crazy that we paid ~$300 per night but it was tough to have 2 bars of soap for our room.
Other inconveniences were that the safe did not work according to the directions on it and the HVAC system didn't heat up our room on the first day. In fact it was quite cold so we just turned it off to heat up the room. The next day we called the front desk about these 2 issues and they sent up a staff member to help us. We got useful instructions on how to use the safe so that we were able to use it. And then when we got back to the room later in the day, the heat seemed to be working just fine. So that issue got resolved as well.
In all fairness, our room was spacious and comfortable. We also liked having a window to open for fresh air when desired. And we also liked having a gas station/convenience store across the street from the hotel. We went there several times to buy bottled water and snacks.
But as other reviewers have noted, this hotel is not at all convenient to tourist sites. Figure at least a half hour cab ride to tourist attractions and the Bosporus River (around 30 Turkish lira or $15 U.S.) And there are no easily walkable restaurants to go to for dinner.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- We add pleasure to your business Grand Cevahir is Turkey's first 5 stars Congress Hotel and by way of its impeccable principles has really made a difference in the sector. The hotel's congress hall is the biggest in Europe. In addition, with 2500m2 of usable space, it boasts one of the biggest Ball Room in Europe .. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Grand Cevahir Istanbul
- Grand Cevahir Hotel Istanbul