I would first of all say that this hotel and staff are excellent, the only reason I gave it a lower rating was because of its location. If the purpose of your trip is to see the tourist sites in Istanbul and stay close to the tourist sites, restaurants and shops the location is not good.
The hotel itself is new, clean and has a very friendly and helpful staff. Many of the rooms have a water view. We got lucky and were upgraded to a Junior suite which was very nice with a bedroom, living area, microwave and refrigerator. The bed was very comfortable and the bathroom good size. Our room also had a view of the Bosphorus Straits. Staff were very friendly and always greeted you with a smile and many spoke excellent English and others enough to answer any questions you may have. I did notice that if they did not understand you, they would always get someone who could. Staff was very helpful in figuring out the transportation to the historic center.
If you have access to the executive lounge on the top floor, it has a great view, Wi-Fi and at set times breakfast, tea, hot appetizers and beverages. There are two outside balconies, one on each side of the building. If you do not have access to the executive lounge there is a bar across the hall with even a better view with two balconies also.
On our first trip to the historic area we took the taxi (about 10TL each way) to the Kabatas T1 tram station and then the tram from there (1.95TL with Istanbulcard each way) to the historic district (Sultanahmet) and the major tourist sites. Kabatas was the end/start of that tram line so it was easy to return, just stay on until the end, which was always announced in English. We took a taxi back to the hotel. The traffic congestion was the worst I have ever seen on a daily basis (in any city including Cairo), it took about an hour and quarter for a one way trip to the historic district and the same on the return. Taxi's as mentioned earlier are plentiful and reasonable, we had no trouble with taxi scams but they still have to deal with the traffic unlike the trams. As mentioned elsewhere it is a must to keep the address of the hotel on a piece of paper in Turkish to show the taxi driver, I also had the phone number. This proved very helpful as the driver from the airport was still unsure of the address and had to call the hotel for directions. I was impressed that he did that rather than just drive me around looking for the place and running up the meter, cost from the airport was just under 50TL.
After our first trip to the historic district we had a better idea of the transportation system and our Istanbulcard so we took the bus (1.95TL) to and from the tram. The bus stop was just out the hotel to the right about 1/2 a block and any bus that had Kabatas on it would work, drops you right at the tram. On the return trip you exit the tram and walk across the street to the bus station and almost any bus that says Besiktas will take you back, exit at Darphane stop across from hotel. Most of the buses had an overhead monitor with the stops. Each time you take public transportation there is a charge (no transfers, that we could figure out) but each time you pay a lower fare if you have the Istanbulcard. You need a token or fare card for public transportation, you cannot pay cash. You can get them from vending machines or commercial kiosks (little stands that sell newspapers, snacks, cigarettes, chewing gum, etc.) near major transit stops.
We did not use the restaurant or any of the fitness or pool facilities, this was totally a sightseeing trip. It was a great hotel to get back to after full days of sightseeing and relax enjoying the view, abit it was not a quick commute.
I would highly recommend this hotel if your main purpose is not sightseeing of if you don't mind a lengthy commute to and from the sights.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- We are delighted to welcome you here at stylish Renaissance Polat Istanbul Bosphorus Hotel. Discover international excellence blended with local passion.''No matter where or why you travel, there's always something wonderfully new to be found.'' Is the integrated philosophy of Renaissance Istanbul Polat Bosphorus Hotel. Offering stunning views over the Bosphorus, the magnificent towering Renaissance Istanbul Polat Bosphorus Hotel is reflecting the modern life style norms with its architectural design. The hotel is located on the European side of Istanbul, in Besiktas, midway between the areas of Taksim and Levent, and in a walking distance to key shopping malls and Bosphorus' main boat harbor. This luxury newest addition to Istanbul hotels is designed to meet most demanding requirements of today's modern traveler, whether the trip is for business or holiday in Istanbul, Turkey. Renaissance Istanbul Polat Bosphorus Hotel offers you a comfortable accommodation with its 213 rooms accompanied by a breathtaking Bosphorus view. You can organize your successful and unforgettable events with the hotel's 11 meeting rooms which are mostly daylighted and a unique Ballroom.You can enjoy extensive food and beverage alternatives of our hotel such as Arts Restaurant with its modern cuisine and stunning design, Bar 212 where international excellence meets local passion accompanied by spectacular Bosphorus view and Living Room&Terrace with its pop in atmosphere and smells of coffee. Both fitness and spa are together at R Fitness & Spa. You can refresh your body as well as your soul. ... more less
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