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“Very Nice Hotel and Staff”

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Renaissance Istanbul Polat Bosphorus Hotel
Ranked #146 of 1,129 Hotels in Istanbul
Certificate of Excellence
madison, wi
Level Contributor
297 reviews
46 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 157 helpful votes
“Very Nice Hotel and Staff”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 3, 2013

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.

Room Tip: High floor facing the river
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank WiMadcitytraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (120)
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English first
Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
34 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 3, 2013

We stayed here six nights on a holiday and were very happy with it in every way. We are platinum members so had access to the executive lounge.

EXECUTIVE LOUNGE AND ROOM

The executive lounge was excellent and so much better than what you get in the US. The breakfast buffet had everything you want - eggs, borek/pita, sausages, potatoes, cold meats, cereal, yogurt, cheese, fruits, breads etc. The staff in the executive lounge, and in the hotel in general were extremely obliging.

The canapes at night are more like dinner - meat balls, drumsticks, rice etc.

Müge was extremely helpful and gave us lots of useful advice and tips about getting around.

We requested a room with a view of the Bosphorus which we got. The view was amazing and we are so glad we asked for it. The room in general was lovely and had everything we needed. It even had two powerpoint plugs that accept any international plugs. This was so handy given that we arrived at midnight and without converters and flat phone batteries.

LOCATION

As many have mentioned, this hotel is slightly off-center HOWEVER that ended up being a really good thing. You feel you are in more of a local area yet still close to most things. Traffic is bad in Istanbul so it will take you longer to get home (and cost a bit more) but we preferred the location to Old Istanbul and Takism which are full of tourists and crowded.

TRANSPORTATION

Taxis are cheap. The taxis that are outside the hotel are the best ones to take (they have the Renaissance hotel logo on them). One night we took a random taxi outside the grand bazaar and he overcharged us by quite a lot. We were told by the hotel that we should always take a cab that has a logo on it. The one we took didn't have a logo on it and therefore not accountable to anyone. Other than that we had no issues.

We took a taxi from Ataturk airport and it cost around 45-50TL. There is no need to pre-arrange airport transfers unless it is cheaper than that.

A taxi from the hotel to Old town Istanbul (Sultan Ahmet Mosque) is around 25TL and 10TL to Taksim.

The mini buses, trams and metro are cheaper and quicker to get through traffic.

SIGHTS

There are so many things to see in Istanbul and it really is a beautiful city to visit. All the main sights are worth visiting especially the mosques, Topkapi Palace and Bosphorus cruise. Grand Bazaar is worth a look but i wouldn't necessarily say that it is cheaper than outside places. If you find what you are looking for in other shops at the price you want - just get it. The grand bazaar is stressful and very crowded.

We took a ferry (only 3TL) all the way to Eyup camii (mosque) from Kabatas. It is definitely worth the trip even for the ferry trip alone.

We also enjoyed our walk up Fevzi Pasa Cd towards Fatih mosque. It is more of a conservative, local area which we loved.

One night we took a mini bus to Istinye Park shopping Mall. The mini bus is across the street from the hotel and only costs around 2TL. It was worth the visit.

MOSQUES

All of the mosques are absolutely beautiful in Istanbul. Remember to be respectful and cover your hair and body appropriately before entering.

FURTHER DETAILS

We didn't go on any tours, other than one, so we pretty much figured out how to get around quite quickly and saw most things in Istanbul. If you want anymore tips or advice just message me.

Room Tip: Ask for a room with a Bosphorus river view.
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank HonestAndFair11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pordenone, Italy
Level Contributor
101 reviews
100 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 124 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 23, 2012 via mobile

I was little worried about staying at this hotel because of the location and the few reviews, but our experience was 100% positive! Being gold members for this year, we could enjoy the executive lounge on the last floor from the moment of check in and on... and it was amazing!! In three days, we did not spend a single cent for dinner since the dinner buffet at the lounge was vary and tasty, with two main courses and appetizers. And as many drinks as you want, free powerful wifi, international newspapers, ... with a dedicated and professional service. The executive lounge associate helped us to discover the city by booking for us some tours, and gave us a lot of good pieces of advice about shopping and trasportations.
Our room was ok not too big but nicely decorated, and the bathroom was awsome with a huge shower and luxury branded toiletries. And more, we had a nice city view (ok Bosphorus view would have been nicer, but the weather was not too nice so we did not bother).
We finally asked for a late check out and got it.
And the bill was ok, very high/quality value!
About the location issue, yes the hotel is 15/20 mins drive from the main sights but remember, the city is HUGE and most of Istanbul hotel would require the use of a taxi (which, by the way, is not too expensive).
In the end we were really happy about our choice - well done Renaissance!

  • Stayed December 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Francesca-DM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Riyadh
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 17, 2012

Nice hotel for business travelers rooms are some what small

Good location central.to Istanbul close to many interests

Good food nice staff in fact very nice
Nice executive lounge

None smoking property

  • Stayed December 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Yahya S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
British
Level Contributor
38 reviews
37 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 11, 2012

After an exhausting day, it was a great relief to stay in a comfortable, quiet, efficient hotel - with a superb view over the Bosphorus. We were so tired we hardly noticed the details, but it was certainly super-clean, with marvellously silky soft linen and a luxurious mattress on the bed. Great Molton Brown products in the bathroom, a fab shower, lights in the wardrobe, an iron.. everything the business traveller could want, in a super-modern skyscraper. Plus helpful staff who flagged down taxis in the pouring rain and gave them Google maps to direct them... Nice breakfast, though in a slightly gloomy badly-lit restaurant. It was miles from the heart of Istanbul with its tourist sites, shops, bazaar, mosques etc - and traffic in this city is dreadful, so a trip downtown took up to an hour by cab.. Still, it was a welcome place to stay after a tiring trip. The only things it lacked were character and an atmospheric neighbourhood - but maybe that's not what you want on a business trip. One could have been anywhere on the planet.

Room Tip: Ask for rooms overlooking the Bosphorus.
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled on business
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank MargaretBritish
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Athens, Greece
Level Contributor
60 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 27, 2012

This is a new Hotel with great room design and qualtiy overall.
Very careful staff and eager to help the guest.
Prefer a room upstairs towards the bosphorus
Location is a bit off center, do take into account this fact if you go to Istanbul on holidays.

Room Tip: Get a room towards the Bosphorus!
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank ftir
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
31 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 21, 2012 via mobile

This hotel is relatively new, it was clean and the bed was very comfy , the rooms were small but very functional.the decor was lovely the staff are friendly and helpful and knowledgeable of the city , loved the free turkish delight at the front desk.
We had a quick meal in the restaurant which was very nice.the food for lunch and dinner were very Turkish based but fresh and delicious.tea and coffee facilities in room anda minibar fridge.
The only complaint was the light from the minibar stayed on all the time like a night light .I just covered the door with a shirt as Ilike a darker room.

Having stayed in Istanbul before this hotel was a fair way from the old city .it took anhour in peak hour to get to grand bazaar and blue mosque area by taxi apparently it is half an hour in nonpeak hour .it is not close to tram that is about 10-15 mins taxi ride away.
The hotel is about 40-60 mins from airport bytaxi in traffic
The hotel was close to the taxim area -a more upmarket shopping area it was 10 mins by taxi.we found some lovely ceramics and pashmina shops and lovely fresh turkish. Delight

Stayed November 2012, traveled on business
Helpful?
2 Thank michaelnmegan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Renaissance Istanbul Polat Bosphorus Hotel

Property: Renaissance Istanbul Polat Bosphorus Hotel
Address: Barbaros Bulvari No: 145 | Besiktas, Istanbul 34349, Turkey (Formerly Renaissance Istanbul Bosphorus Hotel)
Phone Number:
Location: Turkey > Istanbul > Besiktas
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #146 of 1,129 Hotels in Istanbul
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:5 star — Renaissance Istanbul Polat Bosphorus Hotel 5*
Number of rooms: 213
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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