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“We loved this place”
Review of W Istanbul

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W Istanbul
Ranked #121 of 1,163 Hotels in Istanbul
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed June 8, 2009

My husband and I stayed at the W for 3 nights as part of a 2 week trip with my family. We absolutely loved it. We used points for our stay, and due to my husband's spg status, we were upgraded to a suite automatically. The room was huge and ultramodern, just as we like. The bathroom was incredibly spacious, with two sinks, and a turkish bath to shower in. Of course, the bed was so comfortable too!

We also really liked the location of the hotel, despite Besiktas winning the Super League in football the day we arrived! The streets were packed with crazed fans, but we enjoyed the excitement. The hotel is a 2 minute walk from the water, and a 15 minute walk to the tram that takes you to the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sofia, Grand Bazaar, etc.

The service was impeccable. The concierge gave us a great dinner recommendation, and the front desk was very responsive to any request that arose. Out of the 8 hotels we stayed in over our 2 week trip, this was probably the most comfortable and maybe my favorite!

I would not recommend this hotel to the older or more traditional crowd. Though my parents were travelling with us, I suggested they stay at the Ritz nearby. When they came to see the hotel, the saw how we liked it, but they were turned off by the darkness, lounge music, and modern amenities. You should know that this place fits the "W" style, which is not for everyone.

  • Stayed: June 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank ccnolan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed June 7, 2009

We stayed at the W in Istanbul, as we have stayed at many Ws and had great experiences at all of them. W Istanbul did not let us down. It is an exciting hotel, attractive, really great staff that goes the distance to make sure you are comfortable and feel welcome.
There was one kink to the room, but I can tell you never have I been so impressed at the lengths the management went to make things right. If you want a glamorous hotel in a great area with staff that really care about your stay, pick the W Istanbul. I know we will again!

  • Stayed: May 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank M108
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 7, 2009

This was my first visit to Istanbul and first stay at a W.
Overall, my 3-night W. hotel stay was a major disappointment.
The hotel featured 3.5 star service, masquerading in 5 star prices.

The GOOD:
- nice room, especially if you have a patio.
- everything is new and clean.
- very good bed.
- excellent shower, but no bathtub.
- service got better by 3rd day, as staff begin to recognize me, but it was well below par for first few days.

The BAD:
- Not good value: overpriced.
- upon checking in at 9pm, I was told the concierge would not be on-duty till the next morning (till after 11am!). Totally unacceptable, as I was looking for recommendations on dining and night life, upon my arrival; and early morning advise for the next day.
- Over 4 days at the hotel, I only saw the concierge at his station once.
- despite being a Gold SPG member, it was a hassle to get a free room upgraded. The front desk clerk wasn't allowed to make a decision, and had to call the duty manager (who didn't seem to be at the hotel!, and finally get permission after I refused to back down). Don't expect to get your room upgraded for free (as some other posters have indicated).
- the hotel was quite. I'd guess 1/3 full. Making the room upgrade teeth-pulling exercise even more annoying - its not like there weren't lots of empty rooms.

OTHER COMMENTS:
- The restaurant was better value, but like the rest of the hotel, its so dark that you can't even see what you're eating. If you are dining alone, the wait staff largely ignore you.
- W does not give provide even a tiny bottle of complimentary drinking water. Thirsty? Pony up 9 TL for a tiniest of bottles.
- no newspaper delivered in the morning.
- lacking toiletries in the room (toothbrush, show cap, q-tips, etc).
- W's web site has no option for arranging hotel pick-up from the airport. Guests have to fend for themselves. There is no estimate for how much a taxi would cost, or travel time.
- W. Lack charm, and a soul. It left me feeling cold. I would have checked out of the hotel the first night, if I hadn't already booked and pre-paid on-line.

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS to W:
- For god sakes, hire some women at the hotel. With all your stern-faced male staff milling around the front dark entrance, it felt like I was about to mugged.
- buy a couple of light bulbs for the hotel.
- iPod dock is a nice touch, but it is a tight fit for an iPhone. The cradle needs to be updated to fit the newer iPods and iPhones.

  • Stayed: May 2009, traveled solo
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Thank TrueBlueMoo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 4, 2009

There is little doubt that the W Istanbul was designed to make a statement as the Starwood Hotels first W in Europe. However, if you have stayed at W's in NYC or Chicago you will be disappointed by lower quality finishes and a now predicable formulae. But there is nothing subtle about the W-Istanbul. The target market here must be inspirational Turkish youth or eastern novo-riche attracted to the combination of low lighting, high octane colours and night club volume Euro-trash played in the pricy W lounge from 11pm to 2am. Bring ear plugs or make sure your room is far to the back of the hotel because the deep bass spreads though the sound proofing. You might justifiably feel a little out of place if you show up in a business suit or past a 40-something midlife crisis.

The standard "fabulous" room is equipped to satisfy a 4-star rating and will keep most ADD gadget freaks happy. But the in-room desk is too small and too cluttered with promotional items (amongst them W branded condoms for $4) to be used for work and internet access is charged at $22 per day. Note that there are no photos of the room on the W website, presumably because the lack of a bathroom and small walk-in shower, might put people off.

Beware that incidental charges add up. A small bottle of water is charged at $12, which is completely out of touch with general prices in Istanbul. Nobody seem to frequent the western style designer shops around the hotel perhaps preferring www.Addresitanbul.com or the supermarket off a side-street from the hotel selling all the same items and water at $0.50. In fact, a great selection of local neighbourhood shops, cafes and restaurants hides right behind the hotel and offers many Grand Bazar treats at a local/cheaper price. Also, try the genuinely fabulous Vogue restaurant, great for Sushi, 13th floor views and at 1 minute walk behind the W, is both better and cheaper than the hotel grub (www.istanbuldoors.com). Get the helpful concierge to make essential reservations for you. You will also need to book a seat in the W bar on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays since non-resident guests have priority for private celebrations and parties.

Staff are professional even if the legendary turkish friendless is somewhat cooled by a little aloofness that a newly opened hotel can instil. Taxi's are abundant from the hotel curb, or from the bottom of the road, but bring a hotel business card for your return journey since few drivers know the hotel and it's single letter name is still too hip. You can get to all the tourist sites for less than $10 in a taxi. In fact, the slightly off beat location and gauged landscape means that you will need a taxi for all trips other than the local market right behind the hotel, ferry station and the Dolmabahce Palace (20 mins walk).

The complimentary Gym is well equipped with standard cardio and beginners weights, but there is no sauna spa as was advertised earlier on the W website.

Other than family run B&B's there is little alternative to the larger chain hotels (e.g. the monstrous but well run Radisson or the Hilton) and as such the 'W' fills a welcome boutique niche. Great for a few nights, but possibly a little tiring beyond that.

  • Stayed: May 2009, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Globaliser
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 19, 2009

We enjoyed our trip to the W in Istanbul. We had a 'Spectacular' room with outdoor cabana - the cabana is a lovely feature but it was not really warm enough to sit outside during our stay in early May and probably only really of use in the peak summer months. If we were to visit in Winter, would stick to the cheaper 'Wonderful' rooms.

Cons

Breakfast is pretty average and expensive for the quality of the food. We only had one breakfast at the hotel and went out for remainder of our stay. There is no physical divide between the smoking and non-smoking sections in the restaurant but this is not unique to the W and seems to happen everywhere in Istanbul.

Lack of sound proofing between rooms. Whilst the hotel is very quiet in terms of external traffic noise, there is a notable lack of sound proofing between the rooms. Not sure if this was exacerbated by the fact that our room had a connecting door to the room next door. Luckily we were not affected by this at night but it was quite annoying to be party to several noisy phone conversations next door in the mornings.

Pros

Excellent concierge service - probably the most impressive and friendly/honest service that have encountered in a hotel. Cem gave us some great tips about restaurants, sight-seeing and taxis.

Good location for bars and restaurants (short taxi journey away in Taksim and Ortakoy). Besiktas is interesting for a wander and to try some street food/casual local places. Vogue was an excellent recommendation and only about 3 minutes walk away from the hotel. Whilst the hotel is not on the water, it is very close to the Bosphorus and the ferry stop of Besiktas and it is easy to get around to Sultanahmet etc. from here. Taxis were cheap and plentiful and I was glad not to staying in the more touristy Sultanahmet.

Gym is a decent size for a hotel.

Super comfortable beds.

  • Stayed: May 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank jetsetsansjet
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 19, 2009

We were upgraded to a Megalo Room, this room was absolutely amazing, the most sophisticated hotel room I have ever stayed in. It is located in the old officer's quarters near Dolmabahce in a new master development that includes high-end shops and residences.

The only downside I would give is that it is an expensive hotel that extends beyond the room rate with a day's worth of internet access costing $50 and cocktails/dinner priced very expensively in what is already an over-priced city.

That aside, the Concierge was fabulous and very helpful after we had an issue at a lousy local restaurant. We would definitely return again.

  • Stayed: May 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank Manny S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 11, 2009

My husband and I just got back from a 3 night stay at the W in Istanbul. We had a great time. The people who work at that hotel are friendly and helpful - they really made our trip to Istanbul one to remember with great restaurant and bar recommendations. Our room (upgraded to spectacular) was spacious, and the bed was quite comfortable. Hotel's decor is great. Bar at night was a lively scene, although the music was a bit loud for my taste. The W was perfect for us, a young couple without any children.

  • Stayed: May 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Thank c_paris
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about W Istanbul

Address: Suleyman Seba Cad. No: 22 | Akaretler, Besiktas, Istanbul 34357, Turkey
Location: Turkey > Istanbul > Besiktas , New City / Taksim
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#54 Spa Hotel in Istanbul
#93 Business Hotel in Istanbul
#93 Luxury Hotel in Istanbul
#114 Romantic Hotel in Istanbul
#168 Family Hotel in Istanbul
Price Range: $95 - $215 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — W Istanbul 5*
Number of rooms: 140
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The W Istanbul Hotel is in the centre of the historic Akaretler Row Houses, an upscale neighbourhood filled with restaurants, cafes, and design & art galleries. W guests can explore the authentic and local area of Besiktas and the upscale shopping district of Nisantasi. 140 guestrooms and suites in W Istanbul carry the soul of both history and contemporary luxury. Marmara marble, Ottoman patterns, and lighting to experiment along with your mood. Rooms and suites with gardens, terraces or cabanas adorned with flat-screen TVs, the signature W bed and stylish luxuries. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
w Istanbul Hotel Istanbul
w Hotels Istanbul
w Hotel Istanbul

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