Hotel Review Intercontinental Istanbul
Book the Review Intercontinental Istanbul here.
The hotel is just steps away from the Taksim square - the scene of the biggest protests in recent Turkish history.
It's a high rise that started out as a Sheraton but has been reflagged a couple of years ago. Starwood does not have much of breadth in Istanbul given teh size of teh city now.
Check-In was done at the Club Lounge (I booked a Club Floor room) at the 16th floor. However there was no attendant in the otherwise empty lounge. I waited for a couple of minutes and someone actually showed up.
As a Priority Club Platinum member (thanks to the Chase Priority Club Visa) and the Club floor booking I received club access, free Internet in the room and I was upgraded to a suite in the 17th floor. Breakfast in the club lounge was included as well though in the morning the lounge was closed and breakfast was offered downstairs as a regular buffet instead.
The suite The suite was enormous with a large hallway and large sitting area. The bed was a large king size. The room provided incredible views over Istanbul and the Bosporus area. One can see the ships sailing on it simply by lounging in the bed :)
The hotel also provides free water and a selection of Turkish delights as well as an Espresso machine. However there is no cream or milk but the staff will provide that on request. Sleeping comfort/ Mattress I found the bed to be good, not fantastic but a good mattress (though on the soft side) and ok quality bedding. The AC was working well and was rather quiet. However the hotel uses an entertainment system that welcomes you and alerts you to messages when you enter the room. So far so good. But 'the show' re-started every hour. I'd switch off the TV only to see both devices being powered on, playing soothing music an hour later for the entire night! That was annoying! Also the bathroom was small and barely drained the shower. In fact the bathroom was flooded afterwards. the service staff cleaned it but it's no fun taking a shower when you feel all you'll do is flooding the bathroom. Service I found the service in the lounge friendly but ineffective. My folio was promised to be sent to my email but never made it. The service in the hotel restaurant was downright chaotic. Coffee orders were taken and forgotten. Other orders were delivered twice. Tables were never cleaned.
The concierge was helpful but also delivered his advice with a healthy dose of attitude. The breakfast offerings were minimal and low quality - a few (bland) cheese items and a few different kinds of pastries and bread rolls. There were omelets and waffles for order but given their track record I was not optimistic. 45 after ordering the food arrived actually to my surprise as I was on my way out. The lounge It's an ok lounge that serves food at certain days (not when I was there). I did not really eat or consume any alcohol so I can't really comment on it.
Connectivity The hotel Internet was really fast and worked anywhere in the hotel. Speeds were 4 Mbit or better. However I was disconnected a number of times and had to take each device through the reconnect frequently. Conclusion I really wanted to like this place. The location is pretty good for widespread Istanbul - you can walk to Taksim and Harbiye (Macka) areas easily. It also has a very well equipped gym and nice swimming pool. However the hardware is old and creaking and the service staff lacks the abilitiy and commitment to make up for that. It's an ok hotel but certainly does not feel luxurious. I would not come back. Room rates started at $250 at the time of my stay. Book the Review Intercontinental Istanbul here.