We’d had an early flight from Istanbul and the airport bus dropped us off at 9AM in front of the hotel. As a Hilton Gold, the front desk agent upgraded me to a business class room with Executive Lounge access. Since this was still the end of Ramadan, the hotel was on minimal operations, with the lounge closed until a day later.
However, the hotel had no issue letting us have breakfast that morning (a day early) and provided us with drinks and appetizers in the hotel’s (paid) lounge on the 31st floor later that day.
The hotel is in the process of upgrading guest rooms and the new business class rooms look super-modern (think DoubleTree Kuala Lumpur), as does the gym. My business class room was nice enough – very spacious, with a superb view over Izmir Bay – and while the bathroom wasn’t new, it was in great condition.
Just outside the hotel are a number of restaurants, the waterfront walk and several good coffee shops. The neighborhood is everything you do not really expect to see in Turkey – palm trees, shaded walkways and upscale shops.
The gym itself is well-equipped, but very small. The hotel also sells gym memberships to locals and so it was very crowded at 7PM every day.
The lounge had drinks and appetizers every day until 8.30PM (after Ramadan). The food was just about OK, with no real high quality options. The breakfast was similar; a huge breakfast spread, but just a few options that I’d consider good quality. The espresso was rather good, though.
The premium internet (free for Gold and Diamond members) clocked in at 4Mbit, which is OK. I was disconnected often and it took a long time (usually 10 minutes) to get back online. Something was off with the hotel internet and before I would call down it would always start working again.
We had a rental car for one day and the hotel provided free valet parking, which was a nice treat.
Paid rates were just about $70 for the time of my stay, which is certainly an off-season rate, but tremendous value for a Hilton. I really liked the hotel; it was well-managed and had a number of people who spoke English well. I would very happily return anytime!
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About the author: Torsten is a serial entrepreneur who started almost a dozen ventures on four continents. Torsten's love for travel has brought him to 130+ countries and travel with most of the world's airlines. You can reach Torsten at [email protected]
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