Swissotel The Bosphorus, Istanbul
Bayildim Cad No 2, Macka Besiktas, Istanbul, 34357, Turkey
Best Luxury Hotel in Istanbul
I have been in Istanbul for business and pleasure almost 50 times from period of 3 days to 3 months. For short term travel this is the best of all the luxury hotels because it is comfortable and unpretentious. Service is excellent and the in-hotel restaurants are superb as are the sport facilities and particulary the view from the lobby lounge area. In the summer, the roof bar is the best view in the city. The first time I stayed, I returned from exhausting day long meetings and ordered a drink at the lobby lounge. The second day, I did the same thing. The waiter asked me by name whether I would like the same. Impressive, to say the least.
Directions: Quiet. Beyond Taksim.
Parks andPools, Lobby and Views
The three modern glass towers ( image 1 ) of the Swisshotel are in stark contrast to the mosques and low rise buildings of Istanbul. Constructed in a forested park formerly part of the Dolmabahce Palace, the perceived sacrilege led to considerable local controversy. Today, the hotel sits atop a mountain directly above the palace with view from the upper floors east along the Bosphorus, straight ahead to Asia and west to Karakoy ( image 2 ) as well as to the Sultanahmet district ( image 3 ) in the far distance. Incredible views from most rooms as well as the large beautiful multilevel marble lobby. The lobby ( image 4 ) itself is several stories high, marble throughout, with several fountains and a massive glass wall overlooking the water.
The spa is world famous and famously expensive. Fitness center, Turkish style bath, ten restaurants and bars, meeting rooms, everything one could want and more. Outside, a large pool ( image 5 ) set overlooking the forest and park has a central fountain, lots of lounges, and a separate pool for children. Looking over the forest, the Dolmabahce is layed out directly below. The construction may have been contentious but the results are little short of spectacular.
Luxury Overlooking Istanbul
The 5 star 600 bed Swisshotel Bosphorus occupies a 65 acre garden overlooking the Bosphorus, the Dolhambace Palace, and the entire city of Istanbul. The large rooms feature comfortable king size beds, large desks and shelves, chaise lounge, and loads of storage space. The bathrooms are surprisingly small but quite luxurious with an assortment of Swisshotel branded giveaways. All the modern communications conveniences are available of course, as well as TV with a decent assortment of free channels and loads of pay per view choices. The rooms offer everything one might anticipate in a 5 star hotel in a very conventional manner - nothing exceptional or unique here, just solid luxury. Turkish Delight on the pillows nightly, fruit plate on check in. All the little things that make for a great stay. These rooms could be anywhere, but they are great rooms.
The most exciting part of these hotel rooms is the views over the Bosphorus -- our room faced west so the Golden Horn and Sultanahmet district were in the background - astounding. The hotel is constructed so that most rooms face the water. There are happily relatively few "park view" rooms which in reality face a parking lot with a public park in the distance.
We were fortunate enough to score an executive floor room. The higher price included a free buffet breakfast, availability of drinks and snacks all day long, and a nice buffet with different hot dishes every night including do it yourself cocktails, beer, and wine without limit. On at least one night, after stuffing our faces at the Spice Bazaar, the dinner buffet was our dinner. The buffet area also included two unlimited free-use computers which were usually immediately available. The balcony overlooks the Dolhambace Palace and Bosphorus - magnificent. Worth the money.
In a hotel of this size, the concierge desk is of course very busy. The staff is helpful and willing to take time to answer any questions, but have little time to offer more than answers to specific inquiries. We were quick to distinguish ourselves by letting the concierge know that we had an akbil and chose to see much of Istanbul as individual travellers and not on a bus. Suddenly we had a friend behind the desk - he came out to visit us in the lobby, stunned that tourists would use trams and dolmuses. As in any large luxurious hotel, standing out without being obnoxious helps - showing a real interest in the city helps.
The aptly-named Swissôtel Istanbul-The Bosphorus has some of the finest Bosphorus views among Istanbul luxury hotels.
Besides fine indoor and outdoor swimming pools, the Swissôtel has its own Bosphorus cruise boat for excursions, nightly dinner cruises, and a Sunday brunch cruise.
Managed by Singapore-based Raffles International despite its Swiss-ô name, the 600-room Swissôtel Istanbul is set on a hill overlooking Dolmabahçe Palace and the Bosphorus.
It's a great location for views, but less so for walking anywhere. You'll probably find yourself taking taxis most of the time.
If you are a walker you can stroll 15 minutes up the hill to the Tesvikiye and Nisantas districts for shopping and restaurants.
Directions: Macka near to Inonu Football satdium
Inviting place for NHC Convention
Unique Quality: Swissôtel The Bosphorus, Istanbul is located in the centre of Istanbul on the European banks of the Bosphorus within a delightful park setting. The hotel's spacious gardens were previously the gardens of the Dolmabahce Palace, the last residence of the Ottoman Sultans. Situated on a wooded hilltop, the Swissôtel The Bosphorus Istanbul commands panoramic views of the Bosphorus, the Asian coast and the old city of Istanbul. Within easy access of many Istanbul attractions, the hotel is just a 15-minute walk from Istanbul's main shopping district called "Taxim"
Directions: Next to Bosphorus
More about Swissotel The Bosphorus, Istanbul
In Istanbul, I stay at the...
In Istanbul, I stay at the Swissotel Bosphorus when my company is paying, and the Hotel Ibrahim Pasha (a pensione in Sultanahmet) when I'm paying. Both are great in their own way. The photo here is from the roof of another Sultanahmet pensione, very similar to the Ibrahim Pasha but not recommended because they didn't have screens on their windows and I got eaten alive by mosquitoes!
The Ibrahim Pasha should run about US$90 per night, and I pay around twice that at the Swissotel. One interesting note about the Swissotel is that a few months ago, the whole place was taken hostage by Chechen terrorists. I had stayed there prior to this episode and noted then that the security regime--a metal detector that you either walk right around, or walk through, beep, and get waved onward--seemed to be a little ridiculous. After the Chechens stormed the hotel, I thought they might be moved to beef up the security. Nope! I stayed there again this past June, about two months after the Chechens were there, and it was exactly the same. Kind of funny. I don't really mind...the Chechens didn't hurt anybody, and the rooms at the hotel are really nice. Life goes on.
Great views of the Bosphorus!
Our first stay in Istanbul was at the Swissotel that had a fabulous view of the harbor. Although the hotel does not look like much from the outside, it has acres of marble inside, is attractive, and has the fabulous view from the lobby. The breakfast room was a large screened patio with also this breathtaking view so we lingered the full three days we were there over breakfast that was a feast. Although the hotel is large, the staff are so friendly and helpful that it felt like an intimate hotel. The manager of the Wellness Center went out of his way to squeeze myself into a slot for a Turkish bath and massage. When a taxi was called, the doorman would give us a card in case the taxi tried to cheat us. The rooms were comfortable and spacious. The man who cleaned our room was very friendly. The hotel overlooked the Dolmabahce Palace where we walked to for a tour to see it. The hotel is also not far from the Istanbul Modern art museum among other sites.
Great hotel in a lovely position
This hotel has a wonderful position on the Bosphorus and you will be unlucky if your room does not have a great view. Mine looked down to the Blue Mosque. The staff are wonderful, the pool is fantastic and the lobby is wonderful. My room was not state of the art but was still very comfortable. Fortunately I was not paying and did not eat there but the prices are high. A continental breakfast brought to your room is going to cost upwards of $30. I was here on business, but if you are here on hols it is a little way from the main sights. Although the taxis are cheap the journey times can be very long - so bear this in mind.
Nice hotel, poor location
The hotel is located on a site overlooking the Bosphorus. It is a good 15 minute walk, sometimes uphill, to the nearest shopping district. There are wonderful neighborhoods located along the Ciragan Cadessi.
We did not luck into one of the rooms with nicer views (see photo) due to the roof ledge and plantings outside our window. All the rooms on the 12th floor seem to have this problem. Our room was recently renovated and was in excellent condition.
Guests in the Executive Floors have access to the Club on the top floor. This is absolutely worth it if there isn't too much difference between room rates when you book. There is a lovely little outdoor terrace for breakfast and afternoon tea. Drinks are served here during coctail hour.
The service was excellent and the concierge was very helpful. My only real complaint about this hotel is the exorbitant charge for internet service - 29 Euros!
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Swissotel The Bosphorus, Istanbul
We've found that other people looking for this hotel also know it by these names:
- Swissotel The Bosphorus Istanbul
- Swissotel The Bosphorus Hotel Istanbul
Address: Bayildim Cad No 2, Macka Besiktas, Istanbul, 34357, Turkey