More about W Istanbul
Highly Recommend the W Istanbul
I had seen the W Istanbul the last time I was there for New Years and had been wanting to try it out ever since. Finally had the chance last week and it was well worth the trip. The Studio Suite was nice and spacious with an excellent rain shower and the most comfortable bed I have ever experienced. Perhaps sleeping all day is not the best way to experience Istanbul but it was hard to get out of bed.
The staff was great and helped my friend and I negotiate a promotion to get Tarkan tickets. Recognition for SPG Platinum/W the card status was also great. Really nice amenities and friendly, helpful service.
The location was also convenient. You can take the Metro/tram from the airport and if you don't have much luggage, it is about 1 km from there to the hotel. There are lots of bakeries, places to get borek, other cafes, and good shopping close by. You can also walk up the hill to a big park and take a "ski lift" type thing across to Taksim square. The tram also goes to Sultanahmet if you wanted to explore some of the sites there.
Phone calls are a bit expensive but you can get a Turkcell Sim card for only 9 YTL which is a better value if you plan to make some local calls. Room service was also good. Given that the rates include taxes and delivery, it is quite a good value compared with other large city hotels. Of course Istanbul has an 1,000s of restaurants to chose from within easy reach of the hotel and I'm sure the excellent concierge can help out with that.
All in all it was a great stay and I look forward to returning.
get ready for a charge of bathrobe
We stayed at W Hotel-İstanbul for our wedding anniversary for just one night and had our dinner at the Spice Market restaurant. As can be easily guessed the total cost of all was arond 500 €. The day after we checked out I realized that 150 YTL (~120 USD) has been charged from my credit card without asking me in advance. When I called the hotel, it's said to me that it's because of two bathrobes stolen from the room. As ethic people since we never do such things at the hotels, we were very upset and got angry about such an unresponsible and indicent attitude towards us. I really can not understand how dare the unexperienced front office staff have got the right that easily to directly charge anything to my credit card without asking any other collegues or boss of her/his, especially without asking me!!So,I and my wife were accused with theft. We wish they had asked for the very simple max 10 USD inferior bathrobes in the hotel among their personnel and asked to my agent secondly. Since I have already taken the chance to pay 500 € for just one night, the front desk people could have kept in mind that those customers(us) wouldn't be such a thief people to be in need of such bathrobes or kind of staff from th hotel, and they could asked to others before us. Anyway, it's been two weeks and the amount has just been returned to my C.Card. Get ready to unexpected expenditures without any notice and a feeling of being accused by theft after paying 500 € for one night accom. and dinner.There're so many more beautiful hotels in İstanbul other that W Hotel. Try your best to choose any one of the other hotels first...
Very Positive W Experience
The W Istanbul is probably not to everyone's taste. It's a bit Euro-trendy and not immediately in the old town area. While not inexpensive, the prices are on par with similar quality hotels in the City.
That said, seldom have we ever received a more gracious welcome and superior service as we did at the W. From reception and the bell staff all the way through, the service was excellent. The room was very well kept and looked after, and the bed was quite comfortable.
Although not in the old town, it's about a 10YTL cab ride coming back and slightly more going due to traffic patterns. Less to the new town, and one of the major Ferry stops is less than a 5 minute walk and the Dolmabachce Palace is just a few minutes walk farther.
Excellent food in the hotel's Spice Market restaurant and bar, but again, pricy (it's actually more asian fusion than Turkish, as the name might imply). There are numerous restaurnats in the area of the hotel, however, and the area had a neighborhood feel.
Overall, a very positive experience.
Wish we stayed longer
I've stayed at W Hotels many times in various cities. This ranks as one of the best of the bunch in terms of comfort. I am a Platium member and I felt that we were treated extremely well, from check in to check out. The hotel manager coming out to welcome us was a nice touch. The hotel is a 15-20 minutes walk to the closest train station at Kabatas so be prepared to walk if you plan on taking public transportation. There are plenty of buses as well if you choose to take a bus to the train instead of walking. Of course, taxis are plentiful. There is a supermarket just down the block if you want to stock up on essentials - very convenient. The bed is very comfy and the room is ultra modern - consistent with the W brand. We were upgraded to a suite - about double the size of a standard room. The room was very spacious and included a sitting area. We stayed only one night and wished we had more time to enjoy the hotel. Overall, very pleasant stay and one of the best W hotels.
Selected W over Ritz and Four Seasons because less than half the price and stayed at several W's before. But was suprised at how well tended the whole property and experience are. Yes, coffeee, drinks, etc. are very expensive (a store around the corner and 5 great gyro shops 2 min walk away helped), as they are at all top hotels in Istanbul (alcohol tax is crazy expensive!) . Loved the room, great bed/pillows, we moved from reg room to "suite", a big room and paid difference for more space. Concierge Cem is amazing; manager was delightful. I've never expereinced such an amazing effort from everyone to see that things are OK. It is W-super-hip, but that was fun. Liked the location, they helped with taxi drivers and language. They made Istanbul stand out for us. I'd recommend to anyone. BTW, free internet in comfortable lounge, easy to use, but pay-internet in rooms.
W for Wonderful
Just back from 5 nights in the W in Istanbul. Top class hotel, beautiful interior and perfectly appointed rooms with amazingly comfortable beds. Try and get a room with an outdoor cabana, perfect to sleep in on a hot night!
The staff at the W are a particular asset. Most obliging, friendly and courteous. The concierge in particular was the epitome of "whatever, whenever".
The terrace is lovely for evening drinks and gets very lively at the weekend. Had dinner al fresco on one evening and the food was excellent.
My only, minor, gripe is that there is no swimming pool. However the hotel is built in an old refurbished building so I guess there just wasn't the space available.
Will happily return and have recommended friends to stay too.
W Hotel - Good Experience
The W is a brand new very clean property in a great location. It's in the neighborhood of Besiktas, which has a ferry terminal and is a short walk to the tram.
Other reviews regarding the concierge are spot on. He is the most helpful, informative concierge I have ever dealt with. He will spend as much time as you want and will answer every single one of your questions.
We didn't have an opportunity to eat at Spice Market for dinner, but breakfast at the hotel is great, whether you get room service or sit down at the restaurant.
I had to make several calls to the United States and was expecting to get slammed with a huge bill (the way most hotels do), but I was very pleasantly surprised by the reasonableness of the rates for international calls.
Like all W Hotels, the hotel is extremely dark, both in the common areas (lobby) and the rooms themselves. This takes some getting used to. Families with kids may prefer something a little brighter.
Overall, it's a great hotel, great location, and very reasonably priced.
It is hard not to love this hotel. Arrived on friday afternoon after 1 1/2 hours of trafic from the airport, to be greeted by Mrs. Elif Aydinligil (W insider), with a big smile. It seemed that she was expecting us all day...calling me and the other couple who traveled with us by our name, offering us juice and Turkish delights and making herself available for "whatever, whenever". We were instantly acknowleged as Starwood Gold Members and upgraded to a fabulous room. The room was fantastic: decorated in the tipical W style with modern furniture, great bathroom and shower, thick towels, great shampoo, soap and conditioner. The lights controls in the bedside gives you 5 different optiond on the lightning in your room. The air conditioner works perfectly and silently. The bed is amazing. Other reviewers already said it, but I will repeat it: you will not want to leave from the bed. 10 minutes in the room and I received 2 calls from 2 different persons from the hotel just to make sure that everything was ok. I would receive more calls during my stay with the same purpose.
Cem, the concierge is a big asset to this hotel. Friendly, always smiling, it felt more like an old friend advising you on different restaurants, activities, etc than a tight 5 star hotel concierge.
Free internet worked ok in the lobby. I did not eat in the hotel, but the area of the bar, restaurant and terrace was beautiful.
It is true that the hotel is dark, in a tipical W style, with Neon purple lights in the lobby and red ones in the hallways. The elevator has the tipical W music..pum, pum, pum. I understand that some people might be bothered by this but this is what W is all about.
The hotel is well located in the Besiktas neighborhood. The porters willl call you a taxi (Taksi) and explain the driver where you are going. I found 90% of Taxi drivers to be honest people but did find some that would drive us around or try not to use their taximeter and ask you for a specific fee. I never agreed to go in a taxi that did not use ther taximeter. Taxi prices are very reasonable and the best way to go around the city.
Tips in Istanbul
Ate at two great restaurants: Sunset Grill ,very expensive but woth it because is on a hill with a fabulous Bosforous view, great ambiance and good food. Mikla was also very good (better food than sunset grill), also with a nice view on the roof of the Marmara Pera hotel. Sunset grill will impact you more. For traditional Turkish food I tried Haci Abdullah, a moderatelly priced restaurant in Takzim that was very good. This is a family restaurant, not fancy.
I found the food street to be appealing but dissapopinting. Tried at least 3 chicken and lamb sandwiches on different places and were always dry and not vary tasty. My experience. Backlava was good almost everywhere and so was the turkish delights.
People in Istanbul were very friendly and always willing to help and to smile even thought there is a big language barrier if you don't speak Turkish. Vendors at both the Spice market and grand bazaar were pushy but it was fun and safe.
I wanted to try a Hamam (Turkish bath) and followed the advice of Cem with great results. He send me to a Spa type place in the Astoria mall and got there a Hamam therapy (Sauna, scrub, massage, etc). It was great, in a very clean and new enviroment. Worth it.
Will return again and again
I write this while at the hotel. Beautiful hotel. Fantastic service. Being in Turkey during the difficult financial period that we are experiencing in the USA and not to mention the forthcoming elections, I was terribly disappointed when there was no CNN in the hotel. I talked with the management and lo and behold they got the channel. Where else would you find that kind of service? Obviously we shall return again and again.