I am at the hotel now. Here are my observations and updates throughout my stay. Opened April 2011. On the Asia side. -- Getting to the hotel is very easy from IST airport. Exit Arrivals and cross the street to the Havas Bus area. Buses are NOT labeled with their destinations. Board the Bakirkoy (small bus), TRY$5. Take the Kadikoy ferry, TRY$6.50. (total cost = US$7) Get off at the first stop and you'll see the hotel from the pier. (ferry schedule + scroll down for bus info) -- There are a metal detectors at the entrances and there are lots of security people about day and night. -- Check-in was smooth. The bellman escorted me to my south-facing room (neighborhood and water view) and pointed out the main features. The chocolate chip cookie was hard, the chocolate not gooey. -- The only restaurant option at the moment is the International Main Restaurant. During lunch, they only offer a TRY$48 (US$30) buffet of a wide variety of salads, mezze, hot dishes, breads and desserts. Be warned, although the small bottles of sodas are placed within the buffet area, they are TRY$9 each. The Turkish coffee was included. Patronage was low and service was excellent. -- The Rooftop (12th floor) is still under construction. There will be the Infinity Pool Bar and a la carte Restaurant. Rumours have it, it may open this weekend or in 2 weeks, depending who you ask. -- I took a quick walk through The Elemental Spa (floor -1). The facilities and staff seem nice. The Aquarium Pool is above ground with a flight of steps up and glass panels. The massage treatment rooms are a long flight of steps down even further. Neither would be accessible for someone in a wheelchair. The fitness room has a variety of machines, a big flatscreen and is open 24 hrs. -- There are lots of shops nearby for snacks and drinks. The minibar fridge is not motion-sensitive, so store bought items can easily be stored. -- The complimentary wifi is strong in the ground floor areas, outside and in my room. Nice to not get shagged with outrageous internet fees! ========== -- Confirmed with the front desk breakfast is complimentary in the International Main Restaurant for Gold and Diamond members, 7-10am. Again, a wide variety of foods: fresh fruits & vegetables, cheeses, yogurts, nuts, cold meats. Juices, tea, coffee. Savory and sweet breads and pastries. Hot items: eggs, potatoes, beef sausage, french toast or pancakes, broiled tomatoes. -- There are elevator banks on each side of the lobby/building. The north side has two, while the south end has one. All rooms can be accessed from either side. They are all slowwww. -- The front desk has run out of maps and there doesn't seem to be any tourist information anywhere. And as far as I know, no official Concierge. The reception staff are more than willing to help, but hard to say where I want to go without a map. ================ -- I inquired about show tickets at the front desk (Evran, in particular). A call was made and I had a reservation within 5-10 mins. Some more knowledgeable than others, this staff is definitely can-do. -- The tram line runs directly in front of the hotel. Exit the hotel and the closest stop is just off to the right. -- Bathroom amenities are the standard Neutrogena. -- I dislike the shower/tub. It is difficult to step in / out of unless you are 6'+. The lip is high and the edges squared (sharp). My shins are taking a beating! Only one glass panel slides, so I can imagine it's not easy for housekeeping to [thoroughly] clean. Did in fact see quite a few small hairs under the tub lip after arriving. Also, the shower hose leaks/spurts where hose meets metal. On the upside, the 3 control knobs are nice and simple once you figure them out, and there is an overhead rainshower feature. =================== -- I learned the hard way the last Eminonu-Kadikoy ferry back to Asia is 8:30pm! Knowing we were going to an evening show, the front desk neglected to tell me that and/or the alternatives. What should have been a 30min trip took 2.5 hrs between trying to find people at various points who spoke English, waiting times and transport. I showed the hotel's card to each person encountered and the hotel didn't seem to register familiar. Eminonu-Uskudar-Kadikoy route: Take ferry to Uskudar, approx 20 mins, TRY$?. On arrival, walk out, off to the right to find the Kadikoy bus, approx 15 mins, TRY$1.30. It was not a numbered route bus, but had a sign in the lower left corner of the windshield. Get off at the end of the line and walk [south] in the same direction the bus was traveling, along the main boulevard and you will see the Doubletree, approx 6 blocks. Per front desk: Uskudar-hotel taxi cost TRY$10. ... to be continued.