Istanbul Miles and Points Advice

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Miles/Points' started by Brad W., Aug 12, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. Brad W.

    Brad W. Active Member

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    Hi all,

    Trying to plan a vacation from Chicago to Istanbul next spring (very flexible on dates) and wanted to get the group's thoughts on the best airline and hotel redemptions for the trip. I have plenty of American and United miles and Hyatt and Starwood points. (Also open to suggestions outside oneworld and Star Alliance.)

    Am I right that an award redemption on the Turkish direct ORD-IST flight is essentially impossible in business or first class? Barring that, what do folks think is the best route?

    I've heard mixed reviews of the Park Hyatt and the W. Is either better than the other (and/or worth staying at over other properties in town)?

    Thanks for any help!
     
  2. Bonnie
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    Bonnie Silver Member

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    I will defer to Gary Leff (bookyouraward.com) on this....and all things relatated to award redemption, but.......He was able to secure outstanding first class tix for us on Turkish Air from BKK to IST. The in flight experience, the service, the seats, the food were all exceptional. :D
     
  3. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    I wasn't all that impressed with the W, particularly the location.

    The branded hotels are quite expensive and can be reasonable values for redemptions if you insist on a branded property. If not the costs don't have to be so crazy.

    ORD-IST will be impossible in F on the non-stop but only because TK doesn't offer that anymore. Without trying too hard I'm seeing some dates via MUC on the LH 330s. Those are getting the new LH C product first IIRC so that wouldn't necessarily be a horrible way to ride. Plus, connecting in MUC really is easy and efficient. Maybe book something like that and then watch for the non-stops to open up with an alert program or such and change should that become available??
     
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  4. desamo

    desamo Gold Member

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    When we stayed in Istanbul, we stayed at the Erisin Crown. Great location, rooftop dining with a stunning view of the Blue Mosque, and a nice collection of museum pieces.

    http://www.eresin.com.tr/

    ETA: it's in Sultanahmet, and not in a particularly touristy part.
     
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  5. dc1956

    dc1956 Silver Member

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    Always a better bet to stay local in Istanbul if you want to be near the tourist area. Most international chains are outside that area save for the ritz!

    A couple of ideas for my favorite destination. The public ferry cruise of the bosporus is better and cheaper than the private ones. You can get off at the mouth of the Black sea and return on a later ferry. If to taking this cruise at least take the Kadikoy ferry (iskele) from eminonu and back for a great city view en route to the Asian side form the european side. Ask around for Ciya (with a cedilla beneath the c which my iPad won't print) pronounced jee-ah for a very nice meal while in Kadikoy (which really has an umlaut over the o).
    Eatl local and you will have great food at prices easy on the wallet. And no question Turkish airlines is the best airline to travel on.
     
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  6. desamo

    desamo Gold Member

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    image-1728414871.jpg

    View from Eresin Crown restaurant.
     
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  7. Brad W.

    Brad W. Active Member

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    Thanks! I've heard great things about TK, and flying it is part of what's appealing for this trip. I have seen LH availability through Munich, and I'll keep that in mind, though.
     
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  8. Brad W.

    Brad W. Active Member

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    Thanks for the suggestions. I've looked into a couple independent hotels, but hadn't seen the Eresin.

    Does it make sense to stay in Sultanahmet, or does staying outside the tourist district offer more atmosphere, restaurants, shopping, etc.?
     
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  9. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    I've stayed in both Sultanahmet and Taksim Square (Hilton). Both neighborhoods were fine if you're willing to explore with local mass transit.


    If you really want the trip then I'd book something good enough and try to optimize later. If you're booking just for the flights then hold out for other stuff until you actually find the flights you want. But there's no guarantee you ever will.
     
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  10. philatravelgirl

    philatravelgirl Silver Member

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    I stayed in IST last year pre/post cruise -at the Best Western on main road short walk to bazaar, blue mosque, water, etc -downside was noise from trolley outside but functional room and I used points won on twitter.
    I then stayed at the W great upgraded room to corner suite and staff w/early checkin during my stay (had seen mixed reviews too) I'd go back in a heartbeat, used points. Downside is 10-15 min walk to trolley to get in town although I didn't mind the walk but quieter location as compared to in town option. close to water. I used BA points promo at the time to go with a free stopover in London on the way home to visit friends.
     
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  11. dc1956

    dc1956 Silver Member

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    the W is a fabulous building (used to house servants from nearby Dolmabache palce) in a more residential (though busy) part of town. Easy via tram to the old city and easy ferry access to various locations. Immediate neighborhood is more upscale European than Turkish with its chic-chi shops.
     
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