[review] W Istanbul

Discussion in 'Starwood | Preferred Guest' started by meecks, Feb 16, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. meecks
    Original Member

    meecks Silver Member

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    A little review about my 2nts stay in W Istanbul on points:

    Miss and I took the taxi (those yellow) from the airport directly to the hotel, we spent about 60 TL (30 euros) and the trip takes about 40 minutes. I think this is the best option if you have luggage.

    Hotel is really cool, a big W welcomes you in front of the main door; hotel is up a hill. Great lights by the night and cool people inside

    Check In
    The reception is on the left side when you enter the door, a really nice guy welcomed us and checked us in after a couple of signatures; offered 500 pts or gift, took points.
    We have been upgraded, as platinum guests, to a "fantastic suite", room number 214, 2nd floor...
    On the 2nd floor there are the resturant (Frederick's) and the W lounge ( a cool place when after 7pm you could easily hear good music played by a deejay) with a small sushi bar for sushi lovers.

    WOOOW that's what my girlfriend said opening the door:) there's a foyer over the entrance, on the right side you have wardrobe with safety box inside, on the left side a space for your baggage.
    Then there's the room, on your right a stone wall with an LCD covered by a glass a big desk that includes dvd and the frigobar. Opposite there's the bed with a great WELCOME cushion on it
    bathroom is open, with a great mirror and two sinks, that separates the toilette from the big rainfall shower

    is a bit far from the spots in SultanHamet, and in a rich neighbour called Besiktas... We took the Tram to move around the city, but you'll need a 10 minutes walk to Kabatas station.
    Everything is wowing and the cost of the bars and restaurant around are at a rich level, we stayed at VOGUE restaurant and don't waste your time there!!!

    I think it's worth a visit
    RAPC, TRAVELSIG, uggboy and 2 others like this.
  2. Skye1
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    Skye1 Silver Member

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    Thanks for this. Am likely staying there for an upcoming weekend. Read the reviews on TOBB/FT, and seems like the consensus was it's the preferred SPG property in Istanbul. Most there noted it's not immediately near any "tourist" destination, but reasonably accessible to these.
    uggboy likes this.
  3. philatravelgirl

    philatravelgirl Silver Member

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    Agree w/review. Stayed here post cruise for only 1 night, wish it was longer! Checked in early (about 10 am) and used points for the night, am gold and was also upgraded to the corner suite. I didn't want to leave the room after my time in small ship room. Room service was quick, quite good. Breakfast buffet selections nice although I did ala carte. it is a nice 10-15 min walk to the tram. I had a great dinner at the restaurant close/attached to hotel. I picked up snacks/water at a local shop up the street near the W apts. Great wi-fi connection in lobby and staff were wonderful (esp concierge)
    Having stayed in Old Town Best Western pre-cruise (close to bazaar, mosque, etc) the W is definitely a fantastic property that I would stay in again.
    uggboy and Skye1 like this.
  4. Skye1
    Original Member

    Skye1 Silver Member

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    WOW, just wow. Incredibly impressed by the staff at this property. So friendly, so eager to help, so cheerful, so welcoming. I dont even know where to begin....
    A few points....Pre-booked a transport service from IST to the hotel, which upon arrival, decided to use a "different exchange rate" coming up with a more expensive rate that what was originally quoted and agreed to. Stafff caught on to this straightaway as I arrived, insisted I could head on to my room and they would handle it...and they did.
    Staff practically bent over backwards ininsisting on apologizing that they could upgrade me to a studio suite instead of something bigger, that all of their larger suites were truly sold out., and that they had been monitoring this throughout the day. The studio suite I was upgraded to, IMHO, was a fantastic room in no need of apology.
    Staff somehow had picked up that I was in town for a friend's birthday, and later that day they left a chocolate mouse cake, covered with strawberries and kiwis, on the coffee table in my room with their complements saying I should be celebrating too, why should the birthday person get all the good cake, etc.....this in addition to the welcome gift (tray of apples, various turkish pastries, and a personalized note) on the table on arrival., in addition to the welcome amenity (which I chose points for).
    Asked for a nearby place to purchase local coffee---staff insisted on walking out of the front door with me and up the street a bit to point out the way.
    There is a table just inside the entrance for free coffee in the mornings, free apple tea in the afternoons, free herbal tea in the evenings, with staff usually stationed by it, always with a smile and hello.
    If you need a taxi, they will insist on you waiting whilst they hail one and tell the driver your destination.
    Every time you walk in/out, past the front desk and/or concierge, there's always a smile & hello.
    The studio suite was an effective combination of modern technology and features, with local architecture and decor effectively blended in. The "welcome" pillow noted above is reversed to say "sweet dreams" (by the turn-down service each night, inclusive of nightly chocolates. The study/desk area and the bed area have lighting master controls, with one-touch switches for various moods (sleep, work, welcome, etc).
    The neighborhood of the hotel is really nice, great for a walk around, with plenty of affordable eateries.
    The location is a 10-15 walk from the nearest tram station, from which one can easily get into the old city.
    Or, the old city is a 11-lira cab ride.
    It's about 30 minutes by taxi/car from the hotel to the IST airport. Paid approx. 40 lira for the ride back to the airport. Or, one could take the tram there for about 2 lira, and a 15 min. walk to the tram station.
    While the hotel retains all the "W" brand funk & trappings, it's got a great "small hotel" feel (should I use the word, "boutique"?) to it.
    Instead of a "lobby" per se, they have a check-in area, a separate concierge desk tucked under a spiral staircase leading up to the lounge/bar and terrace, and a separate lobby/relaxation/chilled-out-space area called "Sip", with plenty of comfy tables, couches, chairs.
    The gym has plenty of quality workout equipment.

    Again, 'tho, the overall positive-ness of the staff truly make this a great property, and I'd gladly stay there again.
    philatravelgirl likes this.
  5. RAPC
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    RAPC Silver Member

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    Besiktas is actually a pretty good location to be based in as a visitor to Istanbul. Easy transport links, with trams and ferries near by and some great cheap local restaurants to hand too. As it isn't too touristy an area, you get a slightly more authentic view of the day to day going on in Istanbul.

    I love the area, but have to admit that I can't drop the Conrad Hotel near by for the W, no matter how good it looks. We just love the Conrad, especially the great views across the Bosphorous from the lounge terrace. If you have the time, or status with Hilton and SPG, then it might be worth trying both hotels. Maybe one day we'll make it to the W in return, especially after this review. Thanks to the OP for sharing.
  6. flyer_o

    flyer_o Gold Member

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    An update based upon my July 5 - July 8 stay.

    Getting there: We took a prepaid service from IST to the hotel. After a redeye, I didn't feel like dealing with any potential variability on transport to the hotel. Havingbeen to Istanbul a couple of times, I've had both great and not so great taxi experiences. The driverhad water and knew the way to the W, which was a vast improvement over the early days where drivers didn't know how to find the W. Well worth the 30EUR that we paid.

    Check-in: Very smooth. We booked a "buy 2, get 3" package and reserved a 4th floor room with the patio. Given that my girlfriend wanted that room, we did not want an upgrade. An amenity (map), points or breakfast were offered. We were escorted to our room. A couple of minor nits: our room was really far from the elevator and it was hard to operate the buttons on the elevator. A bit amusing as I'm in my late 20's and generally like anything tech.

    Room: A very efficient use of a space and very comfortable for the two of us. We very much enjoyed the patio as it was a great place for an early morning coffee or afternoon beer while planning dinner or other outings. The bathroom was split with the toilet and shower on separate sides. When we got to our room, the bed was covered in heart shaped balloons...a nice touch, until we came back from dinner and they were still there!


    Getting around: As noted before, the hotel is in Besiktas, away from "typical" tourist areas. I found this to be spectacular. The 10 minute walk to Kabatas was refreshing and the views out to the water were quite nice. Additionally, the W is very close to the Besiktas Iskelesi (Ferry) terminal which was great for travelling to Kadikoy on the Asian side as well as the Princes' island. For visitors spending a bit longer in Istanbul or those returning for a second or third visit, this access is very convenient for some of the less touristy excursions.

    The verdict: Very, very nice. This W is a very nice hotel with a very pleasant staff and great location. Definitely one of my top W experiences (Montreal, Barcelona, Austin).
    TRAVELSIG likes this.

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