Fairmont Istanbul, Turkey

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Old Mar 14, 13, 7:50 am
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Fairmont Istanbul, Turkey

http://www.marketwire.com/press-rele...ey-1768040.htm

Fairmont Hotels & Resorts today announced a new development in Istanbul, Turkey, scheduled to open in 2016. The 210-room hotel will be joined by branded residences and is part of the Quasar Istanbul complex, a new mixed-use development in the Sisli district, a vibrant neighborhood blending commercial, residential and retail yet situated close to major attractions in the city. The project is being developed through a joint venture between Viatrans - Meydanbey. Viatrans is a Geneva-based company specializing in shipping logistics and insurance as well as commercial real estate.

The Quasar Istanbul complex is in the central business district whose showpiece is the former Mecidiyekoy Liqueur and Cognac Factory. Built in the 1930's on then undeveloped land, the factory was designed by Robert Mallet-Stevens, who with Le Corbusier was among the most influential modern French architects of that era.

Two 41-story towers will sit above a 4-story office podium with fitness facilities and luxury retail stores. The towers will house a Fairmont Hotel and Fairmont Residences as well as Quasar Residences and offices which will be managed by Fairmont. The hotel will feature Fairmont Gold, the brand's hotel within a hotel lifestyle offering, a number of lounges and several restaurants, 2,000 square meters of function space, and a Willow Stream Spa.

The two residences are whole-ownership, private homes and will offer studios, 1 and 2-bedroom apartments and 3-bedroom duplexes. While in residence, owners will have access to a private lounge and a number of services and amenities such as 24-hour concierge, wine cellar, preferred pricing for various hotel offerings including dining, spa and fitness, meeting facilities, hotel guestrooms and more. Owners will also be awarded VIP status and privileges when they travel to any Fairmont hotels or resorts worldwide.

The former distillery, located adjacent to the hotel will undergo a thoughtful restoration echoing the Modern style of its French designer to become a culture, fashion and arts center for special events and exhibits. A verdant urban open space is also planned for the development of a city park and recreation area.

"Istanbul is an exciting, dynamic city that will appeal to our business and leisure guests," said Jennifer Fox, President, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts. "As well as complementing our other developments in the region, it is very exciting to be partnering with Viatrans on this amazing project blending hotel, residential and community space."

Turkey's largest city straddles the Bosphorus one of the world's busiest waterways, and is the country's economic, cultural, and historical heart. Istanbul served as the capital of three distinct empires, including Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman, and is located at the edge of Europe and Asia, with one-third of its population living in Asia and its commercial and historical center in Europe. Today it is a thriving tourist and business destination rich with history and natural beauty, home to 13.5 million people in the second-largest metropolitan area in Europe.

Fairmont Quasar, Istanbul is the most recent project to be announced by the brand in the region and joins Fairmont Kyiv, Ukraine; Fairmont Baku, Azerbaijan (2013) and Fairmont Pekin, Moscow (2016).
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Old Mar 18, 13, 2:03 pm
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http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/fairmont-presidents-club/1447868-fairmont-hotels-resor

Instanbul. Should be open in 2016.
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Old Nov 3, 16, 2:59 pm
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The Fairmont Istanbul is scheduled to open in spring 2017.

Starting yesterday, the Fairmont Istanbul has started to accept bookings.

Prices seem reasonable. Guests staying a suite get access to the Gold lounge, which may be a good deal.
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Old Dec 19, 16, 2:12 pm
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Now says this hotel will be open January 16, 2017.

Does anyone have any input on the location of this hotel? I am considering it for an upcoming stay.
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Old Dec 19, 16, 3:57 pm
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Originally Posted by CanuckFlyHigh View Post
Now says this hotel will be open January 16, 2017.

Does anyone have any input on the location of this hotel? I am considering it for an upcoming stay.
It's located in the business / entertainment / shopping district.

Many luxury hotels are located on the Bosphorus (and only the FS Sultanahmet is located in the Old City). IMO it's not the very best location, but it's ok, and if you're in IST for leisure, you'll probably want to take a taxi anyway to get around (unless you're staying in the Old City).
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Old Feb 17, 18, 2:33 am
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It says on the website that all suite guests receive Gold Lounge privileges, which I presume include access to the lounge. Does anyone have any experience using the suite upgrade cert here?
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Old Mar 1, 18, 8:57 am
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Originally Posted by zoqfotpik View Post
It says on the website that all suite guests receive Gold Lounge privileges, which I presume include access to the lounge. Does anyone have any experience using the suite upgrade cert here?
I stayed a few weeks ago. When I called to apply Suite Upgrade certificate the reservations agent said I would get access to the lounge. And if I recall correctly, that I could also have breakfast at the restaurant.

However on check in the agent said it was a courtesy that they were giving me the Gold Lounge access as I was a Plat member. But breakfast would be chargeable at the restaurant. I checked with another agent later on and he confirmed this.

In any case breakfast at the lounge has a small spread, but sufficient. There are about 8- 10 selections of cooked to order eggs with options of sides to go with it.

I requested for a Grand Suite and was upgraded to it. The suite, and probably all rooms in general are stunning and of excellent build quality. At the moment there are only suites on the lower floors. Upper floors are residences, but there are plans to convert some of the upper floors into hotel suites.

There were a few things that delighted me during my stay, but I will leave for you to experience on your own. But if you're considering this hotel, I would definitely recommend it. For the current prices, it's excellent value.
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Old Mar 1, 18, 4:37 pm
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Excellent, thanks for the info!
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Old Sep 14, 18, 11:38 pm
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Fairmont Istanbul = Fantastic Hotel But Le Club Accor Will Be A Drag

Fairmont Quasar Istanbul

1 Review | 100% Recommended

Fairmont Quasar Istanbul

Büyükdere Caddesi 76 B Mecidiyeköy Istanbul, TR 34394

Fairmont Istanbul = Fantastic Hotel But Le Club Accor Will Be A Drag (21 Photos)

Fairmont Quasar Istanbul

Istanbul has its fair share of great hotels and for this trip we decided to try Fairmont, in part because it would be a good use of a suite upgrade certificate before they expire in a few months.  I found a reasonably low rate with best rate guarantee, and claiming BRG originally prevented me from using the suite upgrade. However after having been denied by Fairmont reservations I contacted the hotel directly and they accepted the suite upgrade certificate.  When booking a suite at this Fairmont, you automatically get access to the Gold Lounge, but normally not when using a suite upgrade cert.  Once again the hotel was generous and allowed us Gold Lounge access nonetheless. 

Location

The location of the hotel might not be the best for tourism purposes but it is decent.  It’s about a 10-minute walk to the Sisli subway station which is only a couple of stops away from the Taksim station.  It’s also on the same line as Haliç and Verneciler stations which are both walkable distance to the spice bazaar and grand bazaar. 

 

Room

Based on Fairmont.com not all suites seem to be of the same size.  The suite we got was a corner suite which is larger than others according to the floor plan. The main advantage is that we had windows on two sides of the room and a very nice L-shaped balcony.  The views of the city from there were fantastic.  The entire room is very modern with sleek design, electronic curtain controls, and has a massive entrance door.  There is a TV on both sides of the wall between the bedroom and the living room with two sliding doors to separate the bedroom from the living room as needed.  Above and below the TV are some futuristic metallic panels.  There is no DVD player in the room but when we asked for one, it was brought the same day. Off the living area there is a high table with chairs overlooking the hotel pool.  There is also a small corner with a lounge chair which is I guess might be non-existent in non-corner suites.  The room has 1.5 bathroom, with the half bath being of a decent size although it could use a bit more counter space.  In the main bathroom there is a movable wall panel (sort of like a window) that you can open up to see through the main entrance area or to close off for privacy.  There is a bathtub inside the shower area with a TV in the wall right in front of the tub.  Strangely the shower door is a single glass panel that you can slide closer to the shower head or closer to the bathtub but then the other part remains open so there can be a bit of water spilling outside the shower.  Despite some lights in the shower/bath it was a bit dark, in part because the lights were not very bright, but also because of the color scheme they used – dark floor and dark walls.  In fact floors are dark throughout the room as well but it’s more of an issue in the main bathroom because the rest of the room has lots of natural light.  The bed was very comfortable and we had great sleep with strong AC.  Overall it was a great room and great value for the money when using a suite upgrade cert, but the main questions will come when those certs no longer exist under Le Club Accor (more on that below).  

 

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Dining

Happy hour in the Gold Lounge on the 15th floor is a generous 3 hours, from 5pm to 8pm.  They had 3-4 hot dishes in addition to soup.  Some days the hot dishes were nice, the most memorable was a lovely sea bass dish, but other days it left a bit to be desired with sautéed veggies and meatballs.  There are several cold offerings as well including vegetables and local dishes.  Overall there was enough for a small dinner but not as extensive as some lounges in Middle East hotels.  I was surprised that desserts did not include baklava on any evening but there were other kinds of desserts.  The alcohol choices were a bit subpar for a hotel of this caliber, they only had one red and two white wines from Turkey, beer and liquor but no sparkling wine.  We had breakfast in the lounge with decent choice including local options such as fried sucuk and menemen.  Overall the food quality in the lounge was excellent, clearly better than for drinks.  I stopped by during afternoon tea (3pm-5pm) once and saw a few desserts but not much else. The lounge environment is great with several subdivisions which provide some privacy and it was not crowded at any time.  Most guests preferred to have one of the tables near the food station but we always chose to go to the more quiet area at the end of the lounge, which had a TV in the wall/mirror.  There is also a terrace outside the lounge with the same views as we had from our room given that it’s overlooking in the same direction of the city.  Similar to the room, the color scheme in the lounge is dark, but given that you are right next to floor to ceiling windows the lounge overall looks very nice.  What takes away a bit from the lounge experience is that we saw some people wearing their hotel bathrobe and/or hotel slippers in the lounge (so there is no dress code or it is not enforced), and also there were loud children crying and screaming on a couple of evenings, others running around, so it was not always a peaceful and enjoyable environment.  On evenings without unruly children, then it was the complete opposite: very quiet and relaxing.  

 

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Service

In the Gold Lounge we had great service, including helpful advice regarding Istanbul but also for our upcoming trips after Istanbul.  When I asked after two evenings if they sometimes had baklava in the Gold Lounge they promptly brought me my own plate from the kitchen downstairs along with recommendations for where to buy the best in town – a great service-oriented effort as a reaction to a guest question, which was very appreciated.  The service we got pre-arrival was top notch with the guest relations manager being very responsive in answering queries and preparing our arrival including confirming the suite upgrade and Gold Lounge access.  I also informed the hotel ahead of time that it would be my wife’s birthday during our stay and they kindly brought a cake in our room which was a nice touch.   Another example of excellent service and desire to please.  

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Gym

The hotel gym has great quality equipment which is obviously still new and working well.  The gym was quiet went I went there so I had full freedom to use the various machines.  The color tones in the gym are dark as in the rest of the hotel.

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Overall

Overall the Fairmont is a great hotel which I highly recommend.  However competition in Istanbul is fierce and there are several other hotels with great reviews, for example the Park Hyatt and St.Regis which are in a similar hotel category as Fairmont.  As can be the issue for several Fairmont properties worldwide, staying at Fairmont makes a lot of sense when using Fairmont certs for upgrades but once those expire, depending on the city it can be a more difficult value proposition relative to other international hotel chains if you have elite status at more than one chain, particularly outside of North America where elite benefits with competitors can be generous.  If I can have free breakfast, free lounge access, and good odds of suite upgrades at Hyatt, Marriott, Starwood, and Hilton, would I return to Fairmont Istanbul in the future without breakfast, lounge, and only a minimal room upgrade? Or pay for such extras at Fairmont when I can get them for free elsewhere?  In Istanbul the Fairmont is very good but competition is good too, so it is not so easy to overcome the numerous perks elite guests can get elsewhere so Le Club Accor program is a liability for this specific property in my humble opinion because the bar is quite high in Istanbul.  That said, for guests with elite status with Accor and not with other hotel chains (or guests without status anywhere), I can recommend Fairmont without hesitation. 

Fairmont Istanbul = Fantastic Hotel But Le Club Accor Will Be A Drag

Would you like to write a review on the Fairmont Quasar Istanbul?

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Old Sep 15, 18, 6:22 am
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Thanks for the detailed review. I was wondering when we'd get some feedback on this property. When we went to IST last summer, I ultimately decided against both the Fairmont and the Raffles due to their location more than anything, and chose the Four Seasons on the Bosphorus. Also, for me anyway, I prefer beautiful historic buildings over modern properties, which Fairmont's normally are, but IST is a departure from that pattern. But, good to know it's still a great hotel.
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