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Park Hyatt Istanbul REVIEW - MASTER THREAD

Park Hyatt Istanbul REVIEW - MASTER THREAD

Old Jan 2, 07, 12:03 pm
  #1  
thc
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Park Hyatt Istanbul REVIEW - MASTER THREAD

Hi,

Anyone have any more info on when the Park Hyatt in Istanbul will be opening? The website just says 2007. I'm hoping, it will be open before Sept, as I will be in Istanbul in mid-September.

Thanks.
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Old Sep 24, 07, 8:48 am
  #2  
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It's in a very nice, ritzy neighborhood with lost of designer stores (Armani, Gucci, etc). But it's not directly in the tourist area of Sultanahamet. then again, I don't think you'd really want to stay in sultanahamet anyway. It's very crowded and touristy and not very relaxing.

I think it would be too long for a walk to Sultanahmet from the Park Hyatt Macka Palace, so tram or subway or taxi is the way to go. The good thing about Istanbul is that taxis are cheap (make sure the meter is on, and make sure they give you back the new Turkish lira, and not the old one), and so we just cabbed it everywhere when we were in Istanbul.
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Old Oct 20, 08, 10:47 am
  #3  
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I've received an email from the hotel saying that they plan to make award rooms available from mid December. I'm hoping they will have rooms available for FFN redemption.

If you were going to be in Istanbul for three nights during the first month or two of the hotel's opening, would you spend all three nights at this hotel, or divide them between here and the other Hyatt? RichardinSF has reported on the newly opened Park Hyatt Shanghai not being ready for primetime, so that is one concern. Also, the other Hyatt has a Regency Club which I like. But this location looks more interesting, close to the touristic heart of the city, yet outside of the hustle and bustle.
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Old Oct 22, 08, 1:20 pm
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Originally Posted by SanDiego1K View Post
I've received an email from the hotel saying that they plan to make award rooms available from mid December. I'm hoping they will have rooms available for FFN redemption.

If you were going to be in Istanbul for three nights during the first month or two of the hotel's opening, would you spend all three nights at this hotel, or divide them between here and the other Hyatt? RichardinSF has reported on the newly opened Park Hyatt Shanghai not being ready for primetime, so that is one concern. Also, the other Hyatt has a Regency Club which I like. But this location looks more interesting, close to the touristic heart of the city, yet outside of the hustle and bustle.
The Hyatt Regency and Park Hyatt are very close to each other. HR is in the city center and PH is very close to city center (5 minutes taxi ride) but in a very classy neighborhood with a lot of shopping and dining opportunities around.

P.S: The location is not exactly free of hustle and bustle Its still quite central (residential but also a business district)

P.S. 2: The opening date appears to be November 17 as far as the hotel is concerned.

Last edited by FlyingVeryHigh; Jan 8, 09 at 7:15 am
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Old Oct 24, 08, 5:01 am
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Originally Posted by SanDiego1K View Post
I've received an email from the hotel saying that they plan to make award rooms available from mid December. I'm hoping they will have rooms available for FFN redemption.

If you were going to be in Istanbul for three nights during the first month or two of the hotel's opening, would you spend all three nights at this hotel, or divide them between here and the other Hyatt? RichardinSF has reported on the newly opened Park Hyatt Shanghai not being ready for primetime, so that is one concern. Also, the other Hyatt has a Regency Club which I like. But this location looks more interesting, close to the touristic heart of the city, yet outside of the hustle and bustle.
To echo FlyingVeryHigh, the Park Hyatt is in a great area. It reminds me a bit of the upper 5th/Madison avenue area in New York. This general area (which also houses the Hilton ParkSA, with the Hyatt Regency, W, Hilton, InterContinental, and Ritz-Carlton nearby) is the place to stay in Istanbul for all but first-time visitors in my opinion.

I might divide my time between the two just to experience them, although that might not be necessary in this case because they are close together. Although the Regency has a nice pool area, the Park Hyatt has an outdoor pool as well, which I am sure will be nice, although it will be a bit late in the year for swimming anyway. I suppose that if you will have some exotic service requests, there is a better chance that the Hyatt Regency will fulfill them.
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Old Dec 13, 08, 10:33 am
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To those of you going, have you stayed at the Regency in Istanbul?

I would love to hear a comparison!
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Old Jan 3, 09, 9:23 am
  #7  
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Thumbs up Stay report (now updated) -- very impressed

(Note: I have now consolidated several posts I made over the course of a stay into this single report.)

Originally Posted by SanDiego1K View Post
Who is the first FTer to stay here?
I don't know that I'm the first to stay here, but it appears I'll be the first to report. . .

This is a beautiful property. There is no indication, whether facility or service, that it just recently opened. They are on top of their game.

Service is first rate -- professional yet warm and very helpful. My bags did not make it to IST and the concierge team worked it as aggressively as possible, providing me updates as they had contact with the airline service company (which was pathetic, so it was nice to have someone local working it for me).

As a Diamond member, I was upgraded from a Deluxe King to a Spa Room. (I'm told that Diamond members will be upgraded one room class, so be sure to reserve Deluxe King, as opposed to Standard Queen if you want to the chance to experience one of these rooms.) This room is aptly named, as literally half of it is the bathroom.

The bedroom portion is exactly the room shown on the hotel's home page. It is state-of-the-art, with everything electronic that you can imagine. (Lights and blinds electronically-controlled from bedside, AV inputs on the desk for the plasma screen. . . ) The bed is fabulous, if a bit firm for my taste, with great linens and exceptional pillows. Hard wood floor, with Turkish rug and very comfortable and functional furniture.

The spa and bathroom in the Spa Room is extraordinary. All heated tile floors. Two sinks (one with drinking water) out front at the vanity, with doors leading into the WC on the right and the spa on the left. In the spa is a soaking tub (with remote controllable light therapy option or in-wall TV), an area for an available in-room Turkish scrub if you're so inclined, a personal steam room and a spacious rain shower area -- all in the privacy of your own room. Bath products are Blaise Mautin, with more options provided than you can imagine.

A nice plate of fresh fruit along with a note from the Guest Services Manager was in the room upon arrival. (I don't know if it was a Diamond Amenity, as the note did not mention status.)

As a Diamond member, you receive complimentary breakfast in the lobby breakfast, which includes the entire breakfast menu, with many cook-to-order options, in addition to an extensive buffet spread. The breakfast is truly excellent.

Had room service dinner the evening of arrival. It which was first-rate. Nice variety, reasonable prices (relatively speaking for a hotel of this level), promptly delivered and exceptional service.

The spa and workout facility is open and very nice. Signature Massage for 60 minutes is ~US $130, same for a 60 min. facial. Turkish Scrub is ~ $100. The workout room is not particularly big, but certainly adequate for a hotel of less than 100 rooms (unless there happens to be an exercise convention in-house, I suppose). Most equipment one would need is available. The Signature Massage was a little light, but enjoyable. I would recommend a custom-designed one if you're looking for deeper, therapeutic work.

Concierge: This was the one downside for me. While every concierge was very friendly and helpful (particularly, as I noted above, when it came to my baggage), I had a bad experience that was key. I was specifically interested in a restaurant that had received rave reviews in the New York Times (1897 Konyali). In helping me to book a reservation, the Concierge found it was closed on the night I could go. He insisted that there was a sister restaurant, part of the same Konyali chain of three restaurants, with the identical menu. I was skeptical, given what I had read in the review, which discussed more contemporary twists on traditional Turkish dishes, but he was insistent. So I decided we would go there. The next day, I confirmed with another concierge that, in fact, the menu was the same between the two restaurants and she confirmed that it was. Well, it was not. Not by a long shot. The menu was very traditional Turkish cuisine, which I was not interested in, as it was essentially a repeat of the night before. The meal was an enormous disappointment. I should have followed my gut and done more independent research, but with such insistence from each concierge, I trusted their knowledge. I should not have.

The neighborhood is in a very luxurious area, with first-rate shopping and dining all around. It was about a 40 minute taxi drive from the airport (approx. US $25), about a $10 ride to the main tourist areas in the old town area.

WARNING: Getting to this hotel can be a problem: Over the course of our stay, not a single taxi driver had any idea of this hotel or its location. Without fail, every one wanted to take us to the Hyatt Regency (which, fortunately, isn't too far away). A helpful member of the staff created a description of the hotel's location, written in Turkish, for me to hand the taxi drivers when we got in. That worked well. Only one time did a driver look at the document, we had the conversation about this being the new Hyatt hotel -- the Park Hyatt, and he still took us to the HR.

If anyone would like me to e-mail this document, I'm happy to do so. Officially, the hotel doesn't have anything this helpful, so if you're going within the next few months, I think you'll find it helpful, so just send me a PM and I'll fire it off to you via e-mail.

All things considered, this is an excellent property in every important way. In particular, the staff was so nice and helpful, providing the ideal balance between highly professional and yet very warm, friendly and willing to help with anything. I cannot overstate how impressed I was by the people. This is one of the finest hotels and hotel rooms I've ever experienced and I highly recommend it.

Last edited by AZ Travels the World; Jan 7, 09 at 9:40 am Reason: Consolidate multiple posts into a single report
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Old Jan 3, 09, 8:07 pm
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I'll add a couple comments as I was at the hotel a few weeks ago on a FFN award.

Booked whatever was available for FFN and was upgraded to the room type that AZ got.

AZ really covered the room well - the only things I would mention is that breakfast was complimentary for Diamonds and normally 45 YTL (about $30 USD) per person.

I also received a tray of fruit each day of my stay which I presume was the Diamond Amenity, but not quite sure.

Overall, I found the staff at the hotel to be exceptionally friendly.

By the way, I know that Taksim Square is a popular spot for airport transit and other things - it's about a 5 YTL cab ride there or a 20 minute walk
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Old Jan 3, 09, 10:27 pm
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Sounds excellent, can't wait for my stay.
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Old Jan 4, 09, 2:23 am
  #10  
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Is using Gold Passport points for this property an option currently? If so, then how many points does it require per night? If not, then how many months until it becomes a standard points redemption option?

I didn't seem to find the Park Hyatt Istanbul listed as a Category 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 property.

The Hyatt Regency Istanbul is a Category 3, so I am presuming the Park Hyatt will sooner or later be listed as a Category 3 or -- perhaps more likely -- 4 property.
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Old Jan 7, 09, 1:32 am
  #11  
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I had a wonderful stay at this property, and echo all that AZ Travels the World said. We were fortunate in having early participation by a hotel employee. I had the Hyatt Istanbul booked, and might have chosen it, particularly given the late availability of award stays here. But buoyed by his enthusiasm, I was ultimately successful in getting a booking here.

There are different types of rooms here. It's important to think about this when booking, as diamonds are only given a 1 room upgrade. The lowest is a small corner room titled Park Queen, only intended for 1 person. FFNs were initially only available for this room. Next comes the Park Deluxe King or Twin. I was ultimately able to switch my FFN booking to this room. Thus, I was upgraded to the amazing Spa King. Here, the bathroom is as large as the bedroom. It has a Turkish bath, a bathtub, a shower, and a steam room. It is incredibly luxurious.

The room has very sophisticated lighting, with many alternatives. Kudos to the lighting designer, who did the best job I have ever seen at giving clear directions as to what lights what. There is a large panel on both sides of the bed with icons that show the controls. There is an on column and an off column. There are also clear controls for closing the shutters. There are also lighting controls on several panels throughout the bathroom, and by the front hall. The room is exceptionally well lit.

The hotel has a very discreet entrance. It has a small sign marking it as the Park Hyatt. You come thru glass doors, then go thru an x-ray machine, something I suspect is common in high end Istanbul hotels. You enter into the lobby, with a wine bar to the left, and the lounge/breakfast room to the right. The concierge desk is immediately inside. I was greeted by the woman on duty and escorted to the front desk. You walk down several steps; I wish there was a handrail. There is no taxi rank at the entrance; the road is too narrow to accomodate one. However, the concierge is always available to call one.

The key card has a small Eye of Fatima bead on it. I really loved this local nuance.

You are not given courtesy bottles of water in the room. The hotel is very proud of the sink in the bathroom with potable water. The water is very tasty.

There are bottles of Blaise Mautin toiletries in abundance. They are double the size of the ones I've gotten at the PH DC or Vendome. The fragrance has been specially formulated for the Istanbul property.

As AZ Travels the World has said, service is exceptional. Every member of staff is warm and outgoing.

I cannot recommend highly enough this exquisite property.

A final note: Turkey introduced new currency this week. I was given old currency at the airport exchange (which also charged a 4% commission). The old currency is good for one year. If you are like me, and sometimes save currency for the next visit, be very careful to be confident you will return in the year.

Last edited by SanDiego1K; Jan 7, 09 at 4:30 am
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Old Apr 12, 09, 9:46 am
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I just stayed here this past weekend, and also have mostly rave reviews. Unfortunately I can't add too much to the great descriptions from AZ Travels the World and SanDiego1K, but here is a bit.

I wanted to use one free night and one paid night, but thought that this might be a problem as I wanted to book the Deluxe room (the 2nd lowest category), as opposed to the standard room, so that I would get an upgrade to the Spa room. When I called reservations to redeem my free night, she said that she had a Deluxe room available for me. ^ So I tacked on the second night (at 350 euros, plus 40 for a second person), and got my upgrade to the spectacular Spa room, which others have described well -- basically, the whole bathroom is a hamam, with tasteful fixtures, floors, and lighting.

My room had a view of a more than a sliver of the Bosphorous, from the large windows that open. I really liked some of the small (or not so small) details that others have pointed out -- the little Eye of Fatima charm, the room gadgets that were very easy to operate (unlike some hotels in which I have stayed), and the drinking water. The room has a DVD player, and, even though it was the first days of the new rules, they honored the free internet for Diamond members without my asking.

The concierge welcomed me, saying that she recognized me from the Regency Club of the Hyatt, where she used to work, and the guest relations manager escorted me to my room, which I really didn't need but enjoyed. Overall I found the service excellent -- the front desk was welcoming, and when I showed up before 10:00am, as soon as I uttered my name, they acted as if they were expecting me and produced my room immediately for check-in. All of the bellmen were very articulate in English and helpful. It's true that none of the taxis knew about the place, but I had stayed at the Hilton Parksa before, which is right down the block, so I directed the taxis there as a starting point.

My only complaint is the dining. I ate at Prime, the steak house upstairs, and had low expectations. Unfortunately, they were fulfilled. The steak was average (and therefore overpriced), served with a horrific "bearnaise" sauce and I chose a relatively decent "potato risotto." The caesar salad was also disappointing; it had no anchovies. But the service, including the chef at the open grill area where they finish the steak, was excellent. In typical Istanbul fashion, the wine was exorbitant (although I had a glass of Turkish Syrah, one of the lowest-price selections, and it was fine). Also, the breakfast (although complimentary to me and my companion by virtue of my Diamond status) was a bit underwhelming. It's a small buffet with only basic cold items and no hot items, except for eggs available to order. It would be nice to have another option, akin to most of the other five-star hotels in the city. The lobby also features a chic wine bar, at which I had drinks in the mid-day.

I didn't see the spa, and unfortunately I was a couple of weeks early for the pool.

I absolutely look forward to returning to this hotel. It totally blew away the W, for example. I will probably make this my top choice in the city, except over the summer when the pool at the Kempinski Cirigan Palace (and hopefully the new Four Seasons, which is next to try) can't be beat.
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Old Apr 13, 09, 9:11 pm
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Originally Posted by mecabq View Post
Also, the breakfast (although complimentary to me and my companion by virtue of my Diamond status) was a bit underwhelming. It's a small buffet with only basic cold items and no hot items, except for eggs available to order. It would be nice to have another option, akin to most of the other five-star hotels in the city.
As a Diamond, I was offered both the cold buffet and one hot breakfast option off of the menu each day. I am not sure if this was a mistake or policy, but I agree that the general cold buffet is not, by itself, that satisfying.

On a separate note, I am just amazed at how consistent this hotel is -- and I mean that as a compliment. My four-day stay earlier this year was exactly as everyone described so far in this thread. As others have pointed out, this is a very nice hotel and an excellent choice for anyone coming to the city.
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Old Apr 14, 09, 6:26 am
  #14  
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W Hotel or PH for location?

Thanks for all of the reviews... I have a upcoming trip to IST... from a location standpoint, is the W or PH better?
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Old Apr 14, 09, 11:25 am
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I'll be trying the PH Istanbul in July and looking forward to it. I like the location and assume the service will live up to the other PHs I've been to recently.
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