St. Regis Istanbul [Master Thread]

Old Aug 7, 2017, 11:57 am
  #16  
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Originally Posted by JBG89
Hi all,

As a platinum and globalist member the PH/STR are coming out at the same rates ($200USD)

Can anyone advise on which they would choose?

I also noticed the W/GH is significantly cheaper ($120-130) and for a week stay this may mean a decent amount for us. We may also look at these.

Thanks for any advice!
I'm a Plat100 who was Diamond at the time, and we had no choice but to stay at the PH since the StR wasn't yet finished. We had a marvelous stay at the PH, so I doubt you can go wrong.

We fortunately were on an award stay for a 1 bedroom suite at the PH, and they were sold out of that category (no idea how since we were confirmed)..so after some service misses, they finally upgraded us to one of their terrace one bedroom suites on the top floor--which actually had a Bosphorous view.

The StR supposedly has far more rooms and suites with Bosphorus views. So if that's important to you, that may give the StR the edge.

Honestly, the two properties are a block or so away from each other, and they both seem outstanding. While we had a fab stay at the PH, I find that my treatment as a Plat100 gives StR the edge whenever I have the choice between StR and PH (though I'd prefer the PH Washington!). I also think the StR Istanbul, being newer and having better views, gives it the edge in this particular contest. But again, I think you can have a great stay at either.

For $200, I'd definitely choose the StR or PH over the W/GH.
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Old Nov 1, 2017, 12:05 pm
  #17  
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Boutique\'ish luxury

St. Regis Istanbul

Map| 4 Reviews | 75% Recommended

St. Regis Istanbul

Mim Kemal Oke Cad 35 Nisantasi Sisli Istanbul, TR 34367

Boutique'ish luxury (8 Photos)

St. Regis Istanbul

St. Regis Istanbul is one of the smallest hotels in the St. Regis family at only 120 rooms, but it perfectly embodies the brands "bespoke luxury" ambitions. My wife and I stayed 4 nights in late October and had a wonderful time, especially given my 144EUR BRG rate.

Check In

Arriving around midninght with a taxi from the airport (40min, 75TRY), we were warmly greeted by the doormen and led to one of the two seated reception desks. We glad accepted the offer of welcome drinks that were quickly delivered from the bar. The receptionist informed us that our SNA upgrades to a "St Regis Suite" had cleared 4 days earlier (which we knew), but that as a P100 they'd upgraded us one category further to an "Empire Suite" (which was a welcome surprise). As Platinum gift we chose the (full) breakfast at the ground floor "Brasserie" restaurant. With check-in completed a Butler escorted us to our 5th floor room.

Room

Living/Dining room w. guest restroom, seperate bedroom with bathroom and walk-in closet.

IMG_5413.jpg

Very stylish and St. Regis'ish wood/leather decor with original art pieces.

IMG_5404.jpg

Fresh fruit restocked every day and nuts/sweets welcome gift served in room twice.

2_IMG_5401.jpg

Nice view to park across the street and sideways to the Bospherus.

IMG_5414.jpg

Well-stocked minibar with full size bottles.

4_IMG_5407.jpgIMG_5415.jpg

Large bathroom with tub/rainshower and large-size Remede toiletries.

Service

The personal service is where this place really shines. Since it's a comperatively small hotel, you meet the same people a lot, who always greets you warmly and go out of their way to assist you. Everybody speaks impeccable english. Housekeeping, butlerservice, reception and restaurants are all staffed with plenty of experienced and well-trained staff.

IMG_5418.jpg

Hotel gym is a basement room with no windows, with limited, but quality Technogym equipment. If elevation training is your thing and weather allows, I'd recommend cardio training in the park across the street instead.

Dining

We had breakfast everyday at the groundfloor Brasserie. The service and quality was excellent, but the selection (buffet cold fruits, cheeses, meatcuts pastries and hot choices to order) is limited due to the comparatively small size of the hotel.

2_IMG_5422.jpg

Full buffet and menu was offered for Platinum breakfast.

Breakfast hours (6:30-10:30 on weekdays) are limited and stricly adhered to, since the Brasserie converts to a lunch spot right after breakfast.

We had diner once at the top floor Spago restaurant, which is a classy place with a high-end international menu that was very tasty. It was however, a show-off place for locals socialites smoking big cigars, and we went to of the many other great and more low-key dining options in Istanbul the other nights.

Brasserie and Spago both have outdoor serving, weather permitting.

Location

St. Regis is (together with Ritz Carlton, Park Hyatt and most other luxury hotels) located in the upscale Nisantasi neighbourhood north of the classic tourist hot-spots. Taxis are cheap and plenty, and reliable public transportion is 10-15 minutes walk away (uphill Osbeyman for metro, downhill kabatas for tram/ferry and cable car across the park to Taksim). Lots of restaurants and cafes close by.

Some taxi drivers didn't know hotel name or street, but mentioning the Macka Park across the street helped even with those that spoke no english.

Uber (XL only in Istanbul) was always 2-3mins away from the hotel, and much more comfortable than regular taxi (Uber XL to airport 100 TRY).

Overall

Hotel decor, design and staff is of one of the highest standards I've experienced in any St Regis hotel. The comparatively small size makes the staff interaction much more personal, but also means that the shared functions offered (eg. reception, breakfast and gym) are smaller in size (but not in quality).

Boutique'ish luxury

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Old Nov 1, 2017, 12:40 pm
  #18  
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Thanks for the review, @raunow!

We stayed at the nearby Park Hyatt (just up a block) just a few months before this St Regis opened, and we really loved the look and vibe of it from the exterior. We definitely loved the location for both hotels.

I would not be surprised if the current political crisis in Turkey that has depressed tourism and concomitant hotel rates is also partly responsible for the limited breakfast offerings.

Otherwise, this is definitely one of the StR properties I'm anxious to try out when things calm down in Turkey and when our travels bring us back to Istanbul. What a great city and a great hotel.
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Old Nov 1, 2017, 1:35 pm
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Thank you @raunow for the very useful TR.

Im so exciting about my upcoming stay there this january.
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Old Nov 3, 2017, 4:24 pm
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Thanks for the review, taking my mother to Istanbul and we are super excited to be booked at this property

Does anyone happen to know if any suites (besides the penthouse lol) offer two separate beds? Booked the Deluxe Room with two beds, but hoping as a Plat to receive a suite upgrade and wanted to know which one to request.
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Old Apr 17, 2018, 2:22 pm
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I'm planning to visit Istanbul this October and i was looking at the rates, the cheapest i'm finding are around 360 EUR. Seems like the rates have very quickly climbed up since last Nov. For the folks who were able to book the room for sub 200 EUR, how far ahead did you book ?
Seems like i might just need to wait a bit and see if the rates go down.
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Old May 10, 2018, 7:53 am
  #22  
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Originally Posted by darshakthakore
I'm planning to visit Istanbul this October and i was looking at the rates, the cheapest i'm finding are around 360 EUR. Seems like the rates have very quickly climbed up since last Nov. For the folks who were able to book the room for sub 200 EUR, how far ahead did you book ?
Seems like i might just need to wait a bit and see if the rates go down.
It might be a seasonal thing. I've just booked a rate for just about 200EUR for late May.
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Old Jun 4, 2018, 5:01 pm
  #23  
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Spent a night here recently on my way down to Bodrum and was very impressed with both the hotel hard product and the service. I thought the hotel looked much better in person than in the photos and has clearly been designed and put together extremely well. The rooms are reminiscent in many ways of the St Regis San Francisco, but both larger and more luxuriously put together. Spago on the rooftop is classic Puck (not to my personal taste), but the service was again exemplary and the roof terrace an enjoyable place for a dinner or drink.

I didn't have time to look at the rest of the hotel, but I'm surprised to say that I think it could be a good option vs. something like the Park Hyatt in Istanbul at the moment.
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Old Nov 9, 2018, 6:48 am
  #24  
 
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Do you recommend a taxi from the airport or Uber XL? As previously mentioned, this is the only option in IST.
The hotel car is way too expensive for me.
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Old Nov 11, 2018, 12:00 pm
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Originally Posted by chuck1
Do you recommend a taxi from the airport or Uber XL? As previously mentioned, this is the only option in IST.
The hotel car is way too expensive for me.
Just use https://www.skyscanner.net/airport-transfers
You will end up with one of the most used private transfer company in Istanbul, but with a very good price.
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Old Dec 17, 2018, 8:19 am
  #26  
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Very High Quality

St. Regis Istanbul

Map| 4 Reviews | 75% Recommended

St. Regis Istanbul

Mim Kemal Oke Cad 35 Nisantasi Sisli Istanbul, TR 34367

Very High Quality (12 Photos)

St. Regis Istanbul

Check In

Fairly average to be honest. Arrived shortly after 10pm and the front door guys stood and watched while my driver got the luggage out of the car, then watched me struggle up the steps and of course offered to help when all the work was done.   The entrance to the hotel is actually quite narrow and often physically blocked by staff as well (I suspect for security reasons). Speaking of security unlike other hotels no bomb checks are done when driving up to the hotel, given the setup of the hotel -no separate driveway - this is understandable.  Also no metal detectors to walk through, they do have a guy with a hand wand to do checks.  I was never scanned, occasionally they walked towards me and I just gave a look along the lines of “I don’t think so” and that was that.

The main part of check in was pretty standard and I was given a surprisingly nice lemon tea.  As no suites were available for the length of my stay I was given a Grand Deluxe Room for the first night with an offer to move for the next five nights to a St Regis Suite – an offer much appreciated and accepted.   I was escorted to the room by a butler.

 

Hotel Exterior:

Exterior.jpeg

Street View.jpeg

Room

Grand Deluxe:

In brief quite nice.  A good size but the layout of the room made the living area of the room feel slightly smaller than it should have.  The terrace overlooking the park was very nice and would really open up the room in the non-winter months.   Bathroom was a good size – not really much difference in size than the one in the suite.  I’ve stayed at quite a few St. Regis this year and while consistence is good I’ve found them all to be a bit same and “cookie cutter” in style – however this hotel and its rooms had its own unique feel and style which I really liked.

 

St Regis Suite.

 

Again quite nice.  Separate living area containing plenty of comfortable seating and a good sized desk. Bedroom was a good size, normal St Regis King Bed which was very comfortable.  Good size bathroom and a large separate dressing/luggage storage area. All in all a very comfortable and stylish space.   The windows were Juliette balcony style and opened up to a very nice view over the park and the Bosphorus.   

 

One thing I appreciated is that the hotel sells the rooms on this side of the hotel as park view – given the way most hotels try to promote themselves I have no doubt many hotels would be listing these as Bosphorus View Rooms, so full marks for a bit of honesty in marketing!  Also worth mentioning you do get a some street noise so be mindful of this.  I would also advise being wary of the city facing rooms as I think noise would be even a greater problem with these rooms.

 

 

One real annoyance and one petty annoyance. 

 

Real:  The living room has a massive table that is far to big for the size (in it’s far to high). It is actually a real hindrance as it is too high for the surrounding furniture to be used as a table and blocks conversation with people sitting on the other side of it.  It is a perfect size in terms of diameter to store the large floral arrangement, massive fruit plate and the half dozen bottles of water always being placed on it – it is just to high, half a meter off the height would be perfect.

 

Petty:  The lights/blinds/shutters controls drove me nuts.  All on or all off not a problem but different combinations were just a nightmare, not helped by the fact that some of the controllers are placed in an area that make it hard to read the controls.  Basically, dealing with a control panel with two sets of shears, two set of drapes and four separately controlled shutters was annoying.  Could really do with a tablet control system as is becoming more commonplace.

Room View:

View.jpeg

Dressing/Walk in 

Dressing Area.jpeg

Bedroom

Bedroom 1.jpegBedroom 2.jpeg

Lounge

Living Room 2.jpegLiving Room 1.jpegLiving Room 3.jpeg

Bathroom:

Bathroom.jpeg

Service

Perfect in everyway.  Maybe my only complaint was housekeeping was too good! Any clothes left sitting anywhere in the room, even on top of my luggage, was always either neatly folded or hung up - almost felt obligied to clean up before they came in - well almost.

Dining

The various types of Platinums can have breakfast in the Brasserie as a Platinum Amenity.  After a bad experience the first morning, which I mentioned in passing to the Duty Manager when he was assisting me change rooms, service was great.  If anything it became too good but I can’t complain about that.

The spread was a typical European St Regis/LC type buffet. Not a huge selection, but what they had was of a high quality.  Eggs etc made to order.  Maybe a tad more local options would have been nice.

 

I also had lunch one day which was also very good.  Same staff as the morning team so they all knew me. Nothing mind blowing but a good strong bistro type meal which I quite enjoyed.  I found it much nicer than the very popular Brasserie attached to the department store up the street.  Pricing was a guess high for Istanbul but comparable to the other places around the hotel.

 

Also had a couple of drinks in the bar during my stay.  The bar area is actually quite small, often unstaffed and besides me I never saw another sole in there.  I think most go to the Brasserie for a drink – despite this I quite enjoyed the Bar area.  Cocktails were typical hotel pricing.

The second restaurant in the hotel is Spargo – looking at the menu nothing really excited me so didn’t try it.

 

One particular cold and wet night I also had room service which I was quite enjoyed.  The only thing what was a bit strange was that the items didn’t match the menu descriptions. For example I ordered lamb chops as a main and obviously I got lamb chops but the style of them didn’t match the room service menu at all.  I later noted that they were exactly the same as served in the Brassiere – so not sure if the room service menu had not been updated or when placing my order the Butler just ordered directly with the restaurant.  Either way I didn’t mind but could have been annoying for someone wanting a specific dish.

Bar:

Bar.jpeg

Simple bistro fare done well:

Bistro.jpeg

 

 

Location

Well away from the tourist sites in the Blue Mosque area which as a return visitor was exactly what I wanted.  Have stayed at the Park Hyatt before so familiar with the area and really like it, although constantly hiking up the hilly terrain got old pretty fast.  The taxi app and an Istanbul karte made getting around a breeze.  The weather was so wet and terrible during my stay I would often quickly catch the bus up from the ferry station to the hotel instead of hiking up the steep hill back to the hotel as often I couldn’t get any takers on the taxi app for such a short trip.

Overall

One of my top 3 stays for the year - couldn't even imagine staying anywhere else in Istanbul.

Very High Quality

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Old Dec 25, 2018, 10:45 pm
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I am still hesitant to book with Marriott (boycotted all stays for 2 months because of IT and CS issues but now staying for 3 weeks on points booked before integration).

Anyway, all my reservations disappeared day I started the trip but it seems IT generally better so I might try Marriott again although I have not missed it.

I am headed to Istanbul in a few months fot 1st time for a keynote followed by vacation with family and deciding whether to use points for STR as good redemption value or cash for RC/W or another chain, continuing my boycott...

Anyway, how is STR location wise as a tourist compared to others? Location is key for us, an area nice to walk around. Close to tpurist sites. Cost not an issue but don't want to waste money.

My employee stayed at W and liked but reviews of STR seem much better. RC? Do they give plats breakfast? I also heard AC nice

Any siggestions?
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Old Dec 26, 2018, 5:53 am
  #28  
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Originally Posted by SHLTP
I am still hesitant to book with Marriott (boycotted all stays for 2 months because of IT and CS issues but now staying for 3 weeks on points booked before integration).

Anyway, all my reservations disappeared day I started the trip but it seems IT generally better so I might try Marriott again although I have not missed it.

I am headed to Istanbul in a few months fot 1st time for a keynote followed by vacation with family and deciding whether to use points for STR as good redemption value or cash for RC/W or another chain, continuing my boycott...

Anyway, how is STR location wise as a tourist compared to others? Location is key for us, an area nice to walk around. Close to tpurist sites. Cost not an issue but don't want to waste money.

My employee stayed at W and liked but reviews of STR seem much better. RC? Do they give plats breakfast? I also heard AC nice

Any siggestions?
​​
Well tourist sites are all over Istanbul. From the SR it is a pleasant walk done to something like the Dolmabahce Palace and the ferry station but it is a long way from the famous Sultanahmet area. Cheap enough in a taxi though, make sure you use the BiTaksi app, but can be time consuming depending on traffic. However the area around the hotel is relatively more local lots of shops, bars, restaurants and you don't have to put up with shady people selling you nonsense and telling you the blue mosque is closed for prayers etc.

W is about a 10/15 minute walk down the hill from the SR. However SR/W/RC will not appeal if you want to be in the "prime" tourist zone.

As for Marriott IT - well it is what it is. I spent thousands at the SR and got points based on a spend of $115 and only 3 nights out of my 6 nights credited due to a system changeover. So as always great onsite experiences with legacy SPG properties with a Marriott system that makes you wonder why go to the effort.
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Old Dec 26, 2018, 6:22 am
  #29  
 
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Appreciate the analysis and suggestions. Thank you!

It seems STR might be the winner then. I just want a local feel rather than being stuck in a business area far away.

The IT and CS remains frustrating, so I have just skipped Marriott lately and have not missed it.
​​​​
I am doing several weeks in Thailand presently trying some JWs. They have been nice, but I miss Starwood.

Next month staying at Africa Pride in Johanessburg. I wanted a hotel where I have status as the city scares me. Tried Da Vinci last time and was gping to do 4 Seasons but the point redemptoom rate so low and I have to many points left in case I leave Marriott completely.

I miss Starwood. My guess is i will stays at Marriotts if it makes sense.

Thanks again!
​​​
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Old Apr 6, 2019, 2:53 am
  #30  
 
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I stayed both STR and PH this trip. One can't compare the two - the STR is far far superior in hard product. PH, while nice esp on service side, seemed a little outdated and in need of renovation.

The STR rooms are well designed and are modern luxurious. Upgraded to deluxe terrace several days in advance as all suites full but room was a nice large size and well appointed. Wife and little one loved the design.

Given 5:30 late check out as have late flight. Overall the service outreach quite nice. Hotel mgr emailed me in advance to ask what amenities I prefer.

Wonderful welcome amenities - sweets, nuts and a full spiderman toothbrush kit for my son. The snacks were nice and the Butler service brought complimentary Turkish tea and coffee to room.

Breakfast was wonderful with Turkish style eggs and oatmeal made with almond milk. High end and very nice. Breakfast area a little crowded but food good quality.

Overall, I regret having stayed at PH (only did so because I am frustrated with Marriott CS and shifting more nights to Hyatt where CSis far superior).

But STR shows once again why I was so loyal to SPG for so many years and makes me reminiscent of the good old days.

Bottom line - I recommend highly this property. Next time to Istanbul I'll stay here even if PH half the price.(which it often is)
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