The Park Hyatt Istanbul… wow!

Hello from Istanbul, or as the locals like to think the world where one Euro equals one Lira.

I’m just spending the night at the Park Hyatt Istanbul, and damn I’m blown away by this place. I generally love Park Hyatts, though this must by among my favorites.

It’s a category five hotel meaning it would have cost 18,000 Gold Passport points per night, but instead I booked through American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts at a rate of 200 Euros, which includes a $100USD hotel credit, free breakfast, a room upgrade, and 4PM check-out (though I get everything except the $100 hotel credit for being a Diamond member anyway). It seemed like a no brainer to pay in this case.

This is one of the smallest Park Hyatt properties at just 90 rooms, and the service has totally been up to the standards you’d expect from such a small hotel. I took a public taxi to the hotel, and as the bellman opened the taxi’s door he welcomed me to the Park Hyatt by name. As I walked up to the reception desk I was also addressed by name without identifying myself. Now that’s service!

What this hotel is best known for is their Spa King rooms, which I got upgraded to. These aren’t suites, but interestingly they’re more expensive than their standard suites, and now I can see why. The rooms are a decent size, with a king bed, desk, and chair with ottoman.

But check out the bathroom. Oh, the bathroom! It features a soaking tub, rainforest shower, and even a steam room. That’s right, a steam room in your hotel room!

It even has mood lighting where you can choose the color. After all, nothing ruins a bath quite like your non-preferred color of lighting! ­čśë

Anyway, I’ll have lots more details with the trip report, though let me simply say this hotel is awesome. Not only is it physically a beautiful hotel, but the degree to which service is personalized is almost unlike anything I’ve experienced before. At breakfast this morning the guest relations manager came by to welcome me and told me to let her know if I needed anything. I guess that’s a benefit of having only 90 rooms!

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to the steam room…

Comments

  1. @ stvr — Yes, I believe that’s the marketing term for these kinds of showers.

    @ Julian — Yep, you sure do.

  2. From what I remember of the Spa King rooms, the bathroom felt like it was at least 50% of the square footage. Also that’s a prayer sink without a drain, NOT a bidet… (thank you housekeeping for your understanding).

    JRL

  3. Was the manager Gulchin Kural who welcomed you? She was quite helpful in our two stays last year. Though our rate was nowhere as good as yours in October. Which way does your room face? The pool or the street? My one quibble with the hotel is that the noise insulation is very poor. Oh and check out the size of the business center.

    FDW

  4. @ JRL — ROFL!

    @ FlyingDoctorWu — Yep, that’s her! My room faced the pool and there was indeed a bit of noise.

  5. Will you be staying at the W during this trip? I’d love to here your opinion of that property relative to the Park Hyatt.

  6. I opted to stay at the Grand Hyatt, just because I was only there two nights and wanted to be closer to everything. The Grand Hyatt was also beautiful, the suite was great, the Club breakfast and happy hour fabulous. The Fitness room was large with new equipment, lots of space and windows. About the only complaint I can come up with is that they didn’t have headphones in the fitness center!

  7. What’s the neighborhood like? Any good restaurant options near by.

    Beware of the Istanbul taxi scam where they swap a higher bill for a lower value note.

  8. @ Mike S.- the area is very very upscale. There is an Omega boutique around the corner. One of the fanciest department stores I’ve ever been is (Beymen) is nearby too… it feels very very cosmopolitan, but not terribly Turkish… Tons and tons of shopping. All the major internation brands (Cartier, Marks and Spencer, Zara, etc etc) We ate a Mezzalune a couple times which was excellent Italian. Kosebasi, a Turkish place across the street, is solid. Lots of good international eating options. Also, this seems to be the heart of the Istanbul cafe scene. Lots of people out and about… I do think it’s quite far from the major tourist sites, so it doesnt make a good base for first time visitors (15 minutes by taxi without traffic.. but there’s no such thing as no traffic)

    And yes, the taxi scheme sucks where they swap a 50 for a 5.. they are freaking magicians… the taxis from the PH are very reliable.

    @Lucky- On Saturday nights there is a club nearby that seems to go on and on and on… try the menemen in the morning.. very tasty…

    @Craig- we didn’t stay at the W but I like the location of the PH better. The W is at the bottom of the Hill and it seems to be a less happening area.

  9. You took a public taxi and the bellman greeted you by name? Having taken a public taxi myself in IST, are you sure he didn’t say, “Hello, aren’t you Lucky to be here!”

  10. @Scottrick. Yes to both. Also for Virtuoso. Bear in mind that the confirmed upgrade books into a park suite. The contracted Vurtuoso upgrade is park king to spa king on checkin.

  11. @Chris S. See JRL’s post (No. 6) above. It’s for performing wudu (if you do). Woo-Hoo! Hope that clears things up.

  12. I often ponder what to do in great cities like Istanbul for accommodation. On the one hand this is nice but it”s a chain. Down by the Blue Mosque there are some gorgeous, authentic boutique hotels which are just amazing. No points but real. So far i have tended to go for the small hotels if I am not flying in and out on business but having some time with the wife. Tanks for sharing though, i am looking for ideas to spend my Hyatt points on

  13. @ Levy FLight- For a points based stay in the old city, The DOubletree Old Towne is a good option as well as the Crown Plaza Old City.

  14. @ Craig — Unfortunately was just in Istanbul for the night, and have a policy of avoiding Ws whenever possible unless I have a compelling reason not to. Might check it out on my next trip, though.

  15. @ Kathy (Will Run For Miles) — I wanted to try the Grand Hyatt since it looks awesome as well, but since I had only one night I went with the Park Hyatt. Will definitely check it out during my next visit.

  16. @ Mike S. — Agree with FlyingDoctorWu. It’s not my favorite area for general sightseeing, but lots of great restaurants nearby.

  17. @ wxguy — LOL, definitely by name. Hotel has only 90 rooms and was pretty empty, so maybe I was the last check-in of the night.

    @ Scottrick — Yes and yes.

    @ Chris S. — Something to wash your feet or something. I didn’t totally get it either. :p

  18. I was there in December and yes that particular manager seems to be everywhere. At breakfast in the morning, concierge desk during the day, dinner at night. I don’t know when she sleeps or leaves the building.

    For what it’s worth, I wasn’t impressed with this place. The gym, in particular, really bothered me. Tiny and really lacking a lot of basics (e.g. weights above 10 kgs).

  19. OMG! This post brought a HUUUUUGE SMILE on my face! I stayed there at the end of December and those were my fiance & I exact words…WOW! The service was amazing. I told my fiance that when we become rich & successful I want a bathroom like or similar to Park Hyatt Istanbul.:)

  20. We must have bumped into each other in the lobby. I was there with the wife and a friend fri-sun, just got home last night. Fantastic hotel, I can’t say enough nice things about it. Used hyatt chase reward nights and got the Spa King also, including a nice bottle of wine to start our stay! Service was phenomenal, I’d go back to Istanbul just to stay at this place again ­čÖé

  21. I’m staying here now, my second visit here & I just love it! The staff are abs amazing it definetely gets a 10 from me……..

  22. Lucky, you no doubt get recognition and better service because you are a known travel blogger. Stayed here earlier this month and though we were generously upgraded to a terrace suite on the 8th floor (there are only 5 suites on this floor), the service we experienced was subpar. Naturally, no one greeted us by name upon arrival, in fact, they seemed to think we were lost. The breakfast staff was neither welcoming nor enthusiastic and never bothered to present us with a menu of the cooked-to-order items unless asked. There were usually two employees at the entrance whenever we came and went, and once as we were leaving, one gentlemen glared at us in a somewhat nasty way, while the other employee gave us a friendly smile. I didn’t notice if the one that gave us the look was wearing a name badge, I only assumed he was an employee because he was standing there like he was. And once when we were returning to our room, we found an employee leaving a room on our floor carrying a pair of jeans, nothing out of the ordinary in and of itself, but he was acting very strangely and seemed to have one arm tucked entirely inside his shirt. I couldn’t help but stare and he followed my stare, turning around to face me, all the way to the elevator.

    The suite itself was very handsome, but there was really no separate living area so it was more a large room than true suite. Also, the spa bath did not do dry steam and the stone seat did not heat, which I read the baths in the Park Spa King rooms can do. Is this true?

    We also stayed at a suite at the Grand Hyatt, and while it is less upscale than the Park Hyatt, I felt more comfortable there. The suite felt very apartment-like with a kitchenette than included a small dishwasher. No dishes or pots provided though. The club breakfast offerings were nearly identical to that of the Park Hyatt’s, though with fewer flourishes, e.g., no honeycomb. The menemen at the GH was tastier as well. The pool area is quite lovely and a few guests were hanging out there, though it was too cold to swim.

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