Ottoman Designer Chic
The hotel is located in the area of Besiktas in renovated buildings that were first constructed in 1875 for high-Ottoman officers engaged in the Dolmabahce Palace. Following renovation the picturesque neighbourhood is now very attractive and you might even meet a film crew using the hotel for their set, as happened on our visit. The hotel’s location is also ideal for congress participants, being close to “congress valley” and with the ICC (Istanbul Convention Centre) reached by a walk through a pleasant city park. Nisantasi, the so called ‘Soho of Istanbul’, is also close by.
Istanbul is one of the busiest European air hubs, ensuring there are no problems with accessibility, with no small part in this played by the excellent Turkish Airlines. Public transport in this city of superlatives is also getting better and better by the year, which is driven by large investments made in public infrastructure, with the recent arrangement of public transport with two metro programmes and a user-friendly tram system especially impressive. The hotel is just a few steps away from the key transport lines, although the very affordable taxi service is always available.
COLD APPETIZER - Architecture and Aesthetics
The first thing to grab you is the external appearance, as the whole street is renovated and oozes the spirit of modern Istanbul with its trendy bars and shops. Then comes the overwhelming experience of the interior, which was designed as the ultimate design hotel by main architect Geonim,. After passing through the Star Wars tunnel-like entrance you find yourself in the W Lounge, which functions as an Ottoman living room where time stands still and reflects the elements of authentic Ottoman architecture used throughout the hotel. A special corner is the W Secret garden, which is an oasis of greenery in the middle of the urban bustle. The hotel is full of interesting contrasts that make a stay there unique and that create a special W culture of living.
WARM APPETIZER - Staff and catering
The friendly staff meets the expectations of the W brand philosophy – youthful and casual, and for those who appreciate that then entering the hotel will make you feel like you’ve just walked into your own home. There is also a concierge located in a nice area in the middle of the lounge and who is available 24/7. To start the day, the breakfast is indulgent and varied, served in a special corner of the lounge. The special microenvironment in and surrounding the hotel encourages both sitting around with friends and socializing with strangers. The concentration of bars in the area around the hotel is so intense that we’d recommend that you make a trip to one of the nearby streets for lunch or dinner, where you will find bars catering to all tastes.
MAIN DISH - Conference hotel service
The hotel rooms are a nice surprise with their darker chocolate colour tones that are interwoven with red details, which creates a pleasant and somewhat exotic atmosphere. The luxurious bathroom open to the bedroom enhances the exoticism yet further. The rooms offer five different types of lighting, which at a hotel of such character becomes almost an expectation, as does the quality of the sheets the hotel provides. The hotel offers 11 different types of rooms, some of which have access to the fabulous garden with its cabana. The conference centre includes four conference halls, the largest of which can accommodate up to 80 participants. The chambers are ideal for those more intimate congress events.
DESSERT – The extras
Designer pieces that bring together the image the hotel presents, with furniture that is specifically made for the hotel and is a reinterpretation of Ottoman architecture.
FLOP – NEGATIVE SURPRISES
Lovers of coffee and tea will miss a coffee machine in the rooms, but given the location give the personal approach a go and have some Turkish coffee at the bar.
TOP – POSITIVE SURPRISES
The central bar in the hotel lounge offers a communal table for special evening events alongside a number of individual tables scattered around for more intimate socializing.
OVERALL IMPRESSION AND CREDIBILITY
To simplify it all a bit, but still try to capture its essence: The W Istanbul is a hotel that convinces guests who care for design and mainly trust the known brands. It makes you forget the idea of a cold and dull hotel lobby and rooms, and you will be surprised at every little detail you encounter with at every step. If you decide to visit during the low tourist season, you will also be pleasantly surprised by the price, or at least the ratio between quality and price. You will either be impressed or disappointed by the hotel. Our final impression was firmly crystallized – an excellent design hotel, which clearly differs from the more stereotypical chain hotel offer.
FINAL GRADE: 4.77 SILVER CITY MEETING HOTEL
GOLD final score from 4.81 to 5.00
SILVER final score from 4.61 to 4.80
BRONZE final score from 4.41 to 4.60