The Ritz Carlton Istanbul Hotel
Reviews - The Ritz Carlton Istanbul Hotel
Read 322 additional reviews of The Ritz Carlton Istanbul Hotel at TripAdvisor.
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Historical Traveller Reviews of The Ritz Carlton Istanbul Hotel
Could be more generousfrom A TripAdvisor Member
On the neutral side, The prices were high (18 turkish lira for a cup of coffee) but it did come with a chocolate covered spoon etc and they had a duet featuring a pianist and a violinist playing so I was OK paying that price for the luxury of it all.
On negative side, (i) it's a distance from the sultanahmet area and with Istanbul traffic (we were there for 9 days and saw about 7 minor car accidents) it's not the most convenient tourist spot. (2) Perhaps it's because we are used to Asian hospitality but I was shocked to discover that for the room prices, there were no tea and coffee making facilities supplied in our room. The Hotel did oblige by sending up the coffee cups and saucers plus a kettle but when I asked for a couple of tea bags, the guy on room service told me he would have to charge me the equivalent of 2 pots of tea. I did not ask for milk. To me, coffee and tea making facilities should be provided in the room. I don't always want to have to call room service and wait for my tea to be delivered. Also, I was left feeling that the Ritz Carlton hotel was really trying to squeeze very last cent from me. The fact that I can afford to pay 18 turkish lira for coffee doesnt mean that I don't recognise value or the lack of it. So if you visit, be prepared to bring your own tea bags.
Wonderful hotel and servicefrom meechmelon
Some reviews have griped about the food/drink prices... What do you expect? You're staying at the Ritz, after all.
One thing I wished had been a bit different is the location. Although the high-rise hotel has gorgeous views, it sits on a hill off what is pretty much a highway.
You can't really walk anywhere without difficulty. You really have to take a cab, and the fares can stack up, especially if you don't want to pay the high prices of eating/drinking at the Ritz and go out for meals.
Also -- If you want to do any of the Old Istanbul attractions (Blue Mosque, Grand Bazaar, etc.), those are probably a 20-lira cab ride away, one way, across the river. We split our trip by staying on the Asian side (where Old Istanbul is) for a couple of nights and the Ritz for the remainder. That worked out well.
Superb, luxurious, exquisite, fantastic ...from GlobalVenturer
The Ritz-Carlton is not the prettiest building from an architectural standpoint. It sticks out like a sore thumb on the Istanbul skyline and the city planner approving the building should be sacked. However, it has been built and it is conveniently located close to all the restaurants and clubs for night entertainment (only 10 to 15 minutes walk away). It also has an amazing commanding view over the Bosphorus. The view from our room stretched from the big bridge to Asia to the Blue Mosque and the Topkapi Palace. 10 out of 10 for location and view.
The rooms are nicely appointed and very large, with very comfortable beds, and top notch bathroom amenities, including toothbrushes, toothpaste, haircare products and sewing kits. There were 4 bathrobes in our room (!) and slippers, bottled drinking water, daily fruit and chocolates and Turkish Delight candies were constantly replenished.
The advantage of a Club level floor is that you never go hungry or thirsty. 5 different meals are served on the buffet daily, including breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea, light evening meal with canapes and cocktails, and deserts and more cocktails later in the evening. Beverages are available on demand, as is the butler and concierge service.
We have styaed at the finest hotels in the world, and until this visit, the Beijing Palace Hotel (operated by the Peninsula Hotel group) was our "best in the World". The Ritz-Carlton has now taken that title. It really is the best hotel in terms of service and comfort we have experienced anywhere.
For those complaining about prices, it works out cheaper to book a Club room for the free food and drinks alone. Also, don't forget, you get what you pay for in life!
By the way, we also checked out the Four Seasons Hotel. While it is a stunning hotel with all the charm and great service you would expect of a Four Seasons hotel, it is not in a convenient location if you like to sample local restaurants or go to bars or clubs in the evenings.
2 Cokes, $19!from BassTwo
Wonderful Hotel but Expensivefrom A TripAdvisor Member
After going through registration, the receptionist advised us that the room would by ready in 10 minutes as a "final inspection" was being done. In the meantime we were invited to sit in the lounge with a spectacular view of the Bosphorus. The experience was marred by a persistent cloud of cigarette smoke, despite the high ceiling. If you are sensitive to cigarette smoke, Istanbul is not the place to be. It seems that everyone smokes and most restaurants don't have non-smoking sections. The Ritz Carlton did but it didn't make any difference. The smoke had a habit of drifting towards us.
The receptionist offered us a "welcome drink", but not being certain if it was complimentary, we declined. Its a good thig we did because a glass of ice tea was the equivelent of 10.24 USD! A glass of beer was 12.43 USD and a glass of red wine was 18.28 USD! How about that for being ripped off! I'm not cheap and can well afford the price but I also want value for my money and it simply wasn't there.
After waiting uncomfortably for over 20 minutes, the receptionist apologized and advised that "there was a problem but it has been fixed". I might point out that our reservation said we had a "garden view", the receptionist said we had a "city view" and when we arrived in the room we had a "pool view". If you're a voyeur you would have enjoyed yourself. The lounge chairs were practically right up to our window and there were several topless women sunning themselves. We drew the curtains for our own privacy.
Breakfast was another experience. The waiter tried to lure us to the buffet table which was priced at 32.90 USD per person but we opted for the "continental breakfast" at 20.84 USD per person. For the price you got a cup of coffee, fresh orange juice and three pastries of your choice. Wait til you see the size of the pastries! The waiter almost appeared embarrassed as he delivered the smallest muffins and croissants I had ever seen. I couldn't stop laughing. The next day we walked over to Taxim Square where we had a good Starbucks coffee and normal size pastries for $14 USD for the three of us.
One final warning. Beware of the guide service offered by the hotel. We normally do our own sightseeing but my wife convince me to hire a guide because "we won't waste time and we'll see more". Well here's the bottom line - we paid $391.51 USD and received the following; a guide for 4 hours plus a driver. The concierge convinced us to upgrade to a Mercedes SUV rather than an E-Class because "trust me you'll be more comfortable". For the total of 20 minutes we spent in the vehicle, trust me, an E-Class would have been more than sufficient. I will say that having a guide has its benefits. First, you never have to wait in line - the guide goes to a special window, buys your tickets and wisks you in. At one destination there were about 30 Japanese women ahead of us lined up to buy tickets. We probably saved 30 minutes with our guide. Secondly, the guide wards off the souvenir peddlers. But historical facts are a different story. In the Cistern the guide told us that the scuptured coulmn depicted stylized tears. The guide book stated they were stylized peacock feathers. Take you pick.
On the positive side, the Ritz Carlton is a spectacular luxury hotel in a great location and the service is outstanding. But hold on to your wallet.
The location is amazing, in a secluded wooded area but 5 minutes from Taksim Square and overlooking the Bosphorus.
Service is impeccable and food out of this world.
The pool is probably the best hotel pool i've tried in my life.
A truly spectacular hotel.
Service, quality - just how it should befrom A TripAdvisor Member
We were given many complimentary treats from smoothies at the poolside, to chocolates and chilled wine in our room.
I'd recommend the in house spa for a private hamman (turkish bath). Our room was stunning - with beds we can only describe - as clouds!!
Our bathroom was marble and large. The security is also good - with bag checks on entry - making you feel safe in the current climate.
Wonderful experience!!from luxflyer
It is an immaculate, beautiful hotel and they go out of the way to make your stay very very comfortable. It's worth it to stay there. Be ware that incidentals/food at the hotel is quite costly (prob to be expected since it's the ritz). The service is incredible though.
Nice but noise problemsfrom piatty733
The Hotel is a high rise in a somewhat commercial area. We loved the club benefits and the spa is great. The area most people spend their time in is the old city, the cab ride was about 10 lira if you don't get ripped off. The problem we had was our full view room faced a theater of some kind and the Turkish music played one morning at 5'30AM and another night until after midnight. A new hotel like this should have better sound insulation. The night manager said they new about the problem and were trying to do something about it.
For anyone interested we had a great private guide.
The Wonderful Ritz-Carltonfrom akrishna
In Istanbul, we booked a partial sea view room for a week at an amazing rate of $165 a night inclusive of breakfast. This was found by combining a Travelocity “good buy” reservation with a weekend rate special the Ritz was running. Additionally I was able to use rewards points for the final night. The ritz was nice enough not to move us from our original room even though we had 3 different reservations for 3 different room types. Our experience was exceptional. I had emailed the hotel before arrival to inform them that this trip was in part for our anniversary. I never got a reply to the email, but mentioned this to the concierge on the first day, and no one forgot after that. In fact, on the first night, they sent up a card, a wonderfully decadent chocolate cake, and a cute heart shaped pillow with the Ritz-Carlton Istanbul logo emblazoned on it. The breakfast buffet was outstanding, with numerous options available. The 2x daily maid service was even better than the club floor in St. Thomas. If you leave clothes strewn about the room, they take the time to fold every item and hang all coats and jackets up in the closet. Every night at turndown there would be a different surprise waiting on the pillow, with new freshly washed robes and slippers(his (blue) and hers (gold)) waiting by the bed. The room itself was very nice, nothing exceptional except for the bathroom that was awesome. In the standard room I did not expect an all marble bath with vaulted ceilings with a deep soaking tub, with bath salts and bubble bath provided. Also beautifully done frosted glass doors for the separate shower and toilet and very nicely appointed marble sink. Also as a guest you get acces to the spa area with hammam and las vegas style pool…lots of fun. Left my watch in a robe one day, and went to ask about it, 5 minutes later a man in a three piece suit presented my watch to me that they were storing in their vault(I didn’t have the heart to tell him it was only a $35 sports wrist watch;)
Service and security were also top notch. The concierge always got the best table at all the good restaurants including Turga and Korfez(both highly recommended) I would also recommend Mia Mensa(an Italian restaurant on the Bosphorous…very romantic). I would urge you not to go to Vogue, even though it will be highly touted in the guidebooks and among locals. It is more of a place to be seen than for good food. It has a nice view but the food is abysmal and expensive for what you get. Security wise they check every taxi coming to the Ritz and all guests are made to pass through a metal detector and place bags through everytime you enter. You feel safe.
A couple of warnings: be wary of taxi drivers that try and rip you off on your return to the Ritz, be wary of overly solicitous rug salesmen…don’t waste your time letting them put on a show for you trying to sell their wares…get out and see the sites, museum and site admissions are much more than in the States or in Europe(must be the way the government collects extra revenues from affluent westerners).
In conclusion, the Ritz is a peaceful oasis in a city that is not always so peaceful. That being said, Istanbul is a truly awesome city with a history and a skyline that would rival Rome, Paris or London….it is a must see on life’s to do list. We walked through the four seasons, and while it was nice, being in Sultanahmet around the bustle of tourists and the biggest rip off stores in Turkey all week would have been taxing. The Taksim Square area near Iskindael Cadessi is where modern and fun Istanbul is….you are only a 5-10 minute taxi cab ride away from the sites, and trust me you will want to leave that area at the end of the day and return to the wonderful Ritz-Carlton (Highly Recommended!)
Top Local Tips for Istanbul
Location Stay in the Sultanhemet area and be sure to pay a visit to the exclusive sulamaniye hamaan (Couples only).
Rena - FANTASTIC Rena is a restaurant that seems to turn into a club after all the diner have finished. We arrived having eaten elsewere on a Saturday night in May. Entry was free, the cocktails were fabulous but eyewateringly expensive, however, the music, and atmosphere made it more than worth it . Do visit here if you want a real feel of what the rich Istanbul "in crowd" do for fun!
Things to do Shopping at kapalicarsi ,
Other names for The Ritz Carlton Istanbul Hotel
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- Address: Süzer Plaza,Elmadað, - Istanbul - 34367 - Turkey
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