a VirtualTourist member from London
My wife and I are thinking about a long weekend break in Istanbul, probably in May 2013.
We would like to stay in a 5 star hotel, but are having difficulty finding one that is not owned by the Hyatt group.
We are looking for something with views of the Hellespont, in a traditional Turkish style.
Preferably bed and breakfast as we would like to venture out for evening meals.
That leads me to ask if anybody can recommend some good restaurants (not touristy)
We love fresh fish.
When it comes to restaurants, my Istanbul page has a lot to offer you. We have brilliant fish restaurants along Bosphorus, but Turkish cuisine is not limited to fish only so do try some kebabs :) Conrad Hotel in Besiktas could be a good 5 star option, otherwise there are dozens of boutique hotels in Sultanahmet area and you can try one of them. If you have any other questions let me know. Here are the links to my Istanbul pages.
[original VT link]
[original VT link]
Thank you for coming back to me so promptly
This is quite an adventure for us as for the past 30 years, we have been creatures of habit, holidaying in Italy and Sicily.
Neither of us have ever been to Turkey, but we have friends who are regular visitors to the Turkish coast. However, they tend to like lazing around on beaches, whereas we prefer exploring cities and we absolutely love trying out regional dishes in the evenings.
I'll take a look at your Istanbul pages, and, of course, your recommendation for the Conrad Hotel.
Just one question please - is May a good time to be in Istanbul?
Neither of us have a problem with heat, but we do hate humidity.
May will be perfect for Istanbul. Spring is the best period to enjoy Istanbul as the weather is neither cold nor hot. You won't have any trouble with humidity during that time. I wouldn't say the same if you came in August. Now that you opened the subject of Sicily, I have very fond memories of the island and many other cities of Italy. Regards from Istanbul :)
You love fresh fish, have a look at my tip about it:
[original VT link]
Thanks for that - I'll definitely be making my way to the Galato Bridge.
I wouldn't say the aforementioned if you came in August. Now that you opened the accountable of Sicily, I accept actual addicted memories of the island and abounding added cities of Italy.
There are many, many 5-star hotels in Istanbul. Not sure where you are getting the "only Hyatt" idea. If you want a great view of the Bosphorus, you can get it from the Four Seasons Bosphorus, Ciragan Palace, or Swissotel Bosphorus. (You will pay plenty for it, just be aware.)
There are also many other 5-stars that do not have that great view, but are great nonetheless. There is a Four Seasons in Sultanahmet, as well as boutique hotels there; there are several very good hotels in the Nisantasi/Macka area, including one boutique that I like very much, the Sofa. If you can get over your aversion to Hyatts, then the Park Hyatt in Macka is excellent--I stayed there last time I was in town, in September.
Finally, one off-the-beaten path place that is fantastic, and as close to the water as it gets, is the Sumahan boutique hotel. It is on the Asian side, a little ways north of the second bridge, and literally right on the water. They have a private (free) boat that can take you back and forth to the European side. It is an amazing hotel although not the best located for first-time visitors to the city, unless you want a really different experience than the usual.
Thank you for all your suggestions - I'll check them all out. The last hotel sounds perfect.
My allusion to the Hyatt group was really meant to take in all corporate hotels.
I cannot bear staying at hotels with the conference and seminar brigade.
Thanks to everybody for all the helpful ideas.
We've settled on a 4 night break at the Kempinski Ciragan Hotel.
After our experiences of the costs for similar hotels in Italy, I cannot believe how inexpensive it is.
I had to do a double take on the final price.
Hellespont is not in Istanbul. it is a pont at Dardanalles Gallipoli. Some 250 kms away. Do you mean Golden Horn or Bosphorus Straits? Cheers Have a nicetimein Turkey.
Just so you know, the Ciragan is very much a corporate hotel and chock-full of business people attending conferences. I am one of them. In fact I have been invited to two of them, both at the Ciragan, in May!
Thank you for letting me know - on the strength of this information, I've called the Ciragan and cancelled. They were very understanding and are refunding the entire cost.
This leaves me back at square one, looking for a 5 star hotel on the water's edge where my wife and I can enjoy a peaceful few days.
OK - I think I've found what we're looking for but would value any feedback from VTers on the following:
Hotel A'Jia in the Kanlica district of Istanbul.
I realise this is not as central as some other hotels.
That is quite far north. If you are thinking of a place like that, then I really suggest you take a look at the Sumahan (www.sumahan.com), which is also on the Asian side but closer to the more central part of Istanbul. I had a very fabulous stay there in one of their Loft Suites.
Hi, I would recommend you Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul at Sultanahmet ... fourseasons.com/istanbul/?so...
placed at old town nearby Blue Mosque, Saint Sophia, Cistern etc... For fish restaurant please visit http://www.yukselbalik.com.tr
5 Star fish restaurant near seashore at Yesilkoy, you can go by taxi from Four Season Hotel easly takes 1/2 an hour ...
Best regards from Istanbul...
I am really surprised that no one suggested Bebek Hotel Istanbul. That is 5 star hotel, definitely Not corporate, a boutique hotel is actually situated in the most posh and fabulous area of Istanbul. Not touristic, but most elite Istanbul society lives around. The hotel is situated right on the waters of Bosphorus. welcome to check it out bebekhotel.com.tr/tr/index.a...
I'm afraid we've already booked the Kempinski.
It's a shame I did not know about the Bebek earlier.
I may try to cancel the Kempinski as the Bebeck looks ideal.
Hotel Bebek is nice and near Bosphorus , has great view and restaurant, little bit far to touristics areas ...Specially British and Scandinavian groups comes there ...
If you prefer Bebek Hotel , you have to visit shop selling "Bebek Badem Ezmesi"
for details links below :))