– Was there any pre-arrival communication by the hotel with myself via email or social media?
My stay was organised months in advance, via email (very organised, I know!) and prior to me arriving, the hotel did send out some tweets indeed. I was arriving very late (you can read about my trip here) and I wanted to make sure I was able to eat something on arrival.
– Did I try to engage the hotel via Twitter? Did the hotel interact with me and made me feel welcome/special?
They did indeed.
– Has the hotel tried to gather any personal information (e.g. preferences) prior to my stay?
At this stage, it is fair to say that the Four Seasons know me quite well – I never ask for anything special and if at a Four Seasons, I know everything I need will be there.
– The wow factor! What was the hotel decor style?
We arrived past midnight and assume we were the last guests to check-in, so the doorman actually knew our names, which made for a very nice welcome. Our check-in form had been pre-filled in, so we were to complete check-in in our room – something that happens more and more and I find such a nice touch. Obviously at this time of the day (or night!), there were no queues and we really appreciated the gesture.
– How quick and efficient was the hotel check-in?
Well, extremely efficient as stated before. We just signed everything and provided our credit card details.
– Was I addressed by name once reservation has been located? (it is all about the small details, some others are outstanding with this, and I love it, like I do when I board an airplane)
Oh yes, right when we stepped out of our airport car.
– Did I get an upgrade from my confirmed pre-booked room type?
I wasn’t sure which room I got, and was delighted to be given a one bedroom suite.
– Did I feel genuinely welcomed by the hotel staff?
In all honesty, the staff were exceptional – and that is what made this stay so unique.
– Luggage – how many people did I have to tip before the luggage made it safely to my room? This is cultural, I know
We actually never saw our luggage, which was taken straight to our room.
– Wi-fi – was I told anything about it? Was there a charge?
All Four Seasons hotels now provide free wifi (at regular speed), and also offer a paid faster offer.
– First impressions – décor, size and wow factor
Our suite was incredible and huge, and very very well-appointed. I loved how the gentleman who escorted us to our room prepared us for what was to come, by saying ‘you know this was a prison before? we tried to stay as true to the roots of this building and provide an experience as close as possible to the original’. I had to think twice to get what he was saying and really did laugh.
The suite has a large corridor, a great living room, bedroom, dressing area and a fab bathroom. More on that later.
– Welcome amenity
Remember when I said I would be hungry and wanted to make sure there would be something to eat? Well, I wasn’t exactly expecting a model of the Bosphorus bridge, complete with a cheese selection, lots of nibbles and a bottle of red wine. But we ate it all, almost!
On the second night, we were surprised by some Gin & Tonics, which really was a nice touch.
– The bed
The bed was indeed wonderful and incredibly comfortable, as expected.
– Closet/Wardrobe – proper hangers or those annoying ones where you need a PhD to get them out one by one? This is a personal pet peeve of mine. I can’t stand them.
No problems here!
– Iphone Charger/Dock
There was a Bose docking station for iPhone 4 which we did not use.
– Bathrobes and slippers
I always say I never use the bathrobes or slippers unless it is more of a spa hotel, but I had to. I had to. Why? Because the hotel provided me with kids slippers and adult small ones, and I thought it was the sweetest thing. For the record, I have small feet (size 36 EU, 3.5 UK, 6 USA) and hotel slippers are always huge. So I have to report I was heartbroken when the kiddie ones were a tad too small – but the others were OK. The hotel also provided 2 different types of robes, and I adored the printed ones. I did wear them around, and if they were a tad smaller, I would have purchased one.
– Coffee and Tea
There was a Nespresso coffee machine, which we did not use.
– Free bottled water
Of course, and changed daily.
– Magazine selection – had some nice surprises and doesn’t happen often enough!
I had a copy of Four Seasons magazine.
– Power sockets in useful places – we have more and more devices and we know where we want them! By the bed, by the working area.
We had a bit of an issue, but found sockets near the desk, where we charged all our devices.
– First impressions – décor, size and wow factor
The first thing I noticed was the rug, which was very different from normal and really gave a sense of place to the hotel. I knew I was in Istanbul, Turkey, at all times and I loved the decor of the hotel. The bathroom was very well-appointed indeed.
– Bath, shower and taps – I am looking for Duravits and Hansgrohes (or other fab brands) around the world. How fab was the shower? And a little pet peeve.. was I able to operate the shower without asking Mr. O for help?
We had a bath tub (which we did not use) and a fabulous shower room, which a very good shower head. I did have to ask Mr. O for instructions, but we now have a system where he goes first and then figures it out.
– Towels – yes, please! How many and how soft and lovely?
Very very good.
– Toiletries – own brand, super brand, baby ones or proper ones? I shall find out!
We had Bulgari toiletries, which are nice, although I am not keen on the shampoo/conditioner.
– Amenity kit – I don’t want more sewing kits thank you very much, but I will need a shower cap.
I LOVED the clear liquid bags provided by the hotel (I only saw them once before at the FS Boston). I am not even ashamed to say that I brought them all back with me.
– Hairdryer – is it a human one, or just something stuck to a wall that only makes noise?
I did not use it on this occasion, but located the hairdryer which looked proper.
– Décor of breakfast room
We loved the breakfast room, especially the fact that we were able to enjoy an alfresco meal on the first day, and had to retreat indoors on the other days.
– The spread (inc yumminess)
Mr. O declared this to be one of the Top 3 breakfasts he ever had – which is saying something. The spread pleased locals and any international tourists, and I have to say, the ‘Turkish options’ were outstanding. I have very good memories from my breakfasts in this part of the world and I won’t be forgetting this one in a hurry. I also discovered for the first time in 10 years that Mr. O was obsessed with honeycomb, which was one of the stars of the show.
– Cost (I have seen a hotel charging €75 for breakfast – a tad much, maybe?)
We paid £35 for two (it was included in our room rate, but we still signed the bill), which was actually incredible value.
I have to confess, I did not love the bar – I found it too stiff and not very comfortable. There was also another area, where we ended up sitting and having a cocktail, but I found it uninspiring, quite a contrast with the rest of the hotel. The gin selection was quite limited (for Mr. O), but I had a great dirty martini.
– How good and reliable was the wi-fi?
Worked very well indeed. No issues at all.
– Did the hotel interact with me via Twitter during my stay?
A little bit, yes.
If you are visiting Istanbul as a tourist and plan to visit the old town (you can read all about my trip here), this is possibly the best location ever. We were actually able to walk to quite a few places.
– Cost – rooms starting from…
Standard rooms start from 380 Euros and suites from 740 Euros.
– Would I recommend it to my best friend?
Without a doubt.
– Would I stay again?
Any. Time. Any. Time.
Have you visited this hotel? What were your thoughts?
Disclaimer: I was a guest of Four Seasons Istanbul at Sultanahmet during this stay, but hopefully you will see that this has not influenced my thoughts about the property.