Leo’s travel journal

Leo’s travel journal and other juicy bits…

Posts Tagged ‘W Istanbul

W Istanbul

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Well hello there! My stay in Istanbul was marred mostly by was gloomy with long episodes of rainfall, with temperatures hovering between 7 – 10 degrees Celsius.

As it was my first time to Istanbul, I preferred to stay at somewhere familiar (as in hotels). So the W Istanbul was the choice, by recommendation of more experienced travellers (SPG junkies).

Shocked was putting it mildly. If you remember my previous post, I was staying in an elegant, understated and pretty much somber and subdued Grande Bretagne in Athens. The W Istanbul is the exact opposite – pompous, overstated, funky and borderline tacky in specific areas (the elevator especially), in my opinion.

The Welcome desk was dark – in fact the whole hotel was pretty dark. Not the sort of airy, brightly lit / natural light, open spaces that I’ve grown accustomed to in my Europe hotel stays. Nevertheless the trick was to keep an open mind and take it in. It took exactly 3 hours to get used to the level of lighting, the constant chillout music that was piped (instead of the standard opera / classical music you hear – the lady calls it toilet music).

The Welcome area was dark and was nice with touches of fabric keeping the cold draft outside – where it is supposed to be.

Touches of Ottoman design was sprinkled copiously across the entire hotel.

Welcome drink was offered all times of the day and since it was winter, it was a hot one.

Breakfast was served at SIP, a very light one with croissants and pastries with complimentary coffee and tea.

Being a Platinum member of SPG, I booked the lowest category room (Wonderful room) was upgraded to a Fantastic Suite (a 6 room categories upgrade, circa 600sqft) which was essentially a large room.

The bed was Wonderfully delicious to sleep in, and indeed I fell asleep after unpacking πŸ™‚

The suite, like other areas of the hotel was dark, with use of dark colour wood and furnishings accentuating the sensual side of design. It featured a little alcove with a day bed which I really liked as I could chill there and work on the laptop.

The TV, a 42 inch LCD was built into the wall behind a darkened glass – I was wondering where the TV was. The guy on the Whatever/Whenever told me to point the remote towards the toilet and press the power button πŸ˜€

Contemporary touches were also evident in the design of the room and furnishings.

The bathroom area features a separate WC and bathroom – ideal for people travelling in pairs.

Featuring Bliss lemon and sage spa amenities from New York, bath time was indeed heavenly.

I must proclaim that the World’s best shower goes to the W hotels! Look at the size of that shower head!!

Besides shower, you also have the option of the Turkish style Hammam bath.

The hotel featured Spice Market by Jean Georges – I had a meal there and it was good (the concept of Asian fusion food is all too familiar to me, so I found nothing Wow about it…).

Spent most of my time at the W Lounge where they had free internet access. Supposedly Istanbul’s latest nightspot, the lounge transform in the night into what I would deem as something really crazy – the Who’s Who of society hangs out here, from ambassadors to rich people with swanky models in both arms. There was a line leading out of the hotel!

Next – Istanbul!


Written by Leo

2 March 2009 at 19:00

So I’m really leaving…

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This Friday for Athens (at the Grande Bretagne – Deluxe Suite), Istanbul (W Istanbul – Fantastic Suite), Zagreb (Westin Zagreb – Westin Guest Office), Ljubljana (day trip from Zagreb), and Riga (Monika Centrum – Deluxe Room).

Good to finally lift off to Europe after several months of grounding πŸ™‚

Flying Thai, Lufthansa, Turkish Airlines and Croatia Airlines.

Updates soon! Tatas!