We decided to check out two different hotels during our five day stay in Istanbul. The first three were spent at the Holiday Inn Sisli, and the last two days we stayed at the Radisson Blu Bosphorus.
Although the stay at the Holiday Inn was excellent, we were excited to change locations, especially because we were going to be staying right on the Bosphorus, one of the best and views!
The hotel is located in the Ortakoy district of Istanbul, and literally sits right along the water of the magnificent Bosphorus. The location and views are what make this hotel what it is. Within a few minutes walk of the hotel you can find many cafes, restaurants, and nightlife. Although there is no metro station nearby, you can easily catch a bus or dolmus to get around the city.
The hotel has 120 rooms and suites and we were able to book a standard award room for 50,000 points for two nights thanks to the Club Carlson Visa’s bonus award nights when booking stays of two or more nights. In September the rates at the hotel run for $400-600 a night. For the two night stay we were getting at least 1.6 cents per point.
When we arrived at the hotel around 2:00 PM we were notified that we had the option to be upgraded to a studio room with a bosphorus view if we were willing to wait 30 minutes for room service to finish up. We were happy to walk around and explore while they finished up in the room, and came back in an hour to complete the check-in process. We were also pleasantly surprised to find out that we would be offered breakfast (normally not included in the standard award booking using points). Having gold status normally gives you free upgrades, wifi, a welcome gift, but not necessarily breakfast—that is set by each location's policies. The room upgrade was a handicap accessible room which meant it was large, and also had a small kitchenette, but the best part of the upgrade was simply the stunning view of the Bosphorus.
We did not receive a welcome gift that normally comes with Club Carlson’s gold status, but we figured the free breakfasts were a much better value and potentially a replacement for the welcome gift. Although the track record for welcome gifts is quite dodgy, I have only received them about 50% of the time at Club Carlson properties.
The room itself was a spacious studio, so it included a small kichenette that could be closed off with sliding doors. There was also a small walk-in closet and a seating area next to the great view.
Overall the hotel was very modern and clean, but some of the furnishing in the room could use a facelift.
The bathroom was rather large and featured an overhead rain shower. The toiletries were better here than at the Holiday Inn that we stayed at the three previous nights.
By far the best thing the hotel has going for it is its location and setting. The views are astounding from the breakfast table.
The selection of breakfast items was very good and everything was fresh and stocked. I enjoyed ordering a couple of lattes in the morning to help me forget the taste of all Nescafes I had been drinking over the last week.
Overall the stay at the Radisson Blu bosphorus in Istanbul was very pleasant and the hotel was appealing. Service at the hotel was very attentive and insure the quality of your stay is top notch. The only complaint I would have is that some furnishings in the room were a bit tired, and could use a face-lift. Since the views are unbeatable and the quality of the hotel is very good, I would definitely stay here again when I return to Istanbul.