A recent visit to Istanbul, Turkey by three members of the Travel on Point(s) team gave us the opportunity to stay at the Park Hyatt Istanbul. This Hyatt is now a category 5, with the recent changes to the Hyatt program. It is located in the fashionable Nisantasi residential and shopping district, which can be a bit out of the way for normal tourist activities. Also, if you plan to do much walking, keep in mind it sits atop quite a hill. The hotel entrance actually sits on a smaller side street on a steep hill. So much so, my driver elected to drop me off just around the corner. Traffic can be really bad in Istanbul but especially in this area, with not many ways out as we experienced on our departure.
This stay was just a quick one night stay, but featured it being booked two different ways. First up was American Express Fine Hotels and Resorts, which utilized the $200 credit provided by the American Express Platinum card. The room rate on a Thursday was $350, making the net cost just $150. It included breakfast for two and a $100 property credit. It also gave an upgrade when available.
Our second booking method was using a Hyatt Category 1-4 free night certificate. Sadly, this property just got bumped up to a category 5 and at a cost of 20,000 points at standard rates. These free night certificates can be earned three different ways. First, you receive one on each anniversary. Next, you if you have the Chase World of Hyatt card and spend $15k on the card in a calendar year. Or lastly, you earn one via the Brand Explorer Award as you earn one for every five different Hyatt brands you try. At the time of booking, the cash rate was going for $300 with taxes and fees, giving me great value for a free night certificate.
Both parties were checked in quickly and efficiently. We each received an escort to our rooms with a tour of room amenities and how some items in the room functioned. It's worth noting that both had globalist status, although neither of us received what we would consider an actual upgrade to a suite, even though suites were available. With just a quick overnight stay and both having traveled extensively, we did not inquire and were happy with our large rooms. It's worth noting the elevators were fast and efficient. The hallways were well kept and decorated nicely.
A beautiful lobby featuring a wine bar with a wine display that covers an entire a wall. You are also welcomed by a picture of none other than Nusret Gökce aka salt bae, a Turkish chef. Although he may be in your gifs selection on your phone, he bought the Park Hyatt in 2019. We enjoyed drinks in the lobby and service was okay, but we found ourselves having to hunt down staff to ask for more drinks.
Both rooms had similar features with a slightly different layout. Large and spacious areas. A work desk and sitting area gave plenty of space for work or relaxation. We both had a complimentary fruit tray and Turkish Delight on our mini bar area. A Nespresso coffee maker was a nice touch as well. We found the beds to be comfortable. The room views were nothing special. In fact, the property looks towards what appears to be a run-down apartment complex. Not uncommon in foreign countries, but do not expect lots of luxurious Istanbul views. We did see in their TV advertisements that there appear to be some rooms with water views from the higher floors.
We were most impressed by the bathroom's large steam shower. A nice feature of the room was the door to separate shower and bathtub from the rest of the room. During the room tour, the staff actually suggested using this method to send steam into the bathtub area without getting it throughout the room. Two sinks were provided, including one with filtered water that could be used for drinking. Each bathroom was unique.
The breakfast area was located next to the second level pool in what I would describe as a greenhouse building. A large buffet was set up that was very extensive. You could also order regular breakfast items as well. We all felt the service felt a bit awkward, as there was a wait for a server to greet us. Additionally, it was unclear how to obtain coffee, juice, and water. It appeared the wait staff were doing this, but most guests were getting refills themselves at a self-service station near the buffet line. Overall, the whole breakfast experience was awkward, but the food was good.
Overall, a short stay. We did not explore much more of the hotel. Although an award-winning restaurant upstairs is supposed to be the highlight. Note: for those with a Fine Hotels & Resort credit, it cannot be used at this restaurant. We elected to venture out and explore Istanbul other than for breakfast and some lobby drinks.
Due to the location and hilly terrain, we wouldn't go out of our way to stay at the Park Hyatt Istanbul. It is a long way from the historical parts of Istanbul and is not in a tourist-friendly place. If you are in Istanbul for business or luxury shopping, it will suit your needs quite well. Additionally, it can be of great value using points or your FHR credit to save on that first night.
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