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Swissotel The Bosphorus 5.0

Istanbul, Turkey

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • Spacious, contemporary guest rooms and suites renovated in 2015 
  • Rooms with flat-screen TVs, Nespresso machines, and marble bathrooms
  • In a garden setting overlooking the Bosphorus
  • Indoor lap pool and rooftop infinity pool
  • Huge spa with Turkish bath, sauna, steam room, and hot tub
  • Four on-site restaurants
  • Several meeting rooms and ballroom
  • Free Wi-Fi throughout

Cons

  • Far from the main tourist attractions
  • Swiss restaurant only open seasonally
  • Fee for breakfast 
  • Fee for fitness center and high-speed Internet (except for apartment guests)

Bottom Line

Swisshotel The Bosphorus is one of Istanbul's most luxurious hotels, situated in 65 acres of gardens overlooking the Bosphorus. Newly refurbished in 2015, its 566 guest rooms have a classy, contemporary style, and are equipped with luxury amenities such as 46-inch flat-screen TVs, Nespresso coffeemakers, and spacious marble bathrooms. The hotel's many on-site features do not disappoint and include four restaurants, an indoor lap pool, a rooftop infinity pool, and a huge wellness center with a spa, sauna, steam room, Turkish bath, and a hot tub. However, the hotel's isolated location a 20-minute drive from most major tourist attractions in Sultanahmet, may put some tourists off. Leisure travelers may want to compare rates with the more centrally located luxury property CVK Hotels & Resorts Park Bosphorus – Istanbul.

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Scene

Luxury property popular with business travelers

Swisshotel The Bosphorus has a stunning natural setting on the edge of the Bosphorus and in the middle of 65 acres of gardens that were once the grounds of the Ottoman Dolmabahce Palace. The hotel itself is an unattractive and generic-looking glass building, but from the interior, the large glass windows offer scenic views over the water. The vast and spacious lobby area is covered in luxurious white marble and has a sparse look, with only a few seating areas of leather sofas and armchairs tucked away in quiet corners. The adjacent lobby lounge is spacious and light-filled thanks to the high ceilings and windows. This hotel is primarily popular with business travelers, but gets it's fair share of tourists too.

Location

In the Besiktas district, overlooking the Bosphorus

Swisshotel The Bosphorus is located in Istanbul's Besiktas district, and is easily accessible from central Taksim Square, a short drive away. Located on the leafy grounds of a former Ottoman palace, the area is quiet and somewhat isolated, with a park just across the street, and mostly residential apartment buildings in the immediate area. The location suits business travelers better than tourists, as most of the city's tourist attractions are located in Sultanahmet, a 20-minute drive away. 

  • Eight-minute drive to Taksim Square
  • 10-minute drive to Istiklal pedestrian street
  • 11-minute drive to Istanbul Museum of Modern Art
  • 15-minute drive to Galata Tower
  • 16-minute drive to Galata Bridge
  • 18-minute drive to the Grand Bazaar
  • 20-minute drive to Hagia Sophia
  • 21-minute drive to Istanbul Archaeology Museum
  • 22-minute drive to Basilica Cistern
  • 23-minute drive to Topkapi Palace Museum
  • 24-minute drive to Sultan Ahmet Mosque (Blue Mosque)
  • 45-minute drive to Ataturk International Airport 

Rooms

Luxurious, contemporary-style interiors with scenic views

The Swissotel offers a variety of lodging options, including guest rooms and suites as well as two-story lofts, and one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartments. All units are spacious and light-filled, and have scenic views over the Bosphorus, the gardens, or the city skyline through large floor-to-ceiling windows. Newly refurbished and redecorated in 2015, the interiors have a stark but tasteful, contemporary Swiss-influenced look. The color palette is dominated by neutral grays, pale yellows and blues, and warm saffron, which complement the light tones of the contemporary wooden furniture. In-room amenities include 46-inch flat-screen TVs, Nespresso machines, minibars with alcohol and soft drinks, and large work desks with ergonomic chairs. The luxurious bathrooms are done up in gray marble and feature double vanities, large walk-in showers with rainfall showerheads, and separate bathtubs. 

Apartments include fully equipped kitchens, separate living areas, and many luxurious extras like iPod docs, Xbox/Wii consoles, a tea service, free soft drinks, wine, and beer from the minibar, and free access to the fitness center (guests in rooms and suites are charged extra to use it). Note that the Internet connection is limited to 512 Kbps; guests who need a faster connection are charged a fee, except for those in the apartment units.

Features

Large breakfast buffet, four excellent restaurants, some with al fresco dining, spa, and sports center

As a luxury hotel with many extra features on offer, Swissotel The Bosphorus does not disappoint. A vast buffet breakfast (for a fee) made up of hot and cold continental, Swiss, Turkish, and American dishes is served each morning at the Cafe Swiss restaurant and gets enthusiastic reviews from guests. The restaurant occupies a large, light-filled space with scenic views of the Bosphorus, and is open for lunch and dinner. During the summer months, guests can dine alfresco at the Gaja Roof Restaurant and Gaja Sky Bar, open for dinner and drinks only. The Oasis Restaurant is located next to the outdoor pool and serves lunch and light meals, as well as drinks at the adjacent lounge bar. Open in the winter only, the Chalet Restaurant is an attempt to bring a little bit of Switzerland to Istanbul. The setting is a 100-year-old wooden chalet imported from Switzerland with a dinner menu offering Swiss-style specialties like cheese fondue and roast potatoes.

The hotel's gigantic Purovel spa and sport center includes 14 treatment rooms for therapeutic and beauty treatments, a hydrotherapy room, a relaxation lounge, a salt pool, a sauna, a steam room, a Turkish bath, a hot tub, and a juice and snack bar. In addition to the indoor lap pool, there's also a rooftop infinity pool with a view over the Bosphorus. The sports facilities include a running track, cardio and weight-training equipment, table tennis, basketball, and classes in Pilates, yoga, and boxing. But only guests in apartment units can used the fitness center freely, others must pay an additional fee.

The hotel also offers extensive meeting facilities, namely 28 meeting and function rooms and three ballrooms that can accommodate up to 1,200 guests. Audiovisual and technical equipment is available, and catering can be arranged. Wi-Fi is free throughout the hotel, but guests requiring a high-speed connection will have to pay extra (unless they are staying in one of the apartments). On-site parking is available for a fee.

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Address

Visnezade Mah. Acisu Sok. No:19, Besiktas, Istanbul 34357, Turkey

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