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Wyndham Istanbul Old City 4.5

Istanbul, Turkey

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • Inside a landmark neoclassical building designed by a legendary architect
  • Within walking distance of several historic Istanbul sites
  • Mix of contemporary furniture and glamorous, Old World decor
  • Rooms include flat-screen TVs, minibars, and marble bathrooms
  • Indoor pool and heated soaking pool with loungers
  • On-site spa with Turkish bath, sauna, and body treatments
  • Restaurant serves a combination of Ottoman and continental cuisine
  • Meeting space includes three boardrooms and a ballroom
  • Gym offers a handful of cardio machines and free weights
  • Business center with computers and a printer
  • Free Wi-Fi in public spaces

Cons

  • On a busy street that has a good amount of traffic noise
  • Fee for in-room Wi-Fi
  • Breakfast not included in room rates
  • Not all rooms match the lobby's grandeur

Bottom Line

Housed in an historic 1922 apartment complex, the luxury Wyndham Istanbul Old City is near several major tourist destinations. The property's soaring atrium is a tribute to its history, with ornate marble floors, arched skylights, and gilded chandeliers. Like much of the hotel, the 265 guest rooms are decorated with furniture that recalls the early 20th-century. Rooms also include minibars, flat-screen TVs, and sumptuous, marble-lined bathrooms. In-room Wi-Fi, however, is an extra fee. There's also an indoor pool and small gym with a handful of cardio machines and free weights. Business travelers can take advantage of the business center and 2,680 square feet of meeting space. Travelers could also consider the nearby Legacy Ottoman, another historic property with turn-of-the-century decor and comparable amenities.

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Scene

A grand, neoclassical Turkish building with a rich history

The building that houses the Wyndham Istanbul Old City hotel has quite the history. In 1918, a huge fire destroyed numerous Old City homes. To help the affected, four buildings were designed and constructed by celebrated Turkish architect Mimar Kemaleddin in what became known as the Tayyare Apartments. In 1985, the complex was repurposed into a hotel and changed ownership several times; recently it was a Crowne Plaza. This former housing complex, with numerous Ottoman architectural details, makes for a grand setting. Spaces between the buildings have been converted into an opulent atrium with a palatial chandelier, marble floors and dramatic balconies. The redecorated walls of the onetime apartment buildings almost make the lobby look like a movie set. Window boxes of flowers and fresco paintings accent the neoclassical architecture. On the ground floor, the furniture is a mixture of antiques and contemporary pieces that suggest turn-of-the-century, continental decor. Cafe tables and chairs are set out in front of the lobby boutiques. This historic and atmospheric property draws plenty of couples on a romantic getaway, but families and friends traveling together also stay here as well as the occasional business traveler.

Location

In the Laleli district of the Old City, near several historic sites

The Laleli section of Istanbul's Old City, where the Wyndham is situated, is known by some as Istanbul's Russia Town. Many of the clothing and shoe stores in this part of the city are owned by Russian expatriates. The Laleli shopping section can be a little clamorous and some guests complain of traffic noise within the hotel. For guests who want to see Istanbul's historic sites, the hotel is within a 10-minute tram ride of the Sultanahmet district, home to several monuments. Riders can board at the Laleli-Üniversite stop, which is a two-minute walk from the hotel. The Blue Mosque (officially known as the Sultan Ahmed Mosque) is a 15-minute drive from the hotel. The Hagia Sofia (which was used both as a church and a mosque) is an 18-minute drive. But a few sights are in walking distance including the Grand Bazaar (a 10-minute walk) and the medieval Bodrum Mosque (an 11-minute walk). Reaching Ataturk Istanbul airport takes a 40-minute drive, depending on traffic.

Rooms

Old World style that ranges from charming to ornate

The lobby's grandeur suggests that the hotel's 265 guest rooms will be equally sumptuous. Some spaces live up to that promise, but not all. The Deluxe and Executive Rooms are charming, with dark-wood headboards and desks that suggest early 20th-century design. Chairs are upholstered with flowery, Damask-style fabrics, a nod to the last years of the Ottoman empire. Both are attractive, but they don't go a step above the typical upscale hotel. The major difference in the upper-level room categories is an increase in square footage and bed size. The One Bedroom Suite ups the luxury with a separate living area. But it's the Presidential Suite that really matches the wow factor of the lobby with regal furniture fit for a 19th-century king, such as clawfoot benches, gilded chandeliers, and bedside lamps with a peacock-feather motif. All guest rooms have minibars, electric kettles for tea/coffee, safes, and flat-screen TVs with satellite channels. In-room Wi-Fi costs extra. The bathrooms at all levels are lined with cream-colored marble, and have shower/tub combinations, magnifying mirrors, individual toiletries, robes, and hairdryers. Smoking rooms are available.

Features

Indoor pool, spa, gym, restaurants, and meeting rooms 

As a four-and-a-half-pearl property, this Wyndham manages to deliver on all the expected features, but some are more luxurious than others. For guests who want to relax, there's a spa with a Turkish bath and sauna as well as massage and facial services. An indoor pool is big enough to do laps, and there's an accompanying heated pool for lounging. An exercise room has an adequate number of machines and free weights, but will probably not impress many fitness fanatics. The Lale restaurant serves a combination of Turkish, Ottoman and international dishes. Breakfast is available and costs extra. The more casual Café Sa'cez has stuffed sandwiches, pastries and Turkish coffee. The hotel's 2,680 square feet of meeting space offers plenty of room for boardroom conferences as well as big events in a ballroom. In these spaces, detailed molding and wood-covered walls accentuate the original architectural details of the building. The business center has computers as well as audio/visual equipment. Wi-Fi is free in common spaces, but costs an additional fee in rooms.

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Address

Fethi Bey Cad., Laleli-Fatih, Istanbul 34134, Turkey

Also Known As

  • Crowne Plaza Istanbul Old City

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