Turkey Trip Overview
Booking Flights To Turkey
British Airways First Class Lounge IAH
British Airways 777 First Class IAH-LHR
Transiting Heathrow and British Airways A320 Business Class LHR-IST
Marriott Courtyard Istanbul Airport
Pegasus Airlines Istanbul to Izmir and Back
Ephesus, Mary’s House and Basilica of St. John
Pamukkale Bus and Preiene
Major Sites to see in Istanbul
Radisson Blu Bosphorus
Turkish Airlines Lounge Istanbul
Turkish Airlines 777 Business Class IST-IAH
After being picked up by the free airport shuttle, we were on our way to the hotel. It’s only about a 15-20 minute drive though since we’d been traveling for roughly 24 hours, it seemed further away. Our first realization we weren’t in Kansas anymore was that as the hotel-owned van pulled up to the entrance, we noticed it was a secured entrance. The guard came out with a long mirror on a stick and proceeded to check for explosives on the underside of our van. That was a bit of a wake-up call!
We were let out right in front of the lobby. There were a couple of others checking in at the time so we had about a five minute wait until those guests were helped. Check-in was pretty quick and efficient and all the front desk staff spoke English very well.
Since we were only there one night and we knew we’d be exhausted we’d only ordered a regular room with a roll-away. I did ask about it at the front desk and even though our room was ready for us, the roll-away was not in place. But I will give the staff credit for how quickly they got it to our room and set up. Yes, it was quite crowded with three people, three large suitcases and three beds but at that point we really didn’t care.
I did not take photos as it was so late at night when we arrived and we were so tired. The room was a bit smaller than a standard US hotel room, but that was to be expected. The bathroom was a nice size and had the standard amenities including shampoo, conditioner, lotion, hair dryer and soap.
We all crashed soon after arriving. My friends seemed to sleep well though, as usual, I got hot during the night. We had tried to adjust the thermostat before we went to bed but either we didn’t do something right or it reset itself but I did wake up several times due to the temperature.
We’d booked a fairly cheap rate but it did not include breakfast. I really need a good breakfast each day so I went ahead and paid for the full buffet. Not sure I got all my money’s worth but I didn’t want to do anything to make us miss the shuttle back to the airport. One friend decided it was not worth the price at all and another bought a package that allowed for cereal and juice only.
When checking in we’d made sure to verify which shuttle we’d need to catch back to the airport. We arrived a bit early to find quite a few others there and several had large pieces of sporting equipment. We were a bit concerned we wouldn’t all be able to fit in the van but we got packed in like sardines and were all able to fit.
The driver first went to the international terminal where everyone else got out of the van. Then he took my friends and me to the domestic terminal.
Next up: the domestic terminals in Istanbul and Izmir and our flights on Pegasus Airlines