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 returning to Istanbul from Izmir via Pegasus Airlines, the friendly folks at Sea Song had booked us an airport transfer to the Ritz Carlton, where one of my traveling companions and I had used our Marriott points for three free nights. We were not able to combine our points but when making the reservation we’d gotten on a conference call with the Marriott agent and she was able to deduct points for two nights from my friend’s account and one night’s worth of points from mine. While they were two reservation numbers, there were notes in both reservations to point to the other reservation and that way we didn’t have to change rooms after two nights, which was nice.
The van dropped us off at the hotel entrance and, like at the Swissotel, our luggage went through an x-ray machine. But the bellmen took care of that for us so we were able to go straight to the check-in desk.
The lobby was just beautiful. Marble floors, lovely decorations, very calm and luxurious-looking. At certain times they also had pomegranate juice available.
We were escorted up to our room on the fifth floor. We walked through the entry and past the bathroom and large closet into the main part of the room.
It contained twin beds and they brought up a rollaway for us. It made things a little tight in the bedroom area. We had to rearrange the chair a bit to make things fit.
We also had a desk with another chair, a combination TV stand/mini-bar and some floor space where we could put some of our luggage.
While the bed area was a bit cramped, we had no such issue in the bathroom. It was huge! We had a separate tub and shower stall, only one sink but it had lots of counter space and a huge mirror over it and there was a separate toilet room. My only complaint about the bathroom was that the hair dryer was stored in a lower drawer and was somehow connected to the wall via the drawer. I’m a bit above average height for a woman and I got a good biceps workout trying to lift the hair dryer high enough to reach the top of my head because the cord kept pulling it back down. I’d really like to see them have a hair dryer on the counter top – though I suppose that ruins the effect of luxury when looking at the counter. Toiletries were Asprey brand.
Though we didn’t use them, the hotel had a nice gym and a gorgeous indoor pool with hot tubs. There was, of course, also a spa area with Turkish baths. There were also outdoor pools and lounging areas.
Right next door to the hotel Vodafone Arena is under construction. It will be the home stadium for Beşiktaş J.K., the city’s professional sports club which includes its football (soccer) team. The hotel is on a very steep street but it’s an easy downhill walk to Dolmabahçe Palace, the first European-style residence for Turkey’s rulers, which was completed in the mid-1850s. That’s well worth a visit too.
The staff at the Ritz was fantastic and the concierges gave us some great help with finding places to eat as we were so near to Taksim Square. Unfortunately the walk to Taksim was UP the steep hill but it made it easier coming home at night.
We really enjoyed our stay here and it was so conveniently located that we wouldn’t hesitate to stay here again.