Extravagant. Simply extravagant. Walking into the lobby at the Shangri-La hotel in Istanbul is so breathtaking. All you see are shiny objects and that put Pierre into a trance for a moment. Stunned with the amount of gold and the number of chandeliers. My jaw dropped.
For myself, it definitely had the Asian feeling of hospitality that I had experienced so many times in the past. This hotel has roots in Hong Kong. Thus far, Asian hospitality has been the best that I have experienced. Sorry Westerners.
Not sure what the two would say about a comparison but the rooms at the Shangri-La had a very similar feel to the rooms at the Mandarin Oriental which as you all know is another favorite brand of mine. Both paying fine attention to every detail, both using very high-end furnishings but both having differences that set them apart.
Pierre can tell that they localized the room to fit the Bosphorus strait in Istanbul because he’s a hotel professional. They have used lots of blue and green colors to match the water. It has an overall very elegant feel that I appreciated and was relaxed by.
I swear every hotel I visit wants to see me get fat! The Shangri-La warmly welcomed me with a large plate of desserts. My pants hate your warm hearts! However, you can’t go wrong with Baklava! I skipped the colorful things that are full of vitamins that doctors recommend you to eat. I think they call them “fruit.”
Stepping into the bathroom was amazing. Once again using only the highest quality fixtures and products. They used Bvlgari brand products in the bathroom and I really liked the quality of the lotion. Noticing all of the simple things like how nicely the shower door closed is what Pierre pays attention to! Quickly, Shangri-La is becoming a favorite brand of mine. Marble and more marble all around! I can dig it.
When you look out of the window it appears at first that there isn’t anything between the building and the water because it’s so close! However, there is actually a ferry pier that is very popular for Turkish commuters. A great place for people watching indeed. Sadly, nobody looked my way when I flexed my guns for them in the window. Sad face.
The service was on point throughout the stay and they didn’t miss a beat on anything. I had to request a dental kit which arrived within 10 minutes at my door. It was only a one night stay but it was short and sweet. Also, I didn’t have a chance to hit the gym because I was too busy with eating but the gym was very well equipped! There was also a nice indoor pool with a beautiful painted ceiling.
In total I spent 4 nights in Istanbul and I’ve concluded that it’s a place I could live. Istanbul is at the point where East meets West and creates a very unique feel. Something that is brand new to me and fresh. Exactly the type of place I would like to explore more! Sorry I got a little excited thinking about Istanbul. Anyways, we had the dinner at their Shang Palace restaurant the first night then woke up the next morning for a breakfast at their IST restaurant.
Breakfast had such a large selection of local Turkish and international foods. I would recommend that you stick with the hot dishes. Some of the bakery items were good but some could use a slight improvement. All looked very pretty nonetheless.
Shortly after breakfast it was already time to move on to the next spot! Shangri-La hooked it up majorly at the checkout. We were handed glasses of champagne and whisked away in the Rolls Royce to be driven to our next destination. I’ll credit this to my boyish good looks and athletic physique. Wink wink.
In conclusion I can’t wait to visit again! Lucky for me Shangri-La has many locations worldwide and I can’t wait to see how their other properties compare. What sticks out most in my mind is their attention to every small detail. Their strong points for me are all of the flawless interior designs, food quality and very attentive staff. They were able to create a very personal experience. Some hotels feel soulless but Shangri-La made me really feel like I was staying with people I knew. I’ve stayed in lots of luxury hotels worldwide and typically even the finest hotels miss details here and there but Shangri-La truly did very well and is among the very best I’ve ever visited.
There is absolutely no reason you should not stay at the Shangri-La hotel next time you’re in Istanbul and want to live large and in charge!
Sinanpasa Mah, Hayrettin Iskelesi Sok, No.1, Besiktas, Istanbul, 34353, Turkey
Phone: +90 212 275 8888