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Ritz Carlton Hotel - Istanbul, Turkey | Hotel Review

5 Star, Luxury Hotel in Istanbul

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Ritz Carlton Hotel - Istanbul, Turkey - As five star, luxury hotels go, The Ritz Carlton Hotel in Istanbul ranks up with some of the best as far as accommodations, view and location go. Service however, lacked in some areas. The Ritz Carlton is located on the Bosphorus Sea and just a short walk from Taksim Square, a main tourist area for shops, caf├ęs, walking and people watching.

First Impression/Lobby: - We arrived at The Ritz Carlton early in the morning. The bellman and doorman were nowhere to be found, which is odd for a five star hotel like The Ritz. Was it because it was early in the morning or was it a sign of things to come?

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Reception: - As we approached reception, we were quite sure our room would not be ready until afternoon so we were planning to stow our bags and look for something to keep us busy for the next four to six hours. To our surprise, the receptionist, who must have been having a bad morning or simply was not a morning person, grudgingly mumbled that our room would be ready in an hour. We told him we would be have breakfast in their restaurant and to let us know when it was ready. Over an hour later, we checked back at reception, "15 minutes" she said. Another 30 minutes later and we were finally given the key to our room. Here's my dilemma; do we get disappointed for being told it would be an hour and then having it be over two hours later or should we just be grateful that we did not need to wait until after noon? In my opinion, especially at a five star luxury hotel, they should do what they say and if things change and they are not able to meet their commitment then inform us so we can plan accordingly.

The Room: - We had booked a Front Bosphorus View Deluxe Room, which, according to the Ritz Carlton web site, offers a full view of the Bosphorus. Our room had anything but a full view. I called the front desk to see make sure we actually were in the correct category room and they said this was all that was available. If we wanted, we could stay there until the afternoon and they could move us to a different room. Later that afternoon when I called to see when we would be moving they said the room they were going to move us to was no longer available. After some calls back and forth, we finally were moved to a full view room just as we had booked. That is, except for the fact that our room was a "non-smoking" as we had requested, however, if a guest wants to smoke in it they could. Needless to say, the previous guests had smoked in the room and sure enough, the room did smell of smoke. Another two calls, one to housekeeping and another to reception and the room was serviced and they were able to mask the smell. Once again, The Ritz said one thing but did not follow through. I was beginning to see a pattern.

Room Service: - Room Service is where the The Ritz began to shine as a true five-star, luxury hotel. The in-room dining menu was large, the prices reasonable, the food bombastic! Each time we ordered from Room Service it was delivered on time, accurately, and the food was perfect. A big thumbs up for Room Service and its staff.

Concierge: - The Concierge service, both in the main lobby and in the club level lounge was not five star service. From the confusing tour information to the sub-par dining recommendation, Changa Restaurant, service and recommendations were that of an inexperienced, unprofessional and almost comical staff. Professional and "in the know" are not words I would use to describe this group.

Pool/Spa/Gym: - The pool is gorgeous, however with its low ceiling it could make you a bit claustrophobic. The spa is small, as is the gym and its facilities; however it is all top of the line. Seeing the Ritz does not sell itself as a resort and spa, I rank the facilities for the hotel as adequate to good.

Reception: - With our gorgeous room and its beautiful view and the bombastic room service, there was no reason to try out the hotel restaurant other than the first day we arrived. If the food and service of room service and of the morning buffet breakfast in intemani Restaurant is any indication, I am confident that all the restaurants are stellar.

Overall Impression: - What makes this five-star, luxury hotel bombastic is its location, the view, the infrastructure, accommodations and its support staff (housekeeping, room service). Where it fails is where most five star hotels and resorts perform so well; reception, concierge and the club level staff.

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