The first two nights that we were in Istanbul we stayed in the chic and calm Park Hyatt Istanbul, where we were cossetted in five star luxury.
For our final night, we moved to the W Istanbul in stylish Besiktas, just five minutes down the road by cab from the glamorous shopping area of Nişantaşı where the Park Hyatt is situated.
The thing that impressed me about both hotels is how they have managed to combine international hotel standards with a defined Ottoman feel.
Whilst the Park Hyatt is an art deco inspired building from 1922, the W has a more complex history.
Ten years ago, the area in which it is situated was rundown and neglected, and the landmark Akaretler Row Houses, Besiktas’ beautiful 19th century buildings were sorely in need of attention. A visionary developer saw the area’s potential, leased the buildings from the city and spearheaded the area’s redevelopment with the W property anchoring the scheme.
When you walk down the corridors of the hotel they prove the perfect combination of old and new. There are classic W touches: bright pink lighting features and a nightclub feel, but the corridors aren’t straight because the hotel has been constructed from several of the old row houses.
For me, this hotel sums up Istanbul old and new: as the city evolves, it’s important that it keeps its heritage whilst embracing its future, and the W does this admirably.
LLG was a guest of the W Istanbul