This post is part of Random Hotel Review Month. Today we review the Conrad Istanbul Hotel from my April 2013 visit. Other Random Hotel Reviews: Westminster Hotel.
The last night of my trip to Istanbul and Athens with my dad and brother had us staying at the Conrad Istanbul for a night. We had read on TripAdvisor that the hotel was undergoing a renovation and that some rooms were recently updated while others were in need of an upgrade.
We walked into the hotel with every intention of getting one of the newer rooms, but while we were at the checkin desk we were offered a room upgrade for one of the older rooms. Weighing a larger room for 3 people compared to a smaller and more up to date room, we chose to go with more space, figuring comfort was more important than luxury for the 12 hours we’d need the hotel room before catching our flight the next morning.
The hotel was located further away from the action than our previous hotel in Istanbul, the Hilton Istanbul, but since we were only using this hotel as a resting point we did not mind the added distance. If I were to visit Istanbul again I would likely choose a hotel that is closer to the Old City of Istanbul. Traffic is so bad in the city that being even a mile closer to the old city could save hours of walking/driving.
The hotel lobby is very open and inviting. With stone and marble columns, the first impressions of the hotel are that it feels like it must have been a high end independent hotel before being converted to a Conrad.
I took photos of the lobby area while my brother and dad checked in. As mentioned above, we received an upgraded room due to my brothers Hilton Honors gold status. We were both trying to burn our Hilton Honors points after their devaluation, so this was an opportunity to find value in our points right before the devaluation took place.
Rooms at the Conrad Istanbul
Our room was simply a place to rest for the night, so we were not overly concerned with how things looked.
The room consisted of a bedroom and a separate seating area. This was a welcome amount of space for 3 people sharing a room.
The bathroom was nothing special, but did feature nice counter tops and tile.
The funniest part of the room was surely when we walked in to see a child crib in the bedroom instead of the extra bed we had ordered. That would not have been comfortable for anyone. Once we alerted the hotel staff of this mixup they kindly replaced our bed in short order.
As you can see from the room photos, you are not blown away by the decor or opulence of the room. It was just a basic looking hotel room and I can see why they were remodeling to become more modern looking.
Dining at the Conrad Istanbul
We arrived at the hotel in the evening and decided to check out the executive lounge. We quickly found that the lounge was currently closed and that a temporary location was set up on the second floor of the hotel. While I give them credit for having a makeshift lounge, it was not nearly as good as our experience at the Hilton.
While there was plenty of seating, there were few food options to choose from and a limited beverage selection as well.
There were a few modest food options including fish and some other strange food options. The food was average at best.
We spent some time unwinding in the lounge and enjoying local wine and Efes beer, but would have welcomed better food options.
Since we needed to get up early to leave for the airport, we did not eat breakfast at the hotel.
Conrad Istanbul Hotel Review: Overall Impressions
By staying at two Hilton properties in the same trip it was easy to make direct comparisons between the two properties. Despite having the same price and similar reviews on TripAdvisor, the Hilton Istanbul was clearly the better property of the two.
The room at the Hilton was more recently updated and had a better view of the city. We also found the Hilton’s executive lounge to be better stocked with options and had more attentive service (hopefully this improves when the main lounge opens back up). Last, the location of the hotel made it easier to reach the main tourist area of Istanbul.
There were no categories where we considered the Conrad to be a better hotel by comparison. Perhaps the hotel will be worthy of the Conrad name once remodeling is completed, but I will stay elsewhere next time I am in Istanbul.