Hilton Istanbul Bosphorus, Turkey – Hotel Review
Turkey stands at the crossroads of Eastern and Western society. Business travelers to its largest city, Istanbul, experience a bustling metropolis of more than 14 million inhabitants with a fascinating blend of modern cityscape, and a commingling of European and Islamic culture. Istanbul is also a transcontinental city – physically located in both Europe and Asia by straddling the Bosphorus.
Our trip to Istanbul began at Istanbul Ataturk International Airport – a 50-minute drive from the Hilton Istanbul Bosphorus. The resort was Hilton’s third location outside the United States and its dedication on June 10, 1955 was personally overseen by Conrad Hilton who unlocked the door of the hotel using a golden key.
Nearly 60 years later, Hilton Istanbul Bosphorus continues to have a significant presence in the city. The building is surrounded by 15 acres of gardens and houses a standalone convention center. As our driver pulled up to the hotel’s grounds, the vehicle was stopped by hotel security for an inspection of its underside. After unloading, and entering the hotel, we walked through a second security checkpoint – an airport-style metal detector. These extra measures are a likely aftermath of June 2013’s Taksim Square protests and follow-on unrest, but we never felt unsafe anywhere on the property or elsewhere in the city.
The check-in process went smoothly; our room was ready and, by the time we made our way up to the eighth floor, our bags were arriving.
Our room, though modest in size, appeared to have been recently refurbished and was tasteful, but that wasn’t what excited us.
The most dramatic part of the room was the view beyond – a nearly wall-to-wall window and doorway to a balcony, which included two chairs and a cocktail table, overlooking the city and providing an enticing vista of the Bosphorus.