A couple of months ago, I had to go to Istanbul for a day. I was looking for the best point value hotel (like always!) and found that the Grand Hyatt Istanbul looked like a great value. Here is my review of the property. TripAdvisor Reviews
Grand Hyatt Istanbul
The Grand Hyatt Istanbul is located in one of the more popular centers of Istanbul – Taksim Square. This is a fairly central location that will put you within short distances of many of the great sites of Istanbul.
The address of the hotel is: Taskisla Caddesi, Taksim, Istanbul, Turkey, 34437
I took the metro line from the airport to a bus stop to Taksim Square. I had the good fortune of meeting a young man at the airport who helped me in the travels and then took me on a bit of a tour around the area of Taksim. It was really nice to spend some time with a local (about 2 hours) to see, hear, and learn many things about the area.
On the return to the airport, I took a Havatas Bus. It is located about a 3 minute walk from the Grand Hyatt and is a bus that leaves every 30 minutes to the airport. The cost is 10TL (about $5). Considering that the metro/bus way costs $3, the bus is a real bargain. The buses are very clean and it is nice to not have to deal with carrying luggage on public transportation.
There are actually a couple different entrances to the Grand Hyatt. One of them is a private entrance (which I used since the guard took pity on me:) while the other is the main entrance.
The lobby is very nice and spacious. To be honest, it seems as if a good bit of room was wasted in the lobby area given how wide-open the area and little functional seating space.
Check-in was quick and painless. There are separate check-in lines for general guests and elite guests. The desk area was empty of guests when I arrived at 7PM on a Monday night. The agent was very helpful and spoke excellent English. She gave me my key and I was off to my room. She did ask me what my travel plans were for the following day and upon hearing that it was going back to the airport, she offered the hotel “shuttle”. That sounded good until I found out that the price was very high (I can’t remember exactly but well over $50!).
There are four classes of rooms at the Grand Hyatt Istanbul:
As a Platinum member, I was given a Deluxe room. The only real differences between the standard room and the deluxe room is that the deluxe rooms are on the higher floors. Both rooms have between 38-42 sq meters of space, shower with separate tub, and beautiful views. It was a pleasant surprise to find a very nice welcome basket when I arrived in the room. It was filled with fruit and dates with a nice welcome note next to it. Great touch!
There were plenty of outlets available throughout the room, including next to the bed. It always amazes me when a hotel has limited outlets – with all the devices that people carry with them, there should always be a lot of outlets! The internet was free and had decent speed. It was not as fast as I would have expected from such an upscale hotel, but it was passable for the limited work I needed to do (to get the faster speed, you need to pay for it).
The TV was a large LED but the available channels were limited from what most would expect. This is not on the hotel but something that I have found in many hotels throughout the Middle East. There were inputs available with a wide variety of plugs if you decide to hook up your own equipment to watch something.
The bed was just right for me. I know everyone looks for different levels of firmness/softness in a bed (the reason that SelectComfort sells so many beds), but I think most people will be happy with the mattress. I slept very well and was quite rested.
I love checking out the fitness centers at hotels. You can tell a lot about the attention a hotel gives to a fitness center as soon as you walk in the room. There are a lot of things that come into play with making a nice fitness center – great equipment, water/towel availability, plenty of machines, free weights, and climate. There have been many hotel fitness centers I have run in that have had great machines but terrible climate control.
For the Grand Hyatt Istanbul, all of those points were met very capably. I went down for a run in the morning (which is a great time to see how good machine availability is since many guests that use the fitness center go down in the morning) and found just a couple of the treadmills in use. The machines were LifeFitness models and had quality running surfaces. There were also cool towels and water in abundance – very important and well-done!
I liked the fact that the machines were facing floor-to-ceiling mirrors that looked out over the street. It helps to not feel so closed in when running on a treadmill. All in all, it was an excellent fitness center!
The Grand Hyatt Istanbul is a Category 4 hotel. That means the hotel costs 15,000 Hyatt Gold Passport points per night. I stayed there on my Hyatt Chase card anniversary night (the Chase Hyatt card gives a free Category 1-4 night annually). It is an exceptional value for the certificate (the Hyatt Chase card carries a $75 annual fee).
If you do not want to stay on points or using the certificate, the nights start at $190 for a pre-paid rate. I would not use points to stay there if the rate was that low or lower for your visit because you could use your Ultimate Reward points to pay for the night. If you go through the UR travel portal, your Ultimate Reward points are worth 1.25 cents per point. You can mix cash and points with it so you would be able to get away with using less than 15,000 Ultimate Reward points (which transfer to Hyatt at 1:1).