Fairmont Quasar Istanbul, a true urban luxury resort (REVIEW)

Located in Istanbul’s Sisli district, a vibrant neighborhood blending commercial, residential and retail yet situated close to major attractions in the city, Fairmont Quasar is housed within a modern mixed used complex of two 41-story towers,which includes retail, offices and residential. The complex is conceived as an upscale lifestyle destination that would cater to both locals and travelers.

The central piece of the complex is the former Mecidiyeköy Liqueur and Cognac Factory. Built in the 1930’s on then undeveloped land, the factory was designed by Robert Mallet-Stevens, who with Le Corbusier was among the most influential modern French architects of that era. The former distillery, located adjacent to the hotel has undergone a meticulous restoration to become a culture, fashion and arts center for special events and exhibits.

The Fairmont Quasar Istanbul reflects a sophisticated contemporary design, focused on functionality and ultimate comfort. The use of the highest quality materials and the finest quality of finishes is obvious throughout the entire hotel.

From the moment you enter the hotel, you will be impressed by a highly residential feel, the lobby area resembling a large living room with comfortable sitting areas, boasting a contemporary, yet sleek interior design, which features subtle cues to traditional Turkish aesthetics. Complementing the warmth of the design is the heartfelt welcoming spirit extended by the entire team of the hotel. I was particularly impressed with the pick up driving experience organized by the hotel, with a highly knowledgeable and courteous driver, otherwise a doorman at the hotel. While in the lobby, make sure you do not miss the Marble Bar which features a strikingly luxurious design, serving a wide range of cocktails and drinks.

Although open for less than a year, the hotel has succeeded in establishing a highly successful Turkish cuisine restaurant – Aila. At the time of my visit, the restaurant was fully booked, hosting mostly local patrons, which is a huge achievement, considering Istanbul’s highly competitive and sophisticated gastronomic scene. Aila offers authentic Turkish mezze served in a dedicated bar and a central ‘ocakbaşı’, the traditional Turkish grill, in an elegant and sophisticated ambiance given by luxurious interior design. However, the dining concept boasts a competitive pricing which  The restaurant also boasts a Spice Library featuring the full panoply of colorful spices from the Spice Bazaar, where guests can also purchase spices. There is also an outdoor terrace space.

The all-day dining restaurant of the hotel, Spices, serves a most lavish buffet breakfast, with a wide selection of international food items as well as local delicacies. It is probably the best breakfast I experienced among luxury hotels in Istanbul! Similarly to Aila, the Spices restaurant boasts a very high standard of customer service – intuitive, attentive and most importantly, genuine.

The Demlique lounge is perfect for afternoon tea or a traditional Turkish coffee accompanied by freshly baked pastries, light bites as well as classic English pastries and Turkish delicacies.

The hotel offers not only a wide dining selection but also a 2000 sqm state-of-the-art Spa, which includes an indoor heated pool with a retractable glass separator that opens up in spring and summer and a stunning outdoor pool designed by Marcel Wanders with views of the Bosphorus. The Willow Stream Spa also features a sophisticated gym, a Yoga Room, a traditional Turkish hammam, several treatment rooms for body and skin treatments as well as a hairdresser. I enjoyed an exceptional Spa experience with a signature massage which provided the ultimate relaxation, with a highly skilled therapist.

Rooms follow the same aesthetic centered around sophisticated comfort, with floor-to-ceiling windows and balconies that reflect views of the Bosphorus. A select number of accommodations also include a private Turkish bath, complete with authentic tap and basin as well as a heated pedestal. Beds are heavenly comfortable, with high-thread bed linen. Housekeeping make sure rooms are impeccably serviced.

Under the helm of highly experienced hotelier Kai Winkler, Fairmont Quasar has established itself not only as one of the finest luxury hotels in Istanbul, ideal for both leisure and corporate guests, but also one of the finest Fairmont branded properties I have ever experienced.

Watch here a video preview of the One Bedroom Suite and here a general video presentation of the hotel.

Oliver Petcu in Istanbul