The Ritz-Carlton Istanbul sparkles through an extensive renovation (REVIEW)

One of Istanbul’s first international luxury brand hotels, The Ritz-Carlton Istanbul has firmly established itself as one of the leading hotels of the Turkish metropolis. On my recent stay at the hotel, I was fortunate to discover the newly renovated rooms and suites, which are consistent with Ritz-Carlton’s sophisticated renovations approach at other mature properties, worldwide.

Boasting an enviable location overlooking the Bosphorus and within walking distance to Taksim Square, the beating heart of Istanbul, The Ritz-Carlton Istanbul has built a solid reputation on a high standard of service compensating, in a way, for the architectural structure of the hotel, an office tower building with a late 90′s design.

Set against breath-taking Bosphorus views, the rooms and suites at The Ritz-Carlton, Istanbul have now been renovated and were redefined through inspiration from the colours and forms of the city itself.

Rooms, suites and ballrooms at The Ritz-Carlton, Istanbul have been re-designed by acclaimed architects and artists to reflect the essence and historical tissue of the city. Portuguese designer Patricia Pina completed the interior design of the rooms and suites, while the ballrooms were designed by well-known Turkish architect, Hakan Yürüoğlu.

Gold and copper materials, shades inspired by the sunrise and the sunset, as well as different layers of colours have all achieved to breathe new life energy in to The Ritz-Carlton, Istanbul’s appearance. The hotel design now subtly reflects Istanbul’s rich history and heritage. The design elements which redefine the accommodations include cobalt blue china works, velvet and silk fabrics, the highlight being the headboards.

An artwork from “At Nağme” by Süleyman Sait Tekcan a precious representative of Turkish Gravue art, as well as wall panels that represent air and earth as in the Anatolian art of ceramics, produced by Industrial Designer Prof. Gülname Turan, were chosen for the rooms and suites. Glazed ancient replicas of money from the reign of Selim III stand out in the re-furbished rooms and suites. What is also easily noticeable is the high quality of materials and finishes used for renovating the rooms and suites.

However, most importantly, the new rooms and suites feel larger, brighter and warmer, with an emphasis on comfort and functionality, instilling a home away from home feel. Some of the luxury features of the new sleek rooms include improved soundproofing, ultra-HD LCD Tvs, central control pads, mood lighting, high speed wi-fi internet. A signature feature for all The Ritz-Carlton properties, beds are incredibly comfortable, with the finest bedding and linen.

I do hope that in the near future the hotel will also renovate the bathrooms as well as the intimate Spa and outdoor swimming pool. The  outdoor swimming pool deck with its al fresco dining offering is an ideal lounging and relaxing spot after a busy day in the bustling city. Unfortunately, during my stay the Club Lounge was closed but I am sure the hotel has plans to renovate it too.

I had an excellent dinner at ATELIER, the main dining venue of the hotel, where a lavish buffet breakfast is served, in the backdrop of the picture perfect views of the Bosphorus. I was particularly impressed with the room service, from the moment the order  was taken to the retrieval of the table. Lounging in your room and enjoying a late evening room service dinner while gazing at the Bosphorus is priceless.

The highest standard of service is achieved by the Front Office, Concierge, Guest Relations and housekeeping, staff being attentive, prompt and intuitive. There is room for improvement throughout the entire hotel at the level of English language proficiency of the staff.

Oliver Petcu in Istanbul