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PARK HYATT, İSTANBUL

hyatt1In swanky Maçka, İstanbul's Park Hyatt hotel is housed inside what was once the Maçka Palas apartment block built in 1922 by the Italian architect Guilio Mongeri who had also been responsible for St Anthony's Cathedral on İstiklal Caddesi. The two builidngs could hardly be more different though since the cathedral was built in a colourful and elaborate style while the apartment block is fairly austere despite the occasional swag of stone flowers on its facade. 

There's nothing remotely austere about the hotel, though, since it offers extremely spacious rooms in what is an atmosphere of discretion and restrained style. 

The gound floor suffers a little from the need to accommodate public amenities in an area not originally designed for that purpose. So reception is at the far end of a long hall which has a bar on one side and a dining area up a few steps on the other. It's here that you'll eat a breakfast which offers both an open buffet for cold choices and a served menu service for eggs and other hot dishes.

You'll need your keycard to operate the lift in a hint at the hi-tech that sometimes sits a little oddly with other aspects of the hotel. Every light switch, for example, is pushbutton; only the bedside lights can be operated with normal switches. 

My room was wonderful, larger than some İstanbul apartments I've stayed in. Being on the seventh floor it was very quiet even though it faced the main road although it's possible that lower rooms might suffer from some street noise. It also had a fine view over the impressive Anatolian High School building across the road to the Bosphorus beyond. hyatt2

By current standards the colour schemes here might be thought a tad restrained. On the other hand I found the muted fern, brown, coffee and green palette soothing, especially with the copies of Ara Güler photographs on the walls as highlight pieces. My bed was vast, as was the TV that offered a range of programmes in foreign languages. There were tea and coffee-making facilities as well as a fresh-water fountain and a complimentary bottle of Turkish wine. 

For me the real highlight of the hotel was my bathoom which offered a wonderful free-standing bath with a great range of toiletries and "mood" lighting in the ceiling above. There was also a small hamam basin with a stool in front of it and a set of Turkish bath accoutrements including a kese (mitten) and pestemal (bath wrap).There was even a private steam room cabin, with the toilet and bidet in a separate room and the normal washbasin in a space between the two. 

The room also came with a desk and a wardrobe big enough to accommodate an entire season's outfits. 

A new hotel restaurant opened in 2014. 

The hotel has a pocket-handkerchief-sized outdoor pool, as well as a gym and a few massage therapy rooms in the basement.

Thumbs up: Very spacious rooms, wonderful bathrooms, historic building

Thumbs down: Some have found the rooms a little too large...

Click here to book now

Tel: 0212-315 1234, istanbul.park.hyatt.com

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