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The new Hilton will be close to this museum
Something’s going on in Turkey these days, with hotels announcing openings every month (or so it seems...). Now, Hilton Worldwide has announced that a new Hilton will be opening in Istanbul in 2013 around the the late summer/early fall period.
The Hilton Istanbul Bomonti Hotel & Conference Center is, right now, set to be the largest hotel in this bustling city with 829 rooms. 829! That’s a lot of heads on beds for a city that’s not Vegas.
Still, Hilton is strategically opening up properties in the area. The Hilton Istanbul Bomonti will be their sixth hotel in Turkey, with the most recent hotel opening being their first ever dual branded property –- the Hilton Bursa Hotel & Convention Center and Hampton by Hilton Bursa.
No, it’s not, and more than that, it’s a treatment that challenges your sense of personal space.
But let’s start at the beginning. During our recent trip to Istanbul this year, it seemed that it would almost be a crime to not have a Turkish hamam in Turkey. So we headed to the Amrita Spa at the five-star Swissotel The Bosphorus hotel.
With a health club and indoor pool attached, we knew that this spa was a good choice because it was filled with locals as well as tourists. There was already a good vibe at the check-in counter, where you could see a dimly-lit pool within the inner sanctum of the spa. With our escort, we walked deeper inside until we reached the changing room with all its many amenities: showers, sauna, private rooms, etc. Once we were wrapped in our towels for modesty’s sake and ushered into the hamam, our coverings were removed and modesty was now forever damned. This was the exact point when the hamam experience became interesting.
There are some pretty swanky hotels found across this great big world, and Swissôtel Living in Istanbul is definitely one of them.
Swissôtel chose to launch their new extended stay concept hotel in cosmopolitan Istanbul, whose vibrant history is engraved in its culture. But as important as its traditions still are, Istanbul is definitely not a city stuck in the past, as evidenced by the makeover of this former residence and office rental building. Before the company took over the management of the property, located right beside its five-star Swissôtel The Bosphorus, the place was badly in need of a reno. After a top-to-bottom gut a la Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, it opened as the über-modern and luxe Swissôtel Living.
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We hate to see rooftop season go, and with fall officially beginning tomorrow, places will start closing up shop soon. Which is why we've asked our HotelChatter editors and contributors to pick their favorite hotel rooftops around the US and Europe in case you haven't visited one yet. Ever the optimists, we'll say there are a few weeks of prime rooftop hopping left before annoying things like rain, wind chill factor, and snow block us from the outdoor lounging we love so much.
Use this guide to get your pre-Fall affairs in order!
Pod 39, New York City
Word's gotten out about midtown's newest hotel rooftop bar, located on the 17th floor of the Pod 39. And why not? Enclosed by a series of majestic terra cotta columns and slender brick archways, the al fresco space feels more like a re-discovered Greek temple than the regular old Manhattan standby. But, it's a bar alright. Cocktails like the delicious Weathervane (rye whiskey, grapefruit juice, campari, ginger, and a sprig of fresh rosemary, $12) make a great accompaniment to up-close views of the Empire State Building, Chrysler Building and neighboring Queens. (ASchechter, Assistant Editor)
See the rest of the picks after the jump!
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Has the experience of a really good shoe shine ever stayed with you...even after you've left the hotel?
Well, that's the kind of impact Ritz-Carlton is hoping to make with their brand new video series, "The Art of the Craft," which offers portraits of individual employees toiling away in their natural hotel habitats: sommeliers, chefs de cuisine, shoe shiners. They're all here, representing different corners of the vast Ritz-Carlton empire, and all managing to make whatever it is they do (work) look like the total opposite of work.
We just watched two clips from the new series, and have to admit—if nothing else, the sommelier made us want to have a drink, and the shoe shiner made us want to get our shoes shined. Mission accomplished?
Over on Jaunted, you can get our inside looks at some of the world’s best airline lounges, so we thought we’d do something similar here and start talking about some of the hotel lounges we’ve frequented lately for our series on Hotel Club Lounges. Today, HotelChatter contributor Eric Rosen takes us along with him to the Club Lounge at the Ritz-Carlton Istanbul.
Though the regular service at an upscale property like the Ritz-Carlton Istanbul is often impeccable, getting a Club Level room here confers a host of added benefits and perks. The hotel has dedicated Club Level floors on the 11, 12 and 14 stories, but guests staying in rooms on other floors can also obtain club access for a premium fee added onto the room rate (about 65 euros per day, from what we can tell from the online reservations system).
Last week, HotelChatter Special Contributor Eric Rosen explored the historic back alleys of Istanbul and checked out the Edition Istanbul, a mysterious property which we've only heard about from afar. It's also currently the only Edition Hotel in the world.
The 78 rooms at the Edition Istanbul were designed by Gabellini Shepherd Architects in two different palettes: a soothing milky “Soaped Oak,” and the richer, more masculine “Dark Rosewood,” which is what this room on the 7th floor was.
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A Viceroy will be in these parts soon.
Fresh after adding Cassa New York to their collection and seeing the departure of president Nicholas Clayton to Jumeirah Hotels, Viceroy Hotel Group has just announced the Viceroy Istanbul will open in 2013, a year earlier than we expected.
The hotel will be a part of the rising Nef Bebeköy Development.
Spread across ten separate buildings and over 16 acres of land, offering 58 guest accommodations, Viceroy Istanbul will boast spectacular panoramic views of the Bosphorus, the strait that forms part of the boundary between Europe and Asia, and direct access to a tranquil outdoor garden and forest area. The property will offer guests and residence luxury services including a casual and signature restaurant, banquet and meeting facilities, an outdoor art gallery, and a state-of-the-art full service fitness center and spa.
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Going strong from their recent W Paris opening, Starwood barrels through yet another major opening in Europe, this time with Le Meridien Istanbul Etiler. The 259-room hotel is actually, as you can see above, comprised of three separate blocks all stacked on to of one another.
Kind of a cool concept, and we'd expect nothing less from Le Meridien, which is perhaps Starwood's most design-oriented brand. But the real art here doesn't have anything to do with picture frames or collectible key cards. Judging from these new images of the guest rooms, the views of the Bosphorus are absolutely killer.
Leading us to think that, of all the "blocks," you're really better off picking a room in the top third of the hotel. As far as inspiration, we think gazing down on gorgeous, sprawling Istanbul will certainly do the trick to get the creative juices flowing.
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Tides Riviera Maya, now the Viceroy Riviera Maya
Now that the Tides South Beach is no longer a Viceroy Hotel (it belongs to cool kid hotel brand, King & Grove), we've been wondering what would be happening to the Tides Hotel brand that Viceroy had spun-out from this iconic South Beach property. Well, today we have our answer. Sort of.
The Mondrian's gal will be getting around soon.
Gosh, it's not even 2012 yet and we're already thinking ahead to 2014. That's because in addition to opening a hotel in London, Mondrian Hotels is planning on opening another hotel abroad--in Istanbul.
The press release put out yesterday by parent company Morgans Hotel Group says that Mondrian, the whimsical and fanciful design brand, will open a 128-room room in Istanbul's Old City area. And the hotel group's new partners, The Light Group will create original food and beverage options for the hotel. There will also be a spa, renovated from an existing historic Turkish bath.
Can't wait until 2014 to test out these new Mondrians? Word is the Mondrian Qatar should open in early 2013. Sadly, the Mondrian Bahamas (yes, Mondrian is going Caribbean) will not be open until 2014. We better rest up because we will be sleeping around a lot in the next few years.
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UPDATE: Turns out that the color scheme in the two photos is totally different for a reason! There are two color schemes available to the rooms: Dark Rosewood (the dark one, pictured above) and Soaped Oak - the lighter color, visible in the renderings. For new pictures of both color schemes, see after the jump.
It’s heeeeere! We’ve spent every day of the last three weeks scouring Edition Hotels’ Facebook page and website to see whether they’d put up rooms of the Edition Istanbul, and although there’s still no joy on either count, we now have our hands on the very first picture of a room. Time to play a game of 'Is It Anything Like The Renderings?'!
The good news? In size and style, it looks almost exactly like these pictures of what the rooms were meant to be like, apart from one small thing – the color scheme is totally different! It’s gone from a cool ash color on the walls and floor to a much warmer, redder wood. And even the lamps floating from the ceiling have morphed from a silvery bronze to a gold color. At the time, don’t forget, we were told that:
Designed in conjunction with Gabellini Shepherd architects, the Istanbul Edition aimed for "quiet elegance" and "modern luxury" by using a color palate of bronze and silver-gold, with extensive use of pale and dark woods.
Unless the color balance has been touched up beyond recognition, we don’t see any of that pale wood. Not even on the ceiling.