Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large
A king deluxe room at the Doubletree by Hilton Istanbul.
A king deluxe room at the Doubletree by Hilton Istanbul.

Central location and efficient service at Doubletree Istanbul-Moda

Hotel Insider Saeed Saeed is pleased to discover a quiet bolt-hole with views over the Bosphorus from Istanbul's Asian side, away from the tourist throng in this ancient city.

The welcome

A smiling porter is waiting for me outside the entrance and carries my suitcase into the lobby. The walkway leading to the glass doors is flanked by attractive gardens set with chairs. I've arrived in Istanbul a few days before the general election and I have to undergo a security check before entering. The security guard is both courteous and thorough as he scans my passenger bag and ushers me through a metal detector. The whole process takes about 45 seconds.

After the narrow streets and tight turns of the taxi on the way here, the lobby's spaciousness is a welcome respite. My arrival gets off to a bumpy start, however, when reception staff cannot find my reservation on their system. They ask me to take a seat on one of the many leather couches dotting the lobby while they "fix" the situation. My further 15-minute wait felt shorter thanks to the use of their complimentary high-speed Wi-Fi service. I'm offered a tasty chocolate-chip cookie, warm from an oven beneath the counter - a welcome note advertised as part of the Doubletree brand.

The neighbourhood

The hotel is located in the inland district of Kadikoy across the Bosphorus River on what is deemed the Asian side of the city. The hotel is easily the biggest building in a mostly leafy residential neighbourhood filled with apartment blocks and small townhouses. However, after only a few minutes walk you will find yourself in Bahariye Caddesi and Kadikoy's pedestrian zone: a labyrinth of walkways hosting an eclectic mix of shops, fashion boutiques and seafood restaurants. It is also viewed as one of the city's prominent cultural precincts with second-hand bookshops, vintage record stores and grungy live music venues.

The service

A welcome emphasis is placed on efficient service. Drink and food orders arrive without delay and the room service meal arrives exactly on the 25-minute mark as promised. When asked about local attractions, reception staff helpfully point me towards the nearby ferry station from where boats depart every 15 minutes for the Golden Horn and Istanbul's more famous landmarks. Disappointingly, they are less than enthusiastic about recommending local sights, such as Kadikoy's pedestrian zone, which, as it turned out, is a shopping and foodie's paradise.

The room

My room is designed to capitalise on the spectacular views of the Bosphorus, with large double-glazed windows and a king-sized bed placed in the middle of the room so you to wake up to a view of the river. That's if you wake up: the plush orthopaedic mattress, soft linens (300-thread sheet count), down comforter and comfy pillows make me sleep in past breakfast.

A large desk and ergonomic chair sit in front of the bed and windows, with a decent half-metre gap in between. However, the 32-inch LCD television clamped to a column beside the desk hangs precariously low; I have to swing it to one side to decrease the risk of head injury. But the star of the show remains the view. I sit on one of the two plush, green reading chairs and enjoy watching a flotilla of boats gently pass across the river.

The food

With the hundreds of restaurants on your doorstep, it would be a shame to have all your meals at the hotel. That said, the Doubletree is a worthwhile option for those wanting a change from local seafood and kebab dishes. The hotel's in-house restaurant, Doubles, serves international dishes both buffet and a la carte, while those with a sweet tooth can purchase a variety of local and international sweets from the in-house Bisou Patisserie located beside the lobby. I elect for a room-service dinner and the menu has enough tempting options for a three-course meal. I order a fresh mozzarella salad (26 Turkish lira; Dh59) which came with tomatoes, rocket leaves and balsamic vinegar, followed by a beefburger (28 lira; Dh64) which is slightly oily but flavoursome thanks to the caramelised onion, crisp beef bacon and cheddar cheese, with a side serving of thick wedges. For dessert, the Ottoman plate (21 lira; Dh48), featuring baclava with stuffed figs and apricots, is deliciously fruity.

The scene

Quiet. The hotel which opened in March, already hosts a number of business conferences, and is currently the location for a culinary TV game show. The local municipality is gearing up to sell the local area as a new tourism hotspot, so expect a growing number of tourists in the summer season; however, when I visit out of season, it is all power suits. The restaurants are quiet during my weekend stay, with only a handful of visitors enjoying a quite drink inside or a morning coffee in the garden outside.

Loved

The room's almost panoramic view of the Bosphorus River. Waking up to such a beautiful setting is what memorable holidays are all about. I also appreciate the complimentary Wi-Fi which is available all around the hotel grounds, allowing you to work in your room or in the gardens.

Hated

On two occasions staff walk into my room unannounced, apparently mistaking my room for another. They apologise profusely but such intrusions are embarrassing and simply should not happen.

The verdict

A hotel with plenty of promise. A very good base to explore the under-appreciated Asian side of Istanbul.

The bottom line

A king guest room costs 430 lira (Dh973) per night, including breakfast and taxes. DoubleTree by Hilton Istanbul-Moda, Caferaga Mah Albay Faik Sözdener Ca, Kadikoy, Istanbul (www.hilton.com.tr/eng/Doubletree-Istanbul-Moda; 00 90 216 542 43 44).

Back to the top

More articles


Editor's Picks

 This four-bedroom villa covers 4,790 square feet and is part of a new compound in Umm Suqeim.

In photos: Beachside villa in Umm Suqeim, Dubai for Dh800,000

Taking a closer look at a four-bedroom villa in Umm Seqeim, Dubai.

 Suresh Raina is part of the the IPL's Chennai Super Kings team, which take on Kings XI Punjab on April 18 in Abu Dhabi. Photo by Duif du Toit / Gallo Images / Getty Images

Chennai Super Kings cricketer Suresh Raina spotted at Ferrari World

One of the top batsmen and bowlers of the Indian Premier League’s Chennai Super Kings (CSK), Raina spent a day at Ferrari World with some of his team mates, and seemed to particularly enjoy the world’s fastest roller-coaster.

 Shah Rukh Khan plays a shot during a friendly match between the members of the support and administrative staff of Royal Challengers Bangalore and his Kolkata Knight Riders cricket team. Dibyangshu Sarkar / AFP

When the worlds of Bollywood and cricket collide

With the first game of the Indian Premier League beginning today in the UAE, we explore the league’s Bollywood connections, which are as glitzy as they are controversial.

 A rendering of People Abu Dhabi by Crystal. Courtesy People Abu Dhabi by Crystal

People Abu Dhabi by Crystal to open on Saadiyat Island

Abu Dhabi’s nightlife scene just gets better and better. After venues such as O1NE Yas Island and Iris in Yas Marina opening last year, it’s Saadiyat’s turn with the launch of the glamorous People Abu Dhabi by Crystal.

 Dumyé Dolls’s fashionable rag dolls. Rebecca McLaughlin-Duane / The National

Top takeaways from Fashion Forward and where to find them

The ideas and designs that caught our attention and where you can learn more

Events

To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National