photo(4)Travel back in time, where the history of the Ottoman Empire meets contemporary and luxurious design.  Discover Turkish interior elements, featuring deep blues and terra cotta reds, mixed in with accents of gold and copper.  Bask in the glory of a 19th-century Ottoman Palace overlooking the majestic Bosphorus Strait. Located in the Besiktas neighborhood, the Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul at the Bosphorus offers plenty of easy to get to venues and sight-seeing opportunities.  DestinationReview

Upon arrival to the Four Season Hotel Istanbul at the Bosphorus, the beautiful courtyard filled with red flowers all encompassed by the expansive Ottoman Palace, can’t help but take your breath away.  Every member of the staff offered a hello and a smile, making sure they greeted every one of us, even the children.  As we checked in, our kids were quickly given their own 5-star service.  They were allowed to choose a welcome toy from a basket of goodies, and their picture was taken for their own special card, a pilot program, offering kids an upgrade for each subsequent hotel stay.  This stay offered them a free drink of their choice by the pool.  Four_Seasons

Istanbul Hotel Keeps History Alive

As we made our way to the room, we were impressed with all the fine details in the architecture and subtlety in the colors used to keep this piece of history looking just as elegant as it did back in it’s own glory days.  Our room was sophisticated yet comfortable.  You could actually live in this room, it was inviting, with the plush king sized bed and beautiful soft color palette.  Our view, provided by the lovely window seat lounge, looked over the grand entrance to the hotel and the gorgeous courtyard.  I could have sat in that window all day and night, but the marble bathroom suite, complete with the oversized bathing tub and L’Occitane bathing products beckoned to me.

The amenities were all what you’d hope for and more, including the option for free Wi-Fi for basic needs, or the ability to upgrade to a higher connection for a daily fee.

Attention to Details Abound

Our connecting children’s room was just as exquisite.  Three beds awaited the children, all decorated in fun child-friendly linens, and adorned with welcome gifts to keep them entertained while in the room.  Our children couldn’t have been more pleased with the personal touches made just for them, including separate welcome notes for each, as well as a tray of cookies and milk to help refresh them after a long day of travel.  The attention to the children didn’t stop there.  Throughout the next two days, they would return to their room finding more treats and gifts, as well as new fun linens on their beds.  They were also invited to a private meeting where they were able to discuss their likes and suggestions for their stay over a tall glass of fresh lemonade.  Talk about making your child feel just as important as the parents, the Four Seasons does it right.  And when it comes to the child’s menu for room service…superb!  The options were healthy and plentiful, and the prices were unbeatable.  Four_Seasons_kids

A Five-Star Stay at the Four Seasons

As wonderful as the rooms are, you’re sure to feel the same way about the rest of the hotel.  Enjoy the Aqua restaurant and their fabulous morning breakfast, the outdoor pool and spa over looking the Bosphorus (or the indoor pool with skylight), the fitness center, a full service spa, endless business related services and the list goes on.  You’ll surely find what you’re looking for here, and if they don’t have it, they help you get it.  For example, we were taking a cruise on the Bosphorus and needed a motion sickness remedy for my daughter.  The concierge was right there to help, and sure enough, first thing in the morning, he showed up with medicine for her.  That’s 5-star service.

Plenty to Do Nearby

Of course during our stay, we made sure to venture out into the hidden gems of the area surrounding the hotel, although it would have been easy to remain on site and indulge in one spa treatment after another, or get lost in the serenity of the pool overlooking the Bosphorus.  Just a short walk from the hotel, you can find yourself at Dolmabahce Palace, the Maritime Museum, the Besiktas tour boat area, and the charming town of Ortakoy…my new favorite village.  (Read more about 14 things to do in Istanbul.)

The Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul at the Bosphorus made a point to welcome us into their family during our stay, evident by my daughter’s tearful goodbye as we pulled away in our taxi.  It’s more than a romantic destination for adults, its definitely a place to welcome the entire family.  photo(5)