If the intense hustle and bustle of central Istanbul doesn’t appeal and you’d prefer to enjoy this amazing city from a more peaceful place, Wyndham’s luxurious, elegant, and perfectly positioned Istanbul Kalamis Marina Hotel is an ideal choice.
Located in an upmarket neighbourhood on the Asian side of the city with views of the Sea of Marmara, the hotel is still within just a 20-minute taxi ride to Istanbul’s exotic bazaars, world famous sultan’s palaces and imperial mosques, museums, coffee houses and tea gardens, and also the central marinas where you can take a luxury yacht for a cruise along the Bosporus. The best place to take in the splendour and majesty of the many palaces and bridges along the way.
After sightseeing all day, kindly arranged by the hotel’s excellent concierge down to the finest detail, even organising door to door taxis and entrance tickets , the hotel provides a welcoming peaceful haven to rest and unwind. It’s classical exterior houses a beautifully designed elegant and contemporary high-ceilinged lobby with glittering chrome and glass features. The corridors between rooms are dark, and softly lit– a sensory gift after being in the bright sun all day, leading to huge wooden doors to each eye-catchingly elegant room.
Our very spacious Corner King Sea View was a design delight. Very pretty in white, dove grey and silver, it featured a corner relaxation area with a chaise longue and lovely views of the marina with expensive yachts, a king size bed, large windows with further pleasant views and a luxury bathroom with large jacuzzi bath.
On our arrival we were treated to a gorgeously presented array of edible goodies and fine champagne, all of which were thoughtfully gluten free to cater for our specific needs.
If you would like a sauna too, then do opt for the hugely impressive Presidential King Suite which has a living room, king bed, lovely views of the sea, a sauna and jacuzzi with luxurious bath products to enjoy.
For quieter days away from the heart of Istanbul, the hotel offers plenty to occupy your time. We particularly enjoyed the large rooftop pool with stunning marina and sea views, and indoor pool at the Blue Harmony Spa. Here you can indulge in a classic Turkish steam bath ritual or a host of other treatments for body and face.
The hotel has no less than seven restaurants and lounges featuring flavours of both East and West to suit any palate. At sunset, cocktails at Jigger Roof Bar on the roof is a must, for its amazing marina views, and an informal lunch is perfect here too. It’s very popular with well-heeled locals who seemed to frequent the place every day in droves, as well as hotel guests.
Another venue at the hotel with glorious views of the sunset is its excellent Ouzo restaurant. Serving the freshest fish and delicious mezze it has the feel of a Greek meets Turkish tavern with an outdoor rooftop deck. Our meal was rather special – course after course of the most wonderful fare, paired masterfully with fine wine. The portions were incredibly generous so best avoid lunch to save your apatite! There’s live music too – and again this restaurant is a very popular choice with locals – always a good sign.
It really is worth seeking out this excellent hotel if you plan an Istanbul stay. It has it all – great location, luxurious spacious rooms, gorgeous views, wonderful dining, and a fantastic spa – and less than 30 minutes from central Istanbul. And if you happen to love cats.. this is absolutely the place for you, as there are a few friendly moggies who have made the hotel their home and are quite happy to pose for a photograph and even tolerate the odd kitty cuddle or two.
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By Lisa Curtiss