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Hotel Crowne Plaza Old City Hotel 5 star
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Amy Adejokun Section editor

Before being turned into a hotel, the building served as an Ottoman University and then as a luxury apartment block: the history of the Crowne Plaza speaks of the grandeur of the infrastructure that has lost nothing of its charm in a century of existence.

The interior decorating makes abundant use of old-fashioned colours, thus creating a very strange atmosphere.
Thanks to its beautiful decorating, the 5 star level of service, and its central location, this is a good establishment if you're after a little more than just a bed in Istanbul.

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    Location 3.0 /10

    The hotel is located in the old town on the tram line not far from the Sultanahment stop. If you decide to get around by public transport, we recommend using the tram, as the hotel is only a 5 minute walk away if you get off at Laleli station.
    Expect your journey to the airport by public transport to take around 20 minutes (more during rush hour).

    Accommodation 7.70 /10

    Unpretentious luxury and elegance. The guest rooms at the Crowne Plaza offer an original style that will quickly have you feeling at ease: light colours, wall-to-wall carpeting, a fantastic view, everything is cosy and snug, with the daylight sifting through carefully designed fabrics. The layout is perfect, both clean and pure.
    The interior decorating is relatively simple, with the touches of luxury blending in discreetly. This creates a very casual and somewhat informal setting.
    The rooms come as standard, corner, deluxe, club, and suite: out of the 265, half are non-smoking.
    The deluxe rooms (3) are located on the top floor. Two of these (309 and 310) occupy the former restaurant, which was turned into bedrooms due to the difficult access, as there is no lift on this floor. These are now the hotel's biggest rooms. They afford a nice view of the city and over the Bosphorus, and one floor down guests can admire the restaurant's green terrace.
    Following an arched layout, these rooms are elegantly decorated with fine materials and nice wood. Their particular architecture serves to create various light blue spaces decorated in the Ottoman style.
    The bathroom is also worthy of interest, both for its size and the toilets that seem to be hanging in mid-air. Plus, the bathtub has hydromassaging jets, and bathrobes and a selection of brand-name hospitality products are provided.
    The standard rooms don't have the hydromassage option, but boast the same level of detail and care as the superior categories.

    Overview 8.20 /10

    As you enter the hotel, you'll be struck by its spaciousness.
    The Crowne Plaza occupies 4 historical buildings and relies on setting and space to impress its clientèle. There is a stairway (with an escalator next to it) leading from the street up to the huge hall, which stretches out under a massive glass dome. The architecture is imposing, mixing industrial and slightly baroque esthetic qualities. Everything is gleaming: the tiling, the surfaces, and the lighting (natural or not) reflected on little gilded coffee tables.
    It's a bit like walking into a huge glasshouse that can't quite hide its artificial nature but that can nevertheless surprise you as you arrive. When you see this building (or better still, these buildings), it's impossible not to wonder about their origins.
    Towards the far end of the hall, where you'll find a bar with some tables and a couple of luxury boutiques, the main building finally starts to resemble a hotel. The upper levels (4 in all), which you access via a glass lift (one in each corner of the buildings), look out onto the ground floor and include the guest rooms, whereas the common areas and the business zone (the conference room for example) are on the same level as reception.
    The spa, with the swimming pool, gym, and various treatments reserved for guests (along with the massages, these are the only services at the well-being centre that are not included in the price of your stay), is very well equipped.

    Food and drink 7.45 /10

    The restaurant's menu boasts a variety of local and international dishes, and the particularly bright room has a capacity of around 80 guests.
    The terrace affords a magnificent view and in summer plays host to frequent parties and special evenings. The service is good and will satisfy the most demanding of guests, who can enjoy Turkish specialties and other sorts of dishes.
    Breakfast is served in the same room but there is also a bar in the entrance hall. At the counter or at a table, this is the place to enjoy the world-famous Turkish coffee, an espresso, or a cappuccino (with a lot of froth).

    To know

    The history of the building is not devoid of interest. The hotel opened in 2008 in a former luxury apartment block that was used by wealthy Ottoman families during the 20th century.
    Before that, it was a 'madrasah', i.e. a university. Destroyed by a fire in 1894, it was rebuilt and restored between 1918 and 1922, after which it became
    the 'Harikzedegan Apartments' - 4 blocks with 124 apartments. The last units built during the final phase were called 'Tayyare' and were then at the height of technology (hot water, electricity, etc.). However, with the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, the apartments were abandoned.


    • Shuttle bus
    • Car park
    • Handicap access
    • Restaurant
    • Internet access
    • Air conditioning
    • Spa

      massage, beauty salon, sauna, hammam, stretching, keep fit, spa, Turkish bath

    • Swimming pool
    • Sports equipment

      gym, dance, fitness

    • Hairdresser
    • Whirlpool bath
    • Safe
    • Non-smoking rooms
    • Solarium
    • Meeting room


    • The history of the building
    • The style of the rooms
    • The location


    • The froth in the cappucino...

    Traveller Reviews

    • Overall Score nc/10
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