The Novotel of Istanbul only opened recently and is a good hotel for a business trip or a short stay in the city. It is orderly and follows a linear layout, but one of its major assets can also constitute its weak point: its location. This is a good starting point for visiting other destinations, but is not ideal for more traditional holidays.
The establishment stands out for its good service and its attention to detail.
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It's conveniently located next to Atatürk international airport, only a 10-minute taxi ride away. The Novotel's neighbour, on the road that leads from the city to the hotel, is an Ibis establishment that offers the same service and is similar in style.
There is a shuttle service provided, which takes guests into town but not to the airport. Several times a day, the bus goes into the old town a little less than 3 mi away and makes a stop close to the blue mosque in the Sultanahmet neighbourhood.
We appreciated the colours and materials used in the modern-looking rooms. Thanks to their light wood and pastel tones, the rooms of the Novotel are luminous and simple. They're fitted with a good air-conditioning system and everything you need for a short stay. The rooms also have Internet connection, and in the 'executive' category there is a large desk where you can work, along with a fax machine, a phone and a computer.
Other than the standard and executive categories, the Novotel has suites, which are bigger and better equipped.
All in all, the hotel has 208 rooms.
The style is typical of the Novotel group, with some variations in terms of colour scheme and decor.
From the rooms to the restaurant, the hotel features abundant use of pastel tones, dimmed lighting, smooth surfaces and modern materials. Built and designed primarily for business travellers, the Novotel of Istanbul is an efficient and compact establishment. Nevertheless, it is not cold like other chain-owned hotels, and although it's homogeneous in every aspect, it still pays great attention to detail.
The entrance hall, where the reception desk extends into a spacious entrance, features glass doors and, to the right, a small lounge with some reading material.
A wall separates the waiting area from the restaurant behind it, and to the left of the entrance there is a long corridor that leads to the conference rooms. There are 7 rooms available to companies or guests for work meetings, conferences and presentations.
Food and drink
The restaurant's buffet is at the end of the long and narrow dining room. The abundant use of glass makes for an airy space and the layout of the tables has been carefully thought out to allow guests to make their way to and from the buffet easily.
Broadly speaking, the menu is quite varied but also rather unconvincing. The quality of the food is good, although we felt that the internationally-inspired menu was not daring enough for some tastes. The pasta is pre-cooked and tasteless, but the pastries are excellent.
Breakfast is copious and consists of a selection of sweet and savoury dishes, and some fresh fruit.
The Novotel is a typically urban establishment and doesn't have a private beach. In the summer, you have to go to Demirciköy for bathing (approximately 13 mi from the city centre).
In addition to its business clientele, the Novotel welcomes many English, German, French, Belgian, Greek and Dutch tourists.
This 4-star hotel opened in 2007.
This is not a luxury hotel. Its location is perfect for discovering the town (on foot or by taking a tram or taxi). Maybe choose to have lunch and/or dinner away from the hotel, as the food services here are limited, without forgetting the bar, which isn't very attractive.
This modest hotel has the advantage of being close to the centre of Istanbul. It is also located near Gülhane Park and the Galata Bridge, where groups of fishermen supply the restaurants below.
It is an establishment that will suit those who do not have high expectations and are just looking for budget accommodation for their stay in Istanbul.
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.
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This Ibis is located next to its sister establishment, the Novotel, on the motorway connecting Istanbul to its outlying districts and the international airport. Both establishments are members of the Accor group, which helps explain their similarities.
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The 'low-cost' booking system is another reason to choose this hotel.
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