Review: The St. Regis Istanbul (1 Bedroom Suite)

Lowest nightly rate: 185 EUR (200 EUR after tax)
When to book: One month in advance (Winter)

The St. Regis Istanbul is located in an upscale area near Macka Park. This property was my pick to use the 40,000 points free night certificate that I received upon surpassing 75-nights with Marriott Bonvoy in 2019. I was very excited for this one as it was my first stay in a St. Regis. Coming directly from my amazing stay at Sheraton Istanbul City Center, I had high expectations!

Arrival

There are only two desks servicing guests check-ins at the lobby. I was asked to have a seat nearby while waiting for my turn. I applied a Suite Night Award to this booking and was pre-upgraded to a 1 Bedroom Suite. As a Titanium member, I was offered complimentary breakfast in a 2 Michelin Star restaurant, Spago by Wolfgang Puck, from 0630 – 1030 hours. I was also offered a 4 p.m. check out without asking. That was nice!

Check-in desks
Check-in desks
Seating area in the lobby
Seating area in the lobby

After processing my check-in, I was referred to my friendly butler who explained more benefits that I could expect during my stay as we walked to the suite. This includes complimentary pressing of 2 clothing items and Turkish coffee and tea all day. I only cared about the breakfast, to be honest.

Corridor outside the rooms
Corridor outside the rooms
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Surprise

The hotel got in touch with me before the stay to ask about the things that we like so that they can provide a customized experience. From the list that I gave, they chose Harry Potter! It was a really nice surprise to receive a custom key cards, admission letters to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft & Wizardry, complete with themed cupcakes and wands!

Custom key card
Custom key card
Admission letters, cupcakes and wands
Admission letters, cupcakes and wands

The Suite (Room 415)

The suite felt luxurious but cluttered with very little negative space, especially in the living area. You could say it felt more Emirates than ANA. I liked the view of the Bosporus Strait and sunset from this room.

Bedroom
Bedroom
Living area
Living area
Work area and entrance to the bedroom
Work area and entrance to the bedroom
Coffee machine and capsules
Coffee machine and capsules
Dressing area and closet
Dressing area and closet
Pretty laundry bags
Pretty laundry bags
Bathroom
Bathroom
Laboratoire Remède toiletries
Laboratoire Remède toiletries
Mirror with built-in TV
Mirror with built-in TV
More toiletries and bath salts
More toiletries and bath salts
Partial view of Bosporus Strait
Partial view of Bosporus Strait

Complimentary Turkish coffee

After a quick room tour by my butler, I ordered Turkish coffee, which came very quickly.

Turkish coffee
Turkish coffee
Traditional Turkish candy
Traditional Turkish candy

The gimmicks

Not long after, I tried to draw the curtains through the automated switches. It didn’t work. I called the butler, who came in and couldn’t figure out why. He then called the technician. It started working after the technician pressed on the buttons multiple times. I had troubles with it throughout my stay. I don’t know about you but I hate it when gimmicky functions like these are added to operate simple tasks but end up failing. I mean, nobody is going to be unhappy for having to draw their curtains manually. What they could have done instead is include universal power sockets in the room.

Also, there were only 4 lighting modes, All On, All Off, Lounge and Night. I could not choose which exact lights I want to turn on.

EU power socket and dysfunctional buttons by the bed
EU power socket and dysfunctional buttons by the bed

More amenities

As the sun set, I couldn’t help but miss having an Executive Lounge. This property does not have one. Just as I was about to head out for dinner, the butler team sent up delicious-looking sweet treats on a fancy marble plate. Later that night, a box of traditional Turkish tea were also sent to my room as a gift

Complimentary sweet treats
Complimentary sweet treats
Complimentary boxes of tea
Complimentary boxes of tea
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The gym

The gym is nothing to be proud of. While equipments look adequate, it does not have any view, besides yourself in the mirror.

The gym
The gym
Treadmills facing the mirror
Treadmills facing the mirror

The breakfast

I take my hotel breakfasts very seriously. Even more so when it is in a 2 Michelin Star restaurant in a St. Regis. Right off the bat, service was cold. I was simply asked “do you want eggs?” No egg menu like what I got at Conrad Koh Samui, no suggestions either. I was offered a seat right beside the door but the waiter obliged when asked if I could sit by the window. The spread, although very well presented, was underwhelming. It was nice but nothing to shout about. I hate to make another comparison to a hotel that costs 4 times less but it is not better than that of Sheraton Istanbul City Center. Soon, I was presented with a bill of around $75. If the staff had checked my room number when I arrived, he would have known that breakfast is included with my room. When I raised the matter, he took away the bill and said “let me check”. 20 minutes later and there was no word. I had to call him back to ask if he did “check”. He said yes and apologized for billing me by mistake. It may seem like an honest mistake but even a Fairfield makes it a point to get the guest’s room number before seating him/her down for breakfast.

Rooftop restaurant, Spago
Rooftop restaurant, Spago
Great view of Macka Park from our table
Great view of Macka Park from our table
Cold dishes
Cold dishes
Cold dishes
Cold dishes
Pastries
Pastries
My picks
My picks

Conclusion

Although there was a little bit of hit and miss with the hardware and software aspects of this stay, it was an enjoyable experience. It also reminded me that when it comes to hotels, more expensive does not mean that you will get a better experience. Maybe I am just not fancy like that. I would pick a nice executive lounge over a butler any day.

Ratings

Value: 5/10
Breakfast: 8/10
Service: 8/10
Location: 9/10
Room: 8/10
Facilities: 9/10
Executive lounge: –
Elite member recognition: 9/10

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