Hotels Reviews

St Regis Istanbul Review – Turkish opulence booked with points

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St Regis Istanbul Review

The St Regis Istanbul has been on my list for quite some time since the point redemption rate is quite low compared to the cash rate…and I love a good St Regis. I really debated between the Park Hyatt Istanbul and the St Regis seeing as though they are neighbors just off Macka Park in a wealthy, residential, area of Istanbul.

The St Regis is the nicer of the two properties, but the Park Hyatt is 20k World of Hyatt points per night, and across the Macka Park you’ll find the Grand Hyatt which is just 12k points per night and close to Taksim Square.

The biggest downside to the location is you are FAR from the sites. But, if you’re doing a guided tour, it’s not a big deal and taxis are super cheap. If you’re looking for a Marriott property that is closer, I’d suggest the JW Marriott which has Bosphorous views and just a few minutes from the bridge to old town.

a building with many windows

Details:

  • When: January 2023
  • Where: Istanbul, Turkey
  • Rate: 174k Marriott Bonvoy
    • Drops down into the 30-45k quite often which is a downright steal
  • Status: Gold/Titanium
  • Upgrade:
    • Two twin park view room

Booking

Booking was super simple and done on the Marriott website utilizing my father’s account who is Titanium ( a bit of a Christmas present ). Note that a 5th night is free when booking points, and we were just one night shy of triggering that 5th night…painful to someone who always tries to eek out the best deal.

The view from the outdoor bar at Spago, which wasn’t open because of the winter. Surely a great spot to have a drink and enjoy a sunset during summer.

a rooftop with a hot tub and plants

Getting to the hotel

We ordered an Uber Black Taxi which had a ton of room and was only 750 Lira.

Location:

As I mentioned the St Regis overlooks Macka Park and feels quite residential. There are many restaurants nearby and the streets feel safe to walk at night since they are quite busy, but I would recommend keeping your wits about you in any area of Istanbul. The W is also quite close, maybe a 5 minutes walk toward the Bosphorus. There are a lot of pick-pockets, not unusual for big cities, and scam artists which we fell victim to on a shoe shine scam.

You can go across the park on a cable car – make sure you have a little bit of Lira, small bills, otherwise you will find it difficult, or impossible, to use the ticket machine. Luckily, we there was an attendant there to assist us.

It’s a 10 to 15 minute walk down to the Bosphorus where you’ll find the Ciragan Palace, Four Seasons Bosphourus, and the Shangri-la Bosphorous. You can also visit the National Palaces Painting Museum.

Check-in

As soon as you pull up to the hotel you’ll be greeted by porters who will take your luggage, and/or assist to you the check-in desk off to the left. At check-in we were introduced to our butler, who gave us his WhatsApp information and took us to our room, made dinner reservations, etc.

a room with a christmas tree and a decorated tree

Sabering

One aspect and feature of St Regis properties worldwide is champagne sabering each evening. The St Regis Istanbul saber a bottle of sparkling wine exclusively for us since there weren’t any other guests in attendance. That was pretty cool, and we followed it up with a meal at the St Regis Brasserie

a table with a bucket of champagne and a bottle of wine

Room:

The room is large, measuring somewhere between 450sq ft and 500 sq ft, bright with park views, and two twin beds. These are oversized twin beds as well, and each one has a side table with charging etc.

a room with two beds and a television

We had some welcome snacks as well. Such a nice touch.

 

Bathroom:

The bathroom is stunning, features a gorgeous marble floors, dual vanities, and large walk in rain style shower.

a bathroom with a tub and sink

Just off the bathroom is a large walk-in closet.

a closet with clothes on swingers

Dining:

The food at the hotel is excellent; however, despite the notoriety of Spago, I preferred dining at the Brasserie purely because of smoke. It’s worth noting breakfast is served at Spago, but we didn’t eat have it ( it’s a benefit of Titanium status, but it’s up to the hotel’s discretion to either extend the status to a guest – which was me booked as a gift from my dad – or not…they chose not ).

St Regis Brasserie – main level off the lobby.

We ate at the St Regis Brasserie a couple of times on our trip. On our first night we enjoyed a very good dinner there.

a room with tables and chairs

On the day of our departure we grabbed a light lunch which was delicious as well.

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Spago – on the roof top

We had drinks at Spago the first night, and I must say, the smoking was an annoyance. If you’re thinking of grabbing a drink, just note that there is a lot of smoking if you’re on the “outside” area which is really indoor/outdoor with a retractable roof. The biggest problem was the fact that, despite no smoking inside, it wasn’t really adhered to and our clothes wreaked of smoke.

On our last night in town we had dinner at Spago. Needless to say, it was wonderfully delectable, but…the smoke was noticeable again. Perhaps this doesn’t bother many people, but it bothered both myself and my buddy Dave. Regardless of the food being amazing, I don’t think I would go again just because of the smoke.

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Istanbul has so many incredible places, many with wonderful views, that paying the premium to dine at Spago, which could be done in the States, isn’t worth the premium if you have to battle 2nd hand smoke.

The Spa

 Located in the basement is the spa and gym. The spa is quite small, and I’d recommend booking ahead if you want to use the full facilities which include a water treatment room. I was under the impression it was a bit larger than it is, and would be shared with other guests. I was wrong.

a counter with a clock on the wall

When you make a reservation, which is complimentary to guests, you get a private swimming/plunge pool, while you’re there. Pretty awesome!

a pool in a room

Overall

I would highly recommend the St Regis Istanbul not only for the beautiful rooms and wonderful service, but I preferred having a hotel that was in a more residential area vs the chaos of the tourist areas.

a street with buildings and trees

With that said, is it worth the premium over the Park Hyatt? Not if you’re transferring points from Chase ( Hyatt and Marriott ), Bilt ( Hyatt ), or Amex ( Marriott ), and it’s certainly not worth $600+ a night…when there are so many great hotels at a fraction of the price. If you have Amex points and are looking for hotels…there is a Hilton Curio property that is next to the Blue Mosque and across the street from Four Seasons Sultanhamet

It is worth 30k to 50k Marriott points. For sure. Much more than that, and I’d opt for another option, most likely the JW Marriott Istanbul which looks very nice. We paid in the mid-50k range and the rate dropped right before we checked in. Unfortunately, because it was within the cancellation window we idn’t get any points back, but this is something to keep an eye on if you’re

Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities.

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5 Comments

  • […] visited the St Regis Instanbul earlier this year and could have done the same […]

  • Dennis July 5, 2023

    We stayed at the St. Regis Istanbul last October, points stay for several, nights used SNA to move us from a basic room to an Astor Suite. As a lifetime Platinum and Titanium member we were given free breakfast each morning, one of the most spectacular spreads in recent memory, and the coffee….delicious.

    STR does not disappoint, each night during turn down we were given platters of cookies, sweets and wine, so much that my wife had to take the extras for our flight back to SoCal. We were debating between this hotel and the JW, RC, and Four Seasons Bhosphorous, after reading way too many reviews on various sites we stuck with STR and we were glad we did.

    We broke up our stay in Istanbul by staying in ‘Old Town’ at the boutique Marriott property, Orientbank, an Autograph Collection hotel. This hotel was stunning inside, great breakfast as well, and we received an upgrade to a suite using SNAs. We toured Old Town for several days, visited a Turkish bath house and made the most of this incredibly historic area.

    We just came back from a trip to Bodrum and stayed at The Edition, another incredible hotel/resort on points…but that’s a story for another day.

  • Christian June 24, 2023

    Thanks for the in-depth review. I’m considering going to Istanbul for the first time this August or September and am a Hyatt Globalist. Is there a particular hotel you would suggest in the Hyatt portfolio?

  • CJH June 24, 2023

    Did you comment on the shoe shine scam?

    • Christian June 26, 2023

      No but I was curious so I looked it up on Ye Olde Internet. Interesting scam, kind of a cousin to the gold ring scam.

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