You already know that Mr Silver is my ideal travel companion, we complement each other in so many ways. By that, I mean he basically does everything I want as long as he gets some relaxation time!
When I was invited to stay at The Marti Istanbul Hotel, I was very excited, I’ve visited the city twice and I love the food, culture and nightlife. Sadly my regular travel partner couldn’t come with me, sad face. But fortunately, my best friend works as a teacher and it just happened to be half term…lucky for me! Anna and I have been best friends since we were five years old and she’s very used to Type-A ways. Actually, like Mr S, she’s very flexible and was perfectly willing to stick to my strict schedule, to randomly explore lots of hotels and of course to eat and drink too much with me.
The Marti Istanbul is a new five-star hotel located in the centre of Taksim Square, which is located in the newer part of Istanbul and a central hub for shopping, eating, drinking and general entertainment. Unfortunately, the extreme weather conditions made it impossible for us to explore the local vicinity of the hotel but one of my favourite travel websites CN traveller assures me that it couldn’t be better located. Plus it was easy to get to all the major historical sights despite the traffic.
Cold winds were already blowing sharply when Anna and I arrived in the city and we were pleased to get to the hotel and to our large Turkish Suite.
The room was well-appointed with a separate seating area and a plush blue velvet sofa.
Now, I’m very fussy about beds as my one at home is very comfortable and soft…
It passed my rigorous tests and it was like sleeping on a fluffy cloud….
And as it was so big, it was perfect for two friends sharing rather than a couple.
The bathroom, however was the star of the show…
It was huge and everything was fully marble with hammam style basins, under floor heating, a rain shower and best of all….
Loads of Molten Brown products! One of my favourite brands.
I was really excited to be on the trip with Anna as we hadn’t been away together since we went to Kavos after our A-levels…oh yes, I haven’t always been such a classy luxury traveller! Like kids in a candy store we went off in search of a glass of wine to explore the hotel….
As we were staying in a suite, we had access to the top floor lounge which included complimentary food and wine beverages.
Next we headed to the spa, which was on the same floor as the lounge. I would have loved to incorporate a girlie spa day with Anna but we had so many plans that we couldn’t fit it in. We did have a good nose around though…
The spa reception was beautifully zen with low lighting, wooden floors and soft furnishings; it led through to a separate men and women’s areas with a private sauna and steam room…
And of course of one these…
A hammam or Turkish bath is one of the quintessential experiences when visiting Istanbul, I’ve never tried it and I feel a little daunted by the idea. Basically you relax in the steam room wearing only a cotton cloth, then the therapist or attendant gives you a soapy scrub followed by a massage. Certainly an interesting experience!
Upstairs from the spa is a gym with a view. The gym is fully enclosed in glass so you can do your running and weights with a view from the city. Both Anna and I love exercise, but our trip was much more about eating and drinking wine than running on a treadmill.
Despite it not be open, the hotel staff let Anna and I relax in the lounge of the hotel’s restaurant, Quad on the Mezzanine floor.
They provided the sought after Sauvvy B…
As well as giving us a light seafood salad to sample.
The mezzanine floor overlooked the hotel’s grand atrium…
With it’s huge, glitzy chandeliers…
And purple colour palette and beautiful objets that blend modern and traditional Ottoman styles. Actually the hotel was designed by award-winning interior designer Zeynep Fadillioglu, who has also been celebrated as the first woman in Turkey to design and build a mosque.
Following a good nose around Anna and I went back to the room to get ready for a dinner at the hotel’s restaurant, Mixo.
The restaurant was relaxed and comfortable with plenty of choice including traditional Turkish options as well as pasta, pizza and salads.
Our glasses filled, the waiter presented us with a cheese board to enjoy with the wine.
I don’t think I’ve ever had a cheese selection before my meal, but it went beautifully with the wine and the delicious selection of bread
We ordered a couple of starters to share and the waiter suggested that we wait to order our main course.
We chose a traditional dish of manti or Turkish ravioli stuffed with beef mince and topped with yogurt, garlic tomato and butter. It was delicious and perhaps our favourite dish of the whole trip. Did you know that along with French and Japanese, Turkish is said to be one of the world’s great cuisines? Personally, I love Turkish food and I really think there’s something for everyone; on this trip I was keen to eat mostly Turkish so it was well-represented on the blog…but I did it SilverSpoon-style of course ;).
Our calamari was presented sweetly in a brown paper bag and included both salted and spicy.
I loved the perfectly crisp texture, but the portion was huge and coupled with the unexpected cheese board and my addiction to good bread, I was getting pretty full. We were glad the waiter had suggested that we held back on the mains.
For the good of the blog (!) we decided to share a main course.
As you know, I’m not a big meat eater but when in Rome / Istanbul we decided to order a meat kebab, consisting mostly of veal and beef. The dish was fabulous, but a very heavy option so we were unable to finish it.
I would have loved to finish the night with yet more wine on the rather spectacular roof terrace that I’d admired on the Marti’s website, but with the terrible weather this was just not possible.
In terms of breakfast, we ordered it twice to the room and requested a gorgeous fresh fruit selection with a healthy natural yogurt.
We also sampled breakfast at Quad which provided a vast selection including fresh bread and pastries, cold meats, cooked options and an omelette station.
In terms of service the doorman were quick to help us get taxis and the concierge came to our rescue when we had to cancel a restaurant booking due to the weather. However, the reception staff seemed a little unconfident and not always ready to assist. There was also a language barrier with more junior members of staff which made communication difficult on occasion.
All in all, Anna and I had a fab time at the Marti Istanbul, rooms and public areas were stylish and well-appointed but what really set the place apart was the fantastic food, and of course the wine…
Marti Istanbul Hotel
Abduhak Hamit Cad.
No: 25 / B Taksim Istanbul
+90 212 987 4000
We received two nights complimentary, including one dinner and breakfast, at the Marti Istanbul. We paid a reduced press rate for our final night.