Story and photography by Melanie Votaw
Point Hotel Barbaros,
Yildiz Posta Çaddesi No: 29
34394 Istanbul, Turkey
The Point Hotel Barbaros in Istanbul is an ultra-modern 5-star property that is barely a year old. The taxi ride from the airport took 30-45 minutes, and I was greeted by a friendly, talkative porter who saw me to the reception desk. The front of the building has an easy drive-through for dropping off and picking up guests, and the lobby is expansive with a bar right in the center. Check-in was quick, and the staff, which speaks Turkish, English, German, and French, was very helpful.
Located in Sisli, a business district just north of Beyoglu and Taksim, the hotel is in the middle of a busy area that is on the other side of the Golden Horn from Istanbul’s historic sites. It isn’t terribly far from the main tourist attractions, but traffic in the city is a big problem. So, I got around using a mixture of public transportation and taxis.
Since I arrived late in the afternoon, I dropped off my bags in my room and quickly set out to visit the Istiklal Caddesi, the famous street in Taksim, which is the heart of modern Istanbul. My porter told the driver to take me to Taksim Square, and the ride was quite short – even in heavy traffic. Once at the Square, I could set out on foot to walk the length of the famous street, taking in the sea of people and the modern stores and restaurants that have made it famous. It was also easy to get a taxi back to the hotel.
My room at Point Hotel Barbaros was designed in a silver, gray, dark red, and black color scheme. The living area included shiny red, silver, and gray plaid curtains, a desk with a 40” plasma television, a couch with large throw pillows, a minibar, coffee pot, and table. The ample sized bath included a bathrobe, slippers, toiletries, hair dryer, and walk-in shower. The windows were even soundproof, so I had no trouble getting a great night’s sleep.
The bedroom area contained two single beds covered with silver metallic duvets and a large closet with a safe substantial enough to hold a laptop – something I always appreciate. I also appreciated the iron and ironing board since many hotels fail to provide them. I have found that I often need to press clothing at the last minute with no time to ask for laundry service.
The hotel offers a multitude of services. There is a gaming floor and a spa, as well as an indoor pool, sauna, Jacuzzi, solarium, Turkish steam bath, gym, and helicopter landing pad. Point Hotel also has a beauty centre, barber shop, and gift shop, and there are tennis courts and a golf course nearby. If you rent a car, free parking is available – something that is a necessity in Istanbul.
Besides three bars and a patisserie, there are three restaurants, one of which – Piola – serves Italian cuisine. ViewPoint, the international restaurant on the 18th floor, serves an enormous breakfast buffet with a wide array of meats, fish, fruits, breads, pastries, drinks – you name it. You can stuff yourself to bursting if you’re so inclined while gazing out on a panoramic view of Istanbul and the Bosphorus. I spent quite a bit of time looking out the windows in the morning before I even had a bite to eat. The view is truly spectacular from there.
As you would expect of a hotel of this caliber, reception and room service are both available 24 hours a day, and personal valet and babysitting services are also available. Room service doesn’t just provide food and drink, but games and game consoles as well like Playstation 3, Nintendo Wii, and Xbox360. WiFi is free throughout the hotel, and there are places in the rooms to connect a CD player and game controller.
Part of the WORLDHOTELS Deluxe Collection, Point Hotel Barbaros has 210 rooms that have either a city view or a view of the Bosphorus. There are also 69 executive rooms and 18 suites on its 27 floors, two of which are executive floors. Two rooms are equipped for the disabled, and there are 11 meeting rooms with the latest audiovisual equipment.
Room rates are quite reasonable for a luxury property in Istanbul at 180 to 475 Euros per night depending upon the type of room you choose. (Children under the age of seven stay for free.) Point Hotel has a property in Taksim as well, which also has a restaurant on the top floor with a panoramic view.
© February 2011 LuxuryWeb Magazine. All rights reserved.