Crowne Plaza Istanbul – Harbiye – a Hotel Review

Taxi to the hotel from the airport was TL75. Make sure you prepare small change for the driver. The hotel is located in the Harbiye district and about 10 mins by car from Taksim. Taxis to Taksim and the ferry terminals costs around 15TL and to the old town it costs around 30-40TL.

Hotel signage
Hotel signage

Reaching the hotel around 6:40am, I was surprised to be able to check in and obtain an assigned room. It was a quiet check in since there was no small talk and I was just provided my key cards immediately after handing over my passports. My perception was the front desk agent was perhaps not very familiar with the English language since he was on the night shift.

Reception desk
Reception desk

Room No: 2019 Category: Superior Corner Club Room

What was nice arriving so early was to discover the room was very large and more like a junior suite in some other hotels.

Floor plan
Floor plan

On entry, the King bed lies on the right of the door facing a desk in the middle of the room. There are reading and ambient lights on both sides of the bed and above the headboard. Master lighting control on both sides of the bed makes it easy to switch off the lights while the curtains are electric operated on the right side of the bed. All these are features found commonly on top end hotels so it was nice to see them in this property.

Bedroom interior
King bed in the room

The TV screen is hung onto the pillar in the centre of the room but it is not swivelling. The desk itself is a good size for working with its own hanging lamp. Wraparound windows in this room ensures plenty of natural light making this room conducive for guests who wants to work inside the room.

View of the living space
View of the living space from the entrance

Behind the desk are 2 lounge chairs and the wardrobe with a minibar. Both lounge chairs feature legrests and they are comfortable for lounging. The only drawback of the room is the lack of power outlets as there was only one by the minibar and 2 underneath the desk. No power outlets on the bedsides makes it difficult charge your phones if you use them as a travel alarm as well.

View of the suite
View of the suite

There are additional power outlets by the TV though it renders the TV useless when using them. Guests should also note the power is cut off for charging when the key cards are taken off the dock by the entrance.

View of the closet corner
View of the closet corner

On the left side of the room guests will find the bathroom, which is spacious. It features double vanity and a toilet that has an in-built bidet. However the bidet was not as advanced as the one found in Japanese hotel toilets.

Double vanities
Double vanities in the bathroom
Bathroom interior
Bathroom interior

The shower is shared with the bathtub but it was nice setup such that water does not splash out even when using the shower.

Shower area and bathtub
Shower area and bathtub

Amenities were somewhat standard since it was a generic brand, but the hotel was very generous with them, giving double sets of the toiletries complete with smaller items like cotton buds, comb and dental kits.

Amenities in the countertop
Amenities in the countertop

Two bottles of water were replenished daily for guests and there was no other welcome amenity. Inside the room was a pillow menu where guests could choose from a range of pillow from the bed from neck support to goose down pillows. There are more amenities like a shoe horn, shoe polish and paper bags inside the closet. With all these amenities in mind, the hotel seems to position itself as an upmarket hotel.

Closet amenities
Closet amenities

Restaurants and Bars

In the lobby level, there is a nice bar in the hotel with plenty of seating by the bar tables or on one of the lounge chairs in the lobby. The open space might not be the most exciting but it was adequate for socializing after dinner.

Bar counter
Bar counter
Lobby lounge
Lobby lounge

Breakfast at EGE Restaurant

Breakfast is served in the hotel’s only restaurant on the lobby and the main buffet section was filled with the basics of a Turkish breakfast platter.

Restaurant in the lobby
EGE Restaurant in the lobby
Vegetables and cheese
Vegetables and cheese

There was several kinds of cheese including strand cheese, feta and cottage. Condiments like spices and herbs were added to some of the cheese making for a tasty breakfast dish. Cucumbers, tomatoes, sliced bell peppers can be found alongside the cheese.

Cheese with herbs and spices
Cheese with herbs and spices

On the side of the buffet was a large bread section with all kinds of bread ranging from French baguettes to white toast. There was some muffins and bagels available as well.

Assorted bread
Assorted bread

Next to the bread, guests could fund a wide range of olives and raisins.

Olives and dried fruits
<Olives and dried fruits

At the next section was a wide range of preserves and molasses that could be placed on edible cone cups.

Jams and molasses

The restaurant features an open kitchen with a hot and cooked food station. The dishes here includes lentil soup, sausages, sautéed mushrooms, fried potatoes, scrambled eggs and French toast.

Lentil soup and sausages
Lentil soup and sausages
French toast and sauteed mushrooms
French toast and sauteed mushrooms
Scrambled eggs and potatoes
Scrambled eggs and potatoes

Another counter on the buffet was for a light breakfast with lighter dishes like breadsticks, oatmeal, cracker, wafers and other dishes lighter in calories and smaller in portions. This is definitely for guests who are watching their diet.

Breadsticks and butter
Breadsticks and butter
Crackers, cookies and condiments
Crackers, cookies and condiments

Spa and Fitness Centre

At the basement level, there is a spa and fitness centre. Prices for massages is reasonable for a hotel but the treatment rooms are not the best in the industry. There is a relatively large fitness centre with adequate machines and treadmills for a good workout

Treadmills in the fitness centre
Treadmills in the fitness centre
Weights and mats in the fitness centre
Weights and mats in the fitness centre

In the same floor, guests can find an indoor swimming pool. Due to the basement location the space is quite dark and did not really interest me in taking a swim at all.

Indoor swimming pool
Indoor swimming pool

A nice amenity located in the spa is the Turkish hammam at the end of the male and female spa and sauna area. These facilities were empty when I visited on a Sunday evening with only one guest swimming.

Turkish bath
Turkish bath in the spa

The hotel also encourages guests to jog with water and jogging route maps found in the lobby. There is a small gift shop located by the elevators and a concierge and tour desk for guests looking to do some guided sightseeing in the city or those who seeks to take a Bosphorus cruise.

Jogging map route
Jogging map route

While I booked the room using the IHG Point Break which meant I had a good deal on the redemption, there was no breakfast included. However upon checking with the front desk I was told it would be on the house. It was definitely a perk to be an IHG member booking this property as they treat basic members well.

Concierge and tour desk

Service in the hotel was slightly better than I expected but it was not overly friendly. Though this is perhaps due to language barriers. The hotel’s location is not ideal so I do not really recommend it for first time travellers. However, the upgraded rooms and free night stays made it worthwhile for me and if you are comfortable with using Uber which is relatively cheap in Istanbul, I certainly would give this hotel a try!

Armchair in the elevator lobby
Armchairs in the elevator lobby
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