If you’re just tuning in now be sure to read how I ended up with this unique itinerary by checking out The Original Plan: The $77,000 Trip Heard Round the World, the subsequent Change Up: Riga, Latvia? and the Mongolia angle: IGLOO-GER: The Helsinki-Ulaanbaatar Trip Report.
Getting There: Take the bus to Taksim Square from the airport. From there you can walk. I angrily took a taxi from Taksim because I couldn’t find the hotel.
En route to Mongolia, I managed to get a night in Istanbul on the same itinerary because the rule dictates that anything under 24 hours is not a stopover, but a layover.
Just like my splurge aboard SQ A380 from NRT-LAX, I rationalized that I deserved one more night of pampering. I spent 20,000 Hyatt GoldPassport points as the Park Hyatt is a category 5 hotel. The room was around $350 so it fell a bit short of my 2 cent/point standard. Regardless, there are no Park Hyatts let alone a Hyatt House in Mongolia so I can forgive myself for breaking the points piggy bank.
The Park Hyatt is situated in an upscale part of town with fine shops and dining nearby. Right across the street is a great but expensive kebab place that I highly recommend. It goes without saying that I am a connoisseur of kebab, as all Arabs claim to be. The hotel is not walking distance to the Bosphorus, home to the best nightlife of Istanbul. As this was my second time in Istanbul, I was more interested in the food not the fun.
It’s a Park Hyatt. As usual, the service was impeccable. I was shown to my room and given a detailed tour of all the features. The best was how to change the overhead light color above the tub.
Usually as a platinum, Hyatt members, are given a lukewarm upgrade which is hit or miss depending on the hotel and the effectiveness of your personality with the front-desk. This was not the case, or I am ignorant if it was the case, at the Park Hyatt Istanbul. The room I received as a platinum not diamond member was stunning.
Oh, I’m a platinum, no free breakfast for me, not even with my negotiation skills. I’ll go for kebab then.
There’s a nice pool on the 2nd floor which I refused to swim in because I knew it was the last time I would see an outdoor pool for a while.
The hotel is gorgeous from inside and out. It has an intimate feel that, a recognizable attribute of Park Hyatts.
Why write a separate post? If you’re staying at this hotel and are reading this, you will thank me for providing it here.
And with that meal, it was time to move to Mongolia.