In Istanbul, old blends with new
We did a pre-opening tour of the gorgeous new Hilton Istanbul Bomonti Hotel & Conference Center in November, scheduled to open in January. There are so many surprises and intelligent features about this property, located in the upscale Bomonti neighborhood, with quick access to the city’s major attractions such as the Blue Mosque and Grand Bazaar. After a 2-hour tour, it’s safe to say we’ve never seen a Hilton property with this many different experiences, much like Istanbul itself.
The 829-room hotel with 85 suites is designed like a 3-pronged star with 11 elevators in the center, so there’s quick access to the public spaces and 132,000 sf of meeting space. Inside the hotel, there are two group-specific check-in desks, including one in the main lobby area and one at the entrance to the Grand Ballroom.
And this you’re going to love. Across from the Hilton’s port cochere, the ex-Bomonti Brewing Factory is a historic series of buildings that have been restored for additional, industrial-chic meeting space and eight F&B outlets.
Because there’s so much land surrounding the hotel, up to 10 full size coaches can park on-property so your group doesn’t have to wait for buses to arrive from off-property. Ataturk International Airport is 30 minutes away without heavy traffic. At rush hour, expect the transfer to take about 45 minutes.
Stay tuned for an upcoming Prevue On Location story in our print issue. Until then, here’s a quick look at why this hotel is a true destination meeting property with resort-like amenities that will change the way Istanbul is perceived in the U.S. meetings market.
The following does not include the Bomonti Brewery, which doesn’t open until the summer of 2014. A dedicated post about that will be published when photos and more detailed info are available.
The Welcome: If it didn’t say “Hilton” on top of the building, you would think this is one of Hilton’s sister brands, either a Conrad or Waldorf Astoria. This is a totally wow entrance with towering ceilings and luxurious furniture and furnishings throughout. Off the entrance, there’s a beautiful lobby bar with 25-foot doors and a 80-foot bar.
Lobby Lounge: The 2-way fireplace peeks out onto the terrace and outdoor Crystal Garden, hosting 500 pax cocktail receptions. This is by far the largest lobby seating area we’ve ever seen at a Hilton property.
Grand Ballroom: Hilton Istanbul Bomonti Hotel has the largest combined hotel meeting space and guest room capacity in Istanbul. Meeting space is housed on four floors below the lobby, and because the hotel is situated on a hill, all of them have natural lighting. The Grand Ballroom hosts 3,200 pax theater style, with drive-in access for cars and small trucks. The dedicated kitchen is as large as the ballroom.
Junior Ballroom: This is just off the lobby with a wall of floor-to-ceiling windows and doors that open out to the Crystal Garden, offering great options for indoor/outdoor events. It was especially designed for large weddings, but it’s also a great space for elegant dinners because of the thoughtfully-designed location and pretty Czech crystal lighting.
Prefunction Space & Breakouts: Everything about this hotel is oversized including the prefunction space. It is anticipated that it will also be used as additional exhibition space. All of the breakouts and ballrooms feature “iRoom Touch” technology on the wall controlled by a removable iPad.
Penthouse Executive Space: There are three unique F&B venues at the top of the Hilton on the 34th floor located at the end of each wing. They include the executive lounge (above), the hip Cloud34 bar, and a private dining room. All have great views of either the Bosphorus or the city.
Rooms & Suites: All of the rooms feature a gracious amount of floor space, crisp and warm decor, and great desks with easily accessible media panels hooked up to the flat screen TVs.
Food & Beverage: The main dining area is designed like a market with an entirely open demonstration kitchen and a wide variety of live cooking stations. The kitchen is a hub in the center of four themed restaurants extending outwards, serving Turkish, Mediterranean, Asian/Sushi, and Western Grill cuisines. Each one makes an easily divisible semi-private dining room.
The Spa: The 57,000-sf eForea Spa is anchored by a beautiful long lap pool, which is rare in Istanbul. There is also a series of large and small hammams that can be rented out for private group spa time.
Fitness Center: The fitness facilities are not an afterthought at Hilton Istanbul Bomonti with plenty of space, lots of daylight, and private rental space for yoga and spinning.
The Vibe: Istanbul is home to 18 million people making this one of the busiest, most vibrant cities in Europe. The Hilton Istanbul Bomonti Hotel is an oasis within all of that energy, which means your group will be able to conduct business without a lot of distraction.