Looking out of my bedroom window thirty two floors up the gleaming new Hilton Istanbul Bomonti Hotel, the full effects of the recent Siberian snowstorm were all too apparent. Istanbul was covered in a heavy white blanket and there wasn’t a car in sight.
This really was something of a rarity, but Istanbul’s steep hills were clearly non-negotiable under such Siberian conditions, so nothing to do except wait it out. Still I suppose there were worst places to be marooned than in the largest luxury hotel in town.
Hilton Istanbul Bomonti Hotel stands like huge sentinel atop the now gentrified Bomonti district in Sisli, once the site of the fabled Bomonti brewery which turned out Istanbul’s favourite beer for over 120 years. There is a renaissance in the wings however, as the old brewery site is soon to open once again as a complex for beer tours, shopping and entertainment and conveniently, the Hilton Istanbul Bomonti is just a few steps away.
Beer apart, this hotel is extraordinary on a number of levels. Yes, it is the biggest hotel in a city big enough itself to straddle two continents, yet the 829 rooms and suites seem as easily accessible as if it were quite the opposite. Design genius you might say. Within just 12 months of its opening, the hotel achieved five quality service awards no less, and has singlehandedly increased Istanbul’s bed capacity by 1%.
Under the watchful eye of General Manager Remco Norden, there’s a well drilled team who seemed to be literally at my beck and call all hours of the day and night, and last but no means least, the entire food output of this huge enterprise is down to larger than life character Executive Chef Yannis Manikis, whose vision and culinary magic dust permeates through every ingredient, every dish, and every single member of a very large kitchen brigade. As Manikis puts it “happy chefs make happy food” so there must be a lot of happiness going on in there.
Chef Yannis is a colourful tour de force; a veteran of twelve years in Hilton Athens, his single minded almost possessive attitude about his kitchens should be applauded. After all, any team capable of delivering formal gastronomic feasts for over 2,000 people at one time deserves a medal of honour such is the size of the conference and banqueting facilities. Having said that, the hotels’ main restaurant The Globe, offers up its own version of feasting for hotel guests; Western Grill, Mediterranean Cuisine, Thai, Sushi and Turkish specialities are all conjured up from Yannis’s magic spell book.
This is an impressive luxury property built from the ground up, where size is without doubt king; from the opulent football pitch sized lobby to the galaxy of conference rooms, from the immense spa to the spacious guestrooms. Yet somehow, a real personality shines through made from attentive and personal service from each member of the team.
You are not spoilt for choice when it comes to outstanding luxury hotels in Istanbul, many built on long and rich histories, yet inside a year, Hilton Istanbul Bomonti is more than a match for any of them.
I want to stay at Hilton Istanbul Bomonti. How much is it?
A King Executive room with lounge access and breakfast from £120 per night.
Hilton Istanbul Bomonti Hotel, Silahsor Cad. No: 42 Bomonti-Sisli, Istanbul, 34381
Tel: +90-212-375 3000