On a long weekend to Istanbul, I stayed at the Park Hyatt Istanbul, one of Istanbul’s most exclusive luxury hotels. It’s located in the fashionable district of Nisantasi, famous for its avenues lined with designer boutiques. For literature fans, Nisantasi is also known as the neighborhood of Turkish Nobel Prize winner Orhan Pamuk, who began his memoirs with vignettes from his childhood home in Nisantasi.
This was my nth trip to beautiful Istanbul and sightseeing was not the main item on the agenda. Instead, I wanted to experience Istanbul at a leisurely pace. I wanted to revisit favorite neighborhoods, stroll along the Bosphorus on a fine day, enjoy a few delicious kebab dinners, and buy some art for my eclectic home.
The Park Hyatt Istanbul is a wonderful oasis in a bustling and rather chaotic city, full of design and culture that make up a most invigorating feast for the senses. It was created from a melding of a heritage Art Deco palace with a completely modern structure of glass, steel, and bricks. The Art Deco palace has housed presidents and princesses throughout its history.
The result is the initially disconcerting sight of the façade of an old building – windows, balconies and all – partially encased within an angular glass dome. This space also serves as the hotel’s minimalist lobby full of modern art.
This disconnect lasts only for about three minutes, though. After that, one quickly appreciates the genius behind this fusion of old and new, which also embodies Istanbul in 2017.
PARK HYATT ISTANBUL: THE DETAILS
If you are after solitude alongside culture and shopping, look no further than this small five-star deluxe property. The hotel is also good for privacy. The entrance to the Park Hyatt Istanbul is so unobtrusive on the outside that I myself have missed the entrance several times, as it’s marked only by simple smoked glass doors and an equally modest sign along a small driveway.
MODERN MINIMALIST HOTEL
But inside, the hotel is pure minimalist luxury with art that whispers rather than shouts. These art works are everywhere and yet these are positioned so seamlessly that you are likely to miss these without an earnest search as they blend effortlessly with the background while providing necessary accents to it.
There are none of the blasts of color and riots of design found everywhere else in other hotels in Istanbul. A contemporary lounge and a stylish bar flank each other and at the end is a corridor of white tiles and amazing light brought into an otherwise dark corner by this glass dome that melds old and new together.
THE PARK SPA KING ROOM OF THE PARK HYATT ISTANBUL
The Park Spa King Room is one of my favorite rooms in the Park Hyatt Istanbul. It has a contemporary design with classic touches, art photographs on the walls, French windows that open onto a terrace with city views, and flat screen televisions in the bedroom and private spa. It also has an ergonomic work station, Blaise Mautin toiletries, a private steam area, a mini Turkish hammam, and a color therapy bathtub
A PRIVATE SPA AT THE PARK HYATT ISTANBUL
The Park Spa King room has its own private spa facilities enclosed in heavy smoked glass. This spa includes a proper steam room, a mini Turkish hammam complete with a silver bowl for washing, and a color therapy bathtub.
Do not underestimate the effects on the mind and body of having a private spa at your disposal 24 hours a day. This is true especially when it is just several steps away from the bedroom. The hotel’s masseuse can also do house calls and set up a proper massage bed in the room while bringing along some relaxing music for good measure as well.
REAL REST & RELAXATION
What a physical and psychological treat it was to be able to soothe one’s self in a private spa and metaphorically wash away any troubles. In fact we used the private spa at least twice a day and whenever else we felt like doing so.
And there is nothing truly as luxuriously comforting as the feeling of coming out of one’s private steam room to have a masseuse waiting patiently to iron out any remaining stress in your own room. This was my eureka moment, when I was reminded of the authentic art of travel, which is really a matter of refreshing one’s self and senses in every possible way.
THE ART OF TRAVEL
The art of travel includes seeing the sights and experiencing new cultures, of course; but it ideally also enables one to recharge in a physical way. So now I plan to book a hotel room with a private spa whenever I can manage this, although hotel rooms with private spa facilities are hard to find in other hotels unless you book the presidential suite of a hotel.
Just our luck, the spa king rooms of the Park Hyatt Istanbul in Nisantasi each has its own in-room spa facility, including a private hammam and a steam room. This certainly made all the difference to our stay.