Hotel Review: JW Marriott Istanbul Bosphorus

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On my first trip to Istanbul I was searching for a few different hotels that will allow me to best see the city. Being a Marriott loyalist the first place I looked was Bonvoy hotels near Istanbul city center.

There were plenty of options to consider such as The Ritz Carlton, St Regis, W, and lastly JW Marriott.

It was my first time in Istanbul and I wanted to stay somewhere nice but also close to the action. I also hadn’t used any Suite Upgrade Certificates for the year that I get for being a Marriott Platinum member, I wanted to find a way to maximize my experience by also getting upgraded.

So how did I decide on the JW Marriott? It hit nearly every box I was looking for. The newest of the higher end Marriotts in Istanbul I had a great stay at the JW and wanted to share more about this hotel.

About a week prior to traveling to Istanbul I made my suite upgrade request. To my surprise there was a 1 bedroom suite with a view of the Bosphorus available. I really wanted this suite and nothing else so I took the risk of only requesting this one room.

According to Marriott, the best practice is to select as many rooms as possible to increase your chance of getting upgraded. I didn’t care so much for an upgrade as wanting the best upgrade so I took my shot.

Lucky for me it paid off. At exactly 5 days out of my reservation, the earliest hotels upgrade using suite night awards, I received a notification that my upgrade had cleared.

Hurray! If I wasn’t already over the top excited for my trip to Istanbul I definitely was now.

I arrived at the hotel after a long but smooth flight on Turkish Airlines business class from Newark to be greated by an incredibly friendly staff at the JW.

The first thing I noticed is that the hotel was right over the bridge in the Galata neighborhood of Istanbul. This neighborhood is known for its shopping, restaurants, and nightlife. It is also located close to major tourist attractions such as Galata Tower and Taksim square.

The streets around the hotel are very busy however upon entering the lobby you are greeted by a picturesque annex that is elegant and classy.

A small check in desk is off to the side where staff is located 24 hours a day. After a brief chat with the staff they mentioned the room I was in was “one of the nicest in the entire hotel”. I couldn’t wait to see it.

Many of the rooms in the hotel face inwards towards this annex. What you’ll want to request are ones that face outwards with many towards the top having a view of the river.

The lobby also had a few areas to hang out in with couches and tables.

Throughout my entire stay these were mostly empty so it’s a great place to relax if you are waiting for your room.

Saying the room was amazing is an understatement. 

The first thing I noticed was a hallway. A hallway inside the room. This was going to be good.

As you round the corner of the room you are led into a spacious living room and captivated by an amazing view of the Bosphorus right out the windows. We arrived just as the sun was setting making the view that much better.

As you enter the bedroom you also notice just how much space there is. A king bed in the center of the room with ample closet space leading to the bathroom.

The view from the room couldn’t be better and was even more captivating at night. I found it to be very quiet facing the river with no major noise issues as side from minor construction going on a block away.

I didn’t get a chance to eat too much at the hotel but the breakfast had all the Turkish essentials.

Breakfast was set up as a buffet style with the option to order a la cart. Istanbul is known for great food so I didn’t fill up too much at breakfast opting for a few different dishes and a simit bread.

An underrated part of the hotel is definitely the rooftop bar.

The view from the room was incredible at sunset and there was ample space to have a drink. Just like the rest of the hotel the rooftop was rather quiet so you can choose any seating you may like.

All in the JW Marriott Istanbul exceeded my expectations. The comfort of the room, location, and hotel amenities provided the perfect escape from the bustling city.

The entire area had a lot of construction going on so I can only expect it to get even better. If you are planning a trip to Istanbul I would highly recommend staying here and suggest using your Suit Night Awards to get a great upgrade.

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