Built in a historic building, the JW Marriott Istanbul Bosphorus has been open since 2019. This 9-storey hotel has no less than 130 rooms and suites and is the hidden gem of Istanbul, but it won’t remain so for long.
Indeed, a new cruise terminal (Galataport) was recently inaugurated, which will make this hotel a coveted location for the nights before a cruise (or following an arrival). Moreover, we have already noticed that this part of Karaköy has been transformed with the addition of restaurants, art galleries, museums and luxury stores.
The JW Marriott Istanbul Bosphorus is located in the trendy district of Karakoy. Located on the Bosphorus, it offers a magnificent view of the Bosphorus, the city and even the Galata Tower.
With this ideal location, you can get to the Galata Tower in less than ten minutes on foot, it is also just a few minutes walk from the streetcar and tünel (underground funicular with two stations, connecting the districts of Karaköy and Beyoğlu).
You can also find very good fish restaurants, including those located below the Galata Bridge and many bars within a few meters of the hotel. Given its location, lovers of walks along the Bosphorus will be pleased.
Located between Istanbul’s two main airports, the hotel offers, via their concierge service, luxury transportation between the airports and the JW Marriott Istanbul Bosphorus for the sum of 240 euros or 175 euros per trip, depending on the arrival airport. While the cab is around 35 to 40 euros, regardless of the airport.
For this stay, I used my Marriott Bonvoy points. The JW Marriott Istanbul Bosphorus is a category 5 hotel, so the standard price for a night is 35,000 Marriott Bonvoy points. The price of the regular room was 270 euros per night.
JW Marriott Istanbul Bosphorus hotel details
Paying 5 €/d
Valet 6 €/d
|Swimming pool||Yes (temporarily closed)||Room with balcony||Yes and private terrace with Jacuzzi|
|Spa||Yes (upon reservation)||Room with kitchenette||Yes|
|The fitness room||Yes||Lounge||No|
|Restaurant||Yes||USB sockets in the room||Yes|
|Accepts animals||Yes||Smart TV||Yes|
|Mobile card||Yes||Shower / Bath||Yes, both|
JW Marriott Istanbul Bosphorus Hotel Reception
The JW Marriott Istanbul Bosphorus has two separate entrances: one on Kemankes Cd – the street is currently under construction, so avoid it – and the second entrance is on the small shopping street Mumhane Cd.
You will be greeted at both entrances by a security guard, who will take your temperature, and you will have to pass your luggage through the scanner. Once this step is over, a bellman will take care of you and your luggage and bring you to the reception.
A large corridor with marble floor crosses the hotel from one door to the other. This atrium, in immaculate white and beige, is furnished with a large white grand piano, brown leather armchairs, potted plants and large chandeliers.
This huge lobby gives an air of luxury to this hotel. It is also through this passage that you can access the Tea Lounge, the Galata Lounge, the Wine Cellar and the Turkish Brasserie.
The hotel reception is located in a small room adjacent to the atrium. In the center, there is a single counter for two employees, separated by plexiglass. Behind them, a large wooden sign with the JW Marriott logo. Needless to say, it makes you want to discover the rest of the hotel.
The reception by the staff was very cordial and professional. After asking for my passport and my Carte Marriott BonvoyMC American ExpressMD – for possible expenses during the stay – I am advised that I have been given an in-suite “upgrade” and that the “Groom-Bagger” will take me there.
Please note that the elevators are located to the right of the reception and that the digital key is required to access the floors.
The Premier Suite with a view of the Bosphorus “Beylerbeyi Palace” is located on the 6th floor – door 617 – and is reached through a windowed passageway overlooking the atrium. On the first floor, they have installed a small lounge (sofa, chairs and table), which makes it an ideal space for a little break.
Here is a quick description of the suite. It has two full bathrooms, a large living room and a huge closed bedroom.
The entrance hall is open to the living room. On the right is the first of two bathrooms. It is furnished with a cabinet, a large glass shower (in marble), and a sink on a white marble countertop. The room is soberly decorated and naturally, we find all the products for personal care.
For the living room, they favored the colors of beige and white as well as a wall-mirror that gives the impression of a larger room, although it already is. The two armchairs and the sectional couch in beige color, invite to relax.
A free-standing cabinet contains the refrigerator and the many bottles of water – renewed daily – as well as the Nespresso coffee machine, cups and wine glasses.
A coffee table – on which a plate of baklava had been placed -, a television, a table and two chairs in blue tone complete this room.
A chandelier and a floor lamp provide adequate lighting. And what about the view of the Bosphorus through the two large windows. By the way, an interesting fact, the blackout curtains close electronically via a button.
The large bedroom is located to the left of the living room and sliding doors allow for privacy. It has a large bed, two bedside tables (with electrical outlets with dual voltage adapters, USB and lamps), an armchair with a footrest, a small side table, and a television.
We also note the addition of a footboard bench and a rug in beige and blue colors that match perfectly with the colors of the room. A large painting – representing, among other things, the Galata Tower – finishes the decoration of this room.
Of course, we have a magnificent view of the Bosphorus. It also has the famous blackout curtains with electric closure.
Through the room, we have a passage that leads to the second bathroom. In the same color tones as the “guest” bathroom, this one has a cabinet, a corner glass shower, a large deep bathtub and a huge marble countertop with two sinks and its large mirrors.
In the passage that leads to the bathroom, there is a small work desk with telephone, electrical outlet and USB. A pretty amazing place to set up a workspace. At the far end is a huge closet, with two robes, storage space and a safe.
The services of the JW Marriott Istanbul Bosphorus
On the premises of the JW Marriott Istanbul Bosphorus, there are no less than two restaurants, a café, a wine bar, a terrace, a lounge and a Turkish brasserie.
Octo is a seafood restaurant, its Ottoman influence and expertise in mezzes, make it one of the best restaurants in Istanbul.
Located on the 9th floor of the JW Marriott Istanbul Bosphorus, it offers a romantic view of the Bosphorus and the city. Its elegant and warm decoration will please everyone.
Not being a lover of fish and seafood, I did not make a reservation at this restaurant, but I still had the pleasure to have lunch there. It is offered in buffet mode and we are assisted by the employees.
We present a wide variety of products such as: Cheeses, cold meats, eggs, bread, etc. There is something for everyone. The price of lunch is approximately 25 euros, but it is free for Marriott Bonvoy members with Platinum and Superior status.
Attached to the Octo is the Sky Karaköy, a terrace bar with a pool. It is accessed via a small staircase from the 9th floor. You can enjoy bites and delicious cocktails. At the time of my visit, the pool was closed, but we are still entitled to a 360 degree panorama of Istanbul, so a spectacular view of the Galata Tower. This small terrace bar is on its way to becoming a must-see in Istanbul.
If you like cocktails and tapas, Skull & Bones is the place to be! Located just before entering the hotel lobby – on the Mumhane Street side – this small bar is perfect for meeting friends.
Moreover, the friendly Eda is always ready to help you discover new cocktails. We particularly liked the “Misty Avenue”, as well as the “No 49”. The only drawback is the limited hours: from 4:00 pm to 11:00 pm.
The Istanbul Baking Company located in front of the Skull & Bones is a small bakery, where you can enjoy good coffee (or tea) with small cakes, while working on a hotel review, for example. It’s also perfect for that afternoon snack, as they offer a variety of sandwiches.
Located in the atrium, the Wine Cellar is a small place to, as its name suggests, discover international wines. Unfortunately, when I visited, it was closed, as was the Brasserie Turque. Two places I would have liked to discover.
Also, in the atrium, we find the Tea Lounge and the Galata Lounge. In the first one you can enjoy an extensive menu of teas (and coffee) for the 5pm tea time – snacks are also served – in a unique and chic setting.
The Galata Lounge, is not a lounge as such, but rather, a place to relax. Both are adjacent to the reception area and have a very nice decoration, built around the original brick walls, which are over 200 years old. Numerous couches and armchairs are a perfect match for the decor.
The JW Marriott Istanbul Bosphorus does, of course, have a fitness center, but it’s very small, poorly equipped and not easily accessible. A mask must be worn at all times and reservations are required for access. Note that it is open twenty-four hours.
There is also a Spa. The services offered range from massage to Hammam. By reservation only.
My overall impression of the JW Marriott Istanbul Bosphorus
I loved this hotel, it is a real favorite for me. Does having a sequel make a difference? Perhaps, but I am convinced that the extraordinary service offered by all the hotel employees, without exception, is the same for everyone.
The atrium was one of my favorite places in the hotel: relaxing and inviting. For the Sky Karaköy and the Skull & Bones, for the wonderful evenings spent discovering beautiful and tasty cocktails… the good life! I have no real negative points about the JW Marriott Istanbul Bosphorus – except maybe the lack of a “real” lounge – otherwise, it met my expectations. I recommend it with my eyes closed.
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