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Review : The Ritz-Carlton, Istanbul | Marriott Bonvoy

Hotel The Ritz-Carlton, Istanbul
Country Turkey
City Istanbul
Room Type Standard
Loyalty Program Status None
Points Per Night 28,000 points
Tutorial Guide: Save on Hotels with Points
Milesopedia recommends this card from American Express Canada

The Ritz-Carlton, Istanbul
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To the point Ritz-Carlton, Istanbul : Discover our photo report on this palace in Istanbul obtained with Marriott Rewards points !

After spending a night at the Istanbul Marriott Hotel Sisli to use a soon-to-expire free night certificate, we reach our hotel for the rest of the stay: the Ritz-Carlton, Istanbul.

Reservation of the stay

I made the reservation in May, well before the merger of the programs and the changes in the price of the nights. This hotel has seen its rate increase from 30 to 35,000 points per night.

We had booked for 5 nights, one of which was free.

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Example of rate with the fifth night free

How do I earn Marriott Bonvoy points?

In Canada, there are two ways to earn Marriott Bonvoy points: direct and indirect.

Earn Marriott Bonvoy points directly

American Express offers two credit cards linked to the Marriott Bonvoy program:

Each of these cards allows you to earn Marriott Bonvoy points directly through your spending and the welcome bonuses they provide. And this bonus can get you several free nights at Marriott hotels!

Earn Marriott Bonvoy points indirectly

American Express Membership Rewards points can also be transferred to Marriott Bonvoy points. The transfer rate is 1:1.2 or, easier to remember: 5:6.

For every 50,000 Membership Rewards points transferred, you earn 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points.

There are 6 cards offering Membership Rewards points:

The American Express Cobalt Card earns you “Membership Rewards Select Points”. Unlike Membership Rewards points, these points can ONLY be transferred to hotel partners such as Marriott Bonvoy or Hilton Honors and not to airline programs. We therefore recommend that you use these select Membership Rewards points first for transfers to Marriott Bonvoy and keep your Membership Rewards points earned on other cards for transfers to Aeroplan or British Airways Executive Club.

The American Express Cobalt card is our preferred card for earning Marriott Bonvoy points.

In addition to its welcome bonus of 30,000 Select Membership Rewards points (divided into 2,500 points per month for 1 year as long as you put $500 on the card each month), its strength lies in its earning rate: 5 Membership Rewards points / dollar for purchases:

  • grocery stores purchases
  • convenience stores
  • restaurants – bars

And don’t forget the gift cards purchased in grocery/convenience stores to benefit from the 5 points / dollar!

For more details on this card, click here!

If your goal is to earn Marriott Bonvoy hotel points, it’s like getting 6 Marriott Bonvoy points / dollar… which is exceptional! Marriott Bonvoy cards earn, at best, only 3 Marriott Bonvoy points per dollar!

Location and arrival at The Ritz-Carlton, Istanbul

The hotel is located behind Taksim Square and just before the trendy Beşiktaş district.

Istanbul is a very steep city, there are 7 hills. The Ritz-Carlton, Istanbul is on the top of a hill and therefore its access on foot is not the easiest. But it is close to many means of transportation: bus, subway, streetcar and the Beşiktaş river shuttle.

So we enjoyed it to explore the city which has a good public transport system.

After passing the security check, we got our keys back quickly.

Status recognition and privileges

My stay fell a few days after the merger of the SPG and Marriott accounts but anyway as before this merger, the Marriott and SPG statuses are not very advantageous at Ritz-Carlton. Neither access nor breakfast is offered to Marriott members.

Also, this week was a vacation period in the area, so upgrading was not possible.

A hotel lobby is of course a strategic place that is meant to be spectacular and the Ritz-Carlton lobby does not disappoint.

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Ritz-Carlton Istanbul Lobby
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Lobby of the Ritz-Carlton Istanbul

Lots of marble, beautiful flower arrangements and most importantly a view of the Bosphorus.

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Bar of the Ritz-Carlton Istanbul
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View from the bar of the Ritz-Carlton Istanbul
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Corridor in the Ritz-Carlton Istanbul

The room

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Entrance to the room at the Ritz-Carlton Istanbul

No surprise, the rooms are not large compared to North American standards but remain totally comfortable with a king size bed.

The room is equipped with a small desk but also a TV and an espresso machine of the brand “Illy” whose stock of cartridges is refilled every day.

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Desk in the room
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Television cabinet – Ritz-Carlton Istanbul

Finally, the bathroom is the most luxurious aspect of the room with not only a sink, a bath, but also a shower and toilet, all separate.


The hotel stands out for its facilities, with two pools: one outdoor and one in the basement.

The first one is surrounded by a terrace and a bar, as well as Jacuzzis that allow to admire the coast.

The pool in the basement is a real gem and is also quieter. We used it several times to do some laps without being disturbed by other people.

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Indoor swimming pool of the Ritz-Carlton, Istanbul

The locker rooms are very well equipped with showers, shaving kits, towels and bathrobes. But also a hammam and a dry sauna.

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Ritz-Carlton Istanbul bathrobes

Our little incident

A little anecdote that made us smile. The iron in our room did not work. After reporting it, another one arrived while we were away. This second device, when plugged in, caused a short circuit in the room and “blew the fuse”.

Nothing too serious and the staff was very responsive. We even found this little cake in the shape of an iron! This is a reminder that even if you use points… you are a customer like any other!

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wink from the Ritz-Carlton Istanbul team

Bottom Line

The hotel did not disappoint us. A beautiful location, comfortable rooms but above all great facilities make it an excellent choice for a stay in the Turkish capital.

Come to discuss that topic in our Facebook Group!
3.9 Milesopedia Rating

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