Notes from Birgül Özden, President of MEP Destination Business SolutionsBirgül Özden can claim to be the most experienced group travel consultant in Turkey. MEP has hosted incentives and conferences for British companies and associations for many years. She has kindly provided ITCM with some notes of interest on venues in Istanbul. She points out to ITCM that in spite of all the international news about the large numbers of migrants arriving in Turkey, 99% of Turkey is unaffected and almost all the very popular MICE destinations in the country are operating normally and giving their traditionally warm welcome to business tourism groups.
Banker Han Karaköy
Banker Han was opened in May 2015, in the district of Karaköy. This is the up-and-coming area of Istanbul that has become the centre for creative recreation and culinary delights. The hotel suggests that it offers ‘luxurious, stylish, playful rooms, urban singles (compact and cosy), comfy doubles, fun kings and twins and a Café and Lounge.’
The hotel has been created from a historic building and has retained exposed brick walls, concrete columns, floors of natural stone and wood and ultra-high ceilings in all the guestrooms. A special feature of the property are large windows affording generous natural light. The hotel is encouraging local artists to present their work in the hotel, following on from the time when the building was used as a street-art exhibition centre.
St Regis opens first property in Turkey
The new St Regis Istanbul has a desirable address. It has opened in Nisantası, known as the ‘5th Avenue’ of Istanbul and the city’s social centre. The property is just a short distance from the Bosphorus, Macka Park, and the Istanbul Congress Centre. Guests will have easy access to smart shops and a range of dining options. The 118 guestrooms are luxuriously spacious and offer dressing rooms, marble bathrooms with Remède bath amenities and signature St Regis Butler service. Event spaces include the pillarless Astor Ballroom and six meeting rooms of different capacities on two floors.
Soho House Hotel
Creating shock waves around Turkey – says Birgül Özden – is the new Soho House 87-room property. Formerly the American Consulate building, Palazzo Corpi is now a member of the Soho collection of private clubs. Its event facilities include one function room able to seat 220 diners or accommodate 400 for a reception, with further rooms for 100 and 72 delegates. An impressive screening room provides 57 tiered seats.
The Cowshed Spa belies its name, as it is a de luxe facility complete with treatment rooms, gym, hairdressing and traditional hamam.
10 Karakoy Istanbul Hotel
This is the unusual name of the first Turkish venture by the Morgans Hotel Group. It is a luxury boutique property with all modern facilities in a historic building. Its 71 rooms include top-floor Loft and Loft Terrace Suites and a Penthouse, ideal venues for very special events and dining. There is also the 73sqm Balikli Meeting Room with a dedicated foyer.
Public Hotel Istanbul
This property offers 52 high ceilinged rooms on the fashionable Istiklal Avenue, convenient for shopping, walks and dine-around facilities. There is a landscaped courtyard with plants chosen for their fragrance.
The hotel emphasises its social responsibility approach, with cosmetics made from natural materials in recycled paper wrappers. It is fitted with the latest water- and energy-saving devices and embodies the newest fire-resistant ideas for floors, furnishings and doors.
House Hotel Bomonti
This is part of a mixed use development of hotel and residences. The hotel has 51 rooms and its name derives from this district of Istanbul where the Bomonti Brothers first established a brewery 120 years ago. It employs a style of architecture that combines modern urban with industrial aesthetic, so there are concrete floors and walls, natural stones and factory-style glazing mixed with marble and timber.