By Deanna Niles McConnell
Istanbul
Turkey
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Istabul, Turkey, once known as Constantinople and before that Byzantium, is truly an incredible city. Settled around 667 BC, Istanbul still serves as the bridge between Europe and Asia and is a historically rich, fantastically exciting destination for backpackers and sophisticates alike. Istanbul is Turkey’s most famous city and a focal point of its history. Formerly a Grecian colony called Byzantium, the city’s name changed to Constantinople as it became an outpost of the Roman Empire. Then in the 15th century, Sultan Mehmed II sacked the city and changed its name to Istanbul, the new capital of the Ottoman Empire. Though the capital of Turkey became Ankara after Turkey won its independence, Istanbul remains a major player in Turkish culture.

EscapeWizard.com can help you book a perfect vacation to Istanbul. International flights go through Istanbul's Ataturk International Airport (IST) and can be booked through EscapeWizard.com by following this link (www.escapewizard.com/flight.php). Istanbul also has a great variety of hotels to accommodate any budget. Use the hotel portion of EscapeWizard.com to locate the perfect Istanbul hotel for your trip (www.escapewizard.com/hotels.php?flag=htl). While in the city, tourists should enjoy the sightseeing ferries and charter boats that run up and down the Bosphorus Straits.

Though all of Istanbul's neighborhoods hold interesting treasures, most travelers will want to begin their vacation in Sultanahmet, or the "Old City." This area of Istanbul has the highest concentration of old monuments and cultural sights originally constructed during the Byzantine and Ottoman periods.  It is in this neighborhood that you'll find storied domes of the still-functional Blue Mosque and the intricate mosaics of the Hagia Sofia. Nearby, the Topkapi Palace boasts fabulous views of the Bosphorus and artifacts of the Ottoman era. For those who want a spooky holiday activity, the Basillica Cistern is a preserved 1500-year-old underground waterway once meant to sustain Istanbul in the event of an attack.

But if you wish to indulge in more sensory pleasures, Istanbul's markets and hamams are just the ticket.  Be prepared to haggle at the Grand Bazaar, a wonderful place to stock up on gifts and souvenirs. Cooks and foodies will want to hit Istanbul’s Egyptian Bazaar, also known as the Spice Market, for savory herbs and exotic spices. Hamams are the traditional Turkish baths: steamy, purifying scrubs and massages that are key to an authentic Istanbul experience. The Cemberlitas Hamam is resplendent with glorious marble and offers thorough Turkish massage treatments.

While famous for its history, Istanbul easily bridges the ancient with the modern with a thriving arts, food and nightlife scene. Cihangir and Nisantasi host numerous galleries and artists, many with innovative and interesting works to sell. Another popular neighborhood is the Beyoglu district. By day, Beyoglu’s Istiklal Caddesi offers boutiques, restaurants, galleries and great people-watching. At night Beyoglu explodes with music, dancing and enough action to ensure a wild good time.

Istanbul is an easily accessible city for vacationers, with modern conveniences like a subway and bus system and a ferry to guide travelers up and down the Bosphorus River. But despite these contemporary touches, Istanbul retains its ancient charm in every winding street, bustling bazaar, and remarkable structure. Let EscapeWizard.com be your portal for an unforgettable vacation in Istanbul! Book your next vacation with the simple click of your mouse.
Hotels in Istanbul
By Maxine
Hilton Garden Inn Istanbul Golden Horn Turkey
Sutluce Mah. Imrahor Cad. Dutluk So, Istanbul, 34445, Turkey
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Located at the European side of Istanbul on the Bosphorus Straits, Turkey’s cultural and financial centre, the Hilton Garden Inn Istanbul Golden Horn Turkey hotel is just a 30 minute drive from the Ataturk International Airport.  Minutes from Old Town and Istanbul’s main business district, this hotel offers 210 spacious guest rooms.  The Hilton Garden Inn Istanbul has a check-in time of 2 p.m.

The Hilton Garden Inn Istanbul Golden Horn Turkey hotel is located next to the Halic Congress Centre and it also faces the Golden Horn Harbor. 70 percent of the hotels rooms are facing Golden Horn and its surroundings as well.   Just a 10 minute drive to historic Old Town and 15 minutes to Taksim Square where you will find an array of shops and restaurants, the Hilton Garden Inn Istanbul is one of the closet hotels to the Ataturk International Airport.  The rooms are spacious, comfortable and equipped with the latest technology, a refrigerator, coffee maker, laptop safe and a LCD TV.  The suites come with king-sized beds and a separate living area that also has a pull out sofa.  Designed for the traveler who requires additional space and specialized amenities, whether you’re on vacation or on a business trip, the Hilton Garden Inn Istanbul Golden Horn Turkey has much to offer.  This hotel has a Leed Gold Certification which makes it a non-smoking building.

Complimentary Wi-Fi throughout the hotel, a complimentary business center and a fitness center are just a few of the many amenities offered.   For dining, the Hilton Garden Inn Istanbul houses the Sumac Grill which serves freshly prepared breakfast, lunch and dinner.  There is also a 24 hour pantry offering snacks, beverages and toiletries.  There is also a full bar.  The hotel also offers its guest free shuttle service to Taksim Square, foreign currency exchange, coin laundry, a multi-lingual staff, room service, safety deposit box, lounge, shoe shine stand, elevators and local area transportation.    This hotel is wheelchair accessible by request and only service animals are allowed.  There is also paid parking and valet service.

After you’ve taken in the sights of Istanbul or you’ve concluded your business, the Hilton Garden Inn Istanbul Golden Horn Turkey with it’s relaxing rooms and gratuitous amenities,  offers a late check-out time of 1 p.m. and local transportation to get you to the airport for your flight. For booking with EscapeWizard.com, click this link to start your search (www.escapewizard.com/hotels.php?flag=htl).
Hotels in Istanbul
By Summer Brons
Crowne Plaza - Old City
Ordu Caddesi 226 Lalei Eminonu, Istanbul, Turkey
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Istanbul is known for its lengthy history and gorgeous architecture. Make the most of your visit to this legendary city by booking your stay with the Crowne Plaza hotel in Istanbul's Old City. Located just 15 KM from Ataturk Airport (IST), you'll enjoy the convenience of walking distance to Istanbul University, tram stations and the many offerings around the historic centre.

The Crowne Plaza Istanbul Old City is the ideal venue to begin your European adventure. Go sight-seeing at Blue Mosque, Topaki Palace, Hagia Sophia, or browse the Grand Bazaar and the shops of the Beyazit district.

On-site amenities at the Crowne Plaza are sure to further enhance your experience. Beyond well-equipped business and fitness centers, guests can also take advantage of an indoor pool, gift shop, beauty salon, wireless internet access, and even an authentic Turkish bath for the ultimate in relaxation.

Dining options are also available within the Crowne Plaza Old City. Start your day in the courtyard with a cup of cofee, or enjoy breakfast, lunch or dinner at the Lale Restaurant. Lale serves a variety of international cuisine for your dining pleasure. Abre Lounge, located in the Crowne Plaza's lobby, is the perfect place to meet friends for a cocktail or sip a glass of wine during an afternoon break. Room service is also available 24 hours a day.

When it's time to retire to your guest room each evening, you'll gladly welcome the comforts you've come to expect from the Crowne Plaza. Enjoy a plush bed, flat-screen TV, work desk, coffee maker, mini bar, hairdryer and bath amenities; all standard in each room. Those visiting Istanbul for a special occasion or an extended stay may choose to upgrade to a luxurious suite, sure to make your stay even more memorable.

There's no need to sacrifice comfort and luxury during your vacation in Istanbul, simply plan your lodging accommodations with the Crowne Plaza Istanbul Old city and savor the entire experience. Book your stay with EscapeWizard.com by clicking (www.escapewizard.com/hotels.php?flag=htl).
Hotels in Istanbul
By Summer Brons
Holiday Inn
Mahmutbey Mah Tasocagi Yolu Cad. NO 35, Istanbul, Turkey
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Make the most of your Istanbul vacation by treating yourself to five-star luxury when you plan your accommodations at the Holday Inn Istanbul Airport. Conveniently located between Istanbul and the Ataturk Airport (IST), you'll be perfectly situated to enjoy the offerings of this exciting, historic city.
 
Take advantage of the wonderful sights and sounds of Istanbul by explore the Grand Bazaar, Beyazit district, Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque and Topaki Palace, just to name a few. You'll quickly understand why Istanbul is one of Europe's most beloved and beautiful cities.
 
On-site conveniences at the Holiday Inn will help ensure that you're able to stay as productive or as relaxed as you wish. Feel free to utilize the well-equipped business center and wireless internet access, stay active in the state-of-the-art fitness center, take a dip in the indoor swimming pool, visit the Turkish baths, enjoy a service from the Mandala Spa, even send the kids to play in the generously filled Game Room.
 
The Holiday Inn Istanbul Airport also features a variety of delicious dining options. Savor breakfast, lunch or dinner at the Tulip Restaurant, serving unique international cuisine; enjoy lunch or dinner at the Saltanat Restaurant, the perfect place to sample authentic Turkish and Ottoman cuisine; and wrap up the evening with a nightcap at one of the Holiday Inn's on-site lounges. The Starlight Bar is scenically located on the 15th floor and the Cafe Inn serves a variety of coffee and tea specialities, as well as plenty of alcoholic selections.
 
The comforts of your private guest room will surely be welcomed after a long day exploring Istanbul. Enjoy plush bedding, cable TV, a work desk, complimentary wireless internet access, coffee maker, mini bar, hairdryer and bath amenities. Luxurious suites are also available for upgrade for those who wish to make the most of their five-star stay.
 
Relax in comfort and convenience when you plan your Istanbul vacation around your stay at the Holiday Inn Istanbul Airport hotel. Book your dates using EscapeWizard.com by clicking (www.escapewizard.com/hotels.php?flag=htl).
Hotels in Istanbul
By Rose Overbey
Grand Hyatt Istanbul
Taskisla Caddesi, Taksim, Istanbul, Turkey
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The Grand Hyatt Istanbul hotel is the perfect place to stay if you're looking for luxurious rooms in a convenient location.  This hotel is located next to Taksim Square and Istiklal street -- right in the new center of modern Istanbul. The Grand Hyatt Istanbul is not only located in the center of modern Istanbul, but it's wonderful features reflect this blend of modern and the converging of East and West.

Guests are sure to be pleased with the location of the Grand Hyatt Istanbul, it is moments from many of Istanbul's wonderful attractions. Guests will also be pleased with the wonderful city views from their rooms.

Visitors have a variety of room choices, but all rooms offer lush bedding, marble bath and high-speed internet access.  Depending on your needs, you can stay in a suite, deluxe room, or club accommodations.  Wherever you stay you will have access to the hotel's wonderful on site activities!

The Grand Hyatt Istanbul features a full spa and fitness center. Guests have their option of a variety of treatments at the spa, including many types of massages, an array of facial and skin treatments, as well as many body treatments.

The fitness center offers guests the opportunity for a full body workout. There are a variety of machines for cardio and weight training. There are plasma screens throughout the center and as well as high energy music. After a workout, guests can enjoy the steam room with an ice fountain or lounge in a traditional Turkish bath. There is also an outdoor pool for guests to relax by.

The hotel also offers guests a variety of choices in dining and lounging around the hotel. There are two full service restaurants, Spazio Restaurant and Agora Restaurant. Spazio offers guests an elegant atmosphere and Italian cuisine. Agora offers buffets at each meal of Asian Turkish and other international cuisine. Guests have their choice of lounges, from the Mezzanine Bar and Lounge, and it's breathtaking views of the waterfall and gardens -- to the Library Bar, which is a relaxing lounge for guests to recoup in after a long day. Guests will also enjoy the Gazebo, a lounge located along the pool that offers cocktail and barbeque in the relaxing outdoor environment.

EscapeWizard.com highly recommends booking your hotel room at The Grand Hyatt Istanbul. You're sure to enjoy your visit. You can do so by following this link (www.escapewizard.com/hotels.php?flag=htl).
Hotels in Istanbul
By Jaclyn Bealer
W Istanbul
Suleyman Seba Cad No 22, Istanbul, Turkey
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Stay in one of Turkey’s premier accommodations when you book a room at The W Istanbul Hotel. EscapeWizard.com knows that you’ll appreciate this hotel’s perfect location, set in the heart of the historic Akaretler Row, a high-end neighborhood complete with restaurants, cafes, and galleries. In addition to its ideal setting, the hotel is only 15 miles from Ataturk Airport and 32 miles from Sabiha Gokcen Airport. Check-in is at 3 p.m.

All of the 136 rooms and speciality suites at the W Istanbul are the perfect combination of modern and Turkish decor. After traveling to Istanbul, relax on the W Signature Bed covered with goose down pillows and duvet. If you’re looking for more comfort, you can select more bedding using the hotel’s Pillow Menu. When you’re all settled in bed, enjoy the flat screen TV or Wi-Fi (charge). In addition to a state-of-the-art entertainment center, all rooms come with a Munchie Box full of tasty surprises. Guests can choose from 5 different room types as well as a variety of suites, all offering their own special features, amenities, and views. With so many options, you can find the accommodation that suits your individual needs while in Istanbul.

The incredible features don’t just stop in your room. Be sure to check out everything this hotel has offer including a business center, fitness center, and spa. If you’re traveling with a four-legged family member, there are a range of services to make sure your cat or dog feels right at home. When it’s time to unwind with a meal or a cocktail, look no further than the lobby where you can choose between four restaurants and lounges.

If you’re looking for a contemporary way to experience this historic city, The W Istanbul Hotel is for you. EscapeWizard.com knows that its beautiful rooms and exceptional amenities are exactly what you’ve been waiting for. Let us help you book your room today, click the link (www.escapewizard.com/hotels.php?flag=htl) to get started.
Hotels in Istanbul
By Keleigh M. Quinn
DoubleTree by Hilton Istanbul - Old Town
Ordu cad. No:31, Beyazit-Istanbul, Turkey
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Located just twenty minutes from the International Airport, the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Istanbul - Old Town offers a contemporary, comfortable place to stay while exploring the area or traveling on business. This hotel is the closest hotel to the Grand Bazaar, known world-wide for its excellent shopping opportunities with over 4,000 shops. Other attractions near the hotel include the Sultan Ahmed Mosque, also known as the Blue Mosque, the Saint Sophia and the Underground Cistern. The Golden Horn, Istanbul’s Historical Peninsula where the hotel is situated, also offers many wonderful restaurants and an exciting nightlife with bars and clubs all around the area.

Enjoy the comforts of home many miles away in the stylish, modern guest rooms and suites. You can choose between a room with two twin beds, a room with a king bed, or a suite with separate living area. Some rooms offer a private terrace, and all rooms feature the Sweet Dreams® Beds. You will also find a large desk and high speed internet access, perfect if you need to keep connected while traveling. There is also a 32-inch LCD TV with satellite channels, and MP3 alarm clock, and luxurious bath products to help you feel pampered and relaxed.

When you are ready for a bite to eat, you can take advantage of the available room service, or head down to the Oldtown Restaurant, located in the hotel and open for breakfast and lunch. This casual restaurant offers breakfast buffets and a wide variety of healthy options. For dinner, you can stop by The Terrace, which serves traditional Turkish food as well as international dishes. There is also a bar there is you would like to grab a cocktail after dinner.

This hotel also offers a 24 hour fitness center, as well as a spa with a Turkish bath and Jacuzzi. There are four meeting and event spaces available, including a beautiful ballroom on the top floor.

Surround yourself with beauty and history by booking with EscapeWizard.com when you click here (www.escapewizard.com/hotels.php?flag=htl).
Hotels in Istanbul
By Keleigh M. Quinn
Hilton Istanbul
Cumhuriyet Caddesi Harbiye, Istanbul, Turkey
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Located in the European side of Istanbul, the Hilton Istanbul hotel is a luxurious hotel that offers convenient access to Taksim and Nisantasi business districts, as well as many exciting attractions and entertainment spots. Business travelers will appreciate the proximity to the Kirdar Convention and Exhibition Center and the Istanbul Congress Center, while those looking forward to exploring the city will enjoy traveling to the Blue Mosque, seeing the buildings at Dolmabache and Topkapi Palaces, and shopping at the Grand Bazaar. There are also several museums in the area, including the Military Museum and Prince Islands and Maiden’s Tower. This hotel is just 45 minutes from the airport, and provides excellent amenities.

You can choose from guest rooms, suites or Executive rooms. These nicely decorated rooms offer private balconies and views of the garden, city, or the beautiful Bosphorus Sea. These bright, airy rooms offer comfortable furniture, with some offering a large chair and ottoman, a separate work area, and high speed internet access. There is also a flat screen television with cable and satellite channels for you to enjoy. The Executive Rooms include access to the Executive lounge which serves a complimentary breakfast and beverages.

There are seven wonderful dining options in the Hilton Istanbul Hotel, featuring cuisine from all over the world. The Al Bushra Restaurant & Bar serves Middle Eastern dishes while you enjoy a beautiful view of the sea, while the Bosphorus Terrace Restaurant offers traditional Turkish fare as well as themed buffets. You can also sample some delicious Chinese food at the Dragon restaurant. The Pool Cafe is open during the summer for outdoor meals and beverages, and the Veranda Grill & Bar is the perfect spot for a cocktail in the evenings.

You will also find an outdoor and an indoor pool, a fully equipped fitness center and tennis courts. Enjoy a stroll around the beautifully landscaped grounds, and relax at the Turkish bath and spa.

EscapeWizard.com can help you plan your trip today when you click here (www.escapewizard.com/hotels.php?flag=htl).
Hotels in Istanbul
By Keleigh M. Quinn
Sheraton Istanbul Atakoy Hotel
Sahilyolu Cad., Atakoy , Istanbul, Turkey
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Located on the shores of the Sea of Marmara, right next to the Atakoy Marina and the sea bus terminal, and just 8 minutes from Ataturk Airport, the Sheraton Istanbul Atakoy Hotel provides both convenience and beauty with its immediate surroundings. It is just 10 minutes from Sultanahmet, the old city center, where you will find wonderful shops, restaurants, museums, and other local attractions. Also nearby are some of the major hospitals, corporate offices, and Universities. The Sheraton Istanbul Atakoy Hotel also has convenient transportation options to major centers and fairgrounds including the Istanbul Performance Center, CNR and TUYAP.

Offering breathtaking views of the sea and the marina, the 285 guest rooms will surround you in comfort and luxury. You will surely get a good night’s rest on the Sheraton Sweet Sleeper Bed, as well as enjoy Jacuzzi bath, rainforest shower, and bathrobe and slippers. All rooms also have everything you need to keep in touch, get work done, or stay entertained, including televisions with satellite channels, phones with international direct dialing, a separate desk, and wireless internet available for a fee. Check in is at 2 p.m.; check out is at 12 p.m.

All rooms offer 24 hour room service, but if you decide to venture out for a meal, you have several options to choose from. Sample authentic Turkish cuisine at Sumach, or enjoy a cocktail at the Trendy Lounge. Cookbook is open from 6:00 AM until 11:00 PM and offers a breakfast buffet and ala carte menu throughout the day.

The Sheraton Istanbul Atakoy Hotel also offers plenty of ways to relax and recharge, including outdoor and indoor pools, a sauna, and a Jacuzzi. You can also splurge and visit the onsite Spa or the Turkish Baths. Stay in shape while traveling by using the gym, running track, and tennis courts. There is a drugstore, clothing store, and jewelry shop on-site for your shopping needs, and a business center available.

Surround yourself with luxury and the comforts of home while enjoying beautiful views, great food, and a convenient location at the Sheraton Istanbul Atakoy Hotel. Just click this link (www.escapewizard.com/hotels.php?flag=htl) to get started today with EscapeWizard.com.