Arrival Experience: The Turkish Surmeli hotel chain is well-known throughout the country for its reliable service and contemporary accommodations. The country’s biggest city, Istanbul, has one of the chain’s most business friendly properties with a city-center location that is both quiet, yet convenient. Security is en force at the front door, but most guests are waved through the metal detectors without issue. The front desk speaks solid English and is happy to help, as is the rest of the staff who welcomes foreigners with a hearty, warm-felt greeting.
Dining: The hotel has one restaurant serving three meals a day highlighting Turkey’s seven regions with pride. Most guests descend via the glass-enclosed elevators to the traditional Turkish breakfast buffet serving everything from local cheeses to local honey perfect for the freshly made pastries. A bar welcomes guests and locals during the evening hours, but the surrounding area calls most visitors to the surrounding area for a raki and delicious Turkish cuisine. A popular recommendation of experienced visitors is the famous Kosebasi restaurant where salads and meats are prepared fresh to order with international acclaim (there are almost a dozen other cafes under the same ownership around the world offering the same authentic Turkish cuisine). Arrive early to grab a seat on the terrace and enjoy the evening breeze.
Accommodations: This hotel boasts a combination of guest units that ranges from distinctly modern to more traditional. All feature cable TVs, windows that open for fresh air, large closets, full-length mirrors, and minibars. Complimentary bottled water and wireless high speed Internet are among the favorite amenities of international visitors. Beds are firm, yet extremely comfortable with solid pillows, a single duvet, and an armchair bedside that can be pulled up to a coffee table if the desk seems too corporate. Tiled baths are stocked with a stash of amenities, solid water pressure, and excellent lighting. The Business rooms are popular with corporate guests thanks to their access to a club lounge offering free cocktails during the evening hours, a lavish breakfast each morning, flat-screen cable TVs ensuite, and thorough concierge service throughout a guest’s stay.
Conclusion: The outdoor swimming pool and garden terrace are great ways to decompress after a long, hot day of visiting the city’s sights, but it is not always open in cooler weather. Americans will find this to be a perfect alternative to the city’s big brand names that are typically twice as costly although just as equally amenity-rich.