New Radisson Blu For Istanbul & Four Seasons Finally Catches Up

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Carlson Rezidor (the parent company of the Radisson Blu, Radisson & Park Inn brands, amongst others) has announced a new Radisson Blu for Istanbul.

The Radisson Blu Hotel, Istanbul Ataköy is scheduled to receive its first guests in “early 2016” (with 2015 rapidly coming to a close you’d think they’d have a more accurate time frame!).

Radisson Blu’s are hardly a novelty in Istanbul – this will be the 7th! – but Carlson Rezidor clearly feel the need to “strengthen Radisson Blu as the largest upper-upscale brand in the city“.

Radisson Blu Istanbul Ataköy

This new hotel will feature 133 rooms and will enjoy a “waterfront location in the Ataköy neighbourhood – a residential area between Atatürk International Airport (9km) and the old town (6km).”

The official press release goes on to say:

[The hotel] will be located in a larger building that also hosts residential units. Besides 133 rooms with Radisson Blu signature services such as free high speed internet access, the hotel will offer an all-day-dining restaurant with private dining, a lobby bar and patisserie, and a vitamin bar as part of the 980sqm spa that will include a traditional Turkish Hammam and treatment rooms. Guests will also benefit from an indoor and outdoor pool. For meetings and events, the hotel will comprise 2 board rooms and 2 meeting rooms. 50 parking spaces will complement the facilities.

There’s no news as to what Category the hotel will be placed in but I’d say it’s unlikely to be anything other than top tier – and that would make award nights cost 70,000 Club Carlson points per night. I suspect the cash prices will be better value.

Four Seasons To Offer Free WiFi

There are two things that really, truly annoy me about the hospitality industry:

  1. Resort Fees – these are nothing short of criminal
  2. WiFi charges at top end properties – I’m already paying a fortune why are you charging me for WiFi?!

Luckily, a recent shift on the part of most hotel companies has seen WiFi become free to most guests….or at least guests who are members of the hotels’ free-to-join loyalty programs. Nowadays, Marriott, Hyatt, Starwood, IHG Hotels and a host of other brands all offer free WiFi of one sort or another.

Nevertheless it seems that Four Seasons still feels the need to trumpet the fact that they’re finally going to offer “complimentary internet connection across the portfolio“.

Four Seasons Free WiFiImage courtesy of Four Seasons

The announcement confirms that the service will be available for an unlimited number of devices, will involve “faster internet speed” (faster than what?) and a “one click” to connect to the network.

The press release reads:

Faster, stronger, easier – when it comes to connecting, everyone wants more, and now Four Seasons delivers with a suite of Wi-Fi upgrades for its guests around the world.

“We have introduced new global standards to give Four Seasons guests a seamless, convenient and higher quality internet experience, whether staying with us, using our mobile app or visiting the public areas of our hotels and resorts,” says Scott Taber, Senior Vice-President of Rooms, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts. “And, we offer complimentary Wi-Fi across the Four Seasons portfolio.”

Whether staying overnight or simply dropping in for a drink with friends, visiting the spa or meeting up with colleagues in the lobby, all Four Seasons guests* will have access to complimentary internet service. One click connects an unlimited number of devices to anywhere in the hotel, so guests can email and text, access their social networks and browse the internet – and use the new Four Seasons App.

Ok, I like the fact that WiFi will be available even if you’ve just dropped in for a drink – you don’t have to be staying at the property – but seriously Four Seasons, It’s about time! The days when you could charge $500+ for a room and get away with nickel-and-dimeing guests for WiFi are over….it’s embarrassing that it’s taken you this long to catch up.