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Fri 28 Mar 2008 04:00 AM

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Hyatt Regency Istanbul

Turkish economic hub Istanbul continues to prosper from its geopolitical positioning.

As the European Union continues to extend its influence eastwards and Middle Eastern economies flourish, Istanbul will continue to prosper from its geopolitical positioning as it has done in the past.

In times gone by, the city has benefited from the passing trade of silk, spices and other luxuries as they moved between East and West. Though these traditional trades have waned with the introduction of more effective transportation methods, Istanbul has evolved to remain an important hub for business transactions.

One of the leading business hotels in the Turkish economic capital is the Hyatt Regency. Built in 1993 and fully renovated in 2003, the 50_magazine.xml 52_magazine.xml 563_magazine.xml 56_magazine.xml 59_magazine.xml 5_magazine.xml hotel has a comfortable, contemporary style with muted Ottoman touches to gently remind the jet-set businessman of where he lays his hat.

There are 360 rooms and suites in total with ample conference facilities, making the hotel a popular dedication for company meetings and seminars.

Many of the rooms have a view of the Bosphorus strait at the front of the hotel, the defining geographical characteristic of Istanbul, but with the wealth of mod cons in the rooms themselves it is likely to go unnoticed. Standard rooms deserve the 50_magazine.xml 52_magazine.xml 563_magazine.xml 56_magazine.xml 59_magazine.xml 5_magazine.xml title with luxurious touches such as goose-down duvets, a tech-smart desk area and a deluging shower.

A screen dividing the bathroom from the bedroom can be drawn back so that the bather can watch the television: Whilst fine for couples, the arrangement is perhaps a little too unusual for those sharing a twin room.

The upper two floors of the hotel house the Regency and Presidential suites. Generally the preserve of executives, the Hyatt Regency provides a private Club Lounge for residents of these rooms - a peaceful sanctuary away from the restless activity of a busy hotel.

Key cards are needed to operate the lift (taking you only to your floor), ensuring the exclusivity of the lounge as well as a comfortingly high level of security. Separate check-in and out facilities are available along with a complimentary continental breakfast to start the day and cocktails and canapés to round it off.

Provisions for relaxation outside of the working day have not been overlooked.

The Gaia Spa and Fitness Centre are open year-round, and guests can work off a heavy day in the comprehensively equipped gym, by taking advantage of the complimentary fitness classes on offer or simply by taking a traditional Turkish bath.

In the summer months an outdoor swimming pool and floodlit tennis court are also available in the beautifully landscaped gardens.

Once the stresses and strains of the day have been pummelled out, there is a choice of restaurants to indulge in. Agora is the main dining room (which boasts an exceptionally thorough breakfast in the morning), offering Turkish treats and international favourites throughout the day.

The best advertising for the onsite Italian restaurant, Spazio, is that it is a favourite with the local crowd, providing hearty pastas, pizzas and seafood dishes each evening.

After dinner, the sumptuous Library Lounge - themed like a traditional gentlemen's club - is the perfect place for a nightcap and cigar by the fire.

Close by, for those who want to escape the bustle of business for a while, the local district of Taksim offers plentiful wining and dining options as well as one of the city's finest shopping streets. Visitors should also take pains to make the most of the rich history of the city.

A short taxi ride away from the hotel lie some spectacular monuments: The Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque and Topkapi Palace are all fine examples of the Ottoman and Byzantine ancestry.

The excellent facilities and 50_magazine.xml 52_magazine.xml 563_magazine.xml 56_magazine.xml 59_magazine.xml 5_magazine.xml environment that the designers have created is matched by seamless service, essential accreditations for the seasoned traveller. Well located and set up with the business user in mind, the Hyatt Regency Istanbul should top the list for those making a trip to the charismatic city.

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