Mall of Istanbul (MOI) was where we spent our last day of our Turkey Trip. In fact, we were given the option of taking the Bosphorus Cruise, visiting a huge shopping mall and spice market for $100USD per person. We gave that option a miss because we wanted to really “take things down a notch” and relax before heading back to Singapore. That decision also saved us $200USD But there’s another reason why we decided to skip the tour, and that’s because our hotel, Wyndham Grand Istanbul Europe (formerly known as Wyndham Istanbul Petek) is located close to the LARGEST shopping mall in Istanbul – Mall of Istanbul (MOI!).
With that, we decided to enjoy a leisurely breakfast, take a dip in the indoor pool of Wyndham Grand Istanbul Europe, before we headed out to Mall of Istanbul – a mere 10 minutes by taxi (about 20TL)
Wyndham Grand Istanbul Europe to Mall of Istanbul
The breakfast buffet spread at Wyndham Grand Istanbul Europe was the only international buffet spread during our Turkey trip this time round. There’s the usual breads, cereals and egg station that is more familiar to the Singaporean taste. But what really surprised us was a HUGE SLAB of honeycomb at breakfast! Yummy (and supposedly healthy)!
After the hearty breakfast, we headed to the 24 hours fitness centre. There, you can enjoy the swimming pool (with nice views), gym (overlooking the swimming pool), Turkish bath as well as full spa services.
The only catch about using the swimming pool is that you’ll have to pay 5USD for a swimming cap – compulsory for both men and women. To us, it was more like an entry fee. Looking past that small little issue, you’ll soon be glad that you made the decision to stay and enjoy. Afterall, Wyndham Grand Istanbul Europe is an international 5 star hotel.
After an enjoyable swim (with no one else at the pool), Kate and I went for our baths separately and we have 2 amazing experiences to share…
Tom : Next to the swimming pool, there are separate Turkish baths for both ladies and men. What I enjoyed about the Turkish Bath is that the design is classy yet traditional with soothing music in the background. The temperature of the water have been adjusted and filled up to nice warm temperature, ready for your bath. Remember to take some soap from the shower area into the Turkish bath.
At the centre of the Turkish bath is an octagonal bathing slab. It is warm. The most enjoyable part of the bath is to lie on the heated slab and soothe your mind and body after 7 days of travelling. Ah…definitely a must try!
Kate : While Tom enjoyed the Turkish bath, I enjoyed the shower facilities of the hotel. Turns out that there are jets surrounding you as you take your shower. Much akin to an automated car wash :p. Definitely recommend taking the shower after the Turkish bath. Cool!
All about Mall of Istanbul (MOI)
Mall of Istanbul is the largest shopping mall in Istanbul that has more than 350 stores for the most avid shopping enthusiasts. There’s also a food court (Gourmet Center) at the top level and even an indoor amusement theme park (the largest in Turkey) by the name of Moipark – all 15,000m2 of it!
Even for Singaporean standards, the Mall of Istanbul is huge. We took about 6 hours to cover the entire mall (which of course includes shopping, resting, chilling and marketing). But our biggest find has got to be the Aldar restaurant which can be prominently seen at the entrance of Mall of Istanbul.
When you enter into the restaurant area (there’s also a cafe area), you would think that you have entered into a fine dining restaurant. Chandeliers, tall windows overlooking the streets and posh decorations within. Having not seen the menu before we entered, we really prayed hard that the price was acceptable. Next, our waiter, who by the way spoke excellent English, came to attend to us. The head waiter (WHAT?!) then came by to say hello to us and asked if everything was fine. We certainly hope so…(referring to the menu)
The waiter then came back with a tablet (electronic menu!) and showed us how to navigate through the menu. As we browsed through, we heaved a sigh of relief. Even with the description above, the meal would cost the same as an average priced meal in a Singapore restaurant ($20 per person). So we went ahead and ordered the mushroom pasta and Turkish chicken kebab. Both of which tasted AWESOME!
The portion of the mushroom pasta was HUGE. Good for two to share (and more). The flavours of the mushrooms were evident and the sauce was thick and creamy, just the way we like it. At 19TL ($10SGD), it was a steal! The highlight of the evening was the chicken kebab. First of all, it was tender and juicy! This made the dish stand out from all other dry and hard chicken kebabs that we have tasted before. The smoky and slightly charred texture also brought out the overall taste of the chicken and its spices. Shiok!
We ordered a lemon tea for 5TL and the total bill came up to…44TL! No additional taxes! (WHAT??!?!!?!) Hence, if you’re ever visiting the Mall of Istanbul, be sure to pop by Aldar’s, you won’t regret it. It was easily the best meal of our entire trip!
Itinerary of Turkey Travel Day 8: Mall of Istanbul and Wyndham Grand Istanbul Europe
0700 : Breakfast buffet at Wyndham Grand Istanbul Europe
0800 : Swimming and relaxing at the Turkish baths and showers
1000 : Depart for Mall of Istanbul
1900 : Arrival back at Wyndham Grand Istanbul Europe
2000 : Complimentary airport transfer
2200 : Meet up with rest of tour group
0040 : Depart from Istanbul Ataturk Airport back to Singapore
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Additional snippets of information
– Wyndham Grand Istanbul Europe is located at Mimar Sinan Cadessi No: 80-82 Gunesli, Istanbul, 34212. They can be reached at +90 21 24640000
– Mall of Istanbul is located at Süleyman Demirel Bulvarı, Mahmutbey, Başakşehir, 34306 Istanbul, Turkey
– Mall of Istanbul is about 10 minutes away from Wyndham Grand Istanbul Europe. Taxi ride costs about 20TL per trip.
– There is complimentary airport transfer every hour from Wyndham Grand Istanbul Europe to the airport. You will have to make reservations with the concierge.
– There is also complimentary transfers to the city. Departing at 10am in the morning and returning at 4pm in the afternoon.
This post is part of our 10 Days 7 Nights Turkey travel with Chan Brothers. Below, you can find other relevant posts covered during this trip.
Turkey Trip Day 1 : Singapore to Istanbul and Ferry to Canakkale
Turkey Travel Day 2 : Visiting the Trojan Horse of Troy and Ancient City of Pergamon
Turkey Travel Day 3 : Visit to Ephesus / Turkish Bath and Hot Springs of Lycus River Hotel Pamukkale
Turkey Trip Day 4 : Pamukkale Cotton Castle and Journey to Cappadocia!
Turkey Trip Day 5 : Cappadocia, Kaymakli Underground City, Goreme Open Air Museum and Turkish Night Celebrations!
Hot Air Balloon Flight in Cappadocia with Royal Balloon : Turkey Travel Day 6!
Turkey Travels Day 7 : Istanbul’s Camlica Hill, Grand Bazaar, Taksim Square and Istiklal Shopping Street!
Mall of Istanbul (MOI) : Shopping Eating and Relaxing on Day 8 of Turkey Trip!
We hope you have enjoyed our coverage of our 10D7N Turkish travels with Chan Brothers during the winter months (27th December to 5th January). Let us know what you think in our comments section below!