This trip was not it. I would love to sell a dream and say it was amazing but unfortunately, this particular visit wasn’t. I played myself and I can finally admit that. I made the mistake of not preparing or researching the things I wanted to do because I had already been Istanbul before. I was so sure of myself. This trip has reminded me planning ahead is ESSENTIAL. There were some highlights, namely the food and the hotel. But there was a LOT that went wrong including some casual racism while exiting the airport.
I was staying at the Hilton Istanbul Bomonti which as far as I can tell was in a pretty good area and the hotel itself was quite nice. There was a wide range of things to do in the hotel including this underground pool and spa area. Their Sky Lounge/Bar was amazing, offering an amazing view of the city.
As for the food, I would definitely recommend going to Mangerie (Bebek), Aheste and Nusr-Et Steakhouse (which is cheaper here than everywhere else).
Massive heads up, do not try and order an Uber at the airport. They are not allowed to pick you up, you can only enter local taxis!