Themed Events & Activities

Up in the room, a jewelry box for her... A decorated Ottoman dagger for him... Tasting bits of Turkish delight placed on the table to find out if the local dictum "Eat sweet, speak sweet" is true... First glances over the bewitching scenery of the mysterious city below, before joining the company down in the Lobby. This is how the fairy tale begins: You are in Istanbul now.

Istanbul, the place where civilizations mingled, where the ancient still consorts with the dazzling modern, is also where East ends to make way to West, and where the rational Occident starts to irrationalize for a true discovery of the mysterious Orient... and this is precisely what makes UNIVERSAL welcoming its esteemed guests on their first evening at their hotel at an East that Meets West Reception and Dinner to provide them with a foretaste of the extraordinary mixture of cultures they will meet and of the treats they will feast on.

Drinks, typical of eight countries, namely France, Germany, Italy, China, Japan, Russia, Arabian countries and the Turkish-Ottoman, served by waiters and waitresses in respective national costumes at bar stations duly decorated with appropriate flags, will help thaw the atmosphere and bring guests closer for a dinner to be served at national buffets adorned with distinctive images and symbols, offering the best of each national cuisine while, for two hours, a bar will serve unlimited quantities of imported or local alcoholic beverages and soft drinks.

Playing pieces of music from all over the world, a quartet will provide entertainment throughout the event. Evidently after such a relaxing evening of new acquaintances and friendships and unknown tastes, one is normally entitled to have a restful morning. Yet the excitement of the prospect of discovering such an exceptional city will make for a reasonably early wake-up, whatever would be the pre-established program for the rest of the day: updatedly equipped conference and meeting facilities abound all over the city, in every deluxe hotel and other more specialized premises.

All deluxe hotels have swimming pools and fitness centers and for the more sporting, numerous possibilities exist, including golf with excellent putting green and horseback riding within and in close neigborhood of the city. Yet organized or free strolls through the city remain a must for that day or the days to come together with another must which is that of frequent Turkish coffee and tea stops along the way... and these strolls will necessarily bring you to enjoy that extraordinary experience of shopping which is both interesting and great fun all over Turkey: yes, interesting because either through the sinuous alleys of the old Istanbul or through its large avenues and shopping centers, you will respectively find the extraordinary variety of arts and crafts and the dazzling novelties of the world's leading trademarks both in fashion, extravagance but also technical achievement; also great fun because the oriental habit of bargaining is not only destined for obtaining the best possible price for both parties but also constitutes a whole set of theatrical performance the rules of which have been determined by thousands of years of popular practice.

Yet the climax of shopping in Turkey is reached by a stroll or, more precisely, by getting lost through the labyrinthine alleys of Istanbul's Covered Bazaar with its 4,400 shops and workshops where "not to find" is a more challenging deed than simply "to find". During your stay in Istanbul, the extremely amusing Treasure Hunt may allow you to better discover the intricate architecture of this Oriental puzzle, with clues to pick up from different shops, leading you to the final victory of spotting the Treasure. Being there, may moreover allow you to pay a visit to rug and carpet weaving workshops within the precinct or in close proximity of the Covered Bazaar, a visit where you will enjoy this singular craft unique to the Orient...

And now for those of you who wish to take off from all these earthly occupations and have a more complete birdeye's view of the fabulous city, they may airtour Istanbul in a helicopter to observe the extraordinary extension of the monstrous metropole growing kilometers and kilometers around the nucleus of the ancient city. Such airborne experience may be repeated in different regions around the country, such as hot gas ballooning in Cappadocia, adding a further zest to the already astonishing lunar landscape...

Should it be in Istanbul or Antalya or still in any one of the other carefully selected, uniquely distinctive sites of the country, the end of the sojourn -not of the dream- is marked by an extremely elegant Gala Dinner which, however, is not a "farewell" but a "see you soon" party. Guests, equally elegantly dressed, will be welcomed in one of the best and most interesting venues of the locality. Food will excel, wine will pour, music will bewitch, laughter will abound, friendship will flourish... so will also continue the dream.

Please click here to see some more themed party & event ideas of Universal...

Please click here to see adventure programs in Istanbul

Please click here to see adventure programs in Antalya

Please click here to see Private Venues in Istanbul.

Please click here to see Off Site Restaurant Options in Istanbul

Please click here to see Daily Special Activities in Istanbul

Appreciated Appreciations

In all honesty and from the bottom of my heart, you are definitely the best DMC in the world – the passion and pleasure you pass onto your clients and groups is unsurpassed!

David, Pieter and the Winners Team / /

There are no words to express our gratitude for your gracious hospitality, your time spent with us and your willingness to share your comprehensive knowledge of your city with us. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you.

Rebecca Linder / Linder & Associates Inc Event Architects /

As always everything was prepared spotless! And personally I had a great time too. It was a great pleasure seeing you again, Mustafa. Istanbul is definately one of my favorite cities and you are a big part of it.

Pawel Clapak / Nu Horizons / Groups & Events Coordinator

Thank you for all of your hard work and dedication throughout the planning and execution of our event. You went above and beyond in speaking to our group and making them feel welcome, comfortable and educated. I know that we can be demanding, so know that you and your team did a remarkable job in exceeding our expectations.

Malissa Bastone / American Express Company / Manager - Executive Meetings & Events

From the minute I started working on this event, I was in great hands. Mustafa was HONEST and GENEROUS from the beginning and when I finally met him and lsil, I felt as if I was with an old friend. He treated our attorneys and our event as if it were their own. We were not treated as clients by them, they treated us like family. I cannot begin to tell you what an absolute pleasure it was seeing them every day and working with them. Not only did they introduce Chadbourne and me to a beautiful rich country with a lovely warm culture, but they helped make our event 100% perfect. I was asked how I was going to top this event. I was also asked how I was able to plan such an event from New York without seeing Istanbul, any of the sites and even the hotel, and I said - I had wonderful partners - Universal Travel.

Michelle Shirian / Chadbourne & Parke LLP /

It is such a pleasure to work with you. Your customer service is outstanding and I never have to worry when you are in charge. It is so nice to work with someone who is so detailed and on top of all aspects as you. I cannot wait to work with you again in the fall.

Rachel Stevens / MBM Productions /

Local drinks & Turkish food was really tasty and all the sightseeing (incl. Hamam & boat trip & Night Club visit) were really good for team spirit. We don't have any issues or complains at all — lovely place & polite people.

/ Stanley Black&Decker /

Mustafa and Isil were wonderful and gave our program their personal attention. I was pleased since this was a relatively small group and yet Universal gave it their all. I would definitely recommend them to others!

Ann Craig / /

We are all thinking of you and again so appreciative of everything you have done over the many months leading up to this. We could not think of a better partner and are just sad we aren't there to be part of your team.

Rebecca Linder / /

Thank you, thank you, thank you! The trip was superb! Everyone had a wonderful time and came back to S.A. raving about Turkey. They all want to travel again.

Bryan Andrews / IMPACT INCENTIVES &EVENTS / Account Manager – Product

I would like to add my thanks as well. You are truly an ambassador for your city and I think you demonstrate all the best that GEP and good DMCs around the world have to offer. It was an illuminating, exciting and informative site visit, and I look forward to our continued working relationship. Kindest regards,

Joe Orecchio / CWT / Meetings and Events

Mustafa, Isil and the entire Universal Travel team was awesome!! I cannot say enough good things about Mustafa and Isil - talk about above and beyond, they are fabulous and we all feel like not only do we now have a great new partner in Istanbul, we now have new friends as well. The meeting went incredibly well and the Legacy Awards dinner at Esma Sultan was FABULOUS!!! After Bangkok we needed it to be and it certainly was - the client was extremely happy.

Nikki Kelley / CMP / Director of Event Operations


On behalf of the whole group I want to say a Very Warm Thank You for taking so good care of us during the study tour. We were very pleased with the fact that inspite of our short time, we managed to see so many beautiful venues and landmarks in Istanbul. You are very passionate about your city and we feel confident in that Universal Tours will continue to take excellent care of our clients.

Lena Markström / American Express Business Travel / Manager Supplier Relations Meetings & Events Nordic

We had no doubts about the professional ability of Universal to conduct an operation of that caliber, but I can honestly say that you went beyond my highest expectation... I am sure that our business to Turkey will improve, and I will keep you informed on the progress of our new push to promote your Country and our business...

S.B. / N.J.-U.S. / Vice-Pesident Operations Groups&Incentives

The trip was a great success, the participants were most impressed with the wonderful service and the organization of the tour.... Thank you for making this a successful trip and no doubt we will spread the word that Turkey is a fantastic destination for all travelers all year around...

D.W. / Johannesburg - R.S.A. / Groups&Incentives Dept.

I was very proud to show my fellow travel agents of my superb services in Turkey and I am sure the word will spread that we sell not only good prices but very exclusive and personalized services...

E.T. / Miami, FL. U.S.A. / President

I was surely well pleased with everything that Universal provided. This is really quite a compliment, as I am known in the industry for being very particular about everything and hard to please!...I think that few Americans realize how much Turkey has to offer as a tourist destination, and after having just a touch, I am hoping to entice them back for a longer trip...

A.M.N. / Arcadia, CA-U.S.A / Managing Director

The tour that our International Understanding group has just completed was a well organized and efficiently operated tour... I appreciated the telephone call from Mustafa, midway in our tour, inquiring of our well being. In all the years our group has been traveling, it was the first time a tour operator has inquired about us during a tour."..

C.K. / Boston, MA, U.S.A. / Tour Director

We would like to place on record our gratitude for the excellent way in which your Company supported O.I.T. during our recent Quota Club trip to your lovely Country. The professional manner in which every function was organized and the attention to the minutest detail did your Country proud...

R.S. / Braamfontein, South Africa / Managing Director

I am very excited about Turkey as a destination for groups. ... We were also most impressed with the professionalism of your staff i.e. drivers and tour guides, and know that our customers will be in good hands...

S.L.M. / Los Angeles, CA U.S.A / Business Development Manager

...Everybody on our part agreed that it was indeed, one of the best trips any of us had; and this was due in no small part to all the assistance and advice you and your Agency gave us. Not many travel agencies would have spent so much time and effort with a group as small as ours, and we just wanted you to know how much we appreciated...

C.R. / Dhahran K.S.A /