Esbelli Evi, A Cozy Cave Inn
A fine small inn of comfortable cave rooms hewn from the golden stone, with beautiful views of the Cappadocian landscape, and the warmest welcome you'll receive in Turkey
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Esbelli Evi

Esbelli Sokak, 8 (P.K. 2) 50400
Ürgüp, Cappadocia, Turkey
Phone: +90 (384) 341-3395
Fax: +90 (384) 341-8848
E-Mail: esbelli@esbelli.com
ESBELLİ EVİ IN THE PRESS & WEB
A Place to Stay - Hotels of the World
Grant Sheehan / Shelley-Maree Cassidy
Page 52

Caving in Cappadocia

Millions of years ago volcanic eruptions and the forces of erosion sculpted a fanciful and extraordinary sandstone landscape in the remote valleys of Cappadocia, in central Turkey. Man has added to these outlandish and amazing natural forms over the centuries, carving houses, hermit cells, churches, catacombs and underground cities from the soft rock and pinnacles. It is a must-see sight.

Driving down into the village of Urgüp, we're struck with the blending of landscape and buildings. Colour and shape merge to such a degree it is almost impossible to tell where the village begins and ends. From a distance, the houses appear to melt into the pale gold rock of the cliffs. Located at the edge of Urgüp and nestled against low cliffs is Esbelli Evi House, a restored cave pension. The bedrooms are probably the oldest in the hotel business, as they date back to the 6th century, while the upper building was added in the l8th century. The upper floor's reception and reading room are outfitted with antique Turkish rugs and low brass tables, classic and elegant. Downstairs, the bedrooms are a labyrinth of caves hollcıwed out from the hillside's soft rock. The smooth honey-coloured stone of the walls is both cool and atmospheric. These cave rooms are simply fitted with kilim rugs, antique brass beds and some include a fireplace.

Bought and converted into a guesthouse a decade ago by owner Suha Ersoz, Esbelli Evi House is easily the most interesting hotel in the area. Of the eight bedrooms, one was originally a kitchen, another a stable, and a third a wine pressing room. Suha prefers to run Esbelli Evi as a house rather than a hotel. He shows his guests the sitting-reading room, stocked with an eclectic range of books, CDs and chess sets, the kitchen with its well-stocked refrigerator, and a do-it-yourself laundry (a welcome sight!) and tells them to make themselves at home.

Classic kilim rugs on the stone floors belonged to Suha's grandmother, and his mother made the traditional lace curtains, enhancing the feeling of being in a private home. Like home, there is no restaurant or room service, but the breakfast room on the rooftop patio serves tasty breads, hard-boiled eggs, fruits and coffee. Sitting in the morning sun drinking coffee and looking out over the village and mountains beyond seems a valid activity for quite some time. For lunch or dinner village restaurants just a stroll down the hill serve excellent local food and wine. A short drive from Esbelli House is the Gulludere and Kizilcukur Valleys, known as the Red and Rose Valleys. These are a fantasy of pink sandstone shapes and erosion-formed gullies that glow orange and red at sunset, attracting busloads of tourists in the busy season to watch from the vantagepoint of the car park. The valleys are a stunning sight, better viewed without a horde of onlookers, but worth seeing whenever.

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