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
NZ House & Garden - October, 1999
Grant Sheehan
No: 50, Page 132

Ancient as the Hills

The remote valleys of Cappadocia are an extraordinary part of central Turkey, where volcanic explosions sixty million years ago and subsequent erosion have left a limestone landscape of the most fanciful shapes. These shapes form an outlandish and amazing natural rock architecture to which, over the centuries man has added houses, hermit cells, churches, catacombs and underground cities carved out of the soft limestone rock and pinnacles.

As we drive down into the village of Ürgüp, I'm struck with the way the landscape and buildings merge in both colour and shape. From this distance, the houses appear to melt into the pale rock of the cliffs.

Located on the edge of Ürgüp nestling against low cliffs is our hotel, Esbelli Evi. It consists of a rambling group of stone houses with carved detail above the doors and windows. The bedrooms date from the sixth century, with the upper building added in the eighteenth century.

On the upper floor the reception and reading room are outfitted with antique Turkish rugs and low brass tables. Downstairs are the bedrooms, a labyrinth of caves hollowed out from the soft limestone rock of the hillside. The smooth, honey-coloured stone of the walls is both cool and atmospheric. These cave rooms are furnished with beautiful kilim rugs and antique brass beds, and some include a fireplace.

Esbelli Evi House was bought and converted into a guesthouse a decade ago by Süha Ersöz, and is by far the most interesting hotel in the area. With a total of eight bedrooms - one originally a kitchen, another once a stable, a third a wine pressing room - Süha runs Esbelli Evi more like a house than a hotel. He shows his guests the sitting-reading room, which is complete with an eclectic range of CDs and chess sets, the kitchen with its well-stocked refrigerator and the do-it-yourself laundry, and tells them to make themselves at home.

The feeling of being in a private home is enhanced by the fact that the classic kilims rugs on the stone floors belonged to Süha's grandmother, and his mother made the traditional lace curtains.

While there is no restaurant, the breakfast room on the rooftop patio serves tasty breads, jams, fruits and coffee. For lunch or dinner there are village restaurants a short stroll down the hill which serve excellent local food and wine.

Photos by Grant Sheehan

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