Cappadocia's "fairy chimneys" may be the result of natural landscaping over millions of years, but Best Western Premier Cappadocia use the unique rock formation in ingenious ways to deliver a whimsy, alluring and mystical stay, not unlike other parts of the country
Situated in Urgup, where there is a cluster of cave hotels and historic mansions, the hotel is near Cappadocia’s must-visit sites such as Goreme Open-Air Museum and Underground City of Kaymakli, in addition to activities like hot air balloon rides, jeep safari and visits to underground dwellings and churches.
The hotel is sprawling and winding, all tied together by a restrained aesthetic that bridges the old with the new. There is great attention to detail in the decor, with a grand chandelier that breaks the bareness of the cave-like waiting area and a phonograph and art deco pieces in a corner.
Parts of the hotel not carved from volcanic rocks were built using natural materials including rock and wood to maintain the ambience. Concessions to modernity include fast and stable Internet connection and the glass lift that brings guests to the second floor.
From the second floor, guests walk to their rooms that are spread over five floors, which can be a challenge for the elderly and those with poor eyesight especially at night. Although wheelchairs are available, I suggest that the signage to the rooms and restaurants be enlarged. And while we love the ambient lighting, garden paths and stairways could better illuminated at night, and the elderly could be given rooms with better access.
Rooms vary in size (30-80m2) and features. Certain ones pamper with jacuzzis, some feature terraces overlooking Cappadocia’s other-wordly landscape and others have gardens.
My standard room was a visual treat: a hearth, silken carpet on parquet floor, ambient mood lighting, and vintage bed, phone and lamps. The textured rock wall, domed ceiling with embossed artwork, and comfy beddings added to the sensory appeal.
The bathroom was a spacious and elegant cave with modern amenities including heater under the floor.
Outside my room was a garden abloom with roses and a trellis festooned with flowering plants, all lending to a home-away-from-home feel.
The hotel has four F&B outlets. While I didn’t have the opportunity to try the three restaurants serving up international and American fare, it was clear they served as vantage points for views of Urgup and Cappadocia’s surreal rock formation.
At Iris restuarant, buffet dinner and breakfast were a healthy spread of traditional Turkish fare, including a cornucopia of fresh fruits and vegetable salad, dried fruits and nuts, cheeses and olives, and main courses of fish and meat for dinner, or egg dishes for breakfast.
The hotel’s Aura Spa has a luxurious design with hammam (Turkish bath), sauna, steam room, fitness facilities, massage room and indoor swimming pool.
For business events, the hotel has the Halys meeting room that seats 60 and another meeting room for 40 pax. A business centre and library are also available.
The hotel was just six months old (in October 2017) so some minor glitches were understandable. I was given the wrong card key. The 68-year old and 80-year old members of our group were given rooms on the topmost floor, which entailed quite a walk up the ornate staircase.
Otherwise the service was within our expectations – prompt, polite and hospitable. We believe they would be able to iron out the minor glitches as they gain more experience and confidence.
High marks for aesthetics. The hotel oozes character and is to date one of the most interesting hotels that I’ve stayed in.
No. of rooms 76
Rates From US$100