Esbelli Evi, Ürgüp, Cappadocia
Cappadocia’s Pitch-Perfect Hotel. Doubles from £100 B&B
Esbelli Evi pioneered the Cappadocian ev (house) or konak (mansion), a boutique hotel style as recognisable as the Marrakech riad. Esbelli Evi is actually a warren of old buildings contained within high walls in the Esbelli neighbourhood above the town of Ürgüp. There are terraces, courtyards and gardens, and a generous scattering of old agricultural pieces including timber threshing sleds and cart wheels. The majestic rooms, which are either caves or built with vaulted ceilings from the local ashlar, are decorated with Singer sewing machines, ancient amphorae, antique guitar cases and the like. A richly cultured vein runs through the place. Guests may choose their own music in the library – think Turkish classical or Wynton Marsalis – or browse shelves heaving with histories and monographs; none of your Dan Brown pulp here.
The staff are unfailingly courteous but in the way of Cappadocia’s boutique hotels self-reliance is encouraged, almost to the point of eccentricity; all arrivals are given a tour of the place where they are shown, for example, how the self-service Laundromat works. Beyond the breakfast service and evening drinks – there’s no restaurant – guests are largely left to fend for themselves. Some inevitably lose themselves en route to the unnumbered rooms.
Not that any of this matters; there are excellent restaurants within easy walking distance. The on-site Laundromat works fine. Esbelli Evi turns out to be a delightful haven, and a place of profound civilising influence.