Hezen Cave Hotel, Ortahisar, Cappadocia
Guesthouse in unearthly and individual setting. Doubles from £95 B&B
This superior guesthouse lies beyond Cappadocia’s established accommodation clusters – Göreme, Üçhisar, the Esbelli district of Ürgüp – in workaday Ortahisar where the caves have traditionally been used not for tourism but for the overwintering of citrus fruit trucked up from Turkey’s Mediterranean coast. While this location may deter those who prefer facilities to hand, experienced travellers allergic to the trodden trail may experience something of a privileged pioneer sense at the Hezen.
The setting is magnificent, with a gazebo-style terrace overlooking Ortahisar’s high spur of cave-hewn rock where guests are less likely to spy visiting coach parties than local kids flying their home-made kites. The 10 cosy cave rooms are done up in bright colours, which makes a welcome change from the overbearing dark woods sometimes favoured elsewhere in the region, though slight mustiness is an occasional problem; they are hollowed into the hillside below the main building, a handsome sun-lit belvedere which functions as breakfast room, lounge and office. The hotel is happy to shuttle guests to and from the restaurants in nearby Göreme or Ürgup on a complimentary basis. The hotel stands immediately above the Balkan Valley, which offers good walking; the management can advise on routes.