I had heard raves about Esbelli Evi from many sources and that it sets the standard for cave dwellings in Cappadocia, Fodors, Frommers, Slowtravel and more all have ecstatic reviews. I was also told by many that it would be difficult to get into as it is one of the best boutique hotels in the world, (especially in the high season when we were going) if not booked far in advance. We can not book far ahead because we travel by whim, so have to book as we go. I decided to just take my chances and hope for the best.
My cyber-friends from “six in the world” (www.sixintheworld.com) who just finished a year of traveling around the world with four kids, raved about their stay at Esbelli Evi and that and their great pictures made me really take note of it for our trip when I was planning our Turkey travel. Anne is a great writer and expresses the joy of Esbelli Evi very well here (you will see why she tempted us!): http://sixintheworld.com/2007/04/19/
The manager kindly picked us up from our cave hotel in Goreme and brought us to Urgurp since we did not have a car. As he led us thru the beautiful home to our room, he told Mozart that he was sorry but they did not have a bed for her and pretended to be a little sad. Then he laughed and showed her that she had her very own large and luxurious cave room right next door to ours!
She felt just like a princess and adores being indulged. They had upgraded us to a beautiful very large suite with two bedrooms and Mozart was literally jumping for joy all around the place! We were stunned and so appreciated it. They even had a small refrigerator outside her room, filled with juices, water, soda and such which was just the cat’s meow for her. She wandered around the vine covered stone stairs and labyrinth cave walk ways, played violin, explored an antique spindle, found a butterfly and more, just like a royal kid in days of yore.
We just loved this beautiful home and were thrilled to be able to spend some time here as it feels like a very healing place and the service is superb. Turkey hospitality is incredible around the country and is world renown, but they have taken it to a fine art here. Endless little touches makes one feel pampered and revitalized and nothing seems impossible. Suhu, the owner who is a well traveled lawyer, is known for his hospitality and his staff is wonderful. I loved it when I read that the antique kilims were his grandmothers! We reveled in the 4th century beauty as well as the fast internet connection in our room.
The breakfasts were the best we have had on the trip and how wonderful it is to have the best fresh squeezed orange juice (instead of tang which is the mainstay in many places) and omelets cooked to order added to the breakfast buffet with many delights to start. Greeting each beautiful sunny day was bliss !
We could order a delicious supper in if we wanted which suited us just fine a few nights. I could do more research for the trip and upload the blog, all in my Pj’s from our comfortable cave. They had a great library of wonderful books and Suhu was a jazz fan just like DaVinci and had a great collection of CDs. How fun for Mozart to be able to do “cave-school”...that is our nick name for homeschool in a cave! The wood, the stone, the kilims, the lace curtains, etc. all nurtured us.
The views were spectacular and there were lovely people staying there (mostly American when we were there and one family from India). One really gets the feeling that one is visiting a good friend in Cappadocia rather than staying in a small hotel. Mozart loved to go up to the kitchen and get some snacks like nutella or snickers on fresh bread in between meals as it is always open for guests. She loves tea, so the Turkish tea habit is right up her alley. When we eagerly watched CNN and Mozart a cartoon, since we rarely see TV, Suhu asked if we would like some TV’s in our room. (We did not, but liked the thoughtfulness and “can do” attitude). We preferred just a peak to catch up and the pristine silence.
We had done extensive sight seeing in Cappadocia before we got to Esbelli Evi, so we really liked the opportunity to just bask in the serenity and peace of ancient troglodyte life (with all the modern conveniences). We liked it so much, it was hard to leave and we added on a night or two more than planned. We could have easily spent two weeks there.
I told a cyber friend of mine (via www.slowtalk.com) who was also touring Turkey at this time in a motor home, that he really must experience cave living at its best in Cappadocia since we so enjoyed our experience. They thought it sounded good too, and low and behold they were on our doorstep before I knew it. I was astonished when I got a call in my cave room as I rested on my four poster bed, as no one ever calls us and few knew where we were. What a fun surprise to find our friends were in the lobby!
We happily greeted them, checked out their cool, brand new and custom made, expensive RV and made plans for dinner together. They had meant to come to Esbelli Evi, but got the names mixed up and thus ended up staying at the place next door. The company and view were great at dinner as we watched the sun set over Cappadocia and discussed the joys of Rving around Europe.
We had another day or two and then got one last picture of the great staff (Suhu was away at that moment) before they took us to the bus station and helped us get off on the right bus to Ankara for our sleeper train to Istanbul. We have been to so many wonderful places in Europe, but Esbelli Evi was one of the best and will always have a special place in our heart!