A boutique hotel in Central Anatolia in Turkey offers beautiful rooms in a fairytale setting. It’s the perfect spot to stay and explore the bizarre scenery of the region...
2014 started with an extraordinary trip to Cappadocia. The region is famous for its surreal landscapes and incredible scenery. I have wanted to go there for a long time, as I heard that Cappadocia is a magical place, with its natural rock formations, also called "fairy chimneys," that make you feel like you're on a different planet.
To my surprise, I got an invitation from the Castle Inn Hotel in Ortahisar, a small village in the region
of Cappadocia. As you can imagine, I was delighted and couldn't wait to see the beauty of Cappadocia with my own eyes.
There are two airports in Cappadocia area, Nevsehir and Kayseri. I flew from Istanbul to Nevsehir, luckily Pegasus had tickets on sale. If you book in advance, tickets can be as little as TL75 (€25) for a round trip (from Istanbul).
From the airport it's a 1 hour ride by car to Ortahisar, one of the smaller towns in Cappadocia region. There are airport shuttles waiting in front of the arrival hall. The ride itself was already absolutely amazing, as I got to see a lot of those bizarre rock formations, looking like giant mushrooms or... well... like something else. Be sure to bring a camera to Cappadocia!
I arrived at the hotel before noon and was pleased to be welcomed by Suat, the owner of the place. He ordered some sandwiches and juice for me and was happy to show me the rooms. The hotel really looks like a small castle and gives you a sweet fairytale feeling.
The building itself is a renovated 150 year old Cappadocian house. There is a gorgeous terrace on the upper floor, I can imagine in summer it's wonderful to sit there and enjoy a drink and the view. Unfortunately I came at the probably coldest time of the year to Cappadocia. Despite the cold, the view was still breathtaking!
The first 2 nights I stayed in one of the Arch Rooms, which was very pleasant. I even had a fire place facing my bed. The room was spotless clean and bright with a big glass window to the bathroom (you can cover it from inside if you don't want your partner to watch you peeing). The mattress was perfect - not too hard and not too soft. I had an excellent night’s sleep. Though I was concerned I might be cold, it was actually warmer than I expected, and I even unplugged one of the heaters at night.
The Castle Inn has only 5 rooms; it's a boutique hotel and I can tell you, the owner put a lot of effort in the details. He's a collector of antique furniture and has an impressive collection of old telephones, gramophones, Chinese carvings, armor displays and anything else you can imagine. Each room is unique and beautiful in its own way.
After two days I got upgraded and moved to the cave room. It was really like a cave, a bit dark, but very cozy. My jaw dropped when I stepped into the bathroom and saw the jacuzzi. I love jacuzzis! Believe me, after a long day of walking and sightseeing, this bathtub will save your life.
There is free WiFi all around the hotel, only in the cave the signal gets a bit weak. All rooms come with a flat TV (which I never switched on), an impressive old telephone (it works and you can even use it for free for local calls), a fridge, a kettle and free tea/coffee.
The complimentary mini bar for all guests, filled with coke, juice and 2 small bottles of water is a very generous gesture. There is a closet in every room. The bigger rooms also have a couch which can be extended to a bed.
Room prices start from TL150 (€50) a night for a double room. Check here rates & availability.
The breakfast is included and it's basically a traditionally Turkish Breakfast: sausages, olives, feta and yellow cheese, tomatoes, cucumber, omelet, white bread, different kinds of honey and jam, ham and salami.
Tea and coffee is free all day.
One of the absolute highlights of my stay in Cappadocia was a trip on a hot air balloon. The owner of the hotel is also a pilot and lucky as I am, Suat organized a balloon ride for me. On my third day we started early in the morning to see the sunset and the valleys of Cappadocia. For about 45 min we were gently floating in the sky. It was an absolutely unforgettable experience and nobody should leave Cappadocia without seeing this fascinating place from above.
The balloon ride was organized through Royal Balloon, a breakfast and a glass of champagne afterward is included. Prices start from TL525 (€175). If you're traveling on a budget, you might find it a bit pricey though, but the experience is worth it. Highly recommended! The view from the balloon is out of this world!
Beside the hot air balloon ride, there is a lot more to do. Many of the attractions such as Love Valley, Pigeon Valley and Rose Valley are located around the town of Göreme. Walking in the valleys is a nice and free way to see Cappadocia. The Castle Inn Hotel is located in Ortahisar, a few kilometers away from Göreme. Getting around can be a bit tricky as there is no public transportation to Göreme.
Alternatively, the hotel offers organized day trips, starting from TL150 (€50). Personally I'm not a fan of organized tours as I don't like to wake up early, I'd rather explore the area on my own. But if you like an easy and comfortable trip, the day trips are a good option.
If you don't want to do the guided tours, I'd recommend to hire a car and do the sightseeing by yourself. If you don't drive (like me), you can walk to Göreme (30 - 45 minutes) or you hitchhike. I did the latter one. Even though there was barely traffic it wasn't hard to get a ride. People seem generally helpful and gave us a lift. But let me state that I do not want to encourage female travelers to hitchhike alone, not only in Turkey, but anywhere in the world. I wasn't alone so I felt quite safe to hitchhike between the towns.
If you stay at the Castle Inn Hotel, Suat might give you a lift if he's free. Just ask him, I'm sure he will help you out.
I had such a fantastic time in Cappadocia, and staying at the Castle Inn was a lovely and surreal experience. The owner Suat was always checking if I had everything I needed and tried as much as he could to make me feel at home. The Castle Inn is a great place to spend a romantic weekend with your partner or a good time with your best friend. Cappadocia is a natural wonderland, the scenery gives you the feeling you're on a trip to the moon...
If you would love to experience the Castle Inn Hotel, check here rates and availability!
GENERAL INFO ABOUT CAPPADOCIA
Cappadocia is a really fascinating place and therefore also a very touristic place. Of course there is a big business going on with the tourists.
Vendors, Hotels and Travel Agencies often claim prices is Euro - something that really bothered me. The currency of Turkey is Turkish Lira, not Euro. It's so obvious that I always pay more if I would pay in Euro.
For example, I've been told that the airport shuttle (Nevsehir - Göreme) cost €10 which is currently TL30. The shuttle bus was filled with more than 80% locals / Turkish people and obviously, none of them paid in Euro. So why should I? I was quite disappointed when I noticed the Turkish people paid only TL20, which is 33% less than I was supposed to pay. It's just not nice and added a bitter taste to my Cappadocia experience.
I recommend that you pay everything in Turkish Lira, always compare prices before you book a tour or a package, ask other travelers for recommendations or check Tripadvisor to get the latest reviews and ideas about things to do in the area.
It might be a good idea to look for a cheap car rental, so you can explore the area independently at your own pace.
For hotels or any other kind of accommodation in Cappadocia, Agoda is your best bet!
I wish you a great and unforgettable trip to Cappadocia!
Thank you for reading.
The hot air ballon ride was made possible by Royal Ballon.
My stay at the Castle Inn Hotel was complimentary, all opinions are my own.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Sabrina Iovino is the founder of JustOneWayTicket.com. She's half German, half Italian and has traveled to more than 50 countries around the globe. She feels weird to write about herself in the third person, so she'll switch now. Phew...much better! Let's restart:
Hi, I'm Sab! This is my blog and I write about the things I love. Mostly.
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Thanks to my Editor Christina Gmyr, the blogger behind Fleeting Life
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