Living the majesty of Cappadocia

by Emily Ladd
   
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Boasting panoramic views of Cappadocia’s famous plateau, this is a hotel unlike any other. Built from ancient ruins, caves and underground tunnels, Argos in Cappadocia is an enchanting blend of 2,000 years of history and modern-day imagination, design, technology and hospitality. Winner of the Luxury Boutique Hotel (Turkey) category at the 2012 Luxury Hotel Awards, Argos in Cappadocia guarantees an unforgettable experience.

This special place began life as a mere idea – turning 42 ancient dwellings into a world-class hotel. The idea eventually became a reality when the ruins of Bezirhane were discovered – a 2,000-year-old underground monastery and later a hostel for camel caravans on the legendary Silk Road. Years of careful excavation and restoration of historical buildings, caves and tunnels followed. The ruggedness of the landscape does not continue within the hotel’s walls, as the cavernous bedrooms are lavishly decorated, featuring beautiful antique ornamental pieces, traditional carpets and elegant furniture.

There are 42 rooms at Argos in Cappadocia, ranging from Stone Suites to Splendid Suites. The rooms are as unique as the people who inhabited them hundreds of years ago, and are blessed with awe-inspiring views. All Splendid Suites have their own private swimming pool. Accommodation is split between five beautifully restored mansions, with rooms connected by underground tunnels.

Other features include the Seki Restaurant, Lounge and Cellar where we enjoyed delicious local dishes and wines. You can also order room service and in-room massages – perfect after an activity-filled day to soothe tired muscles. Our cave-like room had a tiled pool in the centre and was decorated with local artworks. It really was like nowhere I’ve ever stayed before – a perfect blend of opulence and tradition; a welcome respite from the everyday. For an unforgettable honeymoon experience, stay in one of the Splendid Suites – the ultimate in luxury. These elegant split-level cave-style rooms boast a pool, living area and fireplace.

The suites were once part of an ancient monastery, and the dedication to the original layout, along with exquisite interior, connects this building to its past. Rooms are accessed by a series of underground tunnels.

It was bliss to take a dip together in our private pool then sit on our terrace with a cool drink and gaze out over Pigeon Valley. It was such a mesmerising view, with Mt Erciyes in the distance.

These caves were constructed from a traditional monastery and have existed for centuries. The hotel rooms are decked out in a charming local style and contain all the essentials to allow you to concentrate on the awe-inspiring sights, making the resort a perfect fusion of heritage and luxury. If you like scenic views as much as history and culture, you will not be disappointed by the raised gardens, rocky slopes and traditional architecture that surrounds you at every turn. Feel connected to nature both inside and outside, as the rooms show off their natural brickwork and unique shape to emphasize the historic background of Argos in Cappadocia.

Ask the friendly and approachable staff for anything – they will give you advice on what sights should not be missed. The landscape here has to be seen to be believed. One of the best ways to appreciate it is by taking a hot air balloon over the valley – especially at sunset, when the surrounding rocks are bathed in red light.

Alternatively, take a guided hike across the region and explore the famous underground dwellings, originally used to defend the area against invaders. You can also rent a motorbike or bicycle (depending on your fitness levels) and enjoy the freedom to explore at your own pace. The Red River is Turkey’s longest river, and you can try lots of activities, including kayaking and canoeing. Alternatively, rent a speedboat, or take it at a more leisurely pace by hiring a gondola. Admire the impressive cliffs and canyons as you drift along, cool off with a dip in the water and then enjoy the excitement of the rapids.

A fairytale wonderland in one of the most glorious natural landscapes in the world – breathtaking and luxurious in equal measure. The stunning views of the surrounding landscape are jaw dropping; the winding valley dotted with springs, vineyards, orchards and dovecotes, the natural sculptures hewn from volcanic lava over thousands of years inspire romance at every turn.

We wanted to investigate the surrounding area, so we asked the helpful concierge (someone is available 24 hours a day) to arrange an excursion for us to the Goreme Open Air Museum. With 30 rock-carved churches, chapels and frescoes dating back to the 9th century to explore, it proved to be a fascinating trip. Afterwards, back at the hotel, we enjoyed a private cellar tour to see the extensive wine collection. Later that evening we had a lovely romantic dinner and watched a whirling dervishes show.

With so much to see, we decided the best way to view it all was from a hot air balloon, so on our last day we spent a few hours gliding over the valley. It was a magical way to experience this unique landscape, and a truly memorable way to end our stay.

To enjoy together
  • Take a hot air balloon tour of the landscape
  • Hire mountain bikes and explore, or go hiking in the valleys
  • Take a pottery workshop
  • Enjoy a candlelit dinner
  • Take a Cappadocia tour
  • Watch a concert in Bezirhane including jazz, classical and Sufi music
  • Take nature photos
Hotel facilities
  • Seki Restaurant-Lounge-Cellar serving a wealth of local dishes and international favourites
  • The Lounge has a warm seating area with fireplace and a terrace with views over the valley
  • Mountain bikes are available at the hotel

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