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Fresco Cave Suites & Mansions 4.0

Urgup, Cappadocia, Turkey

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  • No elevator
  • No fitness center or spa
  • No coffeemakers

Bottom Line

Dating from the 18th century, the Fresco is a collection of restored mansions that served as opulent residences during the Ottoman period. Some rooms are traditional and brightly decorated with original frescoes, but with three stories and no elevator, some travelers may find that it’s a hassle to reach a few of them. Most of the rooms however are true cave rooms, hewn from the rock deeper within the buildings. And, unlike many others in the area, they're air-conditioned. 

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18th-century Ottoman mansions carved from rock

The first mayor of Urgup built the first mansion here at the end of the 18th century and it's been added to by successive owners. The hotel now consists of three main buildings that were combined into one unique property, including old cave lodgings from a bygone era once used by travelers and their pack animals. Black and white photographs of families who once lived in the buildings adorn the walls in the well-outfitted lobby, which has an arched stone block ceiling over a variety of easy chairs and Persian rugs. Adjoining rooms are decorated in Ottoman antiques, and there's a cozy fireplace room where guests can sip wine or tea in the colder months.


Near the center of town, across from a park

Fresco Cave Suites & Mansions is in central Urgup next to a Seljuk-period, 12th-century mosque and across from a public park. The town center's shops, restaurants, and bars are within easy walking distance, as is Temenni Wishing Well. Cappadocia's most modern tourist destination, Urgup is brimming with upscale hotels, shops, and nightlife, and also offers unique examples of Seljuk architecture and old Turkish houses. It's a 15-minute drive to Goreme, which is a bit more touristy than Urgup and offers closer proximity to Goreme National Park and the Rock Sites of Cappadocia. (Urgup is a bit more upmarket and serene.) Two airports serve the area: Nevsehir Kapadokya is an hour’s drive northwest while Kayseri is about 90 minutes east by car. 


Mansion and cave rooms with preserved frescoes

Each of the 17 rooms here is individually decorated, varying widely in size and character. Most of them are cave rooms, with hand-carved decorative stonework and walls that have beautiful natural patterns and striations within the rock. The six mansion rooms are more traditional, with hardwood floors and walls painted in vibrant colors. Most have preserved floral frescoes painted by a Greek master in the late 18th century. Many of the doors are also original, covered with a patina that complements the aging frescoes. The natural cedar-wood furnishings lend a pleasant odor to spaces and Turkish antiques fill the rooms.

Despite the age of the mansions and the caves, the bathrooms are all modern with large walk-in rainfall showers. Some Deluxe rooms and suites have separate soaking tubs and private balconies. Minibars and tea-making facilities are in all rooms along with air conditioners -- a boon in warmer months, often excluded by other hotels in the area. 


Rooftop terrace, fireplace lounge, restaurant with local specialties, and a free breakfast

While the caves and old mansion interiors are the hotel's main draw, the property also has an outdoor courtyard and rooftop terrace for enjoying views of the town and surrounding landscape. The fake turf on the rooftop feels entirely out of place, but the terrace is huge and has several different lounging areas, including covered seating and leisurely hammocks. The small lobby bar serves wine and tea, which guests can savor by a fireplace in colder months. The restaurant has a set menu focusing on regional specialties like stuffed eggplant, Turkish pie with cheese and potatoes, apricot desserts, and local Urgup wines. Free breakfast is a traditional Turkish spread of vegetables, fruit, and cheese with omelets made from local eggs. 

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Musa Efendi Mah. Esat Aga Sk. No:15, Eski Kayakapi Girisi, Urgup 50400, Turkey

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