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Gamirasu Cave Hotel 4.0

Ayvali, Cappadocia, Turkey

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • Historic hotel converted from a 11th century monastery with original artwork preserved
  • Free bicycle rentals and shuttle service to the center of Urgup
  • Lovely, spacious cave rooms, some with fireplaces and scenic balconies
  • Big, heated outdoor pool with lounge chairs
  • Food is all organic and prepared on-site
  • Caves have a stable and naturally cool climate
  • Free Wi-Fi, parking, and breakfast
  • Laundry facilities available (fee)

Cons

  • Rooms and public areas are accessible through a series of stairways
  • Cramped spaces and low headroom in some areas
  • 20 minutes away from Urgup

Bottom Line

Designed for explorers who prefer a quiet and meditative space, the 35-room Gamirasu Cave Hotel is a stunning and romantic find in Ayvali Village. The property is a combination of converted village houses and a Byzantine-era monastery that now hosts a number of modern conveniences -- from a heated outdoor pool to free Wi-Fi -- but has retained historic details such as frescos decorating the walls. Standard rooms have the basic bed and en-suite shower, while the larger suites have luxuriously decorated separate living areas and balconies with great views. The secluded location a 20-minute drive out to Urgup may be a drawback for some, but for others it's part of the appeal.

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Scene

Small hotel in a restored monastery from the Byzantine era

Together with one beautifully integrated monastery and seven restored cave houses, the Gamirasu Cave Hotel creates a deeply intimate and relaxed experience. Ancient frescos from the once Byzantine monastery still decorate the walls, the original volcanic rock carvings and rooms remain intact, and the spaces are decorated in traditional Turkish style -- the owner’s intention was to restore the property to much of its original form while creating a comfortable space for guests. There are modern amenities including the outdoor heated pool and the on-site restaurant and bar. Outside, beautiful stone walkways are surrounded by troves of greenery, and stairways are outlined by wrought-iron railings. Overall, the atmosphere is quiet, inviting, and romantic.

Location

In the small village of Ayvali, within an hour's drive of most underground cities and parks

Map of Gamirasu Cave Hotel

Cappadocia is a popular tourist destination known for its complex cave tunnels, underground cities, and overall cultural landscape. Immediately at the hotel’s front steps is a seven-kilometer-long hiking trail that leads down to a stunning valley and river. Goreme National Park, a World Heritage site, is where many travelers choose to hike, and the national park is a 30-minute drive away. Derinkuyu underground city is a 40-minute drive out and is considered the most impressive of underground cities with eight levels of complex tunnels and rooms. A closer underground city is Kaymakli, with only four floors open to the public.

The hotel is located outside the main town of Urgup, and there are a few small hotels and occupied village houses nearby. Not much activity happens here. There is a free shuttle bus that takes visitors to and from Urgup. Nevsehir is 45 kilometers away, and is the closest airport -- the hotel offers free transfers. Kayseri airport is an alternative but is 75 kilometers from the hotel. 

Rooms

Stunning original cave structures, elegantly decorated in traditional Turkish style

There are 35 rooms in total: Standard Double, Deluxe Rooms, Cave Suites, Family Suites, and Superior Suites. Each is decorated differently with elegant antique chests, traditional sheets, writing desks, and Cappadocian rugs. They are equipped with flat-screen TVs, free Wi-Fi, mini-fridges, and coffee-making facilities. The Standard rooms and a few Deluxe rooms have clean but comparatively smaller bathrooms than upgraded rooms. Higher-tier rooms have bathtubs, whirlpool tubs, fireplaces, scenic balconies, and even saunas.

Features

Various classes, heated outdoor pool, restaurant, free bike rentals, and car shuttle to Urgup

In keeping with the spiritual history of the space, the hotel offers various on-site activities that are both relaxing and educational. For example, depending on the season, the hotel offers a tour around ground’s garden, which is fully organic and used in the hotel’s restaurant. There are yoga and meditation sessions, and classes in traditional Turkish cookery. There is also a heated 74-meter square pool with plenty of lounge chairs.

In the morning, a breakfast buffet is served in the restaurant, but can be enjoyed al fresco on the terrace overlooking the village. There are home-made jams, locally sourced cream and honeys, breads, and eggs. The bikes are perfect for after breakfast rides to neighboring parks and trails, while the shuttle is a nice perk to traveling into town without calling a car.

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Address

Ayvali, Urgup 50400, Turkey

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