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Kayakapi Premium Caves - Cappadocia 4.5

Urgup, Cappadocia, Turkey

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • Large luxury rooms set in historical caves 
  • Full spa with sauna and Turkish bath
  • Terraces with incredible views
  • Restaurant, bar, and wine cellar on-site
  • Gorgeous outdoor pool and kiddy pool
  • Small fitness center
  • Business lounge with printers
  • Free breakfast, Wi-Fi, and parking

Cons

  • Car needed to get into town 
  • Ongoing construction and restoration

Bottom Line

One of the top hotels in Urgup, Kayakapi Premium Caves is poised to grow from 32 to 55 rooms when its ambitious restoration project is completed. Currently 43 rooms are available. The hilltop property occupies 2,700 acres of a residential neighborhood composed of hundreds of long abandoned cave homes and historical buildings. A full spa, outdoor pool, and two restaurants fill the unique stone interiors and gorgeous grounds, from which guests can take in stunning views of the town's terra-cotta rooftops stretching into the distance. 

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Scene

Restored 18th-century cave homes with rich history

Set in a hillside overlooking the town, the neighborhood took shape in the 18th century when it was home to wealthy Ottoman families who expanded the existing ancient caves into more elegant homes. Evacuated due to an earthquake in 1960, the site lay dormant and crumbling until the renovations began, backed by UNESCO and a private developer looking to preserve not only the homes but a 10th-century Christian church, a Seljuk Empire-era mosque, and the former home of Saint John the Russian -- an important figure in the Greek Orthodox faith. The hotel’s architecture speaks to the area’s history, with intricate stonework abounding and a lovely courtyard garden among the features.

Location

On a hilltop outside of downtown; car needed to get to major attractions

Kayakapi Premium Caves is a unique hotel occupying an old hilltop neighborhood on the edge of town. Due to its steep location removed from central Urgup, there is very little within walking distance and a car is needed to get to the town's central attractions, restaurants, and bars. Cappadocia's most modern tourist destination, Urgup, is brimming with upscale hotels, shops, and nightlife amid unique examples of Seljuk architecture and old Turkish houses. It's about 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.) The underground cities of Kaymakli, Ozkonak, and Derinkuyu are within a 50-minute drive. Two airports serve the area: Nevsehir Kapadokya is about an hour northwest by car while Kayseri is a 75- to 90-minute drive east. 

Rooms

Widely varying historical caves, many with Turkish baths

With 43 rooms and counting, all the hotel's large guest units are built into true historical caves. Each is unique and luxurious, carved into the rocky hillside with a separate living area and work desks. Elegant wooden furniture and colorful Turkish kilims are used sparingly, letting the stone spaces exude a natural Cappadocian ambiance. Some rooms have fireplaces, courtyards, or terraces, and a few spaces even have their own private cave pools (though these can be overly humid in the summer). Bathrooms vary widely throughout the hand-carved interiors -- all have large walk-in showers, but some have additional natural stone bathtubs, and many have Turkish baths. All rooms also have Nespresso machines, minibars, iPod docks, and a welcome box of Turkish Delight.

Features

Outdoor pool, full spa, business lounge, and two restaurants with outdoor terraces

From its hilltop location, the hotel has commanding views of the surrounding countryside from almost every inch of its historical grounds. The outdoor pool, lined entirely with glass mosaic tiles, is set in a terrace with the huge stone arches of the hotel on one side and the valley below on the other. Inside, the full spa has a sauna, massage, and treatment rooms surrounded by exposed stone walls, and a huge traditional Turkish bath. There's also an attached fitness center with a pair of treadmills and several cardio bikes and nautilus machines. It's cramped and the stone walls with a timber ceiling give the room a medieval atmosphere that could be mistaken for a torture chamber, but fitness buffs will appreciate that it's even there.

The large business lounge with its stone arches and elegant work desks (and printers) puts most business centers to shame. Maide Restaurant and Bistro Manzara both dish out traditional Turkish cuisine with international influences, each with outdoor patio seating. A wine cellar provides a large cache of regional wines and can be visited by appointment for tastings, complete with cheese plates. The free breakfast consists of a buffet with local Cappadocian specialties, including eggs cooked-to-order.

Note that this property is in a state of ongoing renovations, slowly adding new rooms and features -- but the changes shouldn't interfere with guests' stays. 

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Address

Kayakapi Mahallesi, Kuscular Sokak No:43, Urgup 50400, Turkey

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