The two words ‘boutique’ and ‘cave’ rarely come together in one sentence, but Yunak Evleri manages to pull it off rather well. With impeccable service, exquisite furnishing and a hint of rustic au naturel ambiance, Yunak Evleri adds special meaning to one’s travel experience.
Blending nature and interior design into one perfect setting, Yunak Evleri sets the golden standards for cave hotels in Cappadocia, Turkey. Having first opened its doors to guests 12 years ago, this luxury cave hotel was one of the pioneering hotels to be set in a genuine cave. Since then, it has maintained its reputation as one of the best cave hotels in Cappadocia.
Preserving Environment and History
Carved right out of towering cliff faces, these caves date back to the 5th and 6th century when Cappadocia was shaped by works of nature. These caves, rich in history and heritage, are now protected by the Turkish authorities. This is why although they are renovated and decorated with plush furnishing at Yunak Evleri, the caves are still kept in their original structure. Any sort of reform or overhaul is not allowed by law.
To get an opportunity to actually sleep in a genuine cave inevitably makes one feel privileged.
And it’s not just a simple cave, it is fitted with lavish rustic furnishing, a right dose of traditional Turkish decor and a tinge of luxury.
At Yunak Evleri, it is easy to see how much attention they pay to details, and how much care they provide towards conserving the environment.
Lavish Greek Mansion
Within the stone building, cozy meeting ooms provide a soothing atmosphere for some lounging in the evening. The music room has a wide variety of CDs you can borrow and the TV room is decked out in plush Turkish cushions and a million-dollar view of the surrounding cliffs.
Adjacent to the stone mansion is a rooftop terrace that is strewn with thick, comfortable pillows come summer. Candle-light dinners are held here.
Luxury Cave Suites
A labyrinth of narrow cobbled stone paths lead to the hotel’s 30 cave rooms. Each room is tastefully designed in Ottoman style and decorated with old kilim carpets and wooden chests. Polished teak flooring and handcrafted furniture give it a tinge of subtle elegance. Some of the best rooms are located a short climb away; with an unobstructed panorama of the Urgup mountain cliffs.
What’s special about the rooms is the television, or rather, the lack of it. Hotel manager, Abdullah Inal tells me the purpose of not having a television set in the rooms is to allow guests to completely unwind and soak in their surroundings. Instead, guests can chill out to calm, soothing jazz music and enjoy the alluring view within the comfort of their own room.
Out of its selection of cave rooms, the massive suite has to be a honeymooner’s dream come true. I had the opportunity to stay at its multi-chambered deluxe suite. Besides the massive living area, the gorgeous marble bathroom fitted with a jacuzzi jet-bath was enough to make me dream of coming back again with my other half. The sleeping area is cozily tucked behind the living area, furnished simply with a cushy double bed, a teak chest box and a rocking chair.
The hotel’s restaurant, situated adjacent to the stone mansion, is an atmospheric one. With classical music playing in the background and the fireplace burning, it sets you in the right mood for some romance. Its Victorian-style interior is enhanced by the hardwood ceiling, stone walls and velvet upholstery.
The hotel caters to the well-heeled traveler, with room rates starting from US$130 (single room) to $230 (suite) per night. I’m accustomed to budget hostels or B&B, being a shoestring traveler, but for such an exotic setting and world-class furnishing, I think the price is rather reasonable.
Yunak Evleri is situated in the town of Ürgüp, the main tourist base in Cappadocia. In contrast to Goreme, Ürgüp is calmer in terms of tourism and has a more quaint feel to it. Just a 5-minute downhill walk from the hotel is the center of Ürgüp, where most restaurants and shops are located. With tour operators and public buses easily available, it’s a convenient base for exploring Cappadocia.
*Disclaimer: my stay at Yunak Evleri was sponsored by the hotel, it does not affect my opinions in any way.