Hezen Cave Hotel

Ortahisar, Cappadocia, Turkey Book from

Reviewed by Sarah Gilbert
Make like a modern troglodyte in this stylish cave hotel, set into the steep slopes of Ortahisar
Built around and carved into Cappadocia’s soft rock, the Hezen Cave Hotel effortlessly blends the contemporary and traditional within its stone walls. The enormous lounge lobby sets the tone: sleek white banquettes, funky artwork and antique carpets give plenty of colour and offset the pale stone walls and wooden floors. The spacious cave rooms are equally bright - and cosy all year round thanks to underfloor heating. There’s plenty of outside space, too, for soaking up the views by day or stargazing by night.

Traditional rock houses spill down the hillsides of Ortahisar in spectacular fashion and this picturesque village makes a peaceful base from which to explore the region’s many attractions, including Goreme's Open Air Museum, 3km away. Ortahisar has the second tallest citadel in the region, and the sides of the valley are filled with carved-out storage areas used for preserving local produce, as well as citrus fruit brought from the coast. While it lacks the boutiques and nightlife of Urgup and Goreme, its maze of dusty cobbled streets will give you a real taste of Anatolian life.


  • Lovely, contemporary interiors and an arty feel
  • The friendly staff are wonderful, and will advise on what to see and do and how to get there
  • The sunny terraces have stunning views over the village - we loved sitting out for delicious breakfasts and evening drinks
  • The 24-hour honesty bar adds to the relaxed ambiance
  • Ortahisar feels unspoilt and off the tourist trail


  • No restaurant, and limited dining options in Ortahisar, but the larger towns of Urgup and Goreme are a short drive away. Reception can book a cheap taxi
  • You have to negotiate several sets of steps to reach the rooms on the lower levels
  • Some may find the lounge over-formal
  • Low headroom in some areas of the bedrooms

Best time to go

The hotel is open March-October. May, June, September and October are the best months to visit Cappadocia in general; high summer is hot. Urgup's annual International Wine and Grape Festival is in October.

Our top tips

  • Le Bazaar D’Orient, the owners’ shop in Urgup, has a fine selection of rugs, kilims and textiles. Be sure to visit their fascinating museum of antique rugs and textiles above the shop
  • A sunset hike through the Rose Valley is unforgettable
  • Great for...

    Great Outdoors
    • = Recommended
    • = Best in region
    • = World favourite
    • Boutique Hotel
    • 14
    • Breakfast only (restaurants nearby)
    • All ages welcome
    • Open all year
    • Pool
    • Spa Treatments
    • WiFi
    • Pet Friendly
    • Disabled Access
    • Beach Nearby
    • Off-street Parking
    • Restaurants Nearby
    • Air Conditioning
    • Guest Lounge
    • Terrace
    • Garden
    • Gym
    • Snack kitchen


    The guest rooms are carved into the hillside at different levels and no 2 are the same. Some of the rooms on the upper floors have private balconies, while some of the lower rooms have access to a courtyard.

    They're surprisingly light and airy for caves, and the Turkish designer Halide Didem was inspired by the region’s traditional houses to use colourful décor. Green window frames, a yellow door and a glossy red bedstead enlivened the rustic sand-coloured stone walls of our room, while bright embroidered cushions and a throw adorned the large bed. Goosedown duvets and pillows kept things cosy at night.

    All rooms have ensuite bathrooms with underfloor heating, marble showers, attractive round basins decorated with Ottoman-style designs, thick white Turkish bath towels, and traditional slippers.

    All Standard Rooms have seating areas - ours had a pair of contemporary button-backed chairs - and the Suites have a separate living area with plenty of lounging space, flat-screen TVs and minibars. These latter rooms are best for families.

    More recently, 4 Superior Suites have been added to the collection. We haven't seen them yet and they're set in a slightly different location to the other rooms, but the look particularly luxurious and have a slightly more modern design than the original rooms.

    Features include:

    • Central heating
    • Complimentary mineral water
    • Cots Available
    • Extra beds
    • Hairdryer
    • Honesty bar
    • Phone
    • Safe box
    • Slippers
    • Terrace
    • Toiletries
    • WiFi
    • Wifi internet


    A buffet breakfast is served in the colourful dining room or on the sun-drenched terraces. We really enjoyed our typical Turkish feast - white cheese, cucumber, tomatoes, olives, freshly baked bread, strong coffee - and there are also fresh pastries, fruit, cereals and cold meats, as well as eggs made to order.

    The honesty bar stocks a full range of spirits and beers. Post-sightseeing, relax alfresco or in front of the fire in the lounge with a Turkish tea, a glass of the excellent local wine, or raki, Turkey’s potent anise-flavoured spirit.

    Ortahisar has several small restaurants. Süreyya Restaurant near the castle is one of the best, offering traditional Cappadocian cuisine in a cave setting.

    Further afield - the hotel has a discounted rate with the local taxi station - try A’laturka in Goreme (3km away), which serves traditional Turkish dishes with a contemporary twist. Ziggy’s in Urgup (6km away) is also a favourite with both visitors and residents, but make sure you book in advance. We loved the Turkish menu, which included 10 mezze plates - smoked aubergine dip and fava bean purée among them - and garlic chicken skewers.

    Features include:

    • Breakfast
    • Restaurants nearby
    • Room service


    • Visit Goreme Open Air Museum, a Unesco World Heritage Site, and marvel at the beautifully preserved Byzantine frescoes that decorate its many monasteries and churches

    • Don’t miss a sunrise balloon flight and the chance to drift gently over the sculpted landscape, dipping in and out of valleys and over fairy chimneys

    • Remember to duck as you explore the narrow, labyrinthine passageways, wineries and kitchens of the ancient underground cities of Derinkuyu or Kaymakli

    • Take a hike - the terrain is perfect for hiking at all levels and the hotel will provide you with route maps

    • Or go horse riding, mountain biking or quad biking, and play cross-country golf

    • Lose yourself in Ortahisar’s warren of narrow streets, visit its castle and climb to the top of its fortress for panoramic views

    • Be entranced by the Whirling Dervish performances at the historical Saruhan caravanserai; reception can book tickets

    • Barter for carpets, silver jewellery, semi-precious stones, pottery and more in the bazaars of Urgup and Goreme

    • Sample the reds, whites and rosés at Turasan in Urgup, one of the region’s oldest wineries

    Activities on site or nearby include:

    • Golf
    • Hiking
    • Historical sites
    • Horse-riding
    • Hot air ballooning
    • Mountain biking
    • Museums / galleries
    • Private guided tours
    • Quad biking
    • Shopping / markets
    • Traditional cultures
    • Wine tasting


    Children are welcome on request.

    Best for:

    All ages

    Family friendly accommodation:

    Suites have 1-2 sofas (which can be made up as single beds for children aged 6 and under), or can fit 1-2 rollaway beds for older children. One of the Superior Suites has space for an extra bed or baby cot.

    Baby equipment:

    The hotel can provide a car seat, buggy, baby cot and highchair.

    Remember  baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking

    Our guests' ratings...


    {{ review.firstName }}{{ review.countryName ? ', '+ review.countryName : '' }},
    Feedback is only from guests who have booked and stayed through i-escape

    Rates for Hezen Cave Hotel