Hezen Cave Hotel

Ortahisar, Cappadocia, Turkey Book from Book from £70 per night

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.

Highs

  • 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

Lows

  • 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...

    Eco
    Family
    Great Outdoors
    • 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
    Room:

    Rooms

    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

    Eating

    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
    Eating:
    Activity:

    Activities

    • 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

    Kids

    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...

    Based on 5 independent reviews from i-escape guests

    10/10
    Rooms
    9/10
    Food
    10/10
    Service
    10/10
    Value
    10/10
    Overall

    Amazing room, super friendly and helpful staff who are very knowledgeable about Cappadocia, and the best ways to experience it.

    10/10, , April 2017

    We had a fantastic stay at Hezen Cave Hotel. The staff were incredibly friendly and helpful. They gave us a great overview of the region and excellent restaurant suggestions. They double upgraded us since they had very few guests during our stay and we absolutely loved the superior suite. We had such a good time that we ended up staying an extra night! Ortahisar itself was very peaceful and the perfect jumping off point for exploring the area. Definitely stay here when you go to Cappadocia!!!

    10/10, , October 2016

    It was a bit far from all points of interest but the staff was exceptionally helpful with both transportation as well as with organizing all kinds of activities for us. Very friendly staff. Thank you i-escape!

    9/10, , August 2015

    A totally delightful hotel - one of the best I have ever stayed in. All of the staff were warm, charming, knowledgeable and incredibly helpful. Having stayed at another hotel in nearby Uchisar, Hezen Cave was excellent value for money by comparison and its quieter location suited us better. Highly recommend.

    10/10, , June 2015

    This is a really lovely hotel, with the friendliest and most helpful management and staff you could wish for. The rooms are beautiful, although some of them really are like caves, so can be a bit dark but there are lots of different terraces and places to hang out in the warren of rooms, even a (hidden) garden with sun loungers. Only negative is that the nearby restaurant is only average, and expensive for what you get. The mezze at the hotel is simple but good. Overall highly recommended.

    10/10, , April 2015

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    Rates for Hezen Cave Hotel