Caveman Luxury at Kayakapi Premium Caves
All photos by Isabel Payne.
On June 1, I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to spend a few nights in a cave. Located in the touristy Cappadocia region of Turkey, Kayakapi Premium Caves offers a hotel experience like no other. Named after the historical neighbourhood in which it is located, a stay at Kayakapi means sleeping in luxuriously renovated caves originally built in the 18th and 19th centuries. Each room is carefully designed to incorporate elements of what it was originally used for, along with a sense of comfort and homeliness which most of us wouldn't expect when strolling into a cave.
Since each cave served different purposes back when they were originally carved, the interiors of each room vary from each other with special secrets and surprises for their guests to discover. My own room came complete with a gorgeous Turkish-style seating area, as well as a humongous bathroom complete with a large stone bath and even my own personal Hammam. Upon exploration into other rooms (with their occupants permission), I found that some rooms were designed with more western-style accommodations, while others boasted indoor swimming pools and hot tubs. Despite this, there were still many constants to ensure that each and every one of their guests have similar and comfortable experiences. Each room, for example, is guaranteed its own personal courtyard and outdoor seating area that offers a gorgeous view over the land below. They also all keep their historical significance, and Kayakapi proudly shows them off within the interior design. A sheet of glass covers large holes in the ground in some rooms, displaying where people once made wine. Others have walls with holes going through the corners, where animals were once tethered. On top of retaining historical significance, each room is named using the family name of those who owned it over 200 years ago.
Exploring the hotel's exterior is also an adventure on its own. A small walk up from my suite, led me to a blossoming rose garden with a romantic view of the mountains and vineyards below. Heading to this garden early grants you a gorgeous view of the sunrise hitting the mountains, with hot air balloons dotting the sky as they gently float about. Another short walk down the mountain will take you to the unrenovated area of this cave neighbourhood. While they are slowly renovating more caves to become future hotel rooms, some interesting caves still dot the area. The House of Saint John the Russian is an interesting place to visit if you can, as well as several Roman baths. A quick hike up the mountain brings you to its peak, along with a 360 view of Cappadocia in all it's glory. This hike comes complete with visits from the local wildlife (in our case, a large tortoise), and if you're lucky, beautiful wildflowers surrounding you like you're in a Studio Ghibli film.
If you’ve had enough of sight-seeing and just want to relax, Kayakapi offers all the facilities you’d need to never leave the hotel again. Their onsite restaurant, the Maide restaurant, cooks up fresh and delicious breakfasts, and in the evening serves up some luxuriously mouth-watering meals. Close to the restaurant you can relax by one of many swimming pools, which like everything else in the hotel has a breath-taking view, or simply sit a spell in their guest lounge, where you can access computers as well as local and international newspapers.