『Yunak Evleri』は開業以来、世界的に有名なガイドバックに掲載されています

Best Designed Hotels Of Europe II



Generally. one imagines life as a caveman to be fairly uncomfortable. Yet it continues to have a certain attraction, especially to some city people. In Australia, examples of habitable caves can still be found today, and in the Turkish region of Cappadocia, this form of shelter enjoys a long tradition. As early as the 5th Century, people dug their housing out of the area's soft tuff, formed as a result of volcanic activity.

At the beginning of the '90's, in the provincial town of Ürgüp, entrepreneur Yusuf Gorurgoz bought a number of cave dwellings from their inhabitants, who were more than happy to be able to move into "normal" houses. It took Gorurgoz, together with a team of architects and restaurateurs, four years to transform the houses into a hotel complex. Today it is without doubt one of the most extraordinary guesthouses in Europe.

On the southern side of a large cliff high above the town are caverns and niches, stairs and windows dug deep in the rock. Terraces are stacked up precariously on various levels; at first glance an almost surreal sight for urban eyes so used to angled surroundings. But a deep inner order, the harmony of a developed structure, soon becomes apparent to guests and contributes largely to a special atmosphere.

The reception and dining rooms are situated outside of the caves in a Greek-style manor house dating back to the 19th Century. From here, guests reach their accommodation via small off-set courtyards and various steps. With its 15 rooms and two suites, the Yunak Evleri is a relatively small hotel but the extensiveness of the complex guarantees the utmost peace and an optimally large private sphere. According to the architect's taste, some of the rooms are vaulted, some rectangular, and all are dominated by a subdued, modern Mediterranean style. The dark wooden floors and furniture have not been confected in a fake rustic style, but are plainly elegant and practical. Cupboards built into the wall, and the light- coloured tuff and pure white linen fit the conventional ideal of a southern way of life, mirroring the character and cycles of the surrounding countryside. Lecterns and niches are typical elements of these habitable caves and make each room an original. The terrace offers a breathtaking view of the town - one could sit here for hours, with a glass of wine or sweet Turkish tea, enjoying the heavenly peace and quiet.

A curious atmosphere dominates this place. On the one hand it has a natural, unspoilt feel, and on the other hand boasts all the thoroughly modern comforts of a first-class hotel. In some corners, one seems far removed from any kind of civilisation. Candles burn in small hollows and the coarsely cut walls and rough stone appear to originate from another epoch. Folkloristic elements such as embroidery and carvings round off this picture. When one encounters the bathroom with its marbie and very modern spiendour, it's not unusual to feel somewhat confused by this odd, somehow harmonious contrast.

At Yunak Evleri one tends not to enquire about technical comforts, although they are naturally available. Telephone, internet and fax service are all classed as average, although air-conditioning is certainly not necessary in these naturally cool caves.

The hotel's name means "Well Houses" and is also the name of this whole quarter of town. Prior to the conversion, people actually lived here without running water, heating or modern comforts. The daily life of women was played out at the market place and at the well. In contrast to this, life as a modern-day cave dweller can be positively luxurious. The previous residents would certainiy no longer recognise their homes.

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