Cappadocia. Only one hour by plane from Istanbul, yet it seems like entering another world. A landscape that stretches way beyond unique and a melting pot of culture and history that spans across centuries is most certainly a place that ticks my boxes. A UNESCO world heritage site, situated in the region of Central Anatolia in Turkey, is an area worth visiting if you want to escape for a few days in an environment that is different from the norm. It truly is a region of paradise for the traveller that is eager savour variety and contrast. From valleys adorned with fairy chimneys, to the earliest examples of early Byzantine Churches, carved within rocks and adorned with figurative and expressive wall paintings, it really is a place of Eden for keen photographers with a trigger finger.
After spending a few hectic days in Istanbul, I was eager to recharge myself for couple of days in Cappadocia. I wanted to stay in a hotel that captured the nature and essence of the region. So when I discovered Taşkonaklar Rocky Palace, which stands for Stone Mason, I didnt hesitate to book.
The family-run hotel is situated in Uçhisar, the highest town in Cappadocia, which means superb views. Nestled amongst the local community, it has a un-touristy feel, unlike its neighbouring town Göreme which I personally found too commercial.
With 19 rooms, the feeling is small and intimate. The whole site was a mixture of old caves dating back to many centuries and buildings, which were restored by the Akarcalı family, originally as a summer house. Tolga, together with his father then decided that it would work out perfectly as a boutique hotel instead.
In order to reduce carbon foot-print, all the rooms have been restored using locally sourced materials and decorated in a way that captures the essence of an old style Turkish house, yet not overpowering and heavy in colours and rich drapery. The furniture was also sourced from antique markets around Anatolia which work beautifully with the smooth white andesite rock walls. The best thing of all is that there is no need for air-conditioning. Even with a 40 degree temperature outside, you can snuggle-up under a warm duvet, yet not feel either too hot or cold. In the winter period, there are also fire places in each room to create a a warm a cosy atmosphere.
Hospitality at Taşkonaklar also has a warm family feel, with a charming and eager-to-help attitude. Tolga and his family make sure that their local community is equally as important as their guests. They employ their staff only from the local area and also support the education of their families, testifying a true commitment to loyalty to their staff and a sense of community spirit.
Other memorable moments at Taşkonaklar such as afternoon tea in the garden at 5pm with Turkish delights and the on-demand dining experience in the hotel restaurant, overlooking the magnificent night panorama of Cappadocia, are definite reasons to come back and explore the region further.
Taşkonaklar Rocky Palace: Gedik Sok. No: 8 Uçhisar, Nevşehir
Tel: +90 384 219 30 01 Website: www.taskonaklar.com
How to reach Cappadocia and Taşkonaklar
There are two main airports that you can use to reach Cappadocia. One of them is Kayseri Erkilet Airport (ASR) which takes around 45 minutes to reach the hotel . Turkish Airlines operates several direct (nonstop) flights from Istanbul Atatürk Airport to Kayseri Erkilet Airport. There is also Pegasus Airlines that flies from Istanbul S.Gokcen Airport.
The second one is Nevşehir Kapadokya Airport (NAV). Turkish Airlines operates direct (nonstop) flight from Istanbul Ataturk to Nevsehir Kapadokya twice a day and takes only 20 minutes to reach the hotel.