If you’ve ever watched a Nature show with adventurers exploring caves and wished you could join them, we’ve found an amazing way to do just that. The Museum Hotel in Cappadocia, Turkey has integrated responsible design and luxury into the midst of historical ruins.
With a visit to this four star property, you can blend staying in a cave with the best in boutique European hotel amenities.
To understand the hotel, you must first understand the topography of the area. Cappadocia is a rocky area rich in caves and dramatic rock formations. Against this backdrop, Christianity took root in the region. In a network of cave dwellings and stone houses, early Christians from Roman times forward lived here to hide and practice their religion in peace.
The Museum Hotel stands in the remains of an ancient town in the rocks that has been lovingly restored to showcase the culture, history, and story of the area. Some areas of the hotel are comprised of yellow stone houses that were sculpted by hand thousands of years ago. The restoration was completed over the course of a year using authentic materials wherever possible, turning the 10 houses and some 60 caves into the hotel you see today.
The hotel’s owner Omer Tosun, who founded the hotel, is an avid collector and antiquarian that wanted to use this unique setting to highlight his collection. As the hotel took shape, the founding team made important design choices in the restoration. Steps were taken to preserve as much of the original history as possible, while calling attention to distinct features that would help tell the story of Cappadocia.
Each of the hotel’s 30 cave rooms is unique, with the individual rooms and suites being carved into the caves and side of the mountain. Individual features prevail, bringing a touch of history to each room. One room features an open fire. Another has centered its design around an ancient dovecote buried in the wall. Still others highlight ancient marble fountains.
The cave rooms are connected by a maze of corridors that give the hotel an easy feel for how the town must have been hundreds of years ago. The hallways, rooms, and common spaces are peppered with priceless antiques relating from the various periods that the hotel’s grounds were occupied.
The organization is deliberate, leading guests through a story as they progress through the rooms. Individual rooms feature touches that help tell the story of the daily life of the area’s inhabitants, including rare vases from 2000 BC and antique spinning wheels. Design touches, such as a brilliant multicolored Turkish ceiling, allude to the cultural influences of the area.
The Sultan’s cave suite is a particular example of how the designers have sought to bring together history and nature into a compelling design. The massive suite includes a natural hole in the ceiling for star gazing, and a 16th century altar. The hotel doubles as a registered museum, and each room is a careful exhibit that brings to life a part of the story of the history of Cappadocia.
If you love history and have always dreamed of staying in a cave, there’s no better way to bring this to life than a visit to the Museum Hotel.