Perched on the lofty fringes of busy Göreme – hub for the hauntingly beautiful landscapes of Turkey’s Cappadocia region – the Fairy Chimney Inn invites travelers to experience the area’s unique geological and historical heritage with an authentic cave stay. Here, 11 cozy guest rooms come scooped out of the soft volcanic rock that defines Cappadocia’s distinctive geography, with its age-old stone pillars and elaborate network of such ancient troglodyte dwellings.
Before starting life as a guesthouse in 2005, these caves once served as part of a 1,500-year-old Byzantine cave monastery, and, later, as general housing for local Turkish families. Frills are few, but thrills come in the form of the property’s charmingly authentic cave rooms and splendid terrace views.
Set on the upper edge of town away from much of its hubbub (yet less than a 10-minute walk to Göreme’s center), at the border of protected national park area, dreamy views here expand over Cappadocia’s dizzying display of nature, pocked by the “fairy chimneys” (tall conical formations) that have given the hotel its namesake. Fairy Chimney Inn’s generous terraces provide prime perches for taking in the wonderfully weird rock formations, with stellar sunsets proving especially mesmerizing.
Rooms are fairly primitive, but that’s the true-to-spirit point. Each unit touts individual character, with most carrying names of families that once lived in them, generations ago. Each comes with traditional colorful rugs, tables and chairs, wardrobes, hot-water kettles, and private bathrooms. Of course, no room is so primitive that it doesn’t come with a Wi-Fi connection.