More about Gamirasu Cave Hotel
Gamirasu Cave Hotel Shameful
The management of this hotel is a shame.
We had rooms reserved and confirmed from May, and when we came to the hotel, after 10 hours of trip, they said us that they did not have rooms for us. They sent us to another hotel, of another village. The new hotel was very nice, enclosed more than Gamirasu Cave Hotel, but with fewer facilities.
Do not lodge at Gamirasu Cave Hotel, because it is very expensive and in Cappadocia they will be able to find nicer and cheapper hotels.
The setting of the Gamirasu Cave Hotel is most breathtaking - looking out of every window is a scene from out of history (images 4,5). The opposite cliff-face contains caves going back to the pre-Christian era tempting one's imagination to run wild. Picture the ancients walking down the steep inclines to the little stream at the base, climbing up the same hills ( although we have staircases now ), many living as early monks in the same caves and dining in the same rooms.
There is nothing bogus about this hotel - just above the dining area and internet apse is the Church of St. Stephen with frescoes believed to date from the 12th C (images 1,2,3). The hotel staff states that nobody much climbs up to the church, sadly. The most amazing part of Cappadocia is the history that is everywhere, around every bend.
GAMIRASU CAVE HOTEL Cappadocia...
GAMIRASU CAVE HOTEL Cappadocia TURKEY
USD 50 per room per night with breakfast and dinner Cave Hotel, hiking, horse riding, traditional village...
The Gamirasu Cave Hotel is a luxury boutique residence set in caves carved into the cliff on one side of a steep ravine. With no more than 25 rooms of varying luxury and cost, it has a setting difficult to exceed in Cappadocia. The less expensive rooms are barrel vaulted set in cones and classic stone buildings while the more expensive are large suites in original caves known to have been occupied as far back as the Hittite regime in the 2nd C BC. All are reconstructed with modern accoutrements. The clientele is totally international - this hotel is no secret. The dining room clientele resembled a miniature United Nations.
This hotel is unsuitable for those with physical disabilities. Steep staircases connect the parking lot (such as it is) with the main level, but most rooms require further negotiation of one or more staircases and only one or two rooms are on the same level as the lobby and dining room. The setting may be stunning but climbing the stairs does become tiresome.
The staff was unfailingly helpful. Off the lobby, a small cave room contains two free computers with internet access. In the morning, a large buffet breakfast is included and placed in the lobby with dining in the adjacent room.
The staff is generally very helpful and accomodating, arranging tours and balloon flights, calling after errant tour guides, and answering questions with varying degrees of English skill. Of particular interest, free shuttle service is offered day and evening to neighboring Urgup for those interested in dining and shopping out, an offering we used several times --with a proffered gratuity accepted only by one driver.
Cappadocia offers several upscale cave hotels with spectacular views and scenery - many from hilltops with panoramic views. All receive great reviews. The Gamirasu is no exception.
The 25 rooms of the Gamirasu are quite variable in both decor and price. No two are alike. The smaller and less expensive rooms are in cones and typical stone houses and feature large beds in relatively large bedrooms with barrel vault ceilings, typical Turkish decor, and elongated all-marble bathrooms with showers. Desk space and seating are somewhat limited, but each has a large closet. These run up to US $180.
The more expensive rooms are in modernized original caves with rounded walls and ceilings and are very large and luxurious, including a few huge suites. Features included flat screen televisions and huge bathrooms with Jacuzzi tubs. Rather than Turkish carpets, the several we snuck into have wall to wall carpet and are more modern in decor. The hotel is popular with honeymoon couples, and these suites certainly fill the bill for romance. The hotel is gradually adding rooms, apparently all at the upscale end, at the periphery of the complex as the cliff face is already filled. Per night prices at the suites extend up to US $500.
A little heaven on earth!
The van couldn't go down the narrow street to our hotel, but that was probably the best way to be introduced to the Gamirasu Cave Hotel. The staff came up to help us and the driver with bags--a sign of more excellent service to come--and we walked from the edge of Ayvalı down and across the little bridge
Rural village life gave way to a beautiful secret garden as we entered the gate: Steps and pathways, rosebushes and flowers everywhere leading to hidden and amazing rooms that in reality are finished caves. A mixture of old village charm and real luxury resides in the few rooms we were to see (ours was almost like a little secluded chapel with a vaulted ceiling)--and, as our visit wore on, we kept seeing more rooms we hadn't noticed before because they blended so well with the side of the hill!
Of course the staff was great. This place couldn't exist if it offered anything but top notch service from wonderful dedicated people who treat you like family visiting from far away. The Turkish breakfasts were superb (I especially miss finishing my breakfast with a touch of the rose petal jam on some fresh bread and butter) and the evening meals beyond belief--our request for vegetarian dishes was met with apologetic enthusiasm: sorry that we wouldn't be able to enjoy the special main dishes, but the cook would be able to make great zeytinyalı (olive oil) dishes.
I could gush about the nights there was live music. I could go on about watching the stars from the rooftop. I could reminisce about sipping wine in the evening on the terrace. But it would make me too homesick!
This a place that makes you want to take a month off from the world and write, even if you're not a writer--this meager attempt at a review being a case in point.
Fantastic relaxing oasis in a traditional village
Gamirasu is a fantastic place-cave rooms that are unique and very comfortable that come with wonderful extras like a set of slippers to warm your feet! As the only hotel in a small village with no restaurants, or shops, it is a real oasis from commercialism. Village women make beautiful lace scarves outside their homes, and animals bray, bleat and crow to the call to prayer from the mosque. The villagers are very friendly, and I was invited into a home for delicious nuts, dried fruit and coffee! The scenery is unique-you look out onto real cave houses, and the hotel has a number of seating areas for breakfast and dinner. Suleyman from Snowball tours arranges everything you want-we booked all our flights in Turkey in advance with him-and when we arrived, he was so lovely and relaxed(a real treat after the hustle-bustle of Istanbul agents) and made every arrangement for us-including a driver for a few hours to see some newly uncovered mosaics! Remze, our guide for the next 2 days was a former local English teacher, and he was excellent- personable, gentlemanly and a font of knowledge not only about the ususal sights, but about the plants and flowers. As he grew up in the area, we tasted and smelled all kinds of seeds and herbs along the way. His enthusiasm and love for his area was infectious! He was very generous with his time. Suleyman, gave us excellent value on all our tours. The $75 transfer fee the previous writer complained about, we happily paid, because we arranged a charter flight directly to Izmir without going through Istanbul. Since this flight is only available 2x a week, Suleyman explained in advance that there would be a charge, but altogether the flight and transfer were cheaper than any other way of doing this trip. I highly recommend this hotel and Suleyman for a unique experience in an unspoiled authentic village-a wonderful find! My only complaint-we should have stayed longer than 3 nights!
We had a wonderful time
I just wanted to write and let you all know that my parents, my wife, and me had a wonderful time at Gamirasu hotel when we visited in March 2006. My parents visiting from the United States said that your hotel was one of the most beautiful places they\'ve seen. Their fondest memories of Turkey came from Gamirasu. My wife Cilem and I will be coming up again for a visit again for sure.
Not the best service, Out of the way, but Nice Hotel
We enjoyed the hotel quite a lot; it was the service which left a bit to be desired. The cleaning staff (mostly older ladies) were very sweet - they cldn't speak english, but the sweet smiles they gave were more than the management staff ever mustered. There was a woman and a man who seemed to be in charge, and they were very keen to sell us tours and balloon rides, etc. I'm not sure if it's because we didn't sign up for any of their suggested activities or what, but they were definitely very cool towards us for the four nights we stayed there.
The worst of it came on the morning we were to leave, the woman had not reserved the shuttle to the airport for us as previously discussed. It all turned out, but it was a bit of a panic to make it to the airport on time. Another caveat: not all rooms are actually cave rooms. Our room was a deluxe room, and it was a nice room, but it was NOT a cave room and when I inquired abt moving to an actual cave room, the manageress was NOT pleased. The bathroom, while rather deluxe in all marble and with a jacuzzi tub, smelled terrible at times. I suppose one must take into consideration sewer conditions associated with cave dwelling, but - whew, we had to keep the door closed.
One other thing: it is very noisy! The hotel is in a valley, so sounds echo, and there is a plethora of farm animals which quack quack here and baa baa there, combine that with the manager running errands at all hours of the night (our room was above the parking area), the call to prayer, other guests enjoying the patios (one above our room) and it all results in alot of noise. Other than those things, I have to say that the room was very atmospheric and romantic - it had a netting over the bed and turkish rugs, traditional wood furniture and, a cool thing - a balcony w/a view of the adjacent cave-riddled cliff. A really neat experience was one night they had some whirling dervishes lit by black light dance amongst those caves and we had a birds eye view from our balcony. That was absolutely fantastic. I don't know if that is a regular activity at the hotel or not.
My first trip to the Gamirasu Hotel in Ayvali was in 2003, I arrived from a flight from Istanbul at about 10am to find that although I was the only 'arrival' the entire breakfast buffet had been prepared just for me, a feast of fresh fruit, local honey and cheeses, fresh bread and more...there was a posy of wild flowers in my room ( my daughter had booked the hotel as abirthday surprise and a note was with them saying ''with love from the Gamirasu Hotel''). I adored the village and the hotel then for it's unique charm and still do. I have travelled extensively in Turkey and am aware of the warm and friendly welcome of the country , but the Gamirasu staff really do give 101% to guests to make their stay a treat. I have returned again and again and will continue to do so. My most recent visit was in November I was treated like a celebrity with a beautiful warm and cosy room and even a log fire , which the staff came and lit for me each evening. My dinner each evening was a banquet and served by friendly smiling waiters who were so polite.
People who feel cut off or that the village and surroundings lack 'facilities' should do their homework and I suggest they stick to non Muslim countrys if they don't want to hear the call to prayer. THAT is one of the most beautiful sounds along with the chickens , donkeys and sheep...we have lost such pleasures in our own country.
The staff could not have done more for me, I needed to get a specially shaped onyx cup made and the Manager , Baris,took me from one factory to another until we found one who not only made an exact copy of what i wanted they even delivered it personally to me.Baris also arranged a day for me with the amazing guide Remze,as I wanted to visit the Hittite site a good three hours drive away .
All in all I cannot speak highly enough of this wonderful Hotel, it is a credit to its owner and the team who run the business is
operated in the most empathetic way to benefit the village and its families , keeping with tradition but providing the most excellent facilities.A short drive from a world of rare and beautiful sights which we of the 21st century should feel very humbled to see and share.
Mustafa Kemal Ataturk
Dance from Anatolia
Turkish Wedding Ceremony
Whirling Dervishes Dance