Keywords: Elegantly restored and private Cappadocian Greek villa in the heart of ancient and hospitable Guzelyurt. Features large high arched rooms, private terraces and gardens, superb views of Hasan Dagi volcano. Near Ihlara Valley National Park with its hiking, trout restaurants and byzantine churches. Includes 2 baths and great kitchen. Dining room and salon with traditional sedirs (sofas) that comfortably sleep two people per room. Separate suite with loft sleeps two more. Total: 220 sq metres interior, 440 total. Easy drive from Ankara or Kayseri.
Recently retired Canadian diplomat who served in Turkey, currently editing a foreign affairs journal. Studied anthropology and loved Cappadocia the first time I saw it - still do. Enjoy welcoming guests and sharing the rich character and history of the region, preferably on foot. Preservation of the villa itself was a labour of love, challenging but very rewarding. Je parle francais y, con gusto, hablo espanol tambien.
Stuart Hughes purchased this villa in 2000
Approximately three hours south of Ankara, Guzelyurt is the nearest truly scenic town to the capital. The villa, Guzelev, is hidden from view, a little grand but still homey and a great place for guests who enjoy Turkey. It is a great place to reflect and write - in short, the villa just what the diplomat ordered!
Guzelev offers spectacular views, relaxing atmosphere, far from crowds, friendly people, terrific hikes, good food, tremendous historic interest, highly scenic with excellent weather spring, summer and fall. As a big believer in historic preservation, Guzelev offered me a unique opportunity to save a valuable structure.
Guzelyurt is a far less commercial than central Cappadocia (Goreme and its spectacular balloon rides is an hour away). It also is closest to some of the the most beautiful parts of the region, notably Hasan Dagi volcano and Ihlara National Park, Crater Lake, the underground city in Derinkuyu and much more.
For more on how I came to acquire and restore Guzelev, please go the website ( selimev.guzelev ) and click on "Under the Volcano and Anatolian Skies".
Guzelev is a classic Greek structure with high vaulted ceilings and solid stone walls. It was transformed from a shell with no wiring or plumbing into a welcoming residence that is among the nicest of its kind in Cappadocia. Staying there is an experience you will not easily find elsewhere in the region.
Guests have the option of renting the lower suite or the villa as a whole. If the owner is not there to welcome you personally, Metin Anul (the custodian) who lives nearby will do so. He is responsible for security, the gardens, and any troubleshooting.
Although the villa is in the heart of the old town, it is quite private, guests often do not want to leave the peace and quiet of the terraces. The weather is great: sunny and warm during the days (May to October), cool and restful evenings as the house is at 1425 metres elevation.
The four garden terraces offer secluded space and shade for guests and pets. Railings have been installed on villa and garden terraces to make it more child-friendly. Although many guests prefer having breakfast, lunch and dinner on the lower terrace with its privacy and views, the kitchen is a great space and the dining room accommodates eight very comfortably.
After a day's hiking (or lounging) many guests enjoy a long bath in the what was once the bakery and now is a modest Ottoman-style bathroom with its modern and antique marble, stone walls and plenty of hot water.
One of the most best memories from the trip to Cappadocia was to stay at the house in Guzelyurt. Fantastic view, super friendly staff, great hiking.
a group of 7 of us stayed in stuarts place for a week and we couldnt have found anything better. all we can say is, take stuarts word on everything. he is such a good wealth of knowledge and helpfulness. his strong suggestion to have a rental car was so correct. it would be tough there without one. he has a lot of information of things to do off the beaten track which we loved. listen to his suggestions like the restaurant down the street etc. the house was perfect and guzelyurt was a great introduction to our month long tour of turkey. i would recommend it without hesitation. either the upper house or lower smaller one are perfect! we had both for our group so got to know them both well. great views too.
We LOVED our stay in Güzelyurt. The house is simply amazing. It was comfortable and stayed warm throughout the cool nights without needing the stove. The view from the terraces is fantastic, and the little valley behind the house has plenty of rock churches and dwellings to explore. The house was SPOTLESSLY clean and everything was ship-shape.
The town is charming and friendly. There's a carpet shop nearby with prices far more reasonable than those found in major tourist areas, and there's a ceramics gallery with locally-produced tiles that are exceptionally beautiful (and also very reasonably priced!). Güzelyurt also had one of our favorite restaurants, a Turkish "pizza" place about 2 blocks from the house. Fresh and delicious, and cheap!
Selime and the Ihlara valley are close, and were amazing. We also went on a fantastic balloon ride in Goreme (note: it's an hour away, so you have to get up early to get there, but we made it without any problem) We had a rental car, which made it easy to get around the area.
We stayed in the lower portion of the house, and Stuart (the owner) was there in the main portion. We had all the privacy we wanted, but spent most of our time with him. He is extremely knowledgeable about the area, and Turkey in general. He went out of his way to make us feel welcome and help us with any arrangements or other questions. We saw many things we would never have found without his local knowledge.
The house is even more stunning than photos can convey, and you can tell that a lot of work has gone into making it modern and comfortable, while preserving its castle-like character. We totally recommend staying here for a refreshing, not-too-touristy, highly memorable experience!
Truly a unique and wonderful experience just to stay in this house, far from the tourist crowds but not far from a multitude of incredible sights. History is layered upon itself here, words and photos cannot do justice to the magic of this place. I stayed a week in this incredible house with my two daughters aged 20 and 23 in early June, 2012. Shopped in the local village, cooked our own meals in the incredible kitchen and dined on the spacious terrace overlooking the valley and volcano beyond. The thick stone walls keep the house cool from the daytime summer sun, no need for A/C and yet many other modern comforts have been added to the striking and historic architecture. We did day trips to many incredible spots from here, the highlight being the hike through the nearby Ihlara Valley and it's many cave churches. We had our own rental car which made travelling around the area easy and flexible. I hope to return again and highly recommend this spot.
We had just spent several days in Urgup, so were longing for some time in a less touristy part of Cappadocia to get a more "authentic" Turkish experience. Our stay in Stuart's restored Greek house more than met our expectations. Guzelyurt is a lovely and "real" village, far from the tour bus-congested throngs around Goreme. Here you really can sense how Cappadocia might have been forty or more years ago. Stuart himself is a gracious host. He had us up to his veranda on several occasions for wine and snacks, gave us expert advice, and took us on several impromptu tours of some his favorite places. The house itself is an experience itself. Stuart has lovingly restored this old ruin to it's former grandeur. We stayed in the downstairs suite, complete with arched stone ceilings and a private terrace overlooking the caves and ruins of old Guzelyurt. The suite is comfortable and attractive, decorated with antiques and turkish carpets.
Highly recommended for the off-the-beaten track adventurers!
Kurt and Clare