Last updated: December 2021
In Cappadocia, land of otherworldly landscapes, fantastical rock formations and centuries-old cave dwellings, staying in such dwellings is as much a bucket-list item as soaring above them at sunrise. Carved out of utilitarian necessity centuries ago by such civilizations as the Hittites, Greeks, Persians and Romans, these once-primitive stone homes have gotten a serious upgrade. Now, you’ll find them in the form of chic cliffside accommodations merging ancient authenticity with contemporary comforts. Plus – can we talk about the (epic) views?
Here, 11 of Cappadocia’s best cave hotels to stay in now, all putting a a modern, stylish and unforgettable spin on ancient troglodyte accommodations. We know Betty & Wilma would approve.
Pictured above: views from the terrace at Takaev Cave Hotel. Photo by @travelinglamas.
Editor’s Note: Travel is complicated right now. While there are many factors that will result in your decision of whether or not to travel, this decision is ultimately your responsibility. Travel rules, restrictions and entry/exit requirements, as well as Covid policies, are subject to change frequently. Please check with both your home country’s official advisories as well as those of Turkey prior to traveling for up-to-date information.
Best Cave Hotels in Cappadocia: Goreme
Goreme is where you’ll find most of the action in Cappadocia and thus, where most first-time visitors to the region stay. The bustling neighborhood offers plenty of restaurants, bars, shops, tour companies and of course – cave hotels. Our picks:
Anatolian Houses: Goreme, Cappadocia
Carved into the fairy chimney hillside just below a beautiful panoramic viewpoint, Anatolian Houses consists of 33 rooms all linked together by an underground passage. Four room types offer varying amenities from in-suite jacuzzis and fireplaces to bathrobes and minibars, private terraces and even duplex layouts. Doubling as living museums, all rooms further feature beautifully appointed antiquities. These historical artifacts – such as ancient vases, kilns and sculptures – stretch back thousands of years and are registered in the National Museum of Nevsehir City. Believers in not just staying well but being well, Anatolian Houses boasts the largest spa & wellness center in all of Goreme. Use of the Turkish Hammam, Sauna, Steam Room, heated Indoor Pool and seasonal Outdoor Pool are all included in your room rate. When you’re done soaking in the pool you can further soak in magnificent village and valley views from any of the communal terraces, all while enjoying a drink or bite from the on-site restaurant & bar.
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Kelebek Cave Hotel: Goreme, Cappadocia
Originally a private residence, the home’s owner opened Kelebek in 1993 with just 4 guest rooms. Over the years the property has expanded to its current 37 rooms, ranging from basic Eco Rooms to luxurious King Suites to authentic Cave Rooms carved into centuries-old fairy chimneys. Amenities like king beds, clawfoot tubs, fireplaces and sweeping valley views await, not to mention the opportunity for a heated soak in your own private jacuzzi on your own private terrace. Assuming you can tear yourself away from the room, you can also enjoy the common terrace and garden, plus a rooftop complete with restaurant, bar and outdoor swimming pool. Looking to relax? Let all your worries melt away in the on-site Turkish Bath & Spa.
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Miras Hotel: Goreme, Cappadocia
Another carved into the cliffside just below one of Goreme’s most beautiful panoramic viewpoints. This romantic hotel offers 8 deluxe rooms perfect for getting cozy – or gazing out at the magical landscape from your own private balcony (all rooms have one). Antiquity-appointed rooms are further complemented by hand-painted mythological motifs, while some even offer private Turkish baths. Visiting during summer? You won’t want to miss taking a dip in the property’s beautiful outdoor swimming pool.
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Cappadocia Cave Suites: Goreme, Cappadocia
Meticulous restoration of three side-by-side fairy chimneys – formerly used centuries ago as living quarters, cooking rooms, a chapel, even stables – has resulted in the living museum that is now Cappadocia Cave Suites. Originally opened in 2001 with 18 rooms, the property has expanded to now count 36 in total. Rooms range from the original cave suites to those made from hand-carved Anatolian stone, all including modern-day comforts and some equipped with private jacuzzi tubs. Head to the on-site Historia Restaurant for authentic regional cuisine, or enjoy otherworldly valley and sunset views from the aptly named Sunset Café.
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Carus Cappadocia Hotel: Goreme, Cappadocia
Located in the heart of Goreme, this beautiful restoration project opened its doors to guests in 2019. Choose to stay in one of the sprawling property’s 11 authentic cave rooms or 39 hand-carved masonry suites, some boasting fireplaces, terraces and stunning Cappadocia views. A chic, contemporary aesthetic rooted in historic Anatolian charm resonates throughout. For the best views you’ll want to head to the property’s Haruna Restaurant & Bar, where you can enjoy regional cuisine in the indoor dining room or better yet – the open-air, fire pit-equipped terrace. After a long day of adventuring? Catch up on some R&R in the on-site cave spa, complete with tranquil indoor swimming pool and Turkish Hammam.
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Traveller’s Cave Hotel: Göreme, Cappadocia, Turkey
Carved into the hillside at the edge of Goreme, this property’s sprawling terrace is easily one of the best for gazing out at Cappadocia’s magical landscape – including the endless array of colorful hot air balloons that float over the region at sunrise. Beautifully appointed accommodations range from Cave Rooms to Stone Arched Rooms to Deluxe Suites, some equipped with cozy fireplaces, jacuzzis and garden patios. Not just an epic view, the terrace further offers a restaurant serving up delicious local dishes, plus a fire pit for nighttime lingering and stargazing.
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Best Cave Hotels in Cappadocia: Uchisar
Just a 10-minute taxi ride away from Goreme, upscale Uchisar offers a tranquil respite complete with beautiful boutique hotels, chic restaurants, the famed Uchisar Castle and the #1 reason we recommend the neighborhood? The VIEWS.
Takaev Cave Hotel: Uchisar, Cappadocia
We personally stayed at Takaev and loved it so much, we extended an extra night! To do nothing but enjoy the hotel, the room (we stayed in the Deluxe Suite), the views and conversations with the property’s wonderful owner Murat – a man full of humor, wisdom and plenty of area tips and recommendations. The property offers 9 beautifully appointed rooms ranging from Double to Triple to Suite to Panoramic View, some carved directly into the cliffside and others built with restored Anatolian stones. The rooftop terrace offers a breathtaking view of Pigeon Valley and beyond, where you can watch balloons soaring at sunrise, enjoy a wonderful Turkish breakfast prepared daily by the ever-generous Fatima, or linger over a glass of wine at sunset.
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Museum Hotel: Uchisar, Cappadocia
The only hotel in all of Turkey selected to be part of the prestigious Relais & Chateaux hotel association, Museum Hotel offers the ultimate in Cappadocia luxury. The property began restoration in 1998 under the direction of Omer Tosun, founder of Indigo Tourism Group. As a passionate collector of Anatolian antiques, it should come as no surprise that Museum Hotel is quite literally a living museum. Priceless antiquities can be seen throughout the hotel as well as all rooms, registered in the region’s Nevsehir Museum and stretching back to Ottoman, Roman, Seljuk and even early Hittite periods.
In 2002 the property opened with a total of 34 rooms, comprising a mix of authentic cave accommodations and meticulously restored stone suites. Some boast such luxuries as private, in-room swimming pools, jacuzzis, saunas, Turkish baths, fireplaces, balconies and courtyards; almost all offer a front row seat to stunning cliffside views of the surrounding, fairy tale-like landscape. With so many amenities it hardly seems necessary to leave your room, but if you do – you can head to the wellness center for any number of relaxing body treatments or take a dip in the heated (year-round) outdoor swimming pool. Hungry? Savor local farm-to-table cuisine from the hotel’s own organic garden at Lil’a Restaurant, or take a cooking class with the hotel’s Head Chef himself Saygın Sesli. Of course, we haven’t even mentioned the number of communal cliffside terraces where you can simply relax and enjoy a casual bite, drink and the jaw-dropping views.
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Rox Cappadocia: Uchisar, Cappadocia
Inhabiting a beautifully restored, ancient Greek stone house situated on the Uchisar cliffside, family-run Rox Cappadocia offers 6 room types ranging from cozy cave rooms to superior stone suites. Amenities such as bronze bathtubs, fireplaces and private balconies complement authentic Anatolian furnishings transporting you back in time. The property happens to be located right next to famed Uchisar Castle, offering stunning panoramic views from its rooftop terrace. Views aside, this magical terrace is also where you’ll want to head every morning for the hotel’s legendary Turkish breakfast.
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Best Cave Hotels in Cappadocia: Urgup
A perfect choice for the seasoned or luxury traveler to Cappadocia, consider upscale Urgup for privacy, tranquility, scenery and – wine. Cappadocia happens to be one of Turkey’s biggest wine regions, and Urgup lays claim as the epicenter for wine houses and tastings.
Sacred House: Urgup, Cappadocia
Easily the most unique, opulent and fantastical boutique hotel in all of Cappadocia. Designed by local architect and interior designer Turan Gülcüoğlu as a “divine hideaway,” Sacred House blends classic and neoclassic architecture to stay rooted in the property’s 250-year old Greek origins. Soaring columns, flicking candelabras, spectacular chandeliers and more create a decidedly sophisticated, aristocratic and decadent space. The property counts 21 rooms, all uniquely designed as a sensory experience to reflect a specific period and culture. The room’s name itself will give you a hint of what to expect – think Sanctuary, Full Moon, Bacchus, Opium, Shaman, Archangel or Deep Forest. Ornate furnishings are to be expected, in addition to such amenities as fireplaces, private jacuzzis and works of art ranging from ancient times to Renaissance.
As the entire property is so extraordinary you’ll no doubt want to explore, and you can start by perusing the library for rare, first-edition reads from philosophers such as Friedrich Nietzsche, Jean Paul Sartre and Goethe. Head underground and you’ll come upon the aptly named Inferno Spa, where a heated, red mosaic-lined pool is made even more lavish by the surrounding pillars, roaring fireplace and tufted leather furnishings. Venture to the cellar for baroque and medieval decor at the mysterious Angels & the Searchers Restaurant, where you can enjoy refined Turkish, international and even medieval cuisine. Before calling it a night? Don’t miss grabbing a drink at the whimsical Garden Bar, home to an antique goblet collection – one of which is rumored to have graced the lips of King Louis XIV.
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Kayakapi Premium Caves: Urgup, Cappadocia
Located on a hilltop in one of Urgup’s very first settlement zones, this 5-star luxury cave hotel offers not only an unparalleled stay – but views to match of both the town and surrounding, dramatic landscape. Every amenity thought of across 43 rooms, expect luxuries like heated floors, bathrobes, Anatolian antiquities, even 24-hour room service. Cozy fireplaces, private terraces, jacuzzis and Turkish baths await in some rooms, while a select few offer private, heated, indoor swimming pools. Traveling with a group? Kayakapi even offers luxurious private mansions sleeping up to 11. All guests have gratis access to the on-site fitness center (one of the few you’ll find in Cappadocia), gorgeous outdoor swimming pool and Kayakapi Spa, where you can choose to detox in the sauna or traditional Turkish Hammam. Massages are on offer as well, for an additional charge. The property’s Maide Restaurant, Bistro Manzara Terrace, Sekerci Wine Cellar (opened by request), Uzum Lounge and Cazgir Lounge (which doubles as an express business center) all await with regional cuisine and libations to appease your palate.
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