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HEZEN HOTEL, ORTAHİSAR

Hezen1The Hezen in Ortahisar is one of those stand-out hotels that wows you as soon as you step over the threshold. Here I knew I was in for a treat as soon as I saw the pillarbox-red door in an area where doors come in extremely predictable greens, blues and browns. Not surprisingly, then, the door opened onto a huge lounge in a part of the country where hotels converted from houses usually have to manage with fairly small spaces. 

Imaginative use of the paintbox is the leitmotif of this hotel so the lounge is not just big but also very colourful and roofed with "hezens", the plain circular logs that were traditionally used for ceilings. Stairs lead down to an equally colourful dining room with a small room to the side where guests can help themselves to drinks on an honesty system. A room in an adjacent house has been restored to provide an area for casual meals - not a restaurant as such but somewhere where guests who don't want to go out in the evening can pick up something to eat.

The 10 existing bedrooms hunker down in the rock, their brightly coloured bedspreads and headboards complementing the colourful door and window frames. Original features of the old troglodyte houses have been retained wherever possible - one room  showcases a small fresco that looks as if it had been started and then abandoned before completion. Most have ample space - some are suites with their own little sitting-rooms.Hezen2

The bathrooms come with walk-in showers and individually designed handbasins as well as the toiletries you would expect. There's also a washing machine for guest use. 

Staggered terraces offer spectacular views across the valley to Ortahisar Castle.

Another three suites have been added to the hotel at the end of a rock-cut tunnel.

Thumbs up: Inspiring colour schemes and attention to detail. Magnificent views.

Thumbs down: Lots of stairs would make this a tricky hotel for anyone with mobility issues

Click here to book now 

Tel: 0384-343 3005, www.hezenhotel.com

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