babus1The lovely Abaci Konak is a new hotel housed in a set of restored/rebuilt wooden houses just where old concrete-jungle Eskişehir rubs up against the newly revitalized Odunpazarı (Wood Market) quarter. It describes itself as a boutique hotel but with 65 rooms spread across 11 separate buildings it merits that title in the orginality of the architecture rather than in its size.

Reception is housed in a lounge whose decor comes close to crossing the line into neo-Ottoman kitsch. A copy of an old photo on the wall reveals what the houses looked like originally. Service is efficient and welcoming, with weather forecasts and summaries of what’s on locally pinned up on the noticeboard.

Strolling to your room is like strolling through an old Ottoman mahalle (neighbourhood) complete with its own çeşme (fountain) but once you get there you will find all the expected comforts.babus2

Standard rooms are a little on the small side but the bathroom (shower only) comes well equipped with toiletries; underfloor heating is a plus in winter. The TV is low on English channels, and the minibar is understocked, deficiencies you’ll hardly notice as you lounge on the big, comfy bed. In the way of old Ottoman houses there’s a certain amount of creaking as people move around the other rooms; noise from the main road outside can also be a problem unless you opt for the more expensive rooms that are furthest away from it.

Housed in the same building as reception, the Ceyze (Coffeepot) restaurant favours a maximalist look with gold-patterned wallpaper and chandeliers. The food is excellent in a town that is unusually low on good places to eat, which means that locals come here to dine alongside the inevitable contingent of international businessmen. For all that, a lone woman diner was made to feel perfectly welcome.

The breakfast spread is inviting with plenty of hot and cold options. Before you leave pop into the glass museum immediately across the road (it doesn’t open until 10am though).

A small marble-lined hamam was receiving its finishing touches when I visited, as was a building that will house a lounge and meeting rooms.

Thumbs up: Luxury in a neo-Ottoman development, proximity to town centre

Thumbs down: Some rooms close to busy main road

Click here to book now

Tel: 0222-233 7877, abaciotel.com, Turkmenhoca Sokak No. 29, Eskişehir. Tram: Atatürk Lisesi





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