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KANUNİ KERVANSARAY HISTORIC HOTEL, ÇEŞME

cescarAs historic places to stay go, few could be more inviting than the Kanuni Kervansaray in Çeşme, more or less across the road from the new marina and its shops and restaurants, and just a short walk away from the harbour for the boats to Chios. 

A huge building. the Kanuni Kervansaray has undergone a fairly severe restoration which still manages to leave some sense of its age intact if mainly in the unchanged layout of the rooms set along a first-floor verandah looking down into a central courtyard presided over by a pair of palm trees. For some unknown reason the owner, a Diyarbakırlı, has seen fit to decorate the walls with pics of Diyarbakır in the 1910s rather than of the caravanserai as it was before renovation. 

All the bedrooms have different decoration, all of it modern and attractive. My room, for example, had a large metal-framed bed of rather French appearance. While not huge, it was spacious enough and the other fittings were of wood and rather attractive. A stocked mini-bar was built into the wall and a plasma TV hung from the wall although it had no English-language programming. There was an air-con unit hidden behind a rather attractive decorative cube but I was unable to make it work. cescar2

Unfortunately, there are some problems with the rooms, in particular a smell of drains that came and went, and was sometimes very strong. Presumably, S-bends were not fitted when the bathrooms were installed, a shame since these, while small, are attractively designed. 

Otherwise, there were small house-keeping problems that jar: blown lightbulbs, no blankets in the wardrobe, niggles that shouldn't really arise in good hotels. But service at reception was efficient and cheerful so most issues were resolved quickly. 

It's in the nature of a caravanserai that there are no windows onto the outside but only onto the courtyard.

cescar3The larger rooms at the corners are suites with suitably Ottoman names. Finest is the padişah (of course) which sits right above the entrance. 

Breakfast is served rather than an open buffet. Mine was ample, with welcome extras such as grapes to top up the usual Turkish favourites. 

Lifts have been installed to get guests up to the rooms given that the original stairs are steep and hard on the knees. I'm not entirely convinced they work though. 

Travelling out of season, I was able to take advantage of a reduced price which meant that the snags were tolerable but had I paid the full high-season price they might not have been so easy to overlook. 

Thumbs up: Sense of history, attractive decor, handy central location

Thumbs down: Occasional offputting smell of drains

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Tel: 0232-712 0630

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