Turkey
Argos in Cappadocia

Carved into the volcanic landscape overlooking Pigeon Valley, this is arguably the most atmospheric place to stay in Cappadocia.

The hotel comprises ancient dwellings cut into the rock, lending it a charming, village feel with lunar-like surroundings. Everything from stables to a monastery dating back to Ottoman times has been transformed into this immaculately designed, family-friendly hotel with ravishing views and a superb dining scene.

Facilities & Activities

The Pigeon Valley-facing infinity pool is heated and has views of Mount Erciyes. Those seeking a spot of wellness can indulge in a massage in the grotto-esque therapy room or stretch out with sunrise yoga. Meanwhile, foodies can harvest organic produce and learn how to whip up Anatolian dishes, such as clay pot stew and bulgar wheat meatballs. The hotel can also organise culinary tours, which take place in a local village, and full moon walks.

A tour of the hotel’s underground network is a highlight. This is where the wine cellar is located, and tastings take place amidst the impressive, rock-hewn chapel. Other activities include classic car rides, vineyard tours, hot air balloon rides and birdwatching and photography tours.

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Dining

The excellent restaurant is named Seki, which means ‘terrace’ in Turkish – and it’s easy to see why. The vast stone patio offers sweeping views, an ideal spot for alfresco cuisine as you gaze towards the fairy chimneys of the region. If you dine inside, the high, beamed ceilings and large windows still bring the outdoors to your table.

The menu has a local slant, with many fruit, vegetables and herbs sourced from the hotel’s own garden. Sample everything from mezze to ‘manti’, which is like ravioli with yoghurt and tomato sauce. Other Cappadocian must-tries include a local beef kebab served in a clay pot and a date dessert with figs. Breakfast is a buffet affair – expect a spread of fresh bread and pastries, in-house jams, cheeses and olives.

A relaxed, plant-filled lounge is just the spot for a cup of strong Turkish coffee. Argos also has its own vineyard, which produces wine made from the delectable Emir grape.

Rooms

Divided into five categories based on their size, the 51 rooms and suites each have their own unique style. All have been lovingly restored, with natural wood floors, stone walls, Ottoman fireplaces and beamed ceilings. There is crisp white linen aplenty, plus ornate throws and oriental rugs. Expect rustic nooks formed by volcanic rocks and a blend of traditional Turkish handicrafts with contemporary furniture.

Honeymooners would be well placed in the cave-like Splendid Suites, which feature lovely stone arches and a private pool in the room. Spread over two floors, these are the largest room category and feature living rooms and private gardens or terraces. The Tiraz Jacuzzi Suite is a cut above, with its own hot tub overlooking Pigeon Valley and Erciyes Mountain. Bathrooms are large and have Molton Brown toiletries, and balconies offer superb views.

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Family

Argos is ideal for families with older children, who will enjoy exploring the hotel’s caves and tunnels. Toddlers and parents with buggies will need to take care of the resort’s spiral staircases and in-room pools.

Families with one child could book a Deluxe Room – these sleep three people on one double and a sofa bed. For extra space, look consider a Suite. These accommodate a family of four and are more spacious, with a separate living room as well as a terrace, balcony or courtyard. The Splendid Suites are uber luxurious, though their unique concept of indoor pools are best suited for those travelling with older children.

Sustainability

Argos has an eco-friendly policy that includes reducing carbon emissions by using a heat pump instead of solid fuel.  Other sustainable initiatives include using the fruit, veg and plants from the hotel’s garden for compost. Argos supports local charities such as an initiative that helps local women to reclaim their financial independence and self-confidence through selling handmade products.

Location

Argos is located on the outskirts of Uçhisar, the highest and prettiest village in Cappadocia with beautiful views across Pigeon Valley. Two airports serve the region (Kayseri and Nevsehir) but international arrivals will need to connect to a domestic flight in Istanbul. From Nevsehir, it’s around a 40-minute drive to the hotel, while it takes around 90 minutes from Kayseri.

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