urartu1Right in the centre of Van beside the busy Beşyol road junction, the Büyük Urartu is a long-lived hotel given a complete makeover in 2009 to bring it up to modern standards of comfort. 

Externally it's nothing much to look at but inside the corridors have been given an impressive brown and gold identity.

I stayed in two different rooms. The first, and quieter of the two, backed straight onto a wall which meant no view but no sound of hooting cars either. The second was lighter and brighter for looking out on Beşyol but suffered from some noise as well. urartu2

In both cases I had a big, comfortable double bed looking straight onto a wall-mounted TV with BBC World and a glass-fronted fridge with  limited stock. Both rooms were adorned with photos by Ali İhsan Özturk; the one of an oversized Van kitten was mildly alarming, the one of flamingoes on nearby Erçek Gölü more soothing. Both rooms had chairs set round a small table as well as a dressing table that could be used for working, the one snag being that the wifi connection was pretty unreliable. 

In both cases spacious bathrooms boasted walk-in showers and big sinks.

The lobby soars up to the first floor and is decorated with stained glass and metal panels depicting Urartian deities. A pleasant pastry shop opens off from one side, a TV lounge from the other. 

The first floor breakfast room is comfortable and staffed by a team of efficient, uniformed young women. The choice of items with which to start the day includes a few local specialties such as murtuğa made from eggs in flour and oil, and kavut made from roasted wheatflour and oil.

Thumbs up: Very comfortable bedrooms and bathrooms, good breakfast

Thumbs down: Weak wifi signal, some street noise

Click here to book now

Tel: 0432-212 0660


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