Immediately opposite the Gül Konakları in the back streets of Mustafapasa, the six-room Hotel Villa Columba could hardly be more different. Externally a solid wall of golden stone gives nothing away but the double wooden door opens straight onto a huge flagstoned courtyard in front of an imposing mansion that remains one of the least altered and so most authentic of Cappadocia’s boutique hotels. 

Hotel Villa Columba has two fine carved and painted stone doorways. The one downstairs leads into a typically Turkish arched hallway that runs the length of the building and now serves as an exuberantly colourful dining room. The norm in Cappadocia is for stone arches to be of unadorned stone but here the arches are vividly painted. The tables and chairs are unexpectedly ordinary.

As in many Turkish houses two bedrooms open directly off the hall, an arrangement which doesn’t always make for the quietest nights. A sitting room to one side is painted in matching shades of blue and features a sedir, the bench-style seating that ran around the rooms of traditional homes and doubled up as beds at night. Three soaring windows let plenty of light in to allow guests to inspect the collection of porcelain on display in a glass-fronted cabinet and the fine stone-cut niche in the far wall.

A long flight of stone stairs surfaces on a balcony where a second grand ornamental doorway leads into a second house-length room with lofty ceiling. This serves as a bright, airy, if distinctly unflashy sitting room. Once again two bedrooms open off each side. The better of the two contains an original 19th-century Greek fresco depicting a woman and child in an unlikely landscape complete with parrot. For some people the appeal of this painting might compensate for the inconvenience of having to trot along the balcony to use the bathrooms at the other end. Although small and somewhat reminiscent of sauna cabins, these turn out to be relatively luxurious in comparison with the simple bedrooms, with marble-lined walls.

Thumbs up: Authentic feel of a village home

Thumbs down: Not as luxurious as many of Cappadocia's boutique hotels

Tel: 0384-353 5030, Sumer Sokak 16


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