In 1997, two
friends in Ankara, Attila CINER and Rudy COCHEZ, decided to buy
a cave house to restore it. Attila is a professor of geology at
the university of Hacettepe with a speciality in volcanoes and glaciers,
so this region is an ideal one for him, and Rudy who was teaching
French literature, Greek and Latin in the Lycée français of Ankara
fell in love with the architectural style of the region. They chose
an ancient house in Esbelli, an old part in the cliff of Urgup.
According to archeologists, the house dates back to the 4th or 6th
For three years the two friends went to Ürgüp almost each week to
supervise the restoration : the rooms which had been filled in in
the past were cleared up, the rock was scraped to enhance its beautiful
coulours, some damaged vaults had to be rebuilt, the damaged stones
were replaced by the same stones re-cut by hand…
Then they decorated the rooms with classy, authentic furniture,
attaching a modern bathroom to each room, they didn't forget to
restore the terraces and to embellish the whole place by creating
a garden. Stéphanie, Attila's wife, helped them for the decoration
- Stéphanie's mother had already bought and restored an old house
quite next to the hotel a few years before-.
In 2000, the
hotel was ready and Attila suggested his mother - Kismet CINER -
should run it provisorily. Rudy approved and she left Istanbul were
she was living for Urgup and Kayadam hotel. Since then she has never
wanted to leave the place.
After the success
of that restoration, Gönül, Attila's sister, was tempted to do the
same, so she bought another house in the same street and restored
it successfully. That house is called the 'Grapes House' and with
its suite and two double-bedded rooms, it serves as an extension
to Kayadam .