I often get very downhearted with the houses in Turkey; with every property developer within a five hundred mile radius throwing up complexes and packing soulless boxes cheek by jowl it often feels that the lifestyle and quality of living of the prospective purchasers is the last thing on their mind when they take up their pens. So I was really pleased when Phil and I finally got to meet the owners of the Ephesus Boutique Hotel in Kirazli. As builders and designers they were a breath of fresh air. This passionate couple have a real love for the village and a real desire to see the stone houses renovated and preserved.
When they first found Kirazli they begged their friends to join them in buying cottages in the valley just so they could preserve as much as possible of the village. Their friends weren’t as foresighted as them and so Sezgin and Tijen used every penny they could raise to buy a few old properties to renovate. They also bought a piece of land and with a commitment to designing and building a flowing, harmonious space they spent two years working on their boutique hotel.
Having built a boutique hotel in Kirazli ourselves we found we had loads in common with this couple. We had both endured the same stresses and strains of building something very different and we had encountered very similar problems.
The Ephesus Boutique Hotel is a wonderfully testament to this couple’s tenacity and vision. The location itself is spectacular. Wonderful open panoramic views across the village and the whole fertile valley, surrounded by the forest and wafted with cooling breezes the soft sough of the wind in the pines gives the whole place a wonderfully lulling ambience.
The soft curves of the building, the large windows, the fireplaces in the bedrooms, the handmade bricks, the flowing lines of the walkways between the rooms, the glowing, tumbled marble tiles specially commissioned for the hotel and the maturing gardens all signal how much effort has been put into this hotel. It is a triumph. A sensitively planned space with thoughtful traditional details and the finest of materials chosen with care; I just adore it!
We were delighted to find that Sezgin and Tijen haven’t stopped now the hotel is complete. After waiting two years for a particular building team to be available they are now building a wonderful stone house on the plot next door to the hotel. Bringing in more traditional design elements this new house is as beautiful and authentic a restoration as any of the cultural projects in Dogenbey and Sirince.
We build stone houses and sometimes we sell them and so I guess some people would think that Sezgin and Tijen are our competition, but in our line of design it isn’t like that. This couple are like minded people who believe in the same things we do and value the same things we do and having them here, working away at a difficult job, just cements our belief in the value of Kirazli and the value and appeal of the old house.
It also gives us someone we can talk to who can relate to what we go through – and that is worth its weight in gold when you do what we do!
Phil’s family, out in Kirazli for their first Turkish adventure are actually staying in the Ephesus Boutique Hotel this week and loving it, so further recommendations for this lovely, relaxing place.