We are part of a Facebook group called ‘Families on the Move’ – a group of long-term traveling families who encourage, swap tips, share advice, and generally help each other.
We also meet up from time to time, so the kids can play, and the adults can talk.
One family in this group has been so kind, and we have received many messages, advice, and ideas from her.
She suggested we visit a small historical town on our way from Cappadocia (you can read the start of our blogs here about that region) to Istanbul.
And this is an Ottoman town called Safranbolu.
I looked online and found a really interesting place to stay – an Ottoman Mansion called Gülevi Safranbolu that was over 200 years old.
We drove through pretty solid rain and fog all the way there, and I was quite surprised when we drove down into the valley where Safranbolu is situated.
The GPS (in its usual form of getting things wrong) took us to the incorrect place, so we asked a local man ‘which way’. He then rang the hotel, and he waited in the rain some distance away to ensure we were attended to. The hotel sent down staff with an umbrella and the guy ran ahead, and I drove up the chunky stone street.
Before us, appeared two massive ancient wooden gates, with ornate metal trimmings and locks (we were in the back entrance to park the car), and thereby the car the staff waited to greet us and assist us with our bags.
Lovely welcome drinks and Turkish Delights were served to us on arrival in our very spacious room.
Explorason decided the ‘wrap around lounge’ in our suite was the largest / longest in the world!
It is fun to explore the 200-year-old mansion and to look around. Explorason can’t find the bathroom – it is really well hidden in the wood paneling – like a secret door.
Gülevi Safranbolu is an amazing place. Stunning and tastefully decorated. We come out of the rain after our day exploring (You can read about that here) and into a delightful reception seat with interesting lighting designs on the wall.
We learn that our hosts Gül and İbrahim Canbulat acquired three neighboring Ottoman mansions in the early 2000’s, and started running these buildings following their restoration.
All three mansions date back to the 18 th century.
And then there is – a secret garden!
This photograph below does it no justice, but we took it in a downpour of rain. I just made a mad dash when we saw it out of the window. It just looked so unusual we had to go – rain or not.
The three mansions meet in this secret garden. There are fruit trees, and various blooms and the lush lawn is at the center – it would be a perfect place to sit and enjoy a drink in the evening, or a morning coffee or tea.
This is the Çeşme Quarter, where Gülevi Safranbolu is located is in the historical center of town and was established in the 18 th century. Wealthy citizens started to build stately mansions on the eastern skirt of the Castle – the Castle was high up on the hill just to the side of the properties.
Each day we came down from our room to the lovely dining area for our breakfast. We were welcomed with the aroma of freshly viewed coffee, and served by the staff like this was still a manor, and we were the stately guests. It was lovely.
After breakfast, they assisted us with all we needed to know to explore Safranbolu including organizing a tour – in a golf cart (I’ll blog on this great day separately).
On our final evening, we enjoyed a lovely Turkish dinner in a separate entertaining area in the mansion, that was converted stables. Our host is well versed in the art of preparing historical and traditional foods.
Over dinner, we learned so much. He was an incredible host, and his passion for living and learning was evident.
It was the perfect end to a fantastic and memorable stay.
We would like to thank Gulevi Safranbolu Mansion for having us to stay. We really are so glad we came to Safranbolu, and you helped make our time really special.
We hope you can share our website with your friends as we travel and explore the world.
Turkey is country #41 and this is our 3rd year of traveling, world-schooling, and exploring.
We want to inspire and encourage and look forward to blogging about our next destination.
Accommodation Name: Gulevi Safranbolu Mansions / Hotel
Location: Hükümet Sokak 46 TR – 78600 Safranbolu – KARABÜK / TÜRKİYE
Phone : +90 530 243 00 45 +90 370 725 46 45
Fax : +90 370 712 50 51
Date stayed: December 2014
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