consist of a 5-room hotel and three
comfortably furnished houses in the
historic village of Sirince, located in the hills 11 km (7
miles) from ancient Ephesus. The hosts are Müjde and Sevan
Nisanyan, authors of the bestselling guide The Best Small Hotels
The accommodations combine style and comfort with the genuine
atmosphere of a beautiful Aegean village. All units have indoor
bathrooms with round-the-clock hot water, and central heating is
provided in winter. An unusually rich breakfast is included in
Facilities at Nisanyan Evleri include a well-stocked library, a
piano and free internet access for guests. There is no
television on the premises - and no need for air conditioning as
the village enjoys cool evening air at 350 m (1000-ft) altitude.
Sirince is a former Greek village which keeps its
architectural heritage intact. It lies in the hills surrounded
by a beautiful bowl of peach orchards and vineyards 11 km (7
miles) from ancient Ephesus. Some tourism has arrived in recent
years, but not so much as to destroy the traditional village
rhythms. The nights are still peaceful. The villagers greet
strangers with a smile and very often invite them in for a cup
of tea. There are a couple of pubs and a handful of restaurants,
including one which is very good.
A note of warning
Sirince is a steep village with irregularly paved streets.
Nisanyan Houses are located in the upper part of the village.
Guests with walking hindrances will find the short uphill walk
Main Hall of Nisanyan Evleri - we call it 'the Hotel' for lack
of a better term - stands on the hill top at the upper edge of
Sirince. It enjoys a wonderful view over the village rooftops
and across the vineyards and olive groves of the valley.
Main Hall has five guest rooms -
three doubles, one twin, one single - each with private shower
and WC. Room no. 1, which is somewhat larger than the others,
also has an antique bathtub in which you can bathe against the
stunning panorama of the valley.
assure a "clubby" environment, we have built plenty of
common rooms into the Main Hall.
There are two comfortable lounges furnished with the antiques
which we inherited from our Aunt Selma. The library is stocked
with good books - not the usual paperback stuff. The CD
collection has mostly Bach and Haydn, with some unusual Turkish
music and a few mementoes of our Aunt Iris who used to be an
operatic soprano. There is a piano which you are welcome to
tinker with when it is not wholly out of tune, and also a
computer with internet access if you wish - for whatever reason
- to keep up with the modern world.
haven't yet found the cook of our dreams to start a proper
restaurant service. However, we serve a rather full breakfast,
and we manage to come up with something to eat when our guests
are just too tired to walk down to the village (it is short, but
by God it is steep!). Guests in the houses have a choice of
either taking a breakfast hamper to their own house, or having a
sit-down breakfast with everyone else in the Main Hall. And if
you like to sleep through your holidays, so be it: breakfast at
Nisanyan Evleri will be served any time you like to have it.
to Go: Sirince is
located 64 km (40 miles) South of Izmir International Airport,
and 28 km (17 miles) East of the popular tourist resort of
Kusadasi. Nearly all the important sightseeing destinations of
Aegean Turkey lie within day-trip range. Highlights
include Ephesus, Miletus, Didyma, Pergamum, Sardes, Aphrodisias,
Pamukkale and Bodrum as well as the Greek island of Samos. Some
real gems remain
quasi-undiscovered. At Tire
(48 km/32 miles) a marvelous peasant market is held on Tuesdays.
The Menderes Wetlands(80 km/50 miles) host huge flocks of
pink flamingoes and other aquatic birds in winter. The historic
town of Birgi (83
km/51 miles) keeps some of the most brilliant examples of
traditional Turkish wood architecture. By the shores of Lake
Bafa (100 km / 62 miles) a picturesque village mixes
with the mysterious ruins of ancient Heraclia below an extinct
volcano whose flanks hide nearly a dozen medieval monasteries. Ephesus
flourished 2000 years ago as one of the largest cities of the
Roman Empire. Its ruins cover a vast area. The Temple of
Hadrian, The Celsus Library, the Theater, the City Hall, public
baths, marketplaces, courthouses, fountains, an early church --
even a brothel and public latrine, all built of white marble,
stand wholly or partly intact. A full day is required for a tour
of the site and a visit to the Museum. The Terrace Houses, a
recently excavated group of Roman private houses in Ephesus, are
scheduled to open to the public in the summer of 2001. The
nearest beach is Pamucak Beach,
15 km (10 miles) from Sirince. Four of the most beautiful
beaches of Turkey lie in the Samsun Dagi National Park, 47 km
(33 miles) away. They offer deep clear sea, pebbles of polished
marble and wild forest.
houses offer an opportunity to enjoy traditional Aegean village
life in a quiet and private setting. Like most buildings in
Sirince they date from the 19th century. They were renovated to
supply greater comfort without spoiling their original spirit.
Each house is rented out as a separate unit. Each can sleep a
maximum of four or five persons, though a couple or a single
traveller will find them equally comfortable. Some houses have one
bathroom; others have two. Facilities include round-the-clock hot
water, direct-dial telephones, and central heating in winter.
Housekeeping is provided on a daily basis. Breakfast is served in
the form of a basket stuffed with farm eggs, local cheeses,
homemade jams, spicy sausages and other surprises (fresh bread is
delivered to your door at dawn). Basics like salt, sugar, coffee
and olive oil are provided free of charge. There is a
well-equipped kitchen in each house which guests can use to cook
as they wish. Nisanyan Houses blend in with Sirince's traditional
BED HOUSE (Kerevetli Ev)
(1 very large double, 3 singles)
HOUSE 1 is named for the raised platform bed (kerevet in Turkish)
which is a typical feature of old Aegean village houses. On the
ground floor it has a kitchen and a living room with fireplace. On
the upper floor is a large master bedroom featuring the platform
bed, a second bedroom with its own fireplace, and a bathroom built
of the local pink limestone. The garden is planted with some 20
types of Mediterranean herbs and aromatic plants. The Platform Bed
House sleeps a maximum of 5 persons. It is suitable for a couple
or two couples travelling together.
WINDOW HOUSE (Cumbali Ev)
(1 double, 2 singles)
takes its name from the projecting bay window (cumba) of the upper
floor. The bed of the main bedroom is located in the bay, which
receives the first rays of the rising sun through a prism of
colored glass. The traditional closet beds of the second room will
delight children of all ages. The house has a semi-enclosed
veranda which is partly built into the natural rock, an ancient
fig tree which grows out of the garden wall, a fully equipped
kitchen, and a bathroom/shower of cut Milas marble. The Bay Window
House accommodates a maximum of 4 persons. It is ideal for a
family with children.
BATH HOUSE (Hamamli Ev)
is the House with the Turkish Bath. It has two double bedrooms
with separate baths. The main attraction of the first room is a
genuine, private Turkish bath (hamam) of floor-heated white Afyon
marble, large enough for two (or four) bathers. The second room
has a walk-in bed with its own Romeo-and-Juliet window, and a
private bathroom/shower. There is a common kitchen and dining area
and a lovely Mediterranean patio outside with a large fireplace.
The Bath House accommodates a maximum of 4 persons.