Dear Steemit friends :
In this edition of Miss. Delicious, we'll be visiting one of the most well received hotels in the Denizli Province, located in a town known for it's Cotton Castles and a pool visited by Cleopatra herself! The town we're referring to is of course, Pamukkale, the home of the white travertine terraces and the ancient town of Hierapolis.
The white travertine terraces are nicknamed the "Cotton Castle" because of it's puffy white walls resembling cotton. In-fact, they are made from a carbonate material, left by the the flowing water which oozes from deep within the mountains. If you missed the post about these white travertine terraces, you can catch up with my post here
Sometimes over shadowed by the cotton castle, Pamukkale is also home to one of the largest cities from the ancient times - Hierapolis. Most of the city now lays in ruins, but a surprising portion of it remains identifiable. The large ancient city was built around the travertine terraces because they were regarded as a natural miracle of the Pergamon Kingdom.Please check my post about Hierapolis- here - if you missed it.
Last but not least, for Spa lovers, the Antique Pool where Cleopatra once bathed, now the permanent home to the ruins of a nearby temple where sacred baths can be taken in the luke warm calcium rich natural water. Please take a look at my post about that here.
With so many interesting places to visit, I recommend staying in the small village town just below the travertine terraces. Why? Because you will want to visit this place more than once, and travelling from Denizli means setting off earlier, and also leaving the site earlier too. Avoiding the crowds and midday heat means arriving at the terraces for around 8am. Much later than that and then you are battling for space and will definitely have very few opportunities to take pictures without hundreds of people in the background.
That is why, I chose to stay at the Venus Suite-Hotel. It's located right in the center of the village, and is less than 1km to the terraces. Not only this, they offer a free shuttle service every 30 minutes!
The lobby is a very clean and vegetative open space. One of the understated things I appreciate are the marble floor tiles. They keep the place cool which is something you come to underestimate time and time again. Especially when faced with the scorching temperatures of Turkey in summer.
They also have a lovely mini-pool. It's almost like a mansion house with a private pool. Very homely feeling and feels very private.
I quickly realised whilst I was in Turkey that I really need to book hotels with swimming pools during summer visits. There is simply no other way to cool down from the blistering heat bar taking a cold shower.
Here is the view of the main building together with the pool.
Next to the pool and garden, there is a pavilion which is full of splendid Turkish folk pattern pillows, cushions and carpets. The walls are also decorated with very detailed Turkish style tiles, highlighting the distinctive personality of the local interiors.
The rooms of the hotel are designed and decorated in a modern yet romantic style. Turkish folk elements are littered throughout, for instance the wooden balconies, the Turkish ceramic tiles etc. I was very lucky to have had my room upgraded to a suite because of the availability. That means a bigger room as well as a balcony.
As you can see, the suites are fairly large in size and have lovely natural lighting. The floors are marble, and are very clean. Just above the desk, you will find a TV, and a much needed air conditioner.
This is the bathroom which sadly doesn't have a bath tub. Never the less, i'm not much of a bath kind of person and the shower works very well. One thing I should stress is that the whole place is spotless. One of the cleanest hotels I've ever stayed in!
This is the wooden balcony which overlooks the panoramic view of the plains at the front of the hotel. I really enjoyed sitting out here, feeling the fresh holiday winds, seeing the mountains in the distance, shaded from the stifling sun, and enjoying the Turkish countryside feel. Little did I know that the view of the town and the hotel would be even more beautiful from the terraces above.
This is the view of the garden and the pool from the corridor.
If you look closer, you can see the white travertine terraces in the distance!
This is another pavilion. A seating area for people waiting to dine. This room was characterised by the gorgeous velvet sofas, beautiful hanging lamps, intricately decorated ceramic plates and tiles on the walls.
There was even a fine example of a Turkish rug hanging on one of the walls. I loved the atmosphere of this room, even more so because it was empty and I could enjoy it with just me and Tania!
Food from Venus
Owing to the small size of the Pamukkale village, there are very few alternatives for food and even lodging. Because of that, our main meals of the day will be be at the hotel's restaurant. As you can see, the dining area a wooden lodge, with colourful tapestry, Turkish chandeliers, and wall paintings made from ceramics.
In the corner, there is even a bed which I assume is just a traditional resting area.
Despite having little to no alternatives in the area, meaning little competition, Venus has prided itself as a high quality family run hotel serving authentic delicious home cooked Turkish cuisine. Most of the time, when my family cooks me dinner, it's usually very delicious because they want the best for you, and that is why places pride themselves on home-cooked recipes, you get the same kind of attention to detail, as well as surprise secret family recipes.
What also surprised me about the menu was that the dishes were translated to Chinese! This is the first and only time I have come across a menu in Turkey that has Chinese translations.
First up, we have the Chicken Salad. May I say, this is the most meaty Chicken salad I have ever tasted in my life and I actually really like it prepared this way! Succulent strips of grilled chicken caught my sense of smell immediately, and almost simultaneously, my stomach started yearning to be fed.
Chicken Ottoman Kebab. Arriving with a sizzle, this dish pervades the entire restaurant with it's rich sauce and pepper garnishing, it was a juicy and yet well tempered dish that was perfectly supplemented by the rice. Often a quality we look for in China when tasting food, is their ability to be consumed alongside rice. In-fact, we like to literally say "rice downing" for a dish that goes well with rice. This dish is one such example.
Beef Steak, a hearty meaty dish with so much inherent flavour in the meat. Steaks are often cooked very rare in the west, and this can lead to quite a chewy yet bloodied texture. My preference is for a tougher texture, teetering on burnt, but ever so not. The verge of being overcooked is a fine line, and the beef in this dish did not cross it. Like a spoiled 00's girl (i'm a 90's kid), I never turn down french fries in a meal!
These are oven roasted mushrooms with Cheese. Apparently these mushrooms are handpicked from their garden. I wondered why they tasted extra "natural". Still, the aroma of the mushrooms refuses to leave my memory, it was so strong that the savoury cheese became a necessity to balance the taste.
Brief Interlude after mains
Yogurt with Honey. The yogurt was very viscous, it almost tasted like a kind of jelly. As for the actual taste, the honey served almost as a cover up for the very neutral tasting flavourless yogurt. I would have preferred this dessert without the abundance of honey.
Finally, we have the Rice Pudding. A warm version of an original muller rice pudding, except with natural clotted creme on top!
Check out my short video of the Hotel!
And that wraps up today's edition of Miss. Delicious! Going to Pamukkale will no doubt on the top of the list if you decide to visit Turkey, and thus, I hope this review of the hotel as well as it's food will give you an immediate answer when looking for lodging for your stay. One thing that stands out at Venus Suite-Hotel is the warm homely feeling the owners give you. They will offer you a whatsapp contact as soon as you arrive for any requirements, even if it's for a lift back from the terraces.
After I checked out, I was offered a towel and shower facilities whilst I waited for my transport back to the city. It's little things like that which make a stay that much more pleasant.
Make sure you vote for my post if you liked it, follow me to stay up to date with my adventures, and leave a comment to let me know what you think!