How it all began
Erkanli Country Resort is a family-owned hotel, set in spacious gardens, with its own spa and riding facitilites. What once started out really as a hobby has in time become a sizeable commercial enterprise.
Originally, we moved to the country with the desire to leave behind the noise and pollution of Istanbul in order to lead a less stressful, healthier life together with our children and animalş, at that time, 3 horses and a dog. In 1992, we set about fulilling our dream to build a country house and got down to the necessary tasks of planning the basic infrastructure and designing the house, stables and garden.
From farmland without water or electricity, we slowly began to build our dream home. Progress was not always easy, but thanks to the combination of Yavuz’s engineering training, practical mind and hard work, together with my complimentary designing skills, we were soon the proud owners of a family house, barn and stables for 10 horses. We also made ourselves a small open arena where we could school the horses but we soon realised the need for a covered manege, in which to ride in winter, partly to protect us from the cold weather, but also because it was hard for the horses to find sound footing in the clay soil.
Friends came to visit as the project developed, with the addition of a swimming pool amonst other things, and often expressed a desire to stable their own horses with us. With this in mind, we decided to construct a covered manage building in line with world standards and to establish the riding business as a commercial enterprise. As part of the riding complex we then added a large outdoor manege and rustic cafe bar.
The riding business has now been in operation for over 15 years and we have added paddocks, a walking machine and an enclosed lunging arena to ‘break’ and train young horses.
Our equestrian aims
Our aim has always been to extend our combined knowledge of horses and all things equestrian to other families, so that they may share some of the pleasure that we have derived from this sport. In pursuit of this goal, however, we believe in professionalism at all times, especially on and around horses, not only out of respect for the horse, but also in the desire to create and maintain a safe learning environment. We strongly encourage the attainment of riding qualifications, but our main aim is simply to introduce adults and children to the wonderful world of horses, the joy of riding and the unique relationship which can be achieved between horse and rider. Once they have had a taste of this, it is then usually just a natural progression to wanting to achieve more.
We have many years of experience in training both horse and rider in show-jumping and dressage and many of our young riders are now competing successfully in events.
Riding for the Disabled
Over the years we have given riding lessons to children with physical and mental disabilities.It is wonderful to witness how quickly these children start to benefit in all ways from their horse riding activities. In 2012 we hosted the Istanbul City Council’s Disabled Riding Program here.
Transformation to country resort
With the completion of the riding complex, swimming pool and gardens, visitors, friends and customers alike, again started to express a wish to stay overnight or for a few days holiday. As the original house had always been conceived on a rather grand scale, partly because of the size of our family and partly due to the fact that we had lots of space in which to build in the first place, it was not long before the idea took root to convert it into a ‘boutique’ hotel. Indeed, this seemed like a logical conclusion to what had become an on-going project and we were thankfully able to achieve this, amazingly, with only relatively minor structural alteration.
And so, Erkanli Country Resort came into being in the summer of 2009. While Yavuz focused on structural matters, I concentrated on further landscaping the gardens and the interior decoration of the hotel, hence its rather English ‘look’. We converted the stable block into 10 garden rooms, followed by the barn into 8 more rooms a year later. As a result we are now proud to be able to advertise a total of 26 rooms, 2 suites and 2 villas.
We also enclosed the pool, which is heated throughout the year and opens out onto the gardens. A ‘jacuzzi’, steam bath and sauna were added to complete the spa facilities. We also have a seminar room for business meetings.
Special ‘S’ status hotel
In 2010 we were proud to be awarded the status of special ‘S’ class hotel by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism. This special status is limited to 21 hotels in Istanbul and was given to us due to the unique character of the resort.
During this time we have been pleased to receive guests from all over the world, cater for weddings and other special occasions and provide the setting for both Turkish and international television programmes and films.
We have endeavoured to create a place where you can relax in comfort and enjoy the peaceful surroundings of the countryside; a home away from home, which offers all the modern conveniences, yet retains the essential character of a country hotel
Food from our a la carte menu is prepared by our chef using organic vegetables, freshly picked from the hotel greenhouse.
We seek to promote healthy living with a mixture of good food, sport, relaxation and good company.
With riding, swimming, mountain biking and walking,there is plenty to do, but if all you want to do is chill out, well that’s fine by us too. Even, if the weather is bad, there are lots of indoor activities: table tennis, table football, chess, backgammon and a cinema for family entertainment, in addition to our indoor riding and spa facitilites.
In all aspects of our service, we strive to be professional at all times. Whilst ensuring you have a good time during your stay here, you and your children’s comfort and safety will always be one of our highest priorities.
In doing so, we work as a close-knit team. Each member of our staff is equally as important as the next, whatever be their job. Co-operation, good communication and understanding are core ethics, vital to the smooth running of our business and to ensure utmost customer satisfaction.
Finally, we aim to please, if we fall short of your expectations in any way, we are always eager to know about it, in order to make your next stay with us all the more enjoyable.
We look forward to welcoming you here as part of the family.
Catherine Erkanlı&Yavuz Erkanlı