Behold the Museum Hotel in Antakya, Turkey, which ‘floats’ above the ruins of ancient civilisations

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Ruinous hotels aren’t typically recommended – but an exception can definitely be made for this one for a post-lockdown escape.

Behold the one-of-a-kind Museum Hotel in Antakya, Turkey, a lodge for wannabe Tomb Raiders that ‘floats’ above the ruins of over a dozen civilisations dating back to the third century BC, which were discovered in the foundations.

The find has been turned into an archaeological park, with guests able to gaze down from rooms and walkways upon some of the 30,000 artefacts uncovered, including the largest single-floor mosaic ever discovered and an intact Marble Eros sculpture.

The one-of-a-kind Museum Hotel in Antakya, Turkey, is a lodge for wannabe Tomb Raiders that 'floats' above the ruins of over a dozen civilisations

The one-of-a-kind Museum Hotel in Antakya, Turkey, is a lodge for wannabe Tomb Raiders that ‘floats’ above the ruins of over a dozen civilisations 

Guests can walk along a network of suspended bridges and find their inner Lara Croft or Indiana Jones

Guests can walk along a network of suspended bridges and find their inner Lara Croft or Indiana Jones

The incredible discovery was made in 2009 when the Asfuroğlu family decided to build a hotel on land that they had owned since 2001.

Because this land was part of a protected area in the city – located in the south of Turkey – the family was legally obliged to take out archaeological surveys before it could start any building work.

What they found beneath the foundations – part of the ancient city of Antioch – shocked not only the family, but also the archaeologists and the local museum who had been overseeing the survey.

As 35 archaeologists and 120 assistants worked their way down through the layers, pumping out mud and sludge, they found traces of 13 ancient civilisations, the ruined walls of fifth-century Roman baths and several spectacular mosaic floors.

Guests are able to gaze down from rooms and walkways upon some of the 30,000 artefacts uncovered

Guests are able to gaze down from rooms and walkways upon some of the 30,000 artefacts uncovered

Emre Arolat Architecture won praise for its work in designing a hotel that seemingly 'floats' above the archaeological treasures

Emre Arolat Architecture won praise for its work in designing a hotel that seemingly ‘floats’ above the archaeological treasures

After a year-long excavation, which involved the local museum and several universities, the family decided to create something unique – a hotel raised up over the jaw-dropping treasures, and a ground level that would be a living archaeological park and museum.

The Museum Hotel concept was born, where guests can step out of rooms into 23 centuries of history.

The major problem was how to mesh a hotel with the ruins without damaging them.

The hotel boasts sleek lines and materials and colours that match the ancient treasures

The hotel boasts sleek lines and materials and colours that match the ancient treasures 

This incredible fourth-century mosaic stretches out over 1,050 square metres and is the largest of its kind in the world

This incredible fourth-century mosaic stretches out over 1,050 square metres and is the largest of its kind in the world

The 200-room hotel, which opened in January, was awarded an honourable mention at The Design That Educates Awards 2020

The 200-room hotel, which opened in January, was awarded an honourable mention at The Design That Educates Awards 2020 

The prestigious Emre Arolat Architecture firm was hired and its cunning designers conjured up an innovative suspended network of walkways, bridges, rooms and spaces.

The feats of design and architecture were so impressive that the 200-room hotel, which opened in January, was awarded an honourable mention at The Design That Educates Awards 2020.

The most impressive items on display include the record-breaking mosaic – a 1,050-square-metre fourth-century Roman feature, thought to be the floor of a villa forum, that tells a story of devastating earthquakes and rerouted rivers – the sculpture of Eros, which stands 70cm tall and dates back to 200AD, and an exquisitely rare 2nd century Pegasus mosaic featuring 160 shades of natural plant-dyed stones.

The excavation work involved 35 archaeologists and 120 assistants and several universities

The excavation work involved 35 archaeologists and 120 assistants and several universities 

The stunning hotel boasts five-star amenities including a 3,000-square-metre rooftop spa and wellness centre

The stunning hotel boasts five-star amenities including a 3,000-square-metre rooftop spa and wellness centre

The incredible discovery was made in 2009 when the Asfuroğlu family decided to build a hotel on land that they had owned since 2001. Pictured is the

The incredible discovery was made in 2009 when the Asfuroğlu family decided to build a hotel on land that they had owned since 2001. Pictured is the  

In total, the hotel has five restaurants and bars to enjoy - including an all-day cafe, a rooftop bar and even an eatery that overlooks the excavation site

In total, the hotel has five restaurants and bars to enjoy – including an all-day cafe, a rooftop bar and even an eatery that overlooks the excavation site

A sculpture of Eros, which stands 70cm tall and dates back to 200AD, and an exquisitely rare 2nd century Pegasus mosaic are among the artefacts on display

A sculpture of Eros, which stands 70cm tall and dates back to 200AD, and an exquisitely rare 2nd century Pegasus mosaic are among the artefacts on display

When guests have sated their inner Lara Croft or Indiana Jones, they can relax in five-star luxury.

As well as the 200 bedrooms, there are five restaurants and bars to enjoy throughout the complex – including an all-day cafe, a rooftop bar and even an eatery that overlooks the excavation site.

The hotel, which enjoys views to nearby St Pierre, the world’s first cave church, also boasts a 3,300-square-metre rooftop spa and fitness centre for those who want to pamper themselves.

The nearest airport is Hatay, 30 minutes from the hotel. Double rooms start from €180 B&B. For sales enquiries or bookings call +90 (326) 290 00 00 or email sales@themuseumhotelantakya.com. Visit www.themuseumhotelantakya.com.     

The hotel is situated about 1.5 miles from the centre of Antakya and enjoys views to nearby St Pierre, the world's first cave church

The hotel is situated about 1.5 miles from the centre of Antakya and enjoys views to nearby St Pierre, the world’s first cave church



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