There is a beautiful hotel called Zephyros Hotel in Mesudiye, a tranquil village on Datca Peninsula. We are very lucky to spend many days there to enjoy every corner of this unique boutique hotel. Because, my brother is one of the owners. And over the years, the hotel respectfully found its spot as one of the best hotels in Datca Peninsula.
Imagine a stone hotel with just six rooms. Imagine you are having your breakfast with a beautiful morning sun, at your table perched on a hill with a vista of beautiful Mediterranean with hazy silhouettes of four Greek Islands in the distance.
The name of the hotel was not chosen out of the blue. A lot of thought went into it. My choice was “Gaia”, the Mother Earth. My brother chose Zephyros.
People who read my blog also know that I love mythology. So, I felt like I need to write a story about this hotel’s name.
My brother told me this Greek mythology while we were sitting by the fireplace in his hotel’s dining room. It was January. The wind was the North Wind, Zephyros’ brother, Boreas. The spring was still a month away.
Zephyros is the name for the God of the West Wind. He is the son of Eos (or Aurora) (a Titaness and the goddess of the dawn) and Astraeus (a Titan and the god of the dusk, and an astrological deity). Eos and Astraeus had four sons called Anemoi: Zephyros (the West Wind), Boreas (the North Wind), Notos (the South Wind), Eurus (The East Wind). Zephyros’ uncle (Eos’ brother) was Helios, god of the sun, and his aunt was Selene, goddess of the moon.
Zephyros was a kind god, always bringing spring with the soft warm west winds. That is why he was also considered to be the god of the spring. Zephyros’ wife was Khloris (or Chloris), the goddess of flowers, and a Nymph on the Islands of the Blessed. She was also identified with the Roman goddess Flora. Zephyros and Khloris had a son, Karpos (In Turkish “karpuz” means “watermelon”, here representing fruit). My brother tells me that Zephyros kidnapped Chloris and forced her to marry him. Then he felt guilty and decided to make the entire Datca Peninsula decorated with flora every spring. And he made a bouquet of flowers and presented to his wife. This gesture is supposed to be start of the giving woman flowers.
The garden that the hotel naturally situated in is definitely one-of-a-kind. There is no other place in Turkey you can find this mixture of flowers, vegetables, olive and fruit trees. The garden supplies all vegetables and fruits for the guests. The trees they planted include avocado, guava, lemon, orange, grapefruit, clementine, pomelo, loquat, fig, pomegranate, kiwi, almonds, olive, mulberry, bay laurel, cherry, apple, pear, apricot, plum, pecan, banana, and date trees. They made sure all the old olive trees were kept intact during the construction. They also have goji berry, pineapple guava (seijoa), 12 types of grapes (which they plan to make their own wine), dragon fruit, raspberry, blackberry, and strawberry plants. My brother even dug out salep orchid from the mountains to cultivate in the hotel garden. The roots of this orchid are used to make a delicious winter drink called salep. Then you see the entire landscape dotted with ten different kinds of bougainvillea, oleander, jacaranda, plumeria, and other native flowers. There is an entire section in the garden for growing herbs, for the herbs that do not grow in the wild. Sage, oregano, thyme, lavender, all come from the mountains.
When February/March comes, the whole village puts on its wedding gown – almond blossoms as far as you can see cover the entire landscape. You cannot even talk from the buzzing of the bees. Wild lavender flowers fill the gaps between the almond trees. It is such a beautiful view from their hotel.
As Ayse Ozyilmazel writes in her column (translated) “When we reached the Zephyros Hotel at the hilltop of Mesudiye village, we found that the stars are in our palms. With fruit trees surrounding us, there is not a single sound. You cannot find such a beauty even you pay millions. You cannot touch the life, serenity, and the real nature like you have here even you go to the world’s fanciest, most popular, and the most expensive places.”
As my friend Tom said “when I walked out off my room in the morning, I thought I died and woke up in heaven”.
I really cannot wait to see Zephyros again.
Note: As we hear the stories of the Greek gods, unfortunately, we learn that many of the gods do not stay with one mate. Not just Zeus, Zephyros also had a lover. Zephyros was in love with a handsome young Spartan prince, named Hyakinthos (or Hyacinthus). Unfortunately, Apollo was in love with the same prince.
It is not clear, but either Apollo accidentally kills Hyakinthos with his discus while they were playing or, Zephyros grows jealous and intentionally kills Hyakinthos with his discus. Apollo runs over to dying Hyakinthus and turns the blood of the dying prince into a flower. A great name for a spring flower!