Visiting Eastern Europe is like taking a walk through a deep tome of history that stretches as far back as the Renaissance, maybe farther. In the big cities of Prague, Budapest and Vienna, the ornate Romanesque and Gothic architecture of the Medieval period dominates the skyline, but it is the more-recent history of two World Wars and the Communist era that seem to dominate the conversation as you view and learn about the cities’ pasts. At day’s end, you’re all too happy to retire to a bright, sleek, modern 21st century hotel.
In the quaint countryside town—village, really—of Cesky Krumlov, there’s hardly an indication of the region’s “dark days.” The village, nestled in a crook of the Vlata River, emerged from World War II mostly unscathed, and before Communism took hold, the townspeople dedicated themselves to preserving its cultural and historic relics so that even today, it looks almost exactly like it did hundreds of years ago. In fact, its authenticity is so unspoiled, it almost feels like you’ve stumbled into the manufactured Epcot version of the Czech Republic at Disney World.
At Classic Journeys, we’re all about truly immersive travel experiences. That’s why we chose the historic and charm-riddled Hotel Ruze as our home during our visit to Cesky Krumlov. At the 16th century Jesuit dormitory, the staff dress in period costumes and the menu consists of whatever fresh delights are caught from the river each morning or gathered from the surrounding countryside. The Renaissance architecture of the hotel—its original dark-wood paneled walls and arched stone ceilings—and the surrounding structures of the town’s meticulously preserved castle complex make visitors feel like they’ve truly stepped back in time and into the page of a history book.
In addition to the amazing architecture and historic details throughout, the hotel also features a state-of-the-art spa with massage treatment rooms and unique peat baths in traditional wooden tubs. This is the perfect home base from which to explore the rich heritage of Bohemia, starting with its working glass factories right here in Cesky Krumlov and ending with a peaceful stroll through the working farm fields of the nearby countryside.