Nestled in the foothills of the Carpathian Mountains in the heart of Transylvania, a tiny Romanian town is now home to a fairytale come true in the form of an adorable 10-room hotel built from clay and sand. The hotel’s Romanian name is Castelul de Lut Valea Zanelor, which translates to “Clay Castle of the Valley of the Fairies” in English, an absolutely fitting moniker for these ancient architectural accommodations. Construction was only recently completed, and the hotel will be open to guests very soon.
The hotel’s owners, Razvan and Gabriela Vasile, sold their home in Romania’s capital city of Bucharest in order to bring this clay fairytale castle into reality. The Valley of the Fairies, situated near the tiny village of Porumbacu De Sus, is 24 miles from the city of Sibiu. Its remote location and jaw-dropping views add to the hotel’s charm and mystique, effortlessly giving visitors the sense that they have traveled not only distance, but also time, in order to arrive at their destination.
Aside from its charming design and scenic surrounding landscape, perhaps the most interesting feature of the eco-friendly hotel is how it was built. Eschewing all modern building techniques, the hotel is composed primarily of clay and sand. The 10-room chalet was designed by eco architect Ileana Mavrodin, along with the Vasiles, and built by area craftsmen. “The exterior plastering is of lime and sand and the towers are of river stone, built with lime and sand,” said Razvan Vasile. “Everything is made with natural materials, and the windows and doors are different, each room having its own separate entrance.”
Soon, the Vasiles say the hotel will be ready to host guests for overnight visits, but little is known about when that will happen or what the accommodations will cost. We do know the hotel will reportedly add a restaurant by the end of the year, serving a menu of local organic food. The hotel’s Facebook page acts as a hub for updates (in Romanian), while the website is still under construction.
Images via Castelul de Lut Valea Zanelor