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Prince of Wales turns 200-year old Romanian property into new guesthouse in Valea Zalanului

A new guest house owned by Prince Charles’ foundation, opened this year in Valea Zalanului village, strives to bring visitors to the small village and offer additional revenues to the village inhabitants, who turn into drivers, guides and builders. Valea Zalanului, a village north of Brasov, hosts the 200-year old property which has been turned into a guest house following a three-year restoration process. The property consists in a series of small cottages around a central courtyard. It currently has five rooms and two more are planned. The restoration process has been manager by Count Kalnoky, who is the project manager for Prince Charles’ properties in Romania. The cost of a room at the Valea Zalanului (Zalanpatak) guest house ranges from EUR 44 to EUR 49 a night, depending on the length of the stay.

“Upstairs in the main room is a small mezzanine with some armchairs, and a curious little internal balcony with a comfortable chair looking over a view of the forest outside. They told us that the Prince of Wales likes to sit in this chair and contemplate the incredible landscape. They say he really likes Romania, the food, the village life and it’s biodiversity – and that he wants to help generate local employment,” said Rupert Wolfe Murray, PR consultant and keen supporter of the project.

The Prince of Wales employs three people on the actual house: a manager, as well as a cook and cleaner. The Prince’s next project is to renovate the neighboring house. The plan is “to produce more of the food on-site and to manage the property in a way that will both preserve and increase the rich biodiversity of the area,” said Count Kalnoky.

The Prince Charles of Wales bought two properties in rural Romania in 2006 through the Mihai Eminescu Trust, restored them and turned them into guesthouses. The property at Viscri is one of the best know. The Mihai Eminescu Trust lists on its website several villages in Transylvania where it undergoes activities: Viscri, Malancrav, Floresti, Crit, Biertan,

Corina Saceanu, corina@romania-insider.com