A restored Saxon palace overlooking the ancient city of Brasov in Transylvania

Columbia Helen

It’s hard to imagine a more relaxing scenario than sipping on a glass of crisp local wine while gazing across the fir-clad mountains of Transylvania as the sun warms up over the open patio at Schuster Boarding House in Brasov.

Below and around it stretches in waves like the ocher rooftops of charming old town houses while behind them stands the colorful clock face of a black medieval church in the cobbled central square.

Columbia Helen

Somewhere, not far away, the soft rhythms of traditional Romanian music sway in the lull of a balmy summer on a Sunday afternoon. Sitting here, listening to the playful cries of children, and the church bell ringing in the distance, time seems not to stand still but to stop a little to catch a slow breath.

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Opened earlier this year after three years of renovation, the Schuster Boarding House is a town site with a distinctly rustic feel, nestled within the steep forested slopes of Mount Tampa, part of the Eastern Carpathians.

Its owner, fashion designer Christian Stupario, who owns the Cato clothing chain across Romania, has spent an estimated 3 million euros transforming a private home into a stylish 22-room boutique hotel, where modern décor includes plush furnishings and patterned floor tiles completing the brickwork. the original. The ceiling, ground floor windows, and doors have been restored and painted by hand and the preserved arch window attests to the Art Nouveau period in which the house was built at the turn of the 20th century.

Anna Maria Sousa, Principal of Schuster Boarding House. Columbia Helen’s photo

Now the property is managed on a lease basis by Anna Maria Sioza who has returned to her country of origin from Israel after gaining extensive experience in the hospitality industry. She described Schuster as “a very sensual, spirited hotel”.

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In his search for elegance, Stupariu also borrowed some ideas, including designer mirrors, from leading hotels such as the 5-star Armani in Milan and the Pulitzer in Paris. Our spacious room is a short steps away at the end of the first floor featuring chevron-style floors, arched windows, painted wood walls, floor-to-ceiling mirrors, a writing desk, and an overall gray and black color scheme. The secret corner exposed part of the original brick wall.

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My companion and I were told that the original construction of the building was the brainchild of Gabriel Schuster, a Saxon banker who hired a Viennese architect and workers from Budapest in 1910 to build his Art Nouveau house. The project took four years and elements can still be seen in the original restored paintings on the facade.

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Among the most memorable highlights of our visit – apart from the efficient and friendly service of staff such as Adriana Meres – were the relaxing mornings and evenings spent on the panoramic rooftop. This experience is often enhanced for guests when talented singer Maya, 18-year-old daughter of Anna Maria, performs jazz performances accompanied by the guitarist.

The Schuster Boarding House and other elegant properties like it will soon reap the benefits of a new international airport expected to be completed in Brasov next year, the first project of its kind in the city.

Columbia Helen

Having a charming old town that reminds me of the Latin Quarter of Paris with lively outdoor cafés, restaurants and bars dotted along every street, scenic hiking trails and winter skiing in nearby Poina Brasov, and an abundance of festivals, including jazz, film, blues and theatre, is a must. The city is soon becoming a more popular holiday destination all year round.

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