Fairy tale and magical lore abound at this “Green Castle” located in famous St.Georges Forest in the Czech Republic. From 1869 forward, it was the private rural manor of the Thurn-Taxis royal aristocratic family of Germany. What’s most exciting about Chateau Mcely Spa and Forest Retreat is that it’s the Czech’s first 5 Star Green/Eco hotel and only the second Eco hotel in the entire European Union. This Robin Hoodesque retreat was granted a license to use the European Union’s ecological sign ( flower symbol) because of its demonstrated commitment to the environment.
Once a dilapidated chateau, the newly remodeled (2006) castle, in the town of Mcely has been reconstructed using “green principles” such as a heating system that relies on the combustion of waste wood chips! In addition, captured rain water is used for watering the English garden, energy is derived from renewable sources, and food waste is used to support local farm production. They use candles in many public rooms instead of electric lights and ask guests to conserve water as if it was a rare spice. It’s nice to be able to say that there are too many “Eco” aspects of this hotel to list!
Upon check-in at the hotel, one is greeted with a welcome cup of tea prepared exclusively from local herbs. Its obvious that the staff are proud to work in such a healthy and harmonious environment. While they do ask the guests to participate in being green during their stay, the hotel’s green efforts do not interfere in any way with the 5 star service and convenience that so many hotels claim is a problem in the “green” world. The company’s motto is, “We make a difference in the world by making a difference in yours”. A lesson or two could be learned from this retreat about how well a truly “Eco” hotel can be run.
If you are staying in Prague and want a 2-3 day getaway into Old Bohemia, then the Mcely Chateau is the place for you. Only a one hour drive from Prague, this is a local weekend hot spot. Book in advance (there are only 23 rooms and suites) and prepare to be spoiled! This retreat boasts too many activities to enjoy in one stay. The hotel comes complete with a spa center, afternoon tea, Alchemist Club (17th century cellar serving elixirs), 5 star restaurant, game park, and horseback riding. You may not know which to explore first!
You may want to book the relaxing Honey, Silk and Pearls (Oh My!) Spa treatment/massage – followed by cognac and chocolate souffle. Are you booking your plane ticket yet?
If you must leave your home-away-from-home at Chateau Mcely there are several nearby attractions to visit; quaint villages, castles and labyrinths of Loucen a Detenice or The Bedrich Smetana Museum.
With an abundant, interesting history and breathtaking scenery, the Czech Republic has so much to offer travelers. But a visit to this Eco friendly chateau stands out as place you will always remember and want to come back to.
Written by Carla Scott for EuropeUpClose.com