My Time Capsule: July 2018


Poland: Spending The Night At A Castle - Hotel St. Bruno

Gizycko, October 2016

"Dad, when I grow up I want to be a princess and live in a beautiful castle!" The 5 years old me said it firmly after watching Sleeping Beauty movie for the first time and got blown away.

"But I thought you wanted to be Cleopatra and live in a pyramid or last week you told me you want to be Tarzan and live in Africa." My Dad chuckled and shook his head. "Girl! You have such a mind-boggling imagination. You even told me you wanted to be a bird when we were in a plane!"

"I know! I know but can you build a castle for me?"

"Sure. Let's build a sand castle for now and later when you grow up, you can build your own castle. How does it sound?" The mini me squealed happily and rushed to get ready for the beach trip.

I was a very curious kid...well I still am I guess. A curious adult that is. As I remember I've always let my imagination run wild and crave for new adventures. I didn't really do playdate when I was a kid as I spent most of my time travelling. Tagged along on Dad's business trip since I was a toddler. Fairy tales books were my only friends, my everything. It accompany me during long flights or when Dad was busy with work. Mom would buy a new book for me every weekend and I would keep bugging her until she read it for me. So yes, it's easy to say that I've always been fascinated by princess stories and castles since forever.

Psst! I even tried to kiss a frog, hoping it would turn into prince charming. 🙅

Fortunately nowadays not only princess get to live in a castle, I found out that there are actually a bunch of castles around the world that can be rented for a night stay or a year if the budget allows. Thanks to the internet and Google! During the road trip around Baltic countries, from Vilnius in Lithuania we headed to Poland and stayed in Gizycko. I was thrilled when I found out that there's a castle-turned-hotel in the city so there's no way I would miss the chance to spend at least one night there. Dreams do come true!

St. Bruno is one of the most popular hotels in Gizycko, the biggest city in Mazury region which is also called the 1000 lakes. The red brick hotel surely has a beautiful surroundings next to the Łuczański Canal, connecting the lakes Niegocin and Kisajno. I think quaint is the word perfectly describes about this place.

glass winter garden pavilion 

the lobby


Hotel St. Bruno is housed in a restored Teutonic castle dates back to the 15th century. This castle has been through numerous restoration obviously. Original Teutonic Fortress was used as a Hunting Residence Lodge for renaissance princess until the year of 1850, then it as transformed to a military headquarters of the Boyen Fortress. Long story short, in 2010 the castle was finally restored to become a 4 stars boutique hotel.

My first impression as I stepped into the lobby was the contemporary design and interior looks quirky. After a swift check in, I walked around behind the lobby and found a narrow alleyway. It's dimly lit and going around like a maze. There's dozens of old portraits on the stone wall, probably pictures of some the previous landlords or knights who used to live in the castle. Walking through this alleyway alone certainly was a hair-raising experience yet triggered my curiosity. A kind of eerie feeling that made me feel even more excited. In each dark turn, I was kinda hoping to bump into a Knight or something. My Dad was right, I do have a mind-boggling imagination! 😝

the alleyway

my room for the night

image from

I stayed in a double room with a sofa. Size wise it's pretty cramped but cozy enough with vintage-y interior. The beds were quite small even for me, a girl who is often called a hobbit. Perhaps I should have chosen other type of rooms such as studio, royal apartment or presidential apartment which I believe would be more spacious. Some of the room are located in the historical area of the hotel and have original parts of the castle still attached. All rooms are equipped with Internet Wi-Fi (seems like the most essential nowadays. Ha!), AC, mini bar, safe deposit box, TV and bathroom amenities.

Facilities of the hotel including Bowling Alley and the Music Club which are located in the castle vaults with old castle stone wall and curved red brick ceiling. It was a cellar, I think? Super cool ambiance along with a wide selection of alcohols. There's also billiard room, cigar room and spa with sauna and indoor swimming pool.

bowling alley

Music Club

image from

the castle night view from the swing bridge

The swing bridge in Łuczański Canal is one of the most seek attractions by visitors in Gizycko. Until today it is still operated manually by a man pushing a "stick" in rotational movement for about 5 minutes each session (quite a work out!). It opens by swinging on one end to lay along the bank of the canal, to let a yacht of ship passing through. In its closed position, it works as a road over the canal allowing traffic to cross. I think it was my first time seeing a swing bridge operated manually. Pretty interesting! The history of the bridge dates back to the 19th century but have gone through some renovations to this day. Please do check the scheduled time if you are interested to see the whole opening routine.

the swing bridge at Łuczański Canal

La Bibliotheque restaurant

At the La Bibliotheque restaurant, the nine metres high ceilings gives a spacious and grand feeling as I walked in. And a two storey book shelf wallpaper adding a sense of depth of the interior, as if I was inside a library.....hence the name of the restaurant. I'm not really good at elaborating the interior design but believe me, it is too cute it felt like I was having breakfast inside a doll house. If you love shabby chic design, you would go "Awwwww, so cute! Awwww, soooo pweety!" all the time. There's just ample of Instagramable spots to take picture at.

 I chose a table in the glass winter garden pavilion so I could soak up the early morning sun while enjoying my food. Bliss! I could really get used to this princess-y life, in a heart beat.

glass winter garden pavilion 

cold station at breakfast buffet

The restaurant serves modern menu that combines traditional Polish cuisine with global trend. All products are delivered fresh daily from the local suppliers. There's wide array of food on breakfast buffet from cold station for varieties of ham and cheese, egg and omelet station, assorted bread, danish or croissant, hot station for grilled chicken, baked potatoes and else, also beverage station and dessert station. While the tea and coffee were served at my table.

shabby chic interior 

morning view from my room

One thing I regret about my stay in Hotel St. Bruno, it was such a brief one night stay. I could really stay for a couple days here to enjoy all the facilities they offer and explore this pretty town of Gizycko. Unfortunately I've already booked my visit and a lunch session at Marlbork Castle which is 200ish km away, so this princess had to leave her castle to pay a visit to another castle. Wait up, Prince Charming, I'm on my way 👸

Have you ever stayed in a castle before? Which castle would you recommend me to stay next time?

Hotel St. Bruno (*4)
ul. St. Brunona 1
11-500 Gizycko, Poland
Phone: +48 877 326 500


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