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

29.7.18

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

receptionist 

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 amoma.com

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

lounge
image from amoma.com

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
https://www.hotelstbruno.pl

20 comments:

  1. What a cool and you're right, quirky castle stay. The rooms look massive and it was incredible to see the lounge. Love the shabby chic dining room and the scale of everything. Hope you felt like a princess.

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    1. Well, I did feel like a (modern) princess, hahaha :D

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  2. I have never stayed in a castle before and now I definitely want to (and Hotel St. Bruno has been added to that list). I've heard that the rooms in the historic properties tend to be small, but I'm still curious. How cool that it has a bowling alley and indoor pool, too! Honestly, the whole experience looks pretty great, and I can see why you wanted to spend more time there. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Yeah, it was a great experience indeed. I can't wait to stay at other castles :D

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  3. This looks like a great place to stay, with all the amenities you need for a weekend getaway. Is there much to do in Gizycko though? It seems like you mostly talked about the hotel but I wouldn't want to just stay there the whole time.

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    1. It was only a brief night stay in Gizycko so I only managed to explore the area around hotel and had dinner at one of the restaurants in marina :)

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  4. When we visited Portugal, we stayed in a palace in the Algarve. So I know that this can be an interesting experience. It was interesting to find out you could stay in a castle in Poland too. The inside looks there are some parts of the original castle still in place. And some interesting re-use of places like the cellar. Definitely something to consider if I ever visit Gizycko in Poland.

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    1. Now, I'm curious about the palace in the Algarve. Have you written any review about it? I'd love to read it, Linda :D

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  5. What an experience it must have been to stay in Hotel St Bruno. I’m imagining a Renaissance prince walking around there with a bow and arrow way back when it was a Teutonic Fortress. I wonder what he would say about the modern bowling alley in the cellar? It looks like your childhood dream came true despite the small size of your room.

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    1. ow yeah, I was waiting the whole night for the prince to pass by, hhahahaha :p

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  6. The rooms really look massive and plenty of things to do that will not get bore a guests. Although I love this kind of hotel I also am such an outdoorsy person. I also could not think of any kind of a castle like hotel other than this. I'm also glad that your dreams came true.

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    1. It was indeed a dream comes true! :D

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  7. I love castles and palaces turned to hotels. Stayed in a couple of them and can totally relate to the stays there. Loved the interiors, particularly the dining area with its floral patterns.

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    1. I can't wait to have another castle stay over! :D

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  8. I am absolutely inlove!!! i have read about Hotel St Bruno before but wooow the photos really made me go back to my childhood years where I played with my Barbie dolls and dream about being a princess (yaaass we do share the same dream!). I have to visit soon!!!

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    1. The room interior was reminded me of Barbie's house. Too cute! :D

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  9. I love how the Hotel St. Bruno has a modern but still Renaissance feel to it. The rooms look really unique.

    I wish the walls could talk and tell us the secrets of the Teutonic knights.

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    1. Can't agree more! I also would love to hear the secrets of the Teutonic knights :D

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  10. Wow, you did stay in a castle. Love the way they have refurbished the place. The bowling alley in the vaults - now that is an idea. The rooms too look so lovely. The hotel is a destination by itself.

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    Replies
    1. Great to know that some of the original parts are still attached after it has refurbished, right :D

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