Hotel Review: Chateau Mcely in the heart of the Czech Republic
A dilapidated Chateau on the outskirts of Prague needed two valiant souls to convert it into an award winning hotel, spa and forest retreat. Nick Constance heads to Bohemia.
Raise a glass to the epic endeavours of James and Inéz Cusumano, the American-Slovenian glamour couple who turned Chateau Mcely into a stylish retreat in the heart of a Bohemian Forest.
Chateau Mcely is a 12-acre facility with lush gardens, holistic Wellness centre and an outdoor swimming pool. It also offers top-notch food, croquet on the lawn, curative walks deep into the forest and sumptuous furnishings, many made by local craftsmen.
The Chateau took “2 long years” to restore and now boasts 23 distinctive suites and rooms, a fine-dining restaurant, rooftop observatory and a ‘secret’ Alchemist Club housed in the basement. Spread across 2 floors, each guestroom has a unique name, such as Southern Seas, Africa, Orient or Mark Twain — a nod to the famous author who once stayed at the Chateau.
Days here are just the right side of structured, or should I say they’re as structured as you want them to be. This bespoke approach is probably the Chateau’s ace card and it means you can either lounge like a lizard at the poolside or get the sap rising by dint of an invigorating deep-tissue massage.
The treatment plan is yours to devise, but they do have experts to build a more structured regime, should you require. However, one shouldn’t forget – relaxation is all part of the regime here.
The interior is an assortment of rich brocade, marble and other 17th-century flourishes, especially in the library where an array of scientific artefacts is on display.
When not browsing the library, you could try the basement Alchemist Club that tastefully mixes high-tech wine preservation, a well-stocked humidor, and a working 50s jukebox.
The Chateau’s organic cosmetics line, (Mcely Bouquet) was personally developed by co-owner Inéz Cusumano and is hand-blended in a little studio of dreamy energy – otherwise known as the on-site ‘laboratory’. Balms, oils, serums, bath salts and masks are blended with love and respect in our own laboratory,” says Inéz.
The chateau is also a perfect location for weddings and myriad attractions include hiking, picnics, cycling, golf and yoga in the forest. Is there anything this place doesn’t ‘do’? Petanque, archery, horse and carriage rides…well, you get the picture.
They can even organise dinner entertainment around the roasting of a wild boar. And never mind, croquet on the lawn (which they do have) an evening performance of ballet on the grass can be arranged, if you so wish.
Executive chef Honza Štěrba oversees proceedings in the elegant Piano Nobile Restaurant, which has held a top ten spot in Maurer’s Grand Restaurant Guide for many years. Dominating proceedings is the superb Patio Bellavista, an open-air terrace offering al-fresco dining with 9 signature cocktails on the menu.
Enjoy a nutritious breakfast with specialities such as house-smoked salmon and locally sourced honey. The lunch and dinner menus contain some of the most unsullied, flavoursome food I’ve had in ages.
I wouldn’t have been surprised to find one of the chefs out in the forest picking berries and mushrooms, or foraging for herbs.
The Great Escape
Taking a walk through the nearby forest is an absolute must-do when visiting the Chateau. Trails are clearly marked and could be described as easy-to-medium. So it shouldn’t be a challenge unless you have extreme walking difficulties. When you get back to the Chateau, don’t forget to sample the delicious tea made from 9 flowers of the St George Forest.
By the end of your stay you’ll feel different. Your skin will glow, eyes will be brighter and your troubles will be less.
I’m still unsure if Chateau Mcely is a hotel, a stately home, country house, a Spa, or a forest retreat. It is, of course, all of these and more. Certainly, there’s nowhere quite like it.
Inspiring, restful, magical. The ultimate mind-body reboot.
Address: Mcely 61, 289 36 Mcely, Czechia
Phone: +420 325 600 000
* Image credits – Chateau Mcely