Nature, Tradition & Privacy

His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales's private nature retreat lies nestled amongst the meadows and hills of Zalán Valley (Zalánpatak, Valea Zălanului) in Transylvania, Romania. The property has kept its Transylvanian authenticity by having been carefully restored with traditional methods and materials. It is now open to accommodate and entertain individual travellers from around the world.

Our Philosophy & Heritage

Our philosophy of restoring heritage architecture is characterised by utmost respect for the textures and atmospheres of ancient buildings. All the rooms have been lovingly restored and furnished with authentic antiques and textiles from Transylvania. The way we restore derelict houses is barely noticeable, rather would it seem that the buildings have aged gently and gradually without recent intervention. The property is not to be seen as a 'shabby chic' styled holiday resort, it is genuine in its harmony and guests feel like staying in a centuries-old private home.

  • Drawing room in the old stables, Zalan, Transylvania. Photo: Bonciocat.
  • Prince Charles Cottage, Zalan, Transylvania. Photo: Ruppert Wolfe-Murray.
  • restored door lock, Zalan, Transylvania
  • Accommodation in the Lower Cottage, Zalan, Transylvania. Photo: count Kalnoky.

The Rooms

The guest rooms are furnished exclusively with antique Transylvanian furniture, including most of the textiles. In order to create an atmosphere of peace and tranquillity there is no television or radio; instead, you will find plenty of interesting books on the shelves. Each room has an electric kettle, with tea and coffee provided.

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Our guests are looked after by discreet local staff who cater to all their needs. Transfers, guided activities and meals are all available. Guests are welcomed on arrival with our local Transylvanian brandy and pastries before being shown to their rooms. There is neither TV nor radio, but the drawing room has a small HiFi player with cds. There are plenty of books including nature guides, and you can also borrow binoculars and a scope to watch wildlife from around the house. Laundering is available for a small charge. Meeting like-minded travellers from all around the world is one of the special features of this place. Meals are mostly taken along with other guests, unless desired separately. The rooms are equipped with kettles for making your own tea and coffee, and bottled mineral water is provided. We offer local produce and crafts to buy at the little shop in the guesthouse office. There are only two small shops in the village and no restaurant. The nearest town is 20km away (Barót, Baraolt).

  • Zalan guesthouse team with The Prince of Wales and Count Kalnoky
  • Romanian wine. Photo: Fabrice Grover.
  • View from Stream Cottage, Zalan, Transylvania
  • Drawing room in the old stables, Zalan, Transylvania
  • The old stable building, Zalan, Transylvania
  • Breakfast barn, Zalan, Transylvania
  • Prince Charles Cottage, Zalan, Transylvania. Photo: Ruppert Wolfe-Murray.
  • Stream Cottage, Zalan, Transylvania. Photo: count Kalnoky.


On each day of the week, we offer one activity for our 'All Inclusive' guests. These are mostly in the form of nature walks, horse & cart rides, and visits to local craftsmen guided by knowledgeable staff and dependent upon the season. In addition, horse riding is available at our nearby stables at Sepsikőröspatak / Valea Crișului. Bicycles are available for hire. In the warm season (May–September) 'al fresco' sunset dinners in the surrounding hills are offered, as well as visits to the nearby wildlife hide (mostly bears and deer). Or simply relax in our deck-chairs and hammocks in one of the most harmonious surroundings in the Subcarpathian hills of Transylvania. In the event of sufficient snow we also offer horse-drawn sleigh rides with bells, blankets and mulled wine.

No trips by motorised vehicle are possible except for transfers to and from the estate.

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  • Pheasants Eye (Adonis aestivalis), Zalan, Transylvania. Photo: count Kalnoky.
  • Grasses at Zalan, Transylvania. Photo: count Kalnoky.
  • Butterfly at Zalan, Transylvania. Photo: count Kalnoky.
  • Nettle-leaved bellflower (Campanula trachelium), Zalan, Transylvania. Photo: count Kalnoky.
  • Prince Charles and Count Kalnoky hiking on ancient wood pasture grounds, Transylvania
  • Bear sighting near Zalan, Transylvania. Photo: count Kalnoky.
  • Red squirrel pilfering a walnut from Prince Charles Cottage, Zalan, Transylvania. Photo: count Kalnoky.
  • Wild strawberries, Zalan, Transylvania. Photo: count Kalnoky.
  • Winter view from Stream Cottage, Zalan, Transylvania. Photo: Count Kalnoky.
  • Breakfast barn in winter, Zalan, Transylvania. Photo: Count Kalnoky.
  • Zalan property winter, Transylvania. Photo: Count Kalnoky.
  • Prince Charles Cottage winter, Zalan, Transylvania. Photo: count Kalnoky.

Food & Drinks

Meals are taken together as 'table d'hôte' unless otherwise requested. Food is prepared on site by local staff, mostly from local ingredients as available. Menus are set for every day of the week and no choice 'à la carte' is possible. They reflect the customary cooking of the different Transylvanian ethnicities (Romanian, Hungarian, Saxon). Special requests and dietary requirements must be specified in advance. During the day, picnics and barbecues will be served on the walks and rides. All dinners are accompanied by a half bottle of wine or a beer per person, included in the price. We prepare local brandy, 'Székely Köményes' in our kitchen for the guests. A small choice of pre-dinner cocktail drinks and port wine are also available at an extra charge. In the warm season (May–September) 'al fresco ' dinners in the surrounding hills are offered at extra cost.

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Prices are shown as 'All Inclusive', with 3 meals a day and activities included. Basic accommodation bookings (Bed & Breakfast) are accepted only by way of exception and subject to availability, mostly at the last minute. Many of our guests combine their bookings with an 'All Inclusive' stay at the main guesthouses at Miklósvár / Micloșoara. Transfers, bicycles, extra activities, pre-and post-dinner drinks, etc. are available at reasonable fees.

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  • Bringing in the hay, Zalan, Transylvania
  • Endemic cardamine glanduligera, Zalan, Transylvania. Photo: count Kalnoky.
  • flower meadow Zalan valley, Transylvania. Photo: Catherine Karnow.
  • Endemic Transylvanian Blue Eyes, hepatica transsylvanica, Zalan. Photo: count Kalnoky.
  • Traditional Transylvanian apple variety, Zalan
  • Zalan property, Transylvania. Photo: Count Kalnoky.
  • Russian almond, prunus tenella, Zalan, Transylvania. Photo: count Kalnoky.
  • Restored barn detail, Zalan, Transylvania
  • Zalan property, Transylvania. Photo: count Kalnoky.
  • Prince Charles Cottage, Zalan, Transylvania
  • Cepe mushroom at Zalan, Transylvania. Photo: count Kalnoky.
  • Tulips at Prince Charles Cottage, Zalan, Transylvania. Photo: count Kalnoky.
  • Willow flower, Zalan, Transylvania. Photo: count Kalnoky.
  • Zalan property, Transylvania. Photo: Count Kalnoky.
  • Haystacks in Zalan valley, Transylvania. Photo: count Kalnoky.
  • Zalan property, Transylvania

Zalán Valley nestles among the rolling foothills of the Carpathian Mountains in Transylvania, Romania. Its cultural landscape can be said to be unique in Europe, still reflecting the harmonious interaction between man and nature. Small brooks trickle through the valley and cross the property. Some of the most beautiful and biodiversically rich wild flower meadows are located in the direct vicinity of the guesthouses. The landscape is ideal for painting and for photography.

The tiny hamlet of Zalán Valley (Zalánpatak in Hungarian, Valea Zălanului in Romanian) was first documented in the 16th century as belonging to Bálint (Valentin) Kálnoky of Kőröspatak, one of the Transylvanian ancestors of H.R.H. The Prince of Wales. The family had originally founded a glass factory in this part of the hills, which has since ceased to exist. Today, around 120 inhabitants live in the village. Prince Charles owns the property that had been built for the former ‘judge’ who was overseeing the glassworks and the village. It is composed of several buildings, and has a patch of forest and extensive flower meadows, with mineral springs and small brooks belonging to it. The property is characterised by its rich biodiversity of plants, insects, birds, mushrooms and large mammals including bears (sometimes crossing the back yard). One of Europe's rarest and most spectacular orchids, the Lady Slipper (Cypripedium calceolus), of which only one single wild specimen has survived in Britain up to date, is blossoming in the valley's forests in May and June. 

The nearest villages are 6km away along a gravel track, and the next town 20km.

Viscri Traditional Crafts Centre

Prince Charles's small property in Viscri (Deutschweißkirch, Szászfehéregyháza) is currently being converted into a training centre for traditional crafts and rural skills, to help secure a livelihood in Romania's villages. It will soon also be available as Bed & Breakfast accommodation when training courses are not taking place.

Special Events

October 2016: Photo workshop with internationally acclaimed Martin H.M. Schreiber. 50 years of experience, over 100 exhibitions worldwide, 14 books published and many workshops and lectures given. Please enquire for more details!

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Location Address

The Prince of Wales's Guesthouse
527119 Valea Zălanului, house no. 1
Jud. Covasna, Romania

For availability and reservations please enquire at e-mail

Enquiries by e-mail will be answered within 48 hours.

For last minute bookings please call: +40 742 20 25 86
For arrivals: +40 743 10 03 11 or +40 374 94 31 11

If you have any questions please call our office from Monday to Friday, between 08:00 am–16:00 pm (Romanian time).

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The Prince of Wales hopes that his guesthouse will encourage more people to visit Transylvania and in this way promote sustainable development. Proceeds from the guesthouse go to The Prince of Wales Foundation in Romania, member of The Prince's Charities.