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All reviews the main house secret transylvania bran castle ice hotel bear watching excellent hosts other guests local community fortified church great fun local beer fantastic week sense of humour tailor made beautiful country casa verde self catering
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Reviewed 28 June 2017

My husband and I have recently returned from another tour with Jez and Di via the Secret Transylvania Company.
This time the tour was to the Danube Delta in Romania.
As the tour was to start from Bucharest, and as we had not visited the capital city before, we decided to arrive a day early to enable us to explore the city.We were able to to catch the 783 bus right outside the airport to the Piata Romania.It was then only a short walk to our wonderful hotel The Mercure, right in the centre of Bucharest.
We spent the next day exploring this fascinating City, which could be another story in itself!
Ever the professionals Jez and Di arrived dead on ten o'clock at our hotel as pre-arranged to start the tour.
We were driven to Tulcea where we stayed overnight at the Delta Hotel, a beautiful hotel with a balcony overlooking the river Danube.
The onward journey now had to be taken by boat as there are no cars beyond this point.
We had a leisurely three hour cruise down to Crisan taking in the views and wildlife of the river.
At Crisan we stayed in a charming Pension.
The next day we hired a small, open boat and the pilot navigated us through the spectacular, narrow channels of the Delta and into the many huge open lakes..(We felt very fortunate that Jez and Di were able to organise this in Romanian, a definite
advantage in the Delta!) The Delta is a paradise for iconic birds. As we weaved our way through the narrow channels we could hear the incessant calls of the Cuckoo and many other birds.we passed tall reeds and saw many birds roosting in the magnificent trees.As we slid into the huge lake we could see the beautiful Pelicans.We also saw Cormorants, Herons, Woodpeckers,Kingfishers and many more.We were also very lucky to see Jackals and Wild Bore with her three piglets on the river bank.
You are transported to a world of stunning water lilies of vibrant yellow and pure white and the sight of a million glistening frogs watching you with their sparkling eyes as they sing on the Lilly pads.
The next day our water pilot took us fishing and treated us to an impromptu barbecue of Pike, delicious!
After lunch we were dropped off via the boat to Sulina.We visited a beach with beautiful white sand where we swam in the Black Sea and collected shells (Honestly I felt we could have been somewhere in the Caribbean!)
We stayed overnight in Sulina and visited the British Cemetry, the lighthouse and museum before catching the fast speedboat back to Tulcea.
After another night in the Delta Hotel we started our trip back towards Sibiu stopping on the way at the Pivnitele Rhein and Co Pension and Winery, which was fantastic.Jez and Di also managed to squeeze in a trip to the Peles Castle, a Neo Renaissance castle in the Carpathanian Mountains,which was beautiful.
We returned to Sibiu to one of the Secret Transylvanian flats and stayed a further week in the wonderful old town of Sibiu managing to join another couple of trips run by Sue and Bob at Secret Transylvania.
This trip was so much more than we could have expected, we did so many amazing things with Jez and Di our amazing tour guides.Jez was,as usual a truly excellent and professional driver. We would thoroughly recommend that this trip be added to anyone's bucket list!

Stayed: June 2017, travelled as a couple
3  Thank liddyroberts
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 June 2017

We stayed with Bob and Sue for a week and had a fantastic time. They were full to the rafters when we asked to book, so they let us stay in the "pod", which they usually keep for family and friends. The room was really comfortable and very homely.

Communication prior to the trip was brilliant. Di and Sue are very quick to respond to emails and we arranged our transfers with ease. I thought the holiday represented very good value for money considering all the activities we did and the huge amount of food we ate!

The trips with Bob and Alin were great. There are many places you will visit that truly are a "secret". There is no way you would find it or be able to negotiate your way inside without a local. Both Bob and Alin have a great sense of humour and lots of local knowledge... just don't believe what Bob tells you about the bee's knees!

We crammed so much into a week - other than bear watching, we were pretty flexible about activities as we knew nothing about Transylvania! The itinerary Bob drew up for us was great and we felt like we got a really varied mix of activities covering lots of different interests. Highlights for us were bear watching (of course), a visit to the mud baths, Honeduara, and Fagaras castle.

All of the other reviews are right: Sue's cooking is fantastic. There wasn't a single meal we didn't love. When we ate out, Bob's restaurant choices were also great. We also really enjoyed spending time with all of the other guests in the evening and on our various trips, but if you only want to spend time alone you might not enjoy this aspect and might prefer to stay in one of their flats and not take the "all inclusive" option.

Sue and Bob are super accommodating for all their guests' needs, including arranging a transfer to Cluj for us at 2am. They even sent us off with a packed supper for the journey - so thoughtful.

We'd definitely recommend this trip if you want to get the most out of a visit to Transylvania. We quite fancy the ice hotel, so we might see you again in the winter!

  • Stayed: June 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
2  Thank Hetty125
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 June 2017

I found Secret Transylvania on Trip advisor having searched for a holiday where I could see bears in the wild. We were not disappointed. We went for the inclusive option where we were taken out on a different excursion each day. On the bear day we saw 10 bears (from a hide), including a mum and baby. The day was finished off by a meal cooked and served by a Romanian lady in her own home - her warmth and kindness was wonderful. I think the accommodation holds a total of 10 guests, so most days you are with other people though on a couple of days we were on our own as the others were doing different trips. We were fortunate to be with a good crowd. We ate our evening meals out about half of the time. We would have preferred an extra one or two at home as Sue's cooking is really, really good. There is a good mix of excursions some of which involve a long drive. These were usually broken up by stops at other place on route. We particularly enjoyed the rural day which was closer to home. In short we would definitely recommend staying here and seeing some of Romania. Bob, Sue Jez and Di are excellent hosts and went out of their way to make our holiday memorable. It was our wedding anniversary while we were with them and they went out of their way to make it special. Many thanks to all of them and they have our unreserved recommendation. Thanks Bob and Sue.

Room Tip: Pool room was good. Sometimes got wifi in room but free wifi is available in the bar.
  • Stayed: May 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
2  Thank Kevin L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 June 2017

We booked a week with Secret Transylvania after a recommendation from friends. We were not disappointed. Our initial contact was with Di via e-mail and she couldn't have made the booking process more simple or flexible. We booked Casa Verde as we were two couples and wanted the facility to spend time on our own if we wanted. It is an easy 10 minute walk from the main house and is comfortable with plenty of space in the bedrooms and en-suite facilities.

On arrival in Sibiu, we were met by Bob and hosted by him and Sue. Bob was our driver every day and we had great fun with him, he has a mischievous sense of humour and is full of interesting information about Transylvania and the sites we visited. The flight from Luton to Sibiu gets in after midnight so it was great to be met and whisked straight to the house. Sue provided some really good home-made soup with rolls and a cake, which were all excellent and very welcome.

Our itinerary was agreed with Bob and was full on - I can't believe how much we crammed in. That was our choice and they are flexible so if you want to spend a day or two lounging by the pool it isn't a problem. The excursions were really good, although some of them are quite a long car journey (up to three hours for the furthest). This wasn't a problem for us as the journeys are broken up with stops for refreshments or for visits to other places of interest. You may also spend time with their other guests on excursions or during meal/pub times and we were lucky that all the other guests we met were really good company. Speaking of meals, Sue's cooking is excellent and the meals we had out were all good which is a testament to Bob's local knowledge. Highlights for us were the bear watching trip, the beautiful lush Transylvanian countryside and seeing lots of Storks nesting.

If you're looking for a tailor-made tour of Transylvania with excellent hosts, good food and drink and stress free excursions look no further. As hosts Bob and Sue can't do enough to help and when we left it was like saying goodbye to old friends. We will definitely be back.

  • Stayed: May 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
1  Thank MrFun239
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 May 2017

We booked the trip through Secret Transylvania with whom we had visited during the summer and had found to be excellent hosts.

During the summer, we had driven up the Transfagaras Highway but during the winter it is impassable due to the snow.  This time, we did the journey by cable car and had a fantastic view of the beautiful scenery.  The contrast between the seasons was stunning, we had walked round the lake in the summer and now it was frozen solid.  There were various snow related activities to do, we opted to be pulled round on an inflatable boat by snowmobile which was great fun.  We also travelled through the closed off road tunnel to get some superb views from the other side.

The food was excellent with either an option to eat at the cabana or the ice hotel itself.  The rooms in the ice hotel itself were beyond what I could imagine.  Each room contained themed ice carvings, we had the Passion of Christ room, other themes included Jaws, Harry Potter, Smurfs etc.  The separate igloos were brilliant and ice church was stunning and we couldn’t believe the attention to detail.  It truly was a special holiday for us and it was nice to enjoy some mulled wine before settling down to sleep which was surprisingly comfortable.

What really topped the trip off were the excellent guides.  Secret Transylvania is a family run business who really know how to look after you.  Sue, Bob, Di and Jez really go the extra mile to help you choose the activities that suit you.  The cooking is absolutely superb and they have excellent local knowledge and really helped us get the most out of the experience and remain safe on the mountain.  They also supplied us with really good waterproof clothing which was essential in ensuring that you remained warm and dry in the snow and ice.

Secret Transylvania also allow you to do a range of other trips to add on to the holiday such a visit to Bran Castle or a day of skiing.  They always do the trips with a small number of guests allowing you the freedom to customise your experience.  They truly make you feel like a welcome friend rather than a guest.

We are looking forward to another trip with them at the end of the year for the Christmas Market in Sibiu.  Sibiu is the closest airport and Bucharest is about 6-7 hours away.

Stayed: February 2017
2  Thank cidervampire
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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