Luxury from the ruins
Located in a truly spectacular environment, Chateau Herálec Boutique Hotel & Spa by L’Occitane is the Czech Republic’s most romantic castle resort
For almost a thousand years, a castle has stood between the mountains of Vysočina, halfway between Prague and Brno in the Czech Republic. “It was a ruin among the trees when I first saw it,” says Alexandra Kasperova, owner of Chateau Herálec Boutique Hotel & Spa. “My husband and I travelled to the region regularly for work, and we needed a permanent base. Then a friend told me that this castle in Herálec was for sale. We fell in love with it and ended up buying it immediately!”
But could this wreck be saved? Chateau Herálec had spent several decades deteriorating when Alexandra and her husband Jan Kasper came across it. They realised that this ruined castle was destined to become a five-star hotel. “Not just a stopping place but a destination,” says Alexandra. “It took two and a half years to complete the renovation, blending sleek design with the original features. All the effort is worthwhile when we see the guests’ reaction on arrival. This is the Czech Republic’s most romantic hotel.”
With 19 spacious rooms, Chateau Herálec is an oasis of Zen-like tranquility, located near spectacular highlands, forests and UNESCO monuments, and surrounded by an 18th-century English-style park. Guests can be pampered in its unique Spa by L’Occitane, or they can indulge in delicious gastronomy using fresh local ingredients. The chateau also has a unique collection of branded French wines from the Bordeaux region, one of the largest collections of its kind in the Czech Republic.
“From the beginning we wanted to source everything ourselves,” says Alexandra. “It is the relationships built with local producers that makes a stay here so special. And we’ve helped several local businesses to flourish, including a little dairy, who initially supplied our milk, then some yoghurts and cheeses. Now they have a huge selection of the best produce – it’s a pleasure to be one stone in the mosaic of their success.”
From a ruin among the trees to Vysočina’s foremost five-star hotel, it has been a journey of discovery. “The experience of our guests matters above all else,” says Alexandra. “This castle is a monument to the efforts of a whole community.”