I will be adding my Trip Advisor listing for Photography Tours Romania here soon. Below is a review given by one of my guest in October 2014. The text is taken from the Trip Advisor review he left on my Hotels profile.
roberto f Marburg, Germany
“A special holiday in a special place”
I stayed, toghether with another friend, for two weeks at the village hotel at the beginning of october 2014. We used it as a base during a phototour organized for us by duncan, the owner of the village hotel. The short version is that it has been one of the best holidays of my life, and this is mainly due to Duncan, his wife and the staff of the hotel.
First of all maramures is an unique destination, the perfect mix of beautiful landscape and a genuin rural culture, still undiscovered by mass tourism. It was like travelling back in time by 100 years. The people are friendly and hospital, always willing to wellcome you for a glass of orinka and to show you their life. Most importantly staying at the village hotel is the perfect way to experience this unique culture and land. The cottages have been described in detail in the other reviews, I just want to repeat again that they are charming and cosy.
It is extremely relaxing and regenerating spending time there. one of the things I thought during the stay was “ok, next time I feel stressed at work or by city life I know where to go to recharge”.
What I want to emphasize here is how great are Duncan, Penny (his wife) and their staff. As I said he organized a photo tour for us. We were specifically interested in reportage, trying to see the rural life as much as possible from the inside, not as tourists. And this was the best possible choice we could do. Duncan is very professional, he knows the place perfectly and how to approach the people; but most importantly, he has a contagious drive and enthusiasm for what he does. We were driving around the whole day alway on the look out for interesting situations to photograph. it was the right mix of organized, like visiting a sheperd station or a gipsy village, and free roaming: Along the lines of “in that village on sundays people like to sit on the street and relax so let’s just go there because something interesting might happen”. At the end it was not only a great phototour(we encountered plenty of exceptional situations and had a lot of fun), but a great life experience. It does not happen often to travel somewhere and get a real glimpse of a land, as unfiltered as possible by being a “tourist”.
So if you have an interest in photography, but also if you want to spend some days just experiencing a different way of life, getting to know a culture and in the meanwhile having a great time with great hosts, I really recommend a visit to the village hotel and one of the tours organized by duncan. Finding people such as him and his people that manage to transmit and share their love for what they do and the land they live in does not happen often. and it is a recipe for an unforgettable time. I know I want to go there again.
Stayed October 2014, travelled with friends