Nestled on the edge of Sighetu Marmației town, next to the lovely Mill Garden Park (or Gradina Morii Parcel) is Hotel Gradina Morii. The perfect place for us to base ourselves to explore the famous wooden churches and monasteries in the area.
It is a luxury hotel that has been recently renamed, and captures the market for personal travellers, business persons and the conference market too. We selected it for its traditional building style and class, as we wanted to be in the heart of the area to explore.
But also because it had an on-site car parking area right out the front, so this made me feel the car would be safe and secure.
We arrived late in the afternoon, and after a quick ‘check in’, we were straight up to our second floor room. Explorason sits down with the lovely information booklet, and fills me in on the history of this great building.
The rooms of Gradina Morii Hotel are light and airy, and feature Austrian influences. All rooms have heating, a hairdryer, and an en suite bathroom, and we had a well stocked mini bar fridge too.
This is an Austrian inspired vintage building that has been renovated with modern facilities up to European standards.
Our balcony has a magical view of the snowy hills beyond.
I can well imagine this place as a hive of activity in summer, when they have the local swimming area open, and people are out socialising on the lawn area out the back.
They have a fire pit area, and can set up portable table and outdoor chairs for picnics too – how lovely would it be to watch the sunset out here.
We have a lovely balcony with double windows and a French door, so even though it is cool outside, there is the opportunity to wander out for fresh air.
We are soon off exploring the hotel, and the first stop is the lobby. It is a mix of old and new, and filled with antiques and a musical theme.
The fire is actually burning nicely, and this is right next to the bar area. I sit here at the time as it is full of couples – but it is Saturday night, so they are all here out socialising.
The Gradina Morii Restaurant is large, and is split into two distinct seating styles. There are formal tables, and informal booths, and so we decide on the relaxed location for our dinner.
There is a vast menu with traditional Romanian and some international dishes available, and it is printed in both Romanian and English.
This dish I order is just amazing. It is a pineapple curry with a roast turkey layer tower, served with salad and hash browns. It is available in Pork as well, which Explorason selected. I was surprised – he really loved it, and said it was “super and delicious”.
On another occasion I get the club seating by the bar to myself. Late that night we enjoy a hot chocolate for Explorason, and I have a Baileys-on-ice. Yum!
It was off to bed upstairs for us as we had been driving all day. I think this is another reason I love to stay at a hotel like Gradina Morii. We can dine, and I can have a glass of wine or a late night drink and not have to drive.
I must say this is the best deep sleep that first night I have had in I don’t know how long! Our room was just the right temperature, and the mattress was firm, supportive, and comfortable. So we slept in – a rare thing for me as I am always up early planning the day.
We only had breakfast just before 11:00 a.m. But the restaurant was really accommodating and didn’t mind a bit.
I really enjoyed trying the breaded soft hot cheese, that melted in my mouth, and Explorason had sausages, which he also loved.
Then it was time for a walk to burn off those calories in the adjacent park. Being a relaxed Sunday there were kids tobogganing on the snowy slopes, toddlers on the play equipment, and Explorason gave himself a wet bottom using the workout equipment.
I love how relaxed this park feels with families out taking Sunday strolls. Ladies slowly meander along as they chat their afternoon away.
It is just a beautiful place with old world turn-of-the-century grandeur and style, but with modern charm.
Gradina Morii even offer a selection of wine that is their own label. A perfect gift to take home with you.
It is also available in our room, so whilst Explorason has a Sunday relax, I set about having some ‘my time’.
I really enjoyed a couple of glasses of the white wine whilst I stayed here. Even on this crisp afternoon, it was not too cold to sit out on the balcony. I like ‘my time’, and this really felt like the perfect way to finish our Sunday afternoon.
Located in the lobby, The Artisan Shop sells traditional, handmade souvenirs from the Maramures region.
The Maramures Village Museum is 4.9 km from the hotel, and the Memorial of the Victims of Communism is 1.5 km away.
The reception staff were wonderful. They supplied us with all the information and maps we needed to find the local tourist sites we wished to explore.
If you plan to visit the north of Romania, we really recommend the Gradina Morii.
Accommodation Name: Gradina Morii Restaurant and Hotel
Location: Strada Mihai Eminescu 97, Sighetu Marmației 435500 Romania
Date stayed: January, 2015
Breakfast: Full cooked breakfast with many choices is included
Bar: Yes – 2 – one inside and one for summer outside
Wi-fi: Free and on all levels and of good speed
Child friendly: Yes and also next to a park and playground, with own play equipment at rear also