The small town of Villany basically has one long main street lined with charming tavernas and boutique wineries. It looks like the kind of place you might stop over for lunch in, on your way to somewhere else.
However, upon closer look, it’s a truly wonderful town indeed. It certainly is small as it only has over 2500 regular residents all year round. But this is part of its charm.
I was only there for just for over 24 hours, and already I realised that it”s very easy to spend a week here, relaxing and sampling what the town does best: red wine.
FIRST IMPRESSIONS COUNT
My first impression was that it was a truly picturesque town. For one thing, any place that has to do with grapes will always be charming, in my opinion.
Then there are the spa facilities. For such a tiny place, it has several good hotels with really high-quality spa facilities. So if you’re looking for a place to combine your love of wine with some serious R&R, well, Villany is probably the perfect choice.
THE BEST HOTELS IN VILLANY
Interestingly, the two best hotels in Villany are also home to the two best restaurants and spa facilities. So basically, if you’re a luxury traveler, you have a choice of two places, and these places also happen to be run by the two top winemakers of Villany.
This makes everything easy to understand. The Bock family runs the Hotel Ermitage along with its Bock winery, while the Gere family runs its own facility too called the Crocus Gere Hotel.
DINNER IN THE BEST RESTAURANT IN THE HOTEL ERMITAGE IN VILLANY
To make sure I tried the best of everything, as everyone is friends in this town, I had dinner with Mr. Bock at his Obor restaurant at the four-star Hotel Ermitage.
Prior to that, I also did a wine-tasting of Bock wines with the Mayor of Villany at Mr. Bock’s cellars. We certainly enjoyed our evening here, with excellent wines picked by Mr. Bock himself. Some of the wines didn’t even have labels because they came from Mr. Bock’s private cellars.
We also had truly the most delicious food. I ordered a dish called csulok, which are roasted pig knuckles. These came perfectly roasted the traditional way.
SLEEPING AT THE CROCUS GERE HOTEL, THE BEST SPA HOTEL IN VILLANY
Then, after dinner, I took a short car ride to the Crocus Gere Hotel and Spa run by the Gere family, to check into a suite overlooking the vineyards. It was simply wonderful. Luckily I had the entire morning free the next day, too. So I had a leisurely breakfast in the garden followed by a bath in red wine at the spa. Afterwards I lay in the salt room which was perfect for relaxation.
I only appeared at about 1 PM, when it was time for lunch. Again, another wonderful meal, and this time at the Mandula restaurant run by the Gere family. This restaurant is completely different from the Obor restaurant. It’s modern and contemporary both in furnishings and cooking. So lunch was all about local ingredients but cooked in a modern way.
WHAT I WOULD HAVE DONE
I really could have stayed here a few more days, living a Travelife. I would have borrowed someone’s bike, helped out with the harvesting of the grapes, gotten to know all the tiny wineries, or even volunteered at the mayor’s office.
And perhaps, most of all, I would have spent all my free time at the sauna and the salt rooms, as Hungarians love their saunas and salt rooms, and they certainly do a good job of enjoying these.