I grew up in Sanok, small city in the south of Poland, not far form one of the coolest places in Poland – Bieszczady mountains. The most popular polish destinations among foreign tourists are cities like Cracow, Warsaw, Gdansk, and Bieszczady are less known than for example Zakopane and Tatra mountains, but they have some huge advantages: they’re less touristy and commercialised, there are no crowds on routes (which sometimes happens in Tatra, especially in the peak season) and they have this remarkable hippie sort of vibe which makes them so special and sentimental to Polish people, like a keepsake of their youth. For a long time accommodation options here were quite basic, either family run B&Bs, or small hotels, it almost became tradition that there were no luxury resorts and posh 5 stars hotels here, because the spirit of these mountains is all about going back to basics and being close to nature.
As teenagers we used to hitchhike there with tent, sleeping bags and with just little money and we had the best time ever, hiking and going to festivals and listening to our favourite bands. Lack of hot water or decent facilities couldn’t bother us less, one could always have a bath in the river. Young and free, this is pretty much how we spent every summer 🙂 So this is a place of a special significance to me, brings back lots of happy memories. Because of my experiences of camping style accommodation and limited washing options, Bieszczady and luxury sounded to me like the opposites, until I came to Arłamów Hotel. I must admit that the place is exceptional; located on the hill overlooking valleys covered in forests, it also has unique history and the views are just breathtaking, just look:
Arłamów is a recreational and sport focused hotel so I would be perfect place for you if you like sport and want to get some rest. Rooms are big and comfortable, I particularly lile rich and soft carpets, honestly, when your foot touches such carpet it’s hard not to feel like VIP 🙂 There is also proffesional 3 levels spa & wellness with 14 treatment rooms. There isn’t any route to the mountains starting here, so if you want to hike you need to go to different village, which is big disadvantage. I can’t think of anything better than jumping to jaccuzzi and sauna after whole day of hiking – the dream 🙂 If you’re looking for options to get positively knackered, besides hiking, there is still a lot on offer. So we have indoor pool, kids pool and outdoor thermal pool, fotball, volleyball and basketball pitch, golf, you can also play badminton, squash, tennis, do some climbing on a 19m high wall, go to professional gym, horseride or blow off some steam on shooting range. Lots of ways to get sporty as you can see, and afterwards you can relax your painful muscles in the sauna (many different types), steam room or jaccuzzi. Thermal pool has water temperature of 36 C, and though I haven’t been in winter, I think it must be awesome to sit in a warm pool sourrounded by snow.
Outside we also have jaccuzzi, and if you follow down the path to the right you’ll see reindeers having a snooze in the meadow. Just pure bliss for eyes and soul and you can enjoy it in a peace and quiet because off spring can go to kids club, which is very good and entertaining and has soft play as well, so I think children up to about 6 year old will have fun in here. As for other attractions for kids there is also art & crafts room, multimedia room, swimming lessons, you can hire bikes here, or have a blast on the trampoline at the outdoor playground (I certainly had!). So as you can see there is plenty of things to do and you can easily fill in the day with activities, even if it’s raining. You can also have a dip in heated pool at night, watching stars on the black sky and feeling rain drops gently falling on your back while your body is still pleasantly warm is a sensual experience I highly recommend 🙂 And the mountains in the morning after rain look just spectacular, as if they’re breathing.
The hotel complex consists of two main parts: Hotel Arłamów and The Residence. The latter was a secret location of the government in communism times, the highest officials of other countries were invited here too, to debate, party and hunt. Famous polish leader of ‘Solidarity’, Lech Wałęsa, who eventually brought the communism in Poland down, was being detained here.
Also to Arłamów complex belong two villas, which are located 12 km away – Trójca and Gruszowa. Trójca consists of 4 villas with absolutly gorgeous highland style interiors and wooden ornaments made by best carpenters of the region. Gruszowa’s interior is a bit more modern.
The food here is really yummy, there a 3 restaurants and you have the chance to try traditional polish dishes such as pierogi (dumplings with potato and white cheese filling), rosół (chicken broth), borsch (beetroot soup), or my most favourite thing in the world – potato pancakes with sour cream – food doesn’t get any better than that 🙂 Evening meals are really nice and usually there is different theme each time, so you can try traditional cuisine of other countries.
Arłamów earned some good PR in a recent years thanks to polish national football team, who come here to train, btw they were here until couple of days ago to prepare for the world cup. As for price per night – it’s around 100£ for double room with breakfast, sometimes more. Definitely the most pricey spot in Bieszczady, but it’s worth coming even just for the view. And definitely place for you if you’re looking for an ultimate luxury experience. So when you’re in Poland give Bieszczady a go and pop in to Arłamów and you won’t be disappointed!