Led by mother and son Gladys and Nikolaus Bethlen, but originally envisioned by the late Count Miklós Bethlen some 800 years after his family first founded the village and built its Medieval castle, Bethlen Estates Transylvania is a legacy project rooted in social purpose and the preservation of cultural heritage. The family aims to transform ancient ruins into modern guest houses, while supporting local communities through employment, education and practical help to those in need. What began as a quiet family venture, has since evolved into a larger scale project that aims to channel funds raised through tourism to the preservation and protection of this idyllic corner of Transylvania.
Visitors can choose from three immaculately restored 300-year-old residences; the four-bedroom Caretaker’s House and two-bedroom Depner House are available for exclusive use, while the four-bedroom Corner Barn is available to rent by the room. Each of these historic buildings has been exquisitely brought back to life via careful restoration of their façades to their original glory, while inside interior designers Stefanie de Castelbajac and Melanie Etten-Rüppell have worked hand-in-hand with local artisans to create a stylish, sophisticated take on rural living. The light and purposefully calming interiors are peppered with antique kilim rugs, warming tiled stoves and original wooden beams, as well as luxurious touches such as sanariums, Tom Dixon lighting and contemporary sculptural staircases crafted by local carpenters.
Meals can be taken in the privacy of each house, or in the central Kitchen Barn, where Tatiana the in-house chef whips up nourishing breakfasts, indulgent picnics and traditional evening meals made entirely from locally sourced produce and organic fruit and vegetables from the family’s orchards, farmland and forests.
Guided hikes, horseback tours, winery visits and cycle rides can all be arranged, as well as bear spotting, fishing trips, bird watching and historical tours of nearby UNESCO-protected sites, such as the Medieval citadel of Sighisoara and Biertan, or an exhilarating journey along the breathtaking Transfogarasan and Transalpina Roads.