Life in the Caribbean is relaxing, but I have moments when I get homesick. Besides family and dear friends, I also miss the green nature that surrounds Cluj, the smell of the forest and trips to the mountains. This brings to my mind our favorite escape place in Romania, a unique retreat hidden in the Apuseni Mountains: Raven’s Nest.
Since Eric was born, we wanted to be close to him all the time and could not imagine going anywhere without him. But, after one and a half year, we needed some time for each other, as a couple, plus that I needed a full night sleep and a morning to start later than 6:30. But the first night without the baby needed to be spent somewhere special.
A beloved friend recommended us a place that became our top favourite destination, Raven’s Nest, a source of calmness and positive energy. Reading “closed circuit” on the website and the personal approach they had with their guests even through e-mail interactions, I understood this wasn’t a typical guesthouse and had a feeling that we will have a great time there. The road taking us to the “hidden village” confirmed my initial thoughts. We left behind the very touristic spots from the area and continued uphill on a difficult gravel road, through a serene wild scenery. Luckily, I had a great driver so I could enjoy the forest and the autumn colours, and that’s how we spotted the Raven’s observation deck on a rock right above us.
Located in a natural dell, surrounded by wattle fence, with a traditional old wooden gate that opens to guests only, Raven’s Nest welcomed us in a quiet atmosphere. Three shepherd dogs were guarding the scene, very friendly with the guests, but much needed in such a wild and isolated location. The hosts are young couple from Cluj, who decided to leave behind the city hustle and get more in touch with the nature and ancient traditions.
The Nest comprises of three refurbished, centuries old traditional houses, that can accommodate up to 24 people. The ancient setup is kept all over the place. All the furniture, accessories and decorations are inspired from the rich Transylvanian heritage. But, in the same time, you can enjoy all the modern days comfort. Everything is done with a very high attention to details. All the wood carvings, sewn wool materials and paintings carry the same authentic traditional symbols, building a fairytale to be discovered by the guests,
In the middle of the village there is the octagon-shaped restaurant, symbol of the socialising in ancient communities. Guests can enjoy here Transylvanian traditional dishes, with a slight modern, personal twist of the owners. There is a fixed menu each day. All the food is fresh cooked, mostly with local ingredients. A delicious forest mushroom stew or green peppers filled with pork are just some examples of local treats we enjoyed here. Eating here, we nostalgically remembered of the food our grandmothers used to cook when we where kids.
Despite the traditional setup, Andrei was amazed by the large variety from the bar. Considering the remote location, he could not believe they prepared his favourite cocktail, with high quality ingredients and a perfect taste.
Since we spent just a short weekend at the Nest, to relax and recharge, we didn’t have the time or the energy to adventure outside the village. Next time, we hope to explore the beauty of the mountains, as there are lots of natural wonders to admire here. This time, we just wandered around the property, there are plenty of surprises to be discovered here as well. We took the uphill path through the forest, to find the two observation decks. We lost the track of time here, admiring the stunning view over the valley and the mountains unfolding under our eyes. Then we found the hammock area where I could peacefully read, warmed by the autumn sun, with the wind whispering in our ears… I might have even napped for a few minutes :). In the evening, under the thousand stars sky that can only be seen in the middle of the nature, we relaxed in the wooden jacuzzi, that completed a perfectly relaxing day.
So, if you need a break from the rush and noise of the modern life and look for an authentic relaxing experience in the heart of nature, I highly encourage you to visit Raven’s Nest. Go at least for one weekend, you will be back for sure! Remember, you won’t be able to enter the property unless you are a guest there. This also means no one will disturb your stay at the Nest!
For reservations and enquiries, you can find them at www.ravensnest.eu.
Pin for later