Slovakia

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Grof Degenfeld Castle Hotel

Address: Terézia kert 9

Neighborhood:

City: Tarcal

Phone: 011-36-47-580-400

Website: www.hotelgrofdegenfeld.hu

Expert Review

Not many wine regions pull double duty as UNESCO World Heritage Sites, but not many maintain a distinctive viticulture tradition that's more than 1,000 years old. Hungary's Tokaj area, a 2.5-hour drive northeast from Budapest, is serene and uncrowded. Half-buried, 600-year-old stone wine cellars still embed the green rolling hills like so many elvan homes. Nowhere is this air of faded grandeur better experienced than at the Gróf Degenfeld Castle Hotel & Winery, a renovated former palace set in a 250-acre vineyard.

Evoking the splendor of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Venetian chandeliers drip from the ceilings and family hunting portraits grace the walls of the lounge and restaurant, hinting at the menu's delights. Rich in local game, it includes roasted duck breast served over peach compote and venison steak topped with forest mushrooms. Chef Solymosi Attila prepares traditional Hungarian dishes and pairs each dish with a Gróf vintage, which guests can also sample in the hotel's own wine cellar. The staff can arrange a car and driver so guests can explore the region's offerings - by horseback riding in the nearby hills, visiting other vineyards, or touring the local sugar museum or postcard museum. 2009 Smart Luxury Award winner

Tags: historic | smart splurge | smart luxury winner | winery | castle | vineyard

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