There’s glamping…and then there’s glamping under a castle.
Yup, you read that right. As if staying in a luxury tent wasn’t boss enough, there’s a place in the Czech Republic where you can sleep under a fortress–specifically at Malešov Camp, a so-called ‘medieval glamour camp.’
Malešov is a town in Central Bohemia just a five-minute drive outside the city of Kutná Hora, which is best known as being home to a bone church. Again, you read that right: there’s actually a church decorated entirely with bones. But that’s a story for another day.
One of Malešov’s crown jewels is a medieval fortress called Tvrz Malešov, which is quite a sight to behold as it’s perched high over a reservoir of the river Vrchlice. Plenty of battles have taken place beneath its walls, and it had fallen into a state of disrepair which shouldn’t come as much of a surprise considering it dates back to the 14th century. When the opportunity arose to buy it in 2002, an enterprising man named Ondřej Slačálek snapped the castle up (ahem, life goals), and painstakingly restored it to its former glory over the next 15 years.
“It was more of a fun project, rather than a business project,” Slačálek explained, while dining with me in the camp’s tavern over a Middle Ages-inspired lunch spread of pâté, charcuterie, and ginger and apple roasted pork. “I started slowly building businesses around it that could somehow support me in the long run.”
Those businesses include the tavern, a museum detailing Malešov’s history, and the Přátelský Pivovar Malešov brewery which serves up craft beers made in-house and offers brewery tours. Visitors are also welcome to explore the castle which has a serene courtyard complete with a fountain, large rooms with vaulted ceilings and period furniture, plenty of nooks and crannies accessed by ladders, and gorgeous panoramic views. There’s even an escape game with real actors, inspired by the well-known computer game Kingdom Come: Deliverance. As if this place wasn’t already cool enough.
Luxury camping tents
The luxury tents are the newest addition to Malešov camp, with eight of them being unveiled in June 2019. Funny enough, Slačálek swears he’d never even heard of glamping when he came up with the idea.
“I wanted to build accommodation that would house maybe 30 people, but building a small hotel for 30 people is quite an investment. So a tent was the first idea, then of course because it was a tent I started thinking along the lines of this medieval castle, which also worked nicely with the fact that I wanted to have it more luxurious,” he says. “I didn’t have an idea that there was such a phenomenon as glamping, I had no idea. I was a little bit sad that I didn’t come up with it myself.”
The white canvas structures were made to mimic what nobility historically stayed in when travelling with the army, and have wooden floors, multiple beds with cozy linens and a storage chest. The pièce de résistance is the private bathroom, which features hot showers, a toilet, and gorgeous medieval art on the wall that was printed on a special cloth-like material. Turns out royalty really knew how to roll.
Aside from the luxe accommodations, serene setting and unique experience of feeling like a king or queen for the night, Slačálek says there’s another advantage to coming out into the countryside for a night at Malešov camp.
“In this country, this area, this region, glamping is not very [common], so there are very few places like this you can go to and enjoy.”
- How to get there: Malesov is easily accessed by train from Kutná Hora, and some visitors also enjoy making the serene walk to KH which is only four miles away. Prague is a one-hour drive away.
- Costs: Pricing for two people in one of the glamping tents starts at 2200 CZK (about $100 USD) per night, and also includes breakfast. Costs for four people with breakfast starts at 2900 CZK (about $130 USD) which makes this an incredibly affordable, fun alternative to Kutná Hora hotels. Click here to book
- When to go: Glamping is offered from May through October.
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