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Unique Accomodations on VBT’s Biking Vacations in Central Europe

Salt Mine web
At VBT, we know how important your accommodations are to your overall trip experience and strive to offer unique and distinctive lodgings on all of our tours. When you’re exploring a new destination with VBT, we want to fully immerse you in that culture, so instead of putting our guests in big chain hotels we carefully select historical, locally-owned or world class small hotels. With that in mind we’d like to tell you about some of the unique accommodations offered on two of our Central European biking vacations: Hungary & Slovakia: The Best of the Danube and Poland: Cycling through the Old World. Don’t forget that you can save up to $300 on these vacations if you book by March 28th!


Mamaison Hotel Regina, Warsaw, Poland
offered on
Poland: Cycling through the Old World
Regina Facade

Set within historic Mokrowski Palace and conveniently located in Warsaw’s restored Old Town—a UNESCO World Heritage Site—the upscale deluxe Mamaison Hotel Le Regina Warsaw gives you easy access to all the city’s attractions including Wilanow Palace and the Koneser Cultural Center, a former vodka factory. In the hotel you can enjoy gourmet dining at La Rotisserie Restaurant and relax at the swimming pool, sauna and massage room. Your cozy room features a unique décor, including hand-painted frescoes, fine Italian furniture and a view of either the nearby gardens, the Old Town or the hotel courtyard.


Hotel Grand Sal, Wieliczka, Poland
offered on
Poland: Cycling through the Old World
Front Grand Sal

The Hotel Grand Sal, located in the picturesque St. Kinga Park, occupies an impeccably renovated structure that once housed the Salt Baths of the Wieliczka Salt Mines (pictured at the top of this blog). Lavish and cozy at once, the building dates to the turn of the 20th century and was refurbished to emphasize the hotel’s intimate connection with the mines. During our stay we’ll go on a private tour of the fascinating chambers and tunnels created in the mine. One of the highlights of the tour will be the “Underground Salt Cathedral of Poland” where everything is carved from salt – including the chandeliers! On the final night of this vacation we’ll enjoy a festive farewell dinner at the hotel and dine on the savory creations of the hotel’s renowned chef.


Szidonia Manor House, Röjtökmuzsaj, Hungary
offered on
Hungary & Slovakia: The Best of the Danube

This 16th-century structure was rebuilt in 1750 into a Romantic and Classical style castle. In 1926 the Hungarian ambassador to the Vatican became the new owner of the castle and reconstructed the castle with 20th century comforts. At that time a park was developed around the castle that also features a swimming pool. History is abound in the main salon’s furniture as it comes from the Amsterdam palace of Louis Bonaparte, Napoleon’s brother. Throughout the years, the castle has hosted royal counts, archbishops and prime ministers. During your stay you will sense the atmosphere of old times, while still enjoying all the modern comforts and amenities the hotel offers.


Hotel Arcadia, Bratislava, Slovakia
offered on
Hungary & Slovakia: The Best of the Danube
Hotel Arcadia Library Bar
The Arcadia Hotel is one of the Leading Small Hotels of the World and was the first 5-star hotel that opened in the city. Set in the middle of Old Town Bratislava, the hotel is close to the city’s main attractions such as the Opera House, St. Martin’s Cathedral, Bratislava Castle and Hviezdoslav Square. During your stay at the carefully restored 13th-century building you’ll admire the arched hallways and painted glass ceiling of the foyer as well as the classic historical style of each guest room. The hotel’s Restaurant L’Olive features Slovakian and international delicacies as well as an excellent wine list. Another great feature is the 24-hour Library bar with its open fireplace. Or you may relax at the Arcadia Spa in its sauna, steam bath or private Jacuzzi.

Mamaison Andrassy Hotel, Budapest, Hungary
offered on
Hungary & Slovakia: The Best of the Danube
Mamaison Andrassy Budapest Lounge

The sister hotel to our accommodation in Warsaw, the Mamaison Andrassy Hotel is located in Budapest’s exclusive Embassy neighborhood on the Pest side of the city. The hotel, built in a Bauhaus style by Alfred Hajos in 1937, was recently renovated to feature a sleek contemporary interior design. During your stay here you will discover why it was the first hotel in Hungary to be accepted to the collection of Leading Small Luxury Hotels of the World. The Art Deco styled Baraka Restaurant features a sunny terrace overlooking Andrássy Avenue—the Champs-Elysées of Budapest—and creative cuisine that blends East and West.


These are just a few of the unique accommodations featured on our Hungary & Slovakia: The Best of the Danube and Poland: Cycling through the Old World vacations. To learn more about VBT’s on tour accommodations please click here. To request a full catalog with all of our vacations please click here. If you would like to reserve a vacation or speak with one of our Tour Consultants, please call 800-245-3868, available Monday-Friday from 8:30am to 6:30pm EST or on Saturdays from 10:00am to 3:00pm EST.



Biking Croatia’s Dalmatian Islands – VBT Associate Recounts a Wonderful Day on the Island of Hvar

VBT Group Tour Manager Laura T. recently returned home from her bicycling trip to Croatia. She was kind enough to share a great story with us about a Croatian fisherman named Tomo, a friend of VBT’s for years, whom she met on the last day of the trip.

Croatian Fishing Village

This was my first visit to Croatia, and I felt like I belonged—everyone was extremely warm and friendly. Everywhere we went, we were welcomed and made to feel at home. While biking through the countryside we encountered farmers who would wave us over to tell us about their farms, what they raised, and how proud they were of their homes. That was my overwhelming impression of Croatia—the friendly atmosphere.

I have been the Group Tour Manager at VBT for three years, and I really enjoy helping people who have chosen to travel with groups of family members and friends. It’s a fun way to travel. The shared encounters really help the group members bond in a special way. I was experiencing our Croatia: The Dalmatian Islands bicycling vacation as someone who works at VBT. We are sent out periodically to get a better understanding of trip operations, but mainly to get feedback from our travelers so we can make adjustments and improvements. We take feedback very seriously at VBT.

Laura and her dad
I was traveling with my Dad—this was his first trip to Europe—so it was a very special time for me. He loved Croatian maritime culture, the incredibly fresh seafood and local wines, and the Croatian people. We all did. All of the hotels we stayed at were on the water, and we got a real understanding of the people’s relationship with the sea.

On the last full day of our Croatian discoveries, in the beautiful little village of Jelsa on the island of Hvar, our Trip Leaders Vanja and Matej had a wonderful surprise for our group. We went to visit a man named Tomo, a repairer of fishing nets, who has been welcoming VBT travelers into his workshop and home for many years. He doesn’t speak English, so Vanja and Matej translated for us as our group gave Tomo the gift of a VBT bicycle, all tuned up and ready to go. We had all noticed the extra bike with the support van but we had no idea this was going to happen. It was a wonderful surprise!

VBT gives Tomo his bike

Tomo was really touched and he even teared up. He was so grateful! It really was a highlight of the trip for me. I think it just reflects so well on VBT and what our mission for travel is—to make global relationships possible and to provide moments that enrich our lives.

Watching Tomo work was extraordinary, as he repaired the local fishermen’s nets with nothing but twine, a shuttle, and his skilled hands. To know that we made a difference in his life with the gift of a new bike made all us feel wonderful, and I’m so happy that I could be a part of it.

Tomo shows travelers his fishing nets

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