Short Story

The short story

We are Andreea & Luc Hardus, the hosts at Dolina Village. I am Romanian and Luc is Dutch. We met in the Netherlands, where I have been living since 2009. Luc and I have been working together since 2013, when he gave me a part-time job at Romtour, the tourism company he owned with his father Frans.

Our story in Zece Hotare started in 2017, when we spent a summer working on the restoration of Casa Batrana. However, Luc and his father, Frans, have been coming here since 2008, the year that Frans bought this unique property in Romania.

As it turned out, it was impossible for us to get all the work done in 3 months, so we had to return in the spring and summer of the following year.  After another month of labour, in the summer of 2018, we finally had the time to stop and look around. It was then that we realized that Zece Hotare is a place where we could live. At that time, we were still living in the Netherlands.

In may 2019, we packed our bags, loaded a truck and a trailer and left the Netherlands for our new home in Romania. Luckily, Luc’s father was enthusiastic about our plans and let us take over the property. We spent most of 2019 working on both Casa Batrana and our own home.

Casa Batrana was ready to receive her first guests in the summer of 2020. In spite of the pandemic, the house was fully booked for the whole season. This gave us the motivation to expand our concept to two other houses, and four glamping tents.

When the property next to ours came for sale, in September 2020, we knew we had to have it. Two months later, we had already started to work on the old house and stable. We named the house Casa Marie-Jose, after Lucs mom, who made it possible for us to own the property. The stable became Casa Stramba, or The Crooked House, because none of its walls are actually straight. Both houses are open for guests since June 2021. The four glamping tents were done one month later, in July and have been open all summer.

We called our place Dolina Village because during all restoration work, we tried to preserve the spirit of the traditional Romanian village. We are a village within a village, working together with our neighbors, buying their locally produced goodies and bringing them to our guests. Also, we actually own a “dolina” (Romanian for sink hole); it’s located in the middle of the property.

the address of Dolina Village is:

Zece Hotare 97
Suncuius 417568
Bihor Romania

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