Hands up if you can find Moldova on a map? Located between Romania and Ukraine, If you look a little closer, the country looks like a bunch of grapes on the map. Moldova actually has the biggest density of vineyards in the world – 3.8% of the country’s territory and 7% of the arable land. This is proper wine country and the compact capital of Chisinau located in the heart of Moldova is home to one of the most luxurious hotels around – BERD’S Design Hotel, the only design hotel in Moldova. Winerist.com offer 12 wine breaks in Moldova and we embarked on one.
As soon as you enter, you are met with a signature fragrance which extends across the hotel. Our bedroom was hugely spacious and comfortable. The extensive mini bar even featured three full size wine bottles – after all this is wine country!
Throughout BERD’S, you will experience 5 star elegant simplicity. The owners have combined both Moldovan heritage and Italian design with architect Luca Scacchetti. A varied collection of artworks across the hotel incorporates local and international pieces. Moldovan ceramics, carpets and sculptures further enhance the design experience in the Art Lounge which is vast and filled with design and travel books. Here you can order coffees and cocktails and of course, wine.
Everyone seems to appear at the hotel’s Mezzo Italian restaurant each evening. We tried delicious white truffles with pasta paired with Castel Mimi wines. The restaurant’s wine list is extensive and does of course feature some of the most famous Moldovan wines. Executive Chef Roman Batin was born in Chisinau and has spent time working with Gordon Ramsay at the Savoy. His ultimate goal is to bring the first Michelin Star to Moldova.
Downstairs, you can really luxuriate in the spa. A hammam & sauna is available, an infrared sauna & Himalayan salt room, a jacuzzi pool and Kneipp therapy. The salt room is an ideal aid in detoxifying the respiratory system, promoting better breathing and sounder sleep. Kneipp therapy is based on the contrast of the temperature between bowls of hot and cold water. By stepping from one bowl into another, the arteries widen, leading to an increased blood circulation in the legs.
BERD’s Design Hotel’s location means everything in the city is within walking distance and the location offers easy access to the surrounding vineyards across the country.
Top 5 Chisinau Experiences within walking distance of BERD’s Design Hotel:
1 – The ‘trendy’ winery… ATU Winery is the first urban winery in Moldova. ATU wines are produced in very small editions, 1000-3000 bottles, which allows them to draw attention to every single drop of wine. All wines are produced manually, from harvesting to labelling. Book for a wine tasting, tour and of course Moldovan snacks. The husband and wife team have also worked with some very cool designers to create a hip urban space. All the cool wine kids head here! http://atu.wine
2 – Black Rabbit gastro-burrow is a cafe, a restaurant or a bar, depending on the time of day when you visit offering a modern European menu. It is vast and in a new building. It reminds us of Shoreditch before that became post cool! Black Rabbit is spacious and the extensive menu is probably the most exciting in the city. The staff are keen fans of the cuisine and of course the Moldovan wine card is magical. One to return to again and again. https://blackrabbit.md/en/o-nas/
3 – Get a transfer to this magical castle about 30 mins from BERD’s Design Hotel. Since 1893 Constantin Mimi managed to build the first chateau in Moldova. This led him to produce great wines and raise the standards by implementing new technologies. Thanks to his actions the country’s wine making industry was saved a couple of times, so Moldova can be today one of the leading wine producers in the world. Castel Mimi features wine tasting rooms, a restaurant, an event hall, museum, accommodation, SPA, cellars, and more. Book for a meal, spend time exploring, take extensive photos in the grounds and buy some wine to take home. Castel Mimi is truly special and memorable. https://castelmimi.md
4 – Valentina Vidrașcu is Moldova’s most famous fashion designer. Her elegant boutique and studio in central Chisinau showcases various collections. Her inspiration is drawn from the traditional Moldovan and Romanian embroidered outfit. Embroidery is delicate, colourful and luxurious. Each piece is bespoke and handmade and dresses standout as true signature pieces to keep forever. Valentina is based at the boutique and can talk through her inspiration. www.valentinavidrascu.ro
5 – Parol restaurant and cocktail bar is run by a cute couple, one half who happens to be a famous pop star. The restaurant split over several floors has a diverse European menu which features Moldovan dishes, but it is the extensive and fun cocktail menu that many people come for. The music is turned up on the ground floor after dinner and everyone seems to be drinking the most stunning cocktails including the ‘Black Widow’ featuring gin, amaro, lemon juice and squid ink. Topped with a sheet of seaweed and sweet jelly. The décor has a luxury feel and Parol is super spacious and within crawling distance of BERD’s Design Hotel. www.facebook.com/parolrestaurant
To discover more, visit https://berdshotel.com
By Peter Sousa