I have been to Czech Republic more than 4 times and most of the time been only to Prague. Wanted a few times to go to Karlo Virary but time was not my best friend. Hrensko and Bohemian Switzerland Hotels was not in our travel destination list.
Never heard of Bohemian Switzerland until my wife discovered a trend on Instagram with a famous house in Hrensko. It was a great Instagram photo but most of the times I don’t choose the travel destination just to go for a photo and that’s it – just a waste of money. Most of the time I want to discover new places, explore the local culture and food. Last time I listened to my wife regarding visiting a instagram hot spot for photos was Chefchaouen in Morocco when it was a excellent find!
After some online research (english content is not very well present) found out that actually Bohemian Switzerland is a great place for trekking as well beside the Instagram spots.
We planned to travel in autumn to see the leave foliage as well as my wife was experience the first autumn in Europe and based on our schedule decided to go in the second week of November; it was a bit late for the leaves foliage season in Europe but that’s another story.
Since we traveled in low season (some of the parks activities do close at the end of October) we were looking to find the best Bohemian Switzerland Hotels in order to be close to the trekking area and for the sightseeings which Swiss Bohemian has to offer!
My first pick was Jetřichovice and a pension located close by. Price was more than decent ( 50$/night with breakfast included). Problem was with the bus schedule which was almost impossible to find an accurate one. I emailed the National Park of Swiss Bohemia and got a very fast reply with the bus timetable to Jetřichovice. Till we decided to book the pension it was sold out and had to go with our second option: U Forta, located 40 minutes by bus from Decin and 10 minutes by bus from Hrensko.
Hrensko in low season is a ghost town. Besides 3-4 locals and hotels owners most of the inhabitants are vietnamese people which were having some low cost shops and duty free (as the town of Hrensko) is located on the German – Czech border). Made me search on Google why there are so many vietnamese in Czech Republic and even big communities on very small cities as Decin and Hrensko.
They even have a big town called Sapa Town close to Prague (45 min by bus) where there is a big mall and lot’s of shopping and vietnamese eateries. So if you plan to visit Prague and have time go to this area!
Back to U Forta Hotel in Hrensko or Forester Park Resort as it’s known locally. It’s one of the most popular accomodation in Bohemian Switzerland area and for a 4* hotel has good prices.
My first option to book was a Bungalow; even if it was more expensive than the double room in the Hajenka building had more space and the reviews were saying that the room on Hajenka building are a bit noisy as they are located close to the restaurant.
But on Booking.com and even on their official website the Bungalow were sold out; taking into consideration that we were traveling on weekdays I was a bit surprised. My surprise got even bigger when after 2 days of staying there the rooms remain empty. We decided to book the Large Double, located in a separate building and the main reason was that it had many cooking ustensile (Stovetop, Kitchenware, Kitchenette) and we were planning to cook there as well.
In the end we did not cook very much but it’s a good option if you are planning to stay more than 3-4 days in the area and don’t want to spend money on restaurant food.
How to Get to U Forta, Hrensko
By train from Prague is the easy option. Train ticket from Prague to Decin is less than 4$ (one way) and time duration is 1h and 30 minutes. The Czech Railways App is a great application and very easy to be used for booking the train tickets in Czech Republic. We have to coordinate with the bus from Decin to Hrensko and then up to Mezni Louka (the bus stop for the U Forta Hotel in Swiss Bohemian).
Since we were in low season the buses are running every 2-3 hours only so better check the bus timetable accordingly.
From Decin take the bus 438 to Mezni Louka; the buses are very clean and payment can be made either via cash or credit card as well.
Please note that there is no pharmacy, supermarket in town – be prepared! They have restaurants and a small convenience store nearby but super simple.
The location is great, close to many hiking trails. Even without a car it’s easily accessible by bus from Decin or Hrensko, and all the hiking path are around so no need to walk long to enjoy what is beautiful.
Checking @ U Forta Hotel, a Bohemian Switzerland Hotels
We arrived after 2pm at U Forta as we missed the morning bus and had to stay 2 hours more in Decin Train Station. Check in was efficient and very fast. We had to show our Covid Pass and we were settled in less than 5 minutes in our room. I liked the fact that we did not have to pay at check in. I mean, we are in 21st century and not staying a low cost hostels where many some people do this from time to time.
What I did not liked about the check in was the lack of information provided about the area (trekking and so on). Reception give a 2 pliants and told us to go to there website where the routes are displayed.
Room was located on the first floor (building has 2 floors and no elevator and can be a bit difficult if you are traveling with big luggages). Our room did not have a balcony but a large door/window was possible to be opened. This come later as a big surprised at only 2 rooms located on first floor did not had a balcony and chairs to sit outside and enjoy the morning coffee.
Hotel was 90% empty and in the coming days only a few people did check in; not sure why I got the less attractive room in the whole building!
Room @ U Forta Hotel, a Bohemian Switzerland Hotels
We booked the Large Double room (please note that his room type does not accept pets but others do as I have seen many guess with small dogs in the area). Room was well appointment and with 25 m² enough to walk around easily and have space for the baggages as well.
I liked 2 things about the room – the fact that the toilet area had floor heating and a plastic support for the shoes (in order for the carpet not to get dirty after coming back from the trekking area).
Mini Bar was available as well plus 2 bottles of local wine; we did not try it to be honest.
Bed was not a classic king size bed even if we were a couple but 2 twins connected. I was not bad but if other rooms had a king size and we were not offered that’s another mistake made by the receptions (even if most of the time I do request a king size when I make the booking).
What I liked about the room was the location of the plugins on both side of the bed plus on other location in the TV is, so plenty of power outlets. As for the TV, it had only around 10 channels, all in czech language.
I don’t remember seeing a german TV station taking into consideration that the hotels do catter for many german tourists as well.
Room was excellent with good wifi (main building) and it worked without any issues taking into consideration that we were in the middle of nowhere!
Bathroom @ U Fort Hotel in Hrensko, Swiss Bohemia
Clean, well maintained with a separate and close shower room. Not to mention the heating floor and stated before plus the great option of having a Inbuilt speakers in the bathroom which is connected to the radio. This is probably the first hotel I have seen to have it implemented this king of device (I usually stay in 3* hotels and not in 4 or 5*).
Water pressure in the shower was great and got instantly hot. Plus the shower head was great in terms of water volume.
Restaurant @ U Fort Hotel in Hrensko
We did not have breakfast at the hotel; I think the breakfast should be included in the nightly rate. In Asia we don’t find a hotel rate with a breakfast rate not included but in Europe most of them do have it separately. If taking separately breakfast is 9 Euro per person. Since we stayed 3 days we decided to have breakfast in the room and eat in the restaurant only for dinner or late lunch.
First night we had the goulash soup; it was not bad; maybe a bit salty. The second day my wife had the goose (which seems it’s a local dish) and I had local wild boar meat and mashed potatoes. The meat was OK but I liked the mashed potatoes and the sauce they had included.
Local beer was a bit expensive (like 2-3 Euro for a 0,33 draft) but good.
Final Thoughts @ U Fort Hotel in Hrensko – Bohemian Switzerland Hotels
Location is the best for all the trekking routes (2 main one’s do start very close to the hotels) and it’s easy accessible both by car and public transportation (local bus).
We have around 70$/night in low season without breakfast. For a 4* hotels it’s a decent rate but I would not rate it as a 4*. Maybe a 3+. More facilities (as a SPA) would be needed in order to make it a great 4* hotel in Hrensko.
Food was great in terms of quality and prices. Service was so so but taking into consideration the workforce in the area (being remote it’s difficult to find great staff).
Would I stay again at U Forta? To be honest yes – location mainly as staying in Hrensko or Decin does not give you the best trekking routes and it’s in the nature; this was the main thing we decided to go with U Forta Hotel in Hrensko.