An oasis of luxury and a witness to history in the heart of the Pieniny mountains
Remarkable history and the highest standards – that is exactly what the most demanding guests would find in Modrzewie Park Hotel, a pearl of modernist architecture in Szczawnica. Located in beautiful surroundings, the guesthouse is the epitome of luxury and it has a long tradition. Formerly, it attracted aristocrats, whereas today it hosts those who seek close contact with nature, peacefulness and discretion.
This year, Modrzewie Park Hotel will celebrate the 10th anniversary of its existence in a new version, and with amazing history behind it. 80 years ago, Adam Stadnicki, the then owner of the Szczawnica Health Resort, built a three-storey villa for his beloved daughter Maria and her husband Stefan Świeżawski – an outstanding professor specializing in the history of philosophy. The house was given the name “Willa pod Modrzewiami” (Villa under the Larches) because of the area in which it was located – a hill overgrown with larches, in the very heart of a 15-hectare park. The building was designed by engineer Stanisław Dziewolski, who drew inspiration from shipbuilding, a then very fashionable theme. The equipment for the guest house was made in the most prestigious workshops of that time, including: the carpenters’ shops in Nawojowa, the Warsaw-based company “Jarnuszkiewicz” and the facility “Kumer i Torba” in Rabka. In the spring of 1939 the building was delivered.
Currently, the first 5-star hotel in the Pieniny mountains is operating there. A modernist building, hidden among the trees, invites those who need to take a break from the big-city noise and to give some relaxation to both their bodies and their minds.
Wartime history of the Villa
The peaceful atmosphere of the Health Resort in Szczawnica was violently interrupted by the outbreak of World War II. On the ground floor and on the first floor of the “Villa under the Larches”, which the occupying army had taken over, a military field hospital was established. Despite the difficult period, Villa still functioned, giving shelter to countless displaced persons and refugees, as well as to the relatives and friends of the owners. Adam Stadnicki’s family belonged to the Polish underground resistance organization called the Home Army (Polish: Armia Krajowa), which is why in the guesthouse there operated a safe contact point and a transfer point for the Home Army soldiers. After the end of World War II, the Villa, as well as the entire estate of Adam Stadnicki, became nationalized. Then the guesthouse operated under the management of the Polish Red Cross, later as a health resort hospital, and finally, after fifty years, in 1998, it was returned to the rightful owners.
The 21st century – the beginning of changes
The year 2005 saw many changes. The Mańkowski family, i.e. the descendants of Adam Stadnicki – as part of the revitalization of the historical centre of Szczawnica – bought that beautiful, but unfortunately also time-stricken building, from the descendants of the Świeżawski family, as they wanted to restore its former glory. In 2009, the Villa was named “Modrzewie Park Hotel” (Larches Park Hotel), becoming a modern hotel in which you can still find the atmosphere of the 1930s.
– Our children have put a lot of energy, love and passion into the reconstruction of Modrzewie Park Hotel, so that it would become a modern hotel, yet, at the same time, one that preserves the atmosphere of the past. Our dream was to bring back splendour to this place and to make it become a real pearl of the Health Resort. The surrounding lush greenery ensures comfort and discretion to those seeking good memories and great restful time in Szczawnica – says Andrzej Mańkowski, who in 2005 decided to revitalize the Villa.
Discretion and luxury for demanding guests
The 5-star Modrzewie Park Hotel, despite its location in the historical centre of Szczawnica, is distinguished by extremely intimate atmosphere. Surrounded by lush greenery, it will allow you to relax in the bosom of nature, with the soothing sound of the rustle of larches. The boutique hotel offers only 17 rooms, in the art déco style, with modern accessories which would delight the eye of every aesthete among our guests. The colours dominating in the spaces of the Villa are pleasant earth tones: variants of brown, beige, red, off-white and golden.
” My siblings and I wanted to restore the old charm which the “Villa under the Larches” emanated in the 1930s. At that time the aristocracy used to meet here, this place was full of life. Now, 10 years after the renovation, I can confidently say that we have succeeded. Our 5-star Modrzewie Park Hotel is a place with unique history, and one that would meet the demands of every person who wants to experience something more than just staying in a hotel” – says Nicolas Mańkowski, Member of the Management Board of the Thermaleo Group, to which the hotel belongs.
Szczawnica itself is today a modern health resort, which attracts visitors thanks to its qualities as a health spa and a tourist site. Modrzewie Park Hotel offers perfect relaxation to the guests enjoying the benefits of the resort and it makes available for them an indoor swimming pool with counter-current, Jacuzzi, saunas, Turkish baths and the SPA Suite, which provides facial and body treatments. A qualified team of specialists take care of everything.
It is also a place in which even the most demanding guests will experience delights of the palate. At the foot of the Pieniny mountains it is worth tasting the original seasonal specialities, such as deer sirloin with chestnut purée and with black garlic, as well as it is worth forgetting about the diet to treat yourself to ice cream, prepared on the spot, with lemon meringue and sprinkled with roasted white chocolate. The best crowning of a pleasant day may be a visit to a hotel bar with live music, which creates unique atmosphere, or getting some fresh air on the enchanting terrace.
In the rooms, whose décor is reminiscent of the 1930s, there are special facilities and luxurious services. The hotel also has a small-size conference room and is an ideal place for all kinds of small business events, as it allows discretion. You can be certain that no confidential information will go beyond the walls of the hotel, which, after all, has already seen and heard a lot …
In 2018, the Modrzewie Park Hotel received the Poland’s Leading Boutique Hotel award in the World Travel Awards ranking. The award is recognized worldwide as the highest mark of excellence in the industry. It seems, therefore, that the idea, which at the beginning of the 20th century guided Adam Stadnicki, is still alive. “Villa under the Larches” continues to give its residents tranquillity and discreet care.
The functioning of the Thermaleo & Uzdrowisko Szczawnica Group refers to the ideas lying behind the work of the former owner of the health resort – count Adam Stadnicki. His descendants, the Mańkowski family, make every effort to preserve his legacy. The philosophy of the company’s activity is based on the concept of creating in Szczawnica a health resort with a full range of treatments and with the access to comfortable sanatoria, as well as with a rich base of restaurants and hotels offering the highest standard of services.
The Group’s activities are focused on the hotel, catering and tourist sectors. Broad activeness regarding the patronage of the arts and the development of culture, as well as the promotion of regional heritage is also very important for the Group. The Group also supports the development of the local community. Besides, it actively participates in the revitalization of the town as a health resort. The intense investment activity of the owners brought to the health resort many significant projects, which have been implemented over the last 14 years. Thanks to those actions, Szczawnica Health Resort has become the heart of the Pieniny mountains as regards the tourist industry and it continuous to develop its qualities as a health resort.
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