Dragos and Cristina Curelea – From passionate travelers to tourist pension owners

by Oana Silviana
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They love to travel in far away and different lands compared with our country. They never stayed in luxury hotels, but in modest hostels where they felt great. When you look at them they seem to have a bohemian air, but when you talk to them drinking a hot tea in the heart of the mountains, you discover the spirit of adventure inside them … that adventure that carries you among stories, legends and mastery of the well-done work at home or away from home.

Their love for travelling made them build a fairy tale place in the heart of the Tarcu mountains in Caras Severin County, Romania. Here, at Şucu Villa, in their little corner of heaven, the traditions and the hospitality from home blend with the passion for Romanian tourism, trips and delights, that Dragos and Cristina have aligned how they knew better.

Şucu Villa is a charming, intimate cottage that gives you the chance to spend some quiet and relaxing days in the Poiana Mărului resort. The cottage took its name after the river near it.

The idea of ​​the project started in 2003 when Dragoș wanted to escape the crowded life in Bucharest. He started putting the idea into practice in early 2004, when he bought the land, and Şucu Villa was completed in 2009.

Dragoș and Cristina are the people who make you feel at home when you go on holiday, and their parents also contribute to their story. Cristina worked in advertising in a post-production studio: “That means she did not have a program, she worked as much as they needed her, how much it was needed. Sometimes she was arriving at 4 am at home. It was a beautiful but difficult life for a four-year-old mummy. So, when Miruna, our little daughter came into our life we decided to leave the Capital and move to the mountains so that they grow up with fresh air in the courtyard, with many puppies and many cats”, says Dragoș.

The  friends you will find at Vila Şucu will not only make your holidays cheerful but are always there for you when hiking. Sasha is the most gentle and playful, she promises to offer you much love during your stay to Poiana Mărului.

They are not the only ones who love cats and dogs, also the tourists coming to Vila Şucu love animals … Many of them do not leave their pets at home, because here they are welcome.

“Şucu Villa is a family business, so we take care of everything, we are receptionists, chefs, waiters and housekeepers. But the villa is open to anyone who wants to visit us. Many tourists became our friends, some are coming to us for years and they feel at home”, says Cristina. And how would you not feel like home?

The friendly and relaxed atmosphere are on the first place: “Who comes to Poiana Marului, comes clear for nature and fresh air. It is said that we have the cleanest and healthiest air in Europe. There are a lot of mountain trails that start in Poiana, with different degrees of difficulty, for all ages. We have waterfalls, we have lake, mountains, forests, we have the most beautiful parts of the world”, continues Dragoş.

Poiana Marului is 150 km away from Timisoara and is one of the most beautiful tourist resorts in Banat. The area is located at 700 meters altitude, guarded by Ţarcu Mountains and The Small Mountain. Here, the air quality is provided by four essential components: ozone, negative ionization, natural aerosols and purity.

Experts say the air in Poiana Marului is cleaner than the one in the Niagara Falls, this means that ionization is 10 times higher, being beneficial for health: “The area has a huge, untapped tourist potential. But there is a need for some investment and involvement. One could invest in an Aventura Park or even in a Paintball field, which would double the number of tourists. They could organize  equestrian courses, horse-drawn carriage rides on forest roads, ideas are many”, adds Cristina.

“The months when the villa is fully occupied are July and August. Otherwise, the most is occupied during the weekend and on holidays – Easter, New Year, 1 May. Sometimes the villa is fully rented for groups that celebrate something special – a christening, a birthday, sometimes a company that wants to organize a team building. We offer the meals for them and, if they want, a special cake made here”, says Cristina.

And because I served sweet delights at Şucu Villa, I was curious to see from where this love for cooking comes from and how it blends with the passion for travel: Cristina – “To be honest, until the chef left us, in the full season, I knew only to fry potatoes and eggs. But the need is the best teacher. And I discovered that I like to cook. And I always cook as if it would be for my children, that is, with quality and much love. Then it comes the best food. Plus, being a small bed & breakfast, I prefer to do the supply 2 times a week and to work only with fresh food, that matters a lot.”

Double room – 100 lei / night

Triple room – 150 lei / night

Suite (4 seats) – 180 lei / night

Breakfast – 15 lei

Lunch – 30 lei

Bike rental – 10 lei / hour

Renting the whole villa without food – 1000 lei / night

At Şucu Villa, I convinced myself of the good things in the area and about the passion that brought Cristina and Dragoş to the point where they sell some of the products prepared very well at Poiana Marului:

“Before we started our first jam, we documented more than launching a rocket. We were afraid to miss some details and ruin the cranberries. But to our surprise, the jam came out delicious and was very successful. So, we took courage and we started to expand the products. With our cakes, it’s a long story. When Miruna was one year old, I wanted to do something special. I was a little bit bored to change pampers and to measure the milk powder, I felt the need to bring out my creativity. And so the first cake appeared. In the meantime, we’ve improved the recipe, we’ve discovered some more recipes, and I started to do them for those who have something to celebrate here”, says Cristina.

So, the sweets are sold very well. Especially the pancakes. It’s the easiest thing to do. Among the tourists’ requirements are the donuts, the cream cheese cake, and the tart with fruits.  Apart from sweets and cakes, their passion for traveling can be seen inside the Villa. The walls of the guesthouse are painted with gorgeous landscapes from the travels around the world – Dragoş:

“The price of airplane tickets inspires us. We like the warm, exotic and cheap countries to travel. So, if there is any special offer on various airlines, we do not hesitate. The only “expensive” country we were in is Japan, but the tickets were so cheap that I could not resist the temptation. ”

And Dragoș tells me smiling that the toughest tourist attraction they want to see is Angel Falls in Venezuela: “It’s hardly accessible for many reasons. The first would be the extremely unstable political situation in the country, the second is that it is very difficult to get there.”

They have traveled a lot, and Şucu Villa is, among other things, a project where Curelea family tries to apply the good things seen elsewhere in the world to them or at least give ideas to the authorities in Romania: “In countries that we, the Romanians consider the third world, like Cambodia, any day, from any village, you can get where you want. They get you on a bus that leaves you somewhere else, maybe it takes you a whole day, but you move and you get where you want. Here, in Romania if foreign tourists are coming on Sunday, they can only get to Poiana with a taxi”, says Dragoş.

In fact, they have been able to borrow from strangers the relaxed atmosphere, the willingness to recommend routes, to provide information and advice to anyone who needs it.

Dragoș and Cristina recommend you to come to Poiana Marului if you want nature, quiet and fresh air. The mountains here are still wild, you have clear waters and unpolluted air.

Why to choose ŞUCU VILLA?

Dragoș and Cristina:

“Because we also love traveling and we know what it means to enjoy walking and seeing new things, because we adapt to the needs of everyone, because we like to stay with the guests and share our experience and why not , because we make a fantastic good soup.”

News at Şucu Villa

Dragoş: “First, a pavilion in the yard. We hope to have it next year. Then, if we succeed, we’d like to buy a kayak to get out on the river”.

What does it mean for you to be a “Fairytale Traveller”?

Cristina: “Being a Fairytale Traveller … means to live our lives to the fullest, to live to see and explore, not to accumulate. Some tell us that we’d better get a new car for the money spent on trips, but we think every second of the trip deserved every coin spent, because the little ones will not remember after many years what their mother and dad had, but where our mother and father went.”

That’s why, in the little corner of Poiana Mărului, Dragoș and Cristina are not just fairytale travellers in an idyllic place in Romania, but they know to offer with a great passion a part of their life and their new profession of tourist hostel administrators, through quality tourism services at unbeatable prices, in a country where there is fairness, quiet, fresh air, love and good will, like you can find only at Şucu Villa. 🙂

Be a Fairytale Traveller!



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