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Bridge at the Luxurious Château Bela, Slovakia

The sophisticated Hotel Château Bela in Southern Slovakia really is something special. Steeped in history as far back as 1138, it has seen many changes, as this region of Europe moved its borders over the years. In 2000, the Baroque château was bought back by a previous family owner and lovingly restored into a luxurious hotel. Inside, you can find an elegant array of public rooms, as well as fine paintings, precious fabrics, and antiques. We play bridge in the magnificent Orangerie, personified by collector and designer Axel Vervoordt.

The château, with its adjacent lands, extends over 28 hectares. Relax in the beautiful, stylish gardens amidst fountains and flowers, or walk around the three lakes and discover woods, fields of sunflowers, vineyards, and a cottage with a herb garden and livestock. You can even arrange to fish in the lakes! During our stay, we have a guided tour of the château and a tasting of five wines from its vineyards.

The small hamlet of Bela is a 10-minute drive from Sturovo, the most southern city in Slovakia, situated on the Danube River. From here, you can walk or hop aboard the fun train across the Maria Valeria Bridge into Hungary or take a train further afield to explore more of this fascinating country.

We enjoy two fabulous, included excursions on this bridge holiday. We visit Esztergom, the previous capital of Hungary and its Neoclassical cathedral. Our second excursion is a cruise on the Danube Bend with a stop in Szentendre, the colourful artists town, and Visegrád, with its imposing medieval citadel.

8 days from £1,420pp Departure Dates

Your Tour Includes

  • Return flights from London Gatwick to Budapest with 1 piece of checked-in luggage. Manchester is available at a supplement
  • 7 nights half-board accommodation
  • Return airport transfers from Budapest Airport
  • Services of an EBU-qualified director and friendly hosts
  • Varied bridge programme with Masterpoints and prizes awarded
  • 1 morning seminar
  • Wine tasting of 5 of the castles own wines
  • Unlimited mineral water with dinner and in the bridge room
  • Excursions and visits as described in the itinerary
  • Coach travel for excursions
  • Tourist taxes
Christine and Stewart MacFarlane

Christine and Stewart MacFarlane

Christine and Stewart MacFarlane were both engineers before retiring, and have since started their own Bridge School and Club in Bath. Together, they have taught and introduced many people to this wonderful game and started running weekends away for their students in 2009. This progressed to running bridge holidays and working on cruise ships as the bridge instructors. They believe bridge should be both competitive and sociable.

Christine has been on the EBU Panel since 2010 and assisted with running many congresses over the years. She has been particularly involved with the Really Easy and Progressive events to encourage newer players to play competitive.

They have two grown children and one grandchild.


Your Bridge Programme

Our bridge programmes will vary according to the length of your break, and, in addition to playing bridge, we try to include interesting bridge seminars, hosted by your EBU-qualified director.

Your duplicate bridge will be available every evening between 7:45pm and 11:15pm. We endeavour to vary these evening sessions, balancing between teams and pairs and featuring at least one Swiss event during a two-week break.

Bridge will also be offered some afternoons between 2:30pm and 4:45pm. These sessions are normally given over to open pairs/teams.

Masterpoints are awarded on evening bridge sessions, and on day sessions with over 5 tables.

During your bridge holiday, nothing is obligatory, and you can play in as many or as few bridge sessions as you wish. We don’t forget you are on holiday and our bridge programmes also allow time to relax, giving the opportunity for you to explore the surrounding area.

Fly to Budapest Airport and transfer to Hotel Château Bela, Slovakia.

Dinner and evening bridge.

Includes Dinner

Welcome Meeting and Guided Tour (Day 2)

Join us for a welcome meeting followed by a guided tour of the Hotel Château Bela. A truly beautiful establishment, you will learn all about its fascinating history. Dating back to 1138, the tour covers periods when the château was placed in different countries as the borders of Europe moved.

The guided tour will be followed by a wine tasting where we sample 5 wine tasters of the castles own wines

During your stay, we enjoy our varied bridge programme, as well as two included excursions.


A half-day excursion takes us to the historic city of Esztergom, the previous Hungarian capital. We have a guided tour of the Neoclassical cathedral, the third largest in Europe. Dating back thousands of years, it is an imposing building full of treasure. The tallest church in the country, it sits on the top of Castle Hill, offering incredible viewpoints over the Danube and the old town.

Danube Bend Cruise

Our second tour takes us on a cruise of the picturesque Danube Bend. We stop in Szentendre, a colourful, riverside town with its cobbled-stoned streets and Mediterranean-style downtown area. Famous for its museums, galleries, artists, and historic architecture, it is recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Our second stop is Visegrád, on the right bank of the scenic Danube Bend. Our guide will arrange for a tour of its imposing medieval citadel for those who wish to walk up to the castle (entrance fee not included). If you prefer to spend time in Visegrád, you can explore the town and discover the old royal palace and lower castle, Salomon Tower, and the nearby King Mathias Historical Playground. We return to Hotel Château Bela with time to relax before dinner and evening bridge.

Includes Breakfast

Includes Dinner

Included Highlights

Danube Bend Cruise Esztergom Bridge

Depart the hotel after breakfast for your return transfer to Budapest Airport and flight back to the UK.

Includes Breakfast

Single Room Supplement from £200.00 (8 days).


 You will stay for seven nights on a half-board basis at the Hotel Château Bela, Slovakia.

Double room upgrades for solo travellers are available at a supplement. The airy and cheerful rooms provide more space to sit back, relax and enjoy your surroundings.

Chateau Bela

The luxurious Hotel Château Bela is situated in 28 hectares of land, amidst beautiful gardens, fountains, vineyards, and lakeside walks. This historic, Baroque château is steeped in history and has been lovingly restored into an exclusive hotel.

Hotel Facilities

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  • 4 Star
  • Bar
  • Restaurant
  • Outdoor Swimming Pool (Seasonal)
  • Lift
  • Sauna or Steam Room
  • TV
  • Hairdryer
  • Safe Box
  • Fridge
  • Telephone
  • Free Wifi
  • Room Service Available
  • Iron at Reception
  • Laundry Service
  • Gym
  • Bar
  • Restaurant
  • Lift
  • WiFi Available