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Left, Jaczno, secret and secluded, it's the nautral way to say: "I love you". Bottom, Monopol, luxury living in a historic landmark.

JACZNO LODGE

Expect your bamboozled GPS to go into meltdown as you approach Jaczno. But don’t thump it, celebrate it. For this is the very reason to visit: isolated and serene, Jaczno is wild, unmapped Poland in its finest color. Set on the banks of a deep blue lake, find a collection of rough and rustic timber-hewn lodges, themselves hemmed against the water by a dense set of trees. But don’t think you’ll be roughing it. Jaczno Lodge is the creation of an architect couple, and they’ve invested their energies designing the perfect retreat. Featuring heavy stone walls and thick wooden beams, the overwhelming sensation is of a fairytale cottage. In summer there’s oodles of outward bound stuff to activate the heart, but in winter it’s all about savoring the stillness: tramping around the snow-coated hills, before returning with rose red cheeks for a glass of mulled wine. And it’s at this point Jaczno really raises the game; settle in front of the fire, and retune yourselves with an organic spread of locally sourced food. Finish with a steamy bania and you’ll find the closest definition of absolute bliss. www.jaczno.com. Doubles from zł. 260. 250 km from Warsaw. Journey time approx. 4hrs 30 mins.

“It's the perfect pampering experience with great escapist value”

MONOPOL HOTEL

Long before the Likus lads thought about turning Warsaw’s Wolf Bracka into a designer den you’d have found them transforming historic buildings into boutique hotels – like, for example, the Stary in Kraków (temporary home of the England team for Euro 2012). Wrocław, too, has been blessed with their magic, namely in the shape of the Monopol Hotel. Not short on the aforementioned history, this neoBaroque creation first rose up in 1892, and has since hosted Garbo, Dietrich and Picasso – who painted ‘Dove of Peace’ while taking lodgings upstairs. Hitler (yes,

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Warsaw Insider 186 February 2012  

Valentines Day -gifts, getaways, things to do in Warsaw

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