When we arrived at our peaceful accommodations in the remote backwaters of the Danube Delta, we were met by swaying willow trees, a reed-bordered lily pond, and the vivid red flowers of sumac trees.
We arrived at a wooden pier, the designated landing location for guests of the 4-star Green Village and camping site, Green Dolphin, , combined a six-hectare rural vacation resort, after an hour-long ride in a canvas-covered boat from Murighiol down the southern of the main waterways of the delta in Romania.
The resort is owned by Dr. Dragos Anastasiu, a prominent businessman, President of Tourism Alliance Romania and founder of RePatriot , and is situated at the edge of the delta where the Danube and the Black Sea meet. It blends adventure and wildlife with comfort and leisure.
This extensive network of islands connected by twisting canals is a paradise for birdwatchers and fishermen alike. It is home to a wide variety of species, including pelicans, pikes, cormorants, catfish, storks, and sturgeons.
Due to its size, Green Village offers a variety of lodging options, including thatch-roofed cabanas, two-story flats, and multi-room villas, totaling 89 rooms, as well as a neighboring campsite known as Green Dolphin. The resort is also set up so that specific regions accommodate both families with energetic young children and people looking for a more tranquil vacation. Egreta (Egret), Lebada-Pelicanul (Swan-Pelican), and Starcul Alb are a few examples of such places (White Heron).
The arrival dock was only five minutes’ walk from our accommodation, E2. The afternoon sun playedfully danced with the leaves and twigs nestled among the vegetation, casting dappled glints of silver and gold. A large patio in front, complete with a wooden table and chairs, a stone-slab floor, and both day and nighttime outdoor comfort.
The furnishings at the resort are made of wood, bamboo, or wicker rather than metal or marble, including the twin armchairs, side table, cabinet, and even the mirror frames and lamp stands in the ground-floor living area and our bed upstairs.
The staff at Green Village plans a variety of indoor and outdoor activities for visitors. While adults may enjoy lakeside yoga and pilates, saunas, open-air jacuzzis, darts, table tennis, and billiards, families can enjoy an outdoor swimming pool and daily movies at Cinema Paradiso. Children can participate in “treasure hunts” occasionally in Sfântu Gheorghe hamlet nearby, as well as origami, drawing, modeling, and even “little karaoke” at the Turtle Kids Club.
Archery, fishing, kayaking, cycling, and even water gym are other activities. There are even volleyball and beach football courts. The Lotus Spa provides services like massages and facials.
For foodies, there are wine tastings and cooking workshops available. The latter feature seafood soup, several mussels dishes, and papanasi, a doughnut-like delicacy that is popular all over Romania.
The Laguna Brasserie and the Waterlily Restaurant, two restaurants at the resort, both provide live music. We sat above on the wooden deck verandah of the latter restaurant one evening as the slow strains of “Perfect Symphony” rose from a gifted violinist below, browsing a comprehensive menu of traditional Romanian dishes, the majority of which, naturally, were local fish dishes like fried pike and smoked Danube mackerel to sturgeon “on the stove” and garfish.
Additionally, dinner included caviar and the age-old delicacies storceag, a sturgeon soup with vegetables and whey, and fish zacuska, a variation of ratatouille. There is duck with cooked cabbage, stew with polenta, chicken schnitzel, and sirloin steak for devoted carnivores. The dish of eggplant, sheep cheese, tomatoes, and onions would likely be preferred by vegetarians.
But before you start perusing the menu, have a look at the list of available cocktails. A great margarita is created by restaurant manager and ardent mixologist Andre Opris of Brasov, Transylvania, but there are also gin and tonics with rosemary and blackberries in the Green Village style, as well as many more drinks made with produce from the property’s organic garden. Palinca, a powerful plum brandy from Romania, is also recommended for tourists to try. Try the regional “Letea Horses” (Caii De La Letea), an earthy, flowery wine with citrus flavors made from the aligote grape, as a wine aperitif.
Our decision—a beginning of bors, a fish consommé, fermented grains, and vegetables—proved to be brilliant given the setting. Black Sea turbot (calcan), with its fluffy white meat cooked gently with grilled eggplant and tomatoes, was the main course. Try the local placinta Dobrogeana, a textured sweet cheese pie, for dessert. There is always the tempting lava cake for chocolate lovers.
The Laguna Brasserie, which has a brilliant Daniel Zinke in charge of the cuisine, is situated canal side in a peaceful area of the resort. We went twice for night, dining on meals like grilled octopus and expertly cooked tomahawk steaks, with fantastic kick-off starters, thanks to the executive chef, a personable Timisoara native who is skilled in culinary creativity. The feast of flavors we had was so incredible, in fact, that I’ve made the decision to write a separate piece titled “Dining With Daniel” to emphasize our host’s wonderful contributions to special dining occasions.
Additionally, Green Village provides visitors with the chance to explore by boat some of the delta’s lushly vegetated sections. It should be noted that such excursions adhere to the regulations established by environmental groups regarding protected ecosystems, in contrast to some outings by other people and organizations that do not adhere to such regulations to conserve endangered species.
The annual “Anonimul” film festival, now in its 18th year, is one of the festival highlights at Green Village. According to festival director Miruna Berescu, it features both Romanian-made films and those from a wider international arena made by both young, up-and-coming directors and extremely experienced ones.
Intriguingly, Green Village also provides guests with the option to remain for extended periods of time, as well as a specific “Work from Hotel” program for business travelers looking for a comfortable setting. A rejuvenating method to recharge your batteries after a day of hard work on the computer and phone is to walk, or take the adorable local “bus,” to the neighboring soft sand beaches of the Black Sea or along the delta canals.