Wellness-themed hotels run like clockwork in spa towns Băile Tuşnad, Sovata and Covasna. Târgu Mureş has the flashiest range of boutique and upmarket hotels, while choices are narrower (and more business-focused) in Odorheiu Secuiesc and Miercurea Ciuc. Elsewhere, tourists are more of a rarity (especially non-Hungarian ones). Expect a flutter of pleased astonishment when you check into the homely guesthouses around Gheorgheni, Sfântu Gheorghe and dinkier towns.
Feature: Covasna's Spa Hotels
Known as ‘the resort of 1000 springs’, there is something in the water in Covasna. The largely Hungarian spa town lies 30km east of Sfântu Gheorghe, and 45km southeast of fellow spa haven Băile Tuşnad. While the centre has few attractions, secreted away at the eastern end of Covasna is something of a spa hotel neighbourhood. Visitors flock to immerse themselves in Covasna's mineral-rich waters (along with salt chamber therapy, massage and more). Hotel Clermont has double rooms awash in yellow and gold, surgically clean bathrooms, plus a pool with sauna and whirlpool. Spa treatments include manicures and massages (from 28 lei). Nearby, despite its air of a doll's house, Hotel Mercur is one of Covasna's slickest spa hotels. Bedrooms are in soothing beige with marbled bathrooms, while deluxe apartments have a country manor feel. Pick from electrotherapy, heat therapy, or a tried-and-trusted pool and sauna combo at the wellness centre.
It would be a stretch to describe Székely Land as a gourmet destination. But if you're partial to kürtőskalács (spit-roasted pastry), gulyás (goulash), paprika chicken, poppyseed gateau and other hefty Hungarian dishes, you can eat extremely well. Târgu Mureş, Sfântu Gheorghe and the area around Gheorgheni are the best places to dine, while Odorheiu and Miercurea Ciuc are good for coffee and cake.