Crispin Glover is an American actor known for playing eccentric roles such as George McFly in Back to the Future and the Thin Man in Charlie’s Angels. Here is a classic scene from Back to the Future where George tries to tell Lorraine that he is her destiny.
I found Crispin’s chateau (zámek in Czech) on AirBnB and decided to book two nights there end of June 2018. The Airbnb account is managed by someone called Anna-Michaela, she advised that all the double rooms were under reconstruction but could offer two singles with a connecting door – we decided to take them. It was quite expensive considering the location:
$121.47 × 2 nights $242.94
Cleaning fees $42.51
Airbnb service fee (includes VAT) $43.60
That’s the sort of price you’d pay for two nights in a five-star hotel in Prague. But we thought, hey, this is a chateau and probably pretty nice if Crispin Glover owns the place.
The day of our booking arrived and we took the train from Prague to Kolín – journey less than an hour. A taxi from Kolín to the chateau in Konárovice was 150/200Kc and took about 15 minutes before we found ourselves outside the electric gates just before 4pm.
The path led to the main chateau building which looked impressive. Anna-Michaela met us and pressed a button to open the main doors.
The building is on two floors, surrounding a square courtyard. Anna-Michaela was friendly but a little bit ‘away with the fairies’. She explained that her and her Mother often spend several of the Summer months at the chateau, although there is someone else who manages the place and it’s maintenance/reconstruction full time.
We were taken on a small tour. The kitchen was a little more rustic than we had anticipated. We’d brought some food and put that in the fridge.
Our rooms were odd; weird furniture, dusty floor with some dead bugs, cobwebs hanging from the ceiling. I should have said something about cleanliness at that point but we didn’t want to make a fuss. The first room had a narrow single bed within a wooden unit.
A connecting door led to the second room; more weird furniture, narrow bed, dust and cobwebs. Both rooms had their windows wide open and so there were a number of flies circling. Luckily I’d brought my electric bug zapper racquet so I knew I’d be able to dispatch them later.
Another connecting door led to a huge black bathroom, with several washbasins, showers and toilet cubicles. Imagine a black toilet basin and seat in a black cubicle. Even the light switches were black.
It felt like we’d arrived the Addams Family house.
I asked about the odd furniture and all black bathrooms. Anna-Michaela said that the ‘owner’ went to local auctions and bought unusual furniture. The ‘owner’ also wanted all the bathrooms black. There was never any mention of Crispin Glover and so we didn’t mention him either.
The tour had lasted almost an hour and we were keen to pick up some provisions, especially wine and beer. Anna-Michaela directed us to the local mini-market. We went out through the electric doors….
…through the electric gates…
…only to find that the mini-market had closed five minutes earlier. The shop closes at 5pm weekdays and noon on Saturday. If you decide to stay here, bring provisions or ensure you make it to the shop in time.
We closed the windows in our rooms and spent 30 minutes with the electric bug racquet taking out the flies. Then took a walk around the grounds.
There are quite a few peacocks wandering around.
An old church that looks un-used is next door.
There’s obviously a regular gardener maintaining the grounds.
Steps lead down to a small lake with swans.
It is a really unusual and interesting place.
We went back inside and explored the corridors and upper floors before heating up some food in the grubby kitchen oven. Wherever we found ourselves in the chateau, Anna-Michaela would magically appear – it was a little disconcerting and I decided that she must be using a secret network of corridors and paintings with moving eyes!
We took a stroll through the village and discovered that there was a celebration at the local sports ground. There was a barbeque, country-music band and best of all Czech beer.
The evening sky was amazing.
Back in our spooky room, we pulled back the bedding of the first bed to find at least 15 moths and killed them. We then tried to take a shower but there was no hot water. I messaged Anna-Michaela about the moths and hot water and she came very quickly. After first initially offering the use of her shower, which we declined, she realised that the hot water had been turned off and resolved the issue – she also replaced the bedding. I decided to discuss the overall cleanliness – Anna-Michaela observed that perhaps she should be stricter with the cleaning lady.
We both slept badly. The beds were uncomfortable. I was already creeped out about the moths and other bugs, then I was buzzed by a mosquito. It took 15 minutes to find it and zap it with the racquet. Back to bed. Another buzzing in my ear. Another 15 minutes. This happened three times. I was getting so desperate that I was thinking to call a friend in Prague and ask if they would come and get us. At first light we were woken to sound of peacocks.
We decided to leave the next morning after the breakfast we’d brought with us. Anna-Michaela, with her flower-child demeanour, was mystified by our desire to leave – she said that she wore earplugs so the mosquitoes didn’t disturb her. I asked if she was bitten and she said ‘Oh yes, all the time!’.
We were worried about importing the moths back to our home and had tried to keep all our clothes locked in our case – nonetheless we found some when we arrived home and put everything we had with us in the washing machine.
I realise that this is an old chateau and not a modern five-star hotel, but the prices charged should mean at least a clean room, working shower and absence of insect infestation. Finding the moths among our clothes at home was the final straw and I requested a refund via AirBnB. In the end we agreed to a two-thirds refund.
Obviously, I’d never stay again. But, if you want to stay somewhere really unusual or you’re a fan of Crispin Glover and you don’t mind paying hotel prices to rough it, this chateau may be of interest to you.
Anna-Michaela’s Airbnb page: https://www.airbnb.co.uk/users/show/32448364
Crispin Glover’s website: http://www.crispinglover.com/ – it’s an odd website that looks like it was made in the early days of HTML, but maybe that’s the look he was after?