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HomeLIFESTYLEGeorge and Florin Cirstea Brothers: Leaota Inn in a New Touristic Area

George and Florin Cirstea Brothers: Leaota Inn in a New Touristic Area

In the Dambovita region (Romania), at the foothills of the Leaota Mountains, brothers George and Florin Cirstea blend their passion for tradition with innovation in hospitality, turning a shared dream into “Hanul Leaota,” a family business that has become the beating heart of the local community and a shining example of perseverance and dedication.

C&B: Describe your business activities!
George Cirstea: Hanul Leaota represents everything we’ve built since 2015, as a family. Here, I refer not only to our immediate family but also to our partners, employees, and the entire community – whom we consider the extended family of the Inn. In short, at our location, customers can find Leaota Restaurant, Casa Leaota, and Pensiunea Leaota, located nearby – places dedicated to families, groups, and couples seeking a relaxing, easily accessible place with delicious food, modern facilities, and close proximity to the mountains.

C&B: How does the story of your evolution sound?
George Cirstea: I can say it has been intense and full of lessons. We “tested the waters,” and it turned out well, as we found ourselves completely in the role of hosts, growing the Inn year by year and expanding both our accommodation spaces and the relaxation and play areas dedicated to our customers. Of course, I must mention here that we’ve had and still have the support of our parents, who actively involve themselves in the business’s development, especially in logistics and provisioning. Our mother has been our example of an extremely resourceful and involved person. Thanks to these aspects, over the years, we’ve managed to become part of the image of Runcu village and practically put it on the map of tourist locations in Romania, Muntenia. We were the first location to offer the community a restaurant, gradually becoming known in the urban area as well. At present, most of our customers come from Bucharest and its surroundings, something we are very proud of.

C&B: You invested in an area that didn’t promise much at first. What makes it so special today, and what contribution have you made through your business?
George Cirstea: Initially, it seemed like a lifeless, forgotten area. However, from the very beginning, we believed that here we could attract tourists who would appreciate the beauty of nature as we have always perceived it. Regarding the contribution of Hanul Leaota, it’s considerable. Firstly, we’ve brought visibility to the Runcu area, with most tourists coming from Bucharest, as mentioned earlier. The Inn can be seen not only as an accommodation and traditional food service but also as a community center, as we’ve created jobs, promote local events, and actively participate in the area’s economic and social development.

C&B: What was your vision of tourism, and what is it now?
George Cirstea: If before, I believed that tourism only involved providing food and accommodation to customers, now my vision is much broader, focusing on providing tourists with a complete experience. Here, I refer to organizing events and activities such as hiking in the area, cycling, sport fishing, carriage rides, or ATV rides. I want everyone who comes to us to have the desire to come back as often as possible.

C&B: What life and business principles do you use?
George Cirstea: I must say that I developed these principles over time, as I learned many things from experience, such as authentic hospitality – every guest is welcomed with friendliness and goodwill; quality and freshness – we offer the highest quality products, freshly prepared with attention to detail; flexibility and adaptability – we listen to our customers and aim to reach a common ground with them, taking into account their desires and needs.

C&B: What factors influenced your activity as a tourism entrepreneur?
George Cirstea: I could say that first and foremost, I was personally influenced by the richness of the local culture, which we tried to integrate at Hanul Leaota both through design and culinary preparations. I would also mention market demands, as we constantly adapted to what tourists were looking for in the area, resulting in Casa and Pensiunea Leaota. Last but not least, competition in the area, as we were careful to remain tourism pioneers by offering a variety of services, still being the only location with an open circuit restaurant.

C&B: Are the satisfactions commensurate with the investments?
George Cirstea:We have the privilege of constantly bringing something new to our location, so I can honestly say yes. We enjoy constantly seeking new ideas to surprise our customers, to complete that experience I mentioned earlier. Our satisfactions are not only about the profit made; more importantly, it’s about the reviews and how our tourists appreciate their stay at Hanul, Casa, or Pensiunea Leaota.

C&B: Where does the love for the mountains come from?
George Cirstea: Only the mountains know our footsteps through them. We had a childhood full of adventures, as you can imagine, being two boys, brothers; our playground was nature. The Leaota Mountains are so inviting, as the trails are accessible to families and the landscapes are breathtaking.

C&B: What advice do you have for those starting out or undecided about opening a tourism business?
George Cirstea: I encourage you from the bottom of my heart, if you have a dream and truly believe in it, fight and work to fulfill it. Nothing comes easy in life, regardless of the chosen field; you must remain consistent and dedicated. Study the market well and carefully choose your suppliers so that they reflect the quality of services you want to provide.

C&B: What is your opinion about society and its evolution?
George Cirstea: Adaptation and constant improvement. I strongly believe that’s the only way to keep up. Fortunately, we’ve surrounded ourselves with professional and dedicated people with whom we can easily work. Evolution is fast; our society borrows a lot from abroad, but through anticipation, we can maintain our position in the area.

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