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Hunter Prince Castle: Stay in "Dracula's Castle"!
Turda is a little city about thirty minutes south of Cluj-Napoca. Its claim to fame is its magnificent salt mine. Its claim to absurdity is Hunter Prince Castle aka "The Dracula Hotel" aka "Castelul Printul Vanator". This is the Disneyland of Dracula castles, if Disneyland were located in Podunk. I couldn't resist the pull of the kitsch and had to book myself in for a night.
The hotel was a bit hard to find- nobody is really sure of the official name, and the town's main square happened to be under heavy construction when I arrived. A kindly, elderly man was very excited to find a young Canadian girl visiting his city, and ended up walking me all the way to the hotel. I found the main entrance and reception, where one guest was checking out. The receptionist seemed to have something else to deal with, as she promised me she'd be right back. I put down my gigantic backpack and took a seat. Fifteen minutes later the receptionist came back and checked me in, then pointed towards the building that housed my room. Gee, thanks.
The room itself was fine. It looked out over the central courtyard, and had a big, comfortable bed, television and faux-antique telephone. The bathroom was a bit more like Dracula's cavern, all dark, dark stone and lantern-style lighting. It wasn't especially reminiscent of hunters or princes, though it was unusual. The hotel also features a terrace restaurant, various Dracula-themed rooms available for private rentals, and a sauna (for which you must pay ten euros per hour).
I would say that Hunter Prince Hotel is a funny (not fun) place to take a break from the backpacking and hosteling trail, so if you happen to be visiting the Turda salt mine you should probably consider spending the night.
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