My friend and I stayed at the 4* Rin Grand Hotel for 3 nights during a visit to Bucharest in March 2008.
Due to some very good fortune, we paid just 20 Euros per night for a twin room with buffet breakfast included.
We made our booking through www.octopustravel.com and originally booked the 2* Filaret Motel for 20 Euros per night. Due to an error on octopustravel’s part, this motel was overbooked and so we were bumped up to this much more luxurious 4* hotel at no extra cost.
If we had paid the full rate, a twin room would have cost us 110 Euros per night and breakfast would have cost a further 9 Euros per person per day. We would therefore have paid 128 Euros per night rather than the 20 Euros that we actually paid. Needless to say, this proved to be one of the best bargains that I have ever booked.
The Rin Grand Hotel is located on Vitan - Bârzeşti Street, a few kilometers to the south east of the city.
The taxi ride from Otopeni airport took just under 30 minutes at the time of our arrival (just after midnight), but could take significantly longer during the day time due to the busy traffic in Bucharest.
There is little of interest to see within walking distance of the hotel, as the surrounding area largely comprises of car lots and car spare part shops, although a new shopping mall is in the process of being constructed nearby. You will therefore be largely reliant on taxis to get from the hotel to anywhere of interest. We tended to use taxis (booked on our behalf by the reception staff) to go to Piata Unirii in the city centre – a journey which took between 10 and 20 minutes depending on traffic (which was often heavy in the area around the hotel) and which cost between 10 and 20 Lei (2 and 4 GBP) depending on the length of the journey and time of day.
Our twin room (on the 6th floor of this enormous hotel) was relatively small, but very well furnished with modern appliances and was spotlessly clean.
The room consisted of two single beds, a wardrobe (with a safety deposit box in), a flat screen TV with dozens of international channels, a minibar, bedside cabinets, chairs, a telephone and a few large lamps. The room was carpeted and very well heated.
The en-suite shower room was sparklingly clean and looked brand new, with a glass shower cubicle, a washbasin, a toilet, a large wall mirror and a hairdryer. Fresh towels and toiletries were supplied each day by the maids.
Overall, I was very happy with our room and given the price we paid it was exceptionally good value. A couple of minor gripes though:
- The heating/aircon did not seem to function correctly. The room was incredibly warm during the night and even when we attempted to turn the air-conditioning on to the coldest setting it blew out only hot air. Furthermore, the window did not open fully, it could only be opened a few inches, so there was little air in the room;
- It took a while for the water to run warm in the shower. On the first morning, I was in the shower for almost 10 minutes before it started to run even luke warm;
- The maids have a tendency to start their rounds very early in the morning. Twice during our 3 night stay we were awoken early in the morning by the maids entering our room. A “do not disturb” sign was provided, which we did not put on our door, so that’s our own fault.
They are all just minor gripes, and only the lack of fully functioning air conditioning caused any real discomfort for us.
A wonderful buffet breakfast is served in the hotel’s huge first floor “La Boema” restaurant.
Fortunately, breakfast was included in our room rate, otherwise it would have cost 9 Euros per person per day. Even at that price, it would have been good value for money.
The enormous buffet includes a variety of cereals, fresh yoghurts, pots of yoghurt, fruit salad, a selection of bread and croissants, bacon, sausages, different styles of eggs, cold meat cuts, cheeses, cakes and pastries, fresh fruit juices and a good selection of teas and coffees.
The hotel has expanded rapidly in the recent past. Some websites state that it offers 300 rooms, but in fact, as of March 2008, the number of rooms is now officially stated as being close to 1500. Such is the huge scale of the hotel (which also includes dozens of conference rooms and which will ultimately include a casino, a gymnasium, a swimming pool and some retail outlets, although construction appears to be behind schedule) that sources claim the Rin Grand to be Europe’s largest hotel.
The hotel has a grand lobby area with a well staffed 24 hour reception desk and a 24 hour bar where you can drink bottles of Ursus beer (6 Lei / 1.20 GBP per 500ml bottle) and watch the flat screen TVs that are mounted on the walls.
For some reason, despite being a few kilometres away from the city centre, the road outside the hotel was always busy with traffic during the day. On average, we had to wait about 10-15 minutes for a taxi to arrive after the reception staff had booked it for us.
A good value hotel for tourists and businesspeople alike. Very highly recommended, especially if you can get a room for less than the full price.
Directions: Located a few kilometres south east of the city centre. A 10 minute taxi ride from Piata Unirii.