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The new InterContinental Bucharest hotel is now open

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A year after pulling out of its original high rise Bucharest property (now rebranded as Grand Hotel Bucharest), the InterContinental brand is back in Romania.

The InterContinental Athenee Palace Bucharest hotel opened on Monday.

This not a new hotel, far from it. It originally opened in 1914, originally in art nouveau style but with its exteriors later reimagined in art deco.

InterContinental Athenee Palace Bucharest

Following a massive refurbishment in the 1990’s, the hotel was managed by Hilton for 25 years until an overnight rebrand this week.

There are reports that some of the rooms were renovated in 2021 but it isn’t clear exactly what work has been done to bring it up to InterContinental standards. It is operated by the same group that runs the existing Crowne Plaza Bucharest. Rates are currently very low with rooms from €136 per night.

The hotel website is here.

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Comments (111)

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  • PeteM says:

    We stayed at the Bucharest IC (then Hilton) in July. It was going through a massive refurb and they were talking about it being for the rebrand. The rooms were excellent, similar to the Sofia IC. Public areas had some way to go at the time. Fairly sure it’ll be one of the best ICs in Europe.

    • Erico1875 says:

      If the rates remain similar, or lower to the IC Sofia which we visited in November then IC Bucharest will definitetly be on my list for 23

  • Niklas Smith says:

    The Athenee Palace in Bucharest has bern on my bucket list since reading about it in Olivia Manning’s ”Balkan Trilogy”. From what I have heard from others who stayed there it was more luxurious than a typical Hilton so maybe it fits better in the Intercontinental brand.

    • editingdeluxe says:

      Thanks for mentioning this, @Niklas – from another Balkan trilogy fan – I thought the name sounded familiar and decadent. Adding this to my own list and am already picturing Yaki there!

    • Alex Sm says:

      It has always been a favourite spot for many business meetings and frequented by many local and international celebrities. ‘Let’s have a coffee at Hilton’ is a tagline for Bucharest which will likely to stay after the rebrand

  • Jonathon says:

    Paying for the pool at a hotel as a guest… jeez.

  • davedent says:

    The Marriott is really nice too – totally recommend a driving holiday in Romania.

  • Nick says:

    What will be next you wonder, especilly for the bigger hotel groups?

    Maybe a £10 administration charge to physically check in and/or check out, if you don’t have their app?

    • Brighton Belle says:

      Too many billing errors to let them charge what their computer thinks is right.

    • Chrisasaurus says:

      Perhaps they might take a lead from airlines and add £20 per bag or charge £40 to select your room before checkin.

    • Jack says:

      that would be stupid and discriminates those who do not want to use a silly app I pay to be checked in by a human who would still have to be there so why should I be penalized for this. It would never work for many reasons

      • Andrew says:

        @Jack I’m sure the same was said word for word before budget airlines came around.

  • Nick G says:

    We stayed at the Hilton Syon Park several times until they charged (still do). It’s £20 per person, per use. Oh and no kids anymore. Not sure how strict it’s enforced but on face value it’s a complete and utter rip off. We won’t ever return which is a shame as we really enjoyed the hotel.

    • Richmod_Surrey says:

      Good to know, I won’t book it again. I used to stay there to enjoy the pool.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      I don’t understand why they don’t just charge £10 extra on all the room rates.

      This nickel and dime approach just gets peoples backs up

      • Bagoly says:

        Presumably because (they think) it’s all about rankings when potential customers sort options by price (ascending).
        I agree that it puts me off too, even if I don’t intend to use the pool.

      • Matarredondaaa says:

        Does it?
        I personally have no interest in swimming so would be most unhappy if I thought I was being charged extra.

        • John says:

          Presumably there are many “free” facilities in a hotel that you don’t use yet you are paying for them

          It doesn’t cost £10 per swimmer per hour to maintain a pool

        • TGLoyalty says:

          Life is such you pay extra for all sorts of facilities or features you don’t actually use

          It’s when they start charging for the basic amenities that you start realising it’s a terrible deal.

    • Michael C says:

      Wow – thought part of its vibe was “families-in-countryside-near-London”.
      Will stick to Hilton Bankside and its pool open 0600-2200h.

      • Rob says:

        The spa at Syon Park is seriously smart – it was built as a Waldorf Astoria, remember. This is not your bog-standard hotel pool. That said, it IS as you say now sold as a ‘weekend break very close to London’ hotel and banning kids is just stupid, as indeed is charging full stop.

  • 1958 says:

    Well, from my experience the pool at the Glasgow Hilton comes with a free extra – a verruca.

  • Jitesh Jassal says:

    Hilton Doubletree sheffield park was £5 per person for the pool. They gave a drinks voucher of the value but we couldn’t use it. The pool was quite mediocre. I’m thinking of no longer staying at Hilton’s if this becomes more frequent!

    • Crafty says:

      That’s ludicrous – thanks for the tip. Had previously done some stays with the kids, purely due to being a cheap hotel with a pool that isn’t too far away

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