JW Marriott Bucharest Grand Hotel
Travel Blogs from Bucharest
We made it. Our 747 landed at Bucharest. Everyone in cattle car deplaned through the front doors. Of course, this is to make certain everyone saw the business and first class seating areas. The nice, wide seats that fold into a flat bed. The thick, warm blankets with extra pillows. The large video screens at every seat. The real glasses filled with …
Upon landing in Bucharest, we immediately noticed the white color all over the place.
The country was under a heavy snow storm earlier this week.
We landed into -14 degrees (feels like -21 degrees) and headed to our hotel, using a sort of decent taxi (kinda rare in Bucharest).
We arrived to the hotel and were upgraded twice due to our …
... of Vlad Draculea also known as Tepes or The Impaler due to his charming habit of attaching horses to the legs of anyone who had ****** him off and then gradually forcing a sharpened stake into the body often via the anus. Apparently Vlad sometimes had the stakes arranged in various geometric patterns so he did give reign to his creative artistic side too.
The following day we visited Bran Castle which is also ...
... that, the area has great potential and many characterful buildings that contrasts the surrounding areas that have a strong ceaucescu signature.
Bucharest is by no means a pretty city as a whole (but has some nice areas in the North), but still, it struck me as a bustling capital that has a good feel to it. Not quite sure what made it that way, but I had a great time there with a lot of fun.
... You Could Do Yourself. At first they seemed OK, and we thought, hey not bad for 12th or 13th century peasants living in huts. But most of them are twentieth century. Late twentieth century. Two dimensional and out of proportion drawn by a six year old and yet displayed with pride because we are all collectively insane twentieth century. It got better though, much better. We should have been clued in by the $3 admission/ $25 camera ticket that ...
How has this hotel rated in the past?
- Swimming pool
- Room service
- Fitness/Health center
Historical Traveler Reviews JW Marriott Bucharest Grand Hotel
Great Stay in Romania
I stayed in this hotel for 3 nights in November 2005 and was lucky enough to get an executive room on the 7th floor. This gives you access to the executive lounge onthe 8th floor, which offers free food and drinks during the day as well as access to the internet. The room itself was very comfortable, clean and perfectly modern. Service was great throughout and I even tried the gym and pool. This wasn't very intimate as people from outside the hotel can also access the gym like a health club, so it was quite noisy and not very relaxing. All in all it was a very positive experience and definitely one of the best hotels if not the best hotel in Bucharest.
A Holiday Inn Express with panache
Having learned that this was the only JW Marriott in continental Europe (which is supposed to be the ultimate standard in service excellence), I understandably had a great deal of expectations.
Unfortunately the hotel just didn't do it for me. First of all, the megalithic structure has no match on the inside, where I found the hallways (though exhaustingly long) to be ridiculously low. This made the soiled water stains on the ceiling all too apparent (I'm at a normal 6'1'' altitude). My second eyebrow rose at the sight of the green (so much for corporate colors!) wall-to-wall carpeting that bore a striking resemblance to the old one that my 80 years-old grandma's apartment is sporting.
My first night sleep started with a major turn-off: the otherwise immaculate bedsheets had borrowed an annoying smell presumably from the feather pillows, blanket and under-blanket. The latter caused lots of itches and scratches during the night because of the pointy feather tips that kept protruding through the sheets.
The cleaning staff is OK, but they still have to work on the shouting along the huge hallways.
And along came the breakfast... The restaurant staff seemed to have just met after a long time away from each other. Only this could explain why they would stick to their peers rather than to their guests who patiently have to kill some time before the staff's chatter is over. About 60% of the buffet platters were empty one hour before the breakfast serving time would end and the same attentive staff showed little desire to refill them. While the camembert and blue cheese were long gone, the only cheese left was a 3 lb. hefty block of Romanian goat cheese that the same staff forgot to slice.
The cafe concert atmosphere almost made me forgive the absence of any trace of prosciutto. The peanut butter or the chocolate spread jars presumably needed to be taken at the table, used and returned, because there were no small bowls or cups to accommodate just a serving size. The orange juice fountain was leaking through all its joints, and if you wanted to add some sugar to your tea or coffee, you had to go hunting to the neighboring tables, because sugar/sweetener could be found at only one in three tables...
All in all, this all-American hotel was a bitter disappointment, particularly when compared to scores of classy but not-necessarily-famous European 4 or 5 star hotels.
Excellent hotel. Inconvenient location.
Although every aspect of the hotel and its staff was marvelous, the location is inconvenient. There is little of interest to see in the immediate vicinity. Cab rides are very cheap, but I prefer a location that is an easy walk from central attractions.
Excellent hotel in run down Romania
Just completing my third week at the Grand Marriott on business. Have found the staff as expected to be very proffessional and responsive to any requests. The only things that you will find throughout Bucharest and not just at the Marriott is that service can be quite slow when having dinner. Allow at least 3 hours (2 courses) if you are dining with others. Otherwise if you are in a hurry then stick to room service. Little touches like 'At your service' button on the phones mean you don't have to look up many different numbers for housekeeping, room service etc as it can all be done through one operator.
Many of my colleagues have spent the last 14 months living out of the hotel and flying back to the UK on weekends and compared to other cities we have stayed in this is one of the best standard of hotels. Hotel mini bus runs every 30 mins from the airport during normal business hours. Otherwise ask the porter to get a FLY taxi as these are air conditioned and modern compared to the Dacia death traps. Usually the drivers of the fly taxis are more reliable about taking you on a direct route to where you want to go. A couple of times now the old yellow Dacia taxis have triedd to drive long way round the city to our offices and pass us of with 150,000 LEI charge when its only ever 70,000 LEI max. Fly taxis are 20,000 lei / km about 40p / km so even though the Marriott isn't in the centre of the city it is only going to cost £1.00 to get there.
Pool is nice although a little small if you are keen on swimming lengths. But on the plus side they run a large number of fitness classes at the health club. The hotel also boasts its own Casino if you want to hit the Roulette tables.
If you get a room around the x20 to x40 mark (ie room 230) you will find these are marked Grand Rooms which give you extra space in the form of bigger bathrooms and larger living area with sofas.
Ok just remembered another very important point to note regarding rooms. If you are staying on 2nd floor in rooms 230 - 245 ish then make sure they have no major sporting events on in the champions sports bar. One of my colleagues was staying in one of these rooms when a major football match was on. Obviously because of the time difference (GMT +2) this meant that he had lots of noise from the bar below until 1am.
As usual the free champagne / orange juice on arrival helps take your mind off the last 8 hours travelling.
Enjoy and no doubt see you all around sometime.
Without a doubt, one of the best hotels I have ever visited. Was there for only three nights but can't wait to return. The staff members are wonderful and the rooms are great. What a view of the Palace from my corner room on the northeast side of the hotel! Ask for a for a corner room!! The gym is outstanding and a great price for a massage!! There is a great little supermarket just down on 17th September Street, across from the "Palace". Easy to purchase "goodies" for the room to save some money. There are also several little "Patio" restaurants across the street and to your right with OK service. However, the sports bar at the hotel is reasonable and has great service. Other than the fact that the hotel is about a 20 minute walk to the center of the city, I highly recommend this hotel. That "problem" did not bother me at all, especially when I got to the "center" of the city. When going to Bucharest, stay at this property if you really want to have first-class service at a reasonable price.
What a hotel
This is right next to the Palatul Parlamentului, which is the world second largest building. J.W. Marriorr Bucharest is indeed situated next to a fitting neighbor, as it is indeed one of the finest hotel I have stayed in in Europe/Asia/North America. First off, the building is awesome. Secondly, the staff is amazing. When I checked in, the bell person gave me an unsolicited 20 minute lesson on Bucharest/Romanian culture/currency. It was a great start to a great stay. Too bad it lasted only 3 days...
The best services in Europe.
one of the best hotels that i had the plesure to stay.
the best staff that i will ever see in my entire life!!!!
I will allways bw an ambasador of this hotel !
An oasis of luxury
A fabulous Grand Hotel, with extremley comfortable rooms and friendly staff. Breakfast Buffett is not cheap but expansive. There is something soothing about eating breakfast whilst a harpist plays a selection of classical tunes.
I loved the place, and can't wait to return.
Grand, American Style Hotel at Grand, American Prices
As a treat, I stayed at the Marriott Grand for one night in September 2003 using my Marriott Rewards points while on vacation. It was a great hotel to recover from jetlag! Nice bathroom with a great tub for a good relaxing soak! This was my third trip to Bucharest and I was impressed by the fancy and well run Marriott. The hotel is definitely geared to American and European Union business travelers and rivals any top flight Marriott in the USA. Everyone speaks English and tries very hard to be professional. It is kind of cute because they are new at this western business world customer service concept.
This is where you stay to impress Romanians. Chic. New and spacious. The health club gym rivals some of the best I have seen in top hotels. New machines. Massage and spa services. Professional business center and computers. There is an elaborate breakfast with everything. Quiet. Cable television with CNBC etc.
Now, things to consider: The location is far from the center of town so you will have to walk or get a cab. I bet it is a good 15 minute walk before you get to the hustle and bustle. The hotel is behind the People's Palace. I know my way around Bucharest and the Marriott is a hike to any restaurants or museums. Not much immediately around the hotel.
Many people come to Romania because it is an inexpensive tourist destination but this is an expensive hotel. Pricing is similiar to first class destinations like San Francisco, NYC etc. In a city where a bottle of water costs maybe $.30. The bottled water in the hotel cost like $8.00. There is a little grocery store a few blocks down, turn right when you leave the hotel . You can buy water there at dirt cheap prices and other snacks etc. The breakfast I think cost about 18 Euros. it was great, but I admit I took some fruit with me to justify the cost. The massage was cheaper than in the states about $50. Nice bar area and lounge to relax in while I waited for my room to be ready. I arrived earlier than check-in but was accommodated fairly fast.
For women traveling to Romania, try to dress conservatively(Talbotish) because the only other women I saw in the area around my hotel were hookers and the professional looking Marriott staff. No one bothered me. Guess I do not look like a hooker! The area is very nice but I noticed that there seems to be this unfortunate sleaze element near fancy hotels in Bucharest. The hotel magazine even had an ad for "sexy" massages nearby. The men either were well-dressed investment banker- lawyer types from London in town on business or Tony Soprano "wanna-bees" on "business"! This is the only place I encountered any Americans during my three week trip. Interesting and humorous mix of people in this 5 star hotel. I did feel safe in the hotel.
Lots of overly priced limo cabs outside. I took the shuttle from the airport. My driver spoke English and it cost $12 and was posted to my bill. A true fair cab ride in a Dacia cab should cost about $5-$6 from the airport and about $2.00 from the train station. The Marriott shuttle is convenient when you are jetagged and do not want to hassle with the swarming cab drivers. There is a phone in the baggage claim area. Get a calling card from the machine and call the Marriott to let them know you arrived. The van is white and says "Marriott Grand". The van has free bottled water or juice. The driver spoke English and pointed out sites to me while we drove into the city. Romanians love Americans and eager to talk to us.
On my return to Bucharest I stayed at a much cheaper new top budget hotel $50/night closer to Calea Victoria and the Cismigiu park and McDonalds. Nice but a different experience. I stopped in the Hilton lobby in the center of town and it was bustling. A better central location than the Marriott Grand but less spacious.
Restaurants: I highly recommend the University of Bucharest restaurant which was only for professors during the communist era. The Romanian food is simple and inexpensive and great. Plus you get a feel of the old world. Tricky to find. Near the Howard Johnson and Embassy area. Ask the concierge. A Romanian friend took me there. Tourist do not know about the restaurant. Lots of McDonalds and Pizza Huts. In Romania that is high class yuppie eating. McDonalds is a luxury and chic, so do not be offended if a Romanian insists on taking you to a McDonalds.
This is a grand hotel as the name suggests. Many 3 and 4 star hotels in Bucharest need renovation. They get the stars because they have cable TV, phones and an elevator (even if it is a death trap). At the Marriott, you will have truly clean modern top notch services and amenities. I am saving my rewards points for my next visit!
An absolutely superb hotel...
We stayed at this hotel in August 2003 and can't wait to re-visit in November 2004. It was, quite simply, one of the best hotel experiences we've ever had - and we've had lots! Huge, clean rooms and public spaces, brilliant food and restaurants, health club etc - and wonderful service, with a welcome call just after we'd checked in to see all was well, and a personal letter sent to the UK after our stay... everyone speaks superb English, and nothing was too much trouble. Definitely the best Marriott I've ever stayed in.