Hotel Review: Athénée Palace Hilton Bucharest
Athénée Palace Hilton Bucharest is one of a bunch of luxury hotels in the city center of Bucharest. While the location and the exterior of the property are amazing, the hotel itself is a little dated. There were some issues which are to be pointed out negatively in this hotel review even though the property definitely is not a bad one. There’s just a lot that could be improved!
Athénée Palace Hilton Bucharest was our choice for a two-night stay in Bucharest during one of our recent city trips.
- Classification: Five Stars
- Room Category: Diplomat Suite
- Month of Stay: November
So why did we opt for the Hilton property even though it’s a rather old one and in need of a renovation? Well, the Hilton Gold membership (I’m a Diamond member for a few weeks now) and the good value for the money made the decision an easy one, especially as the other options in Bucharest didn’t look too amazing as well.
Plus: the location of Hilton Bucharest is very good for sightseeing as it is located in walking distance to all major sights in the city.
Diplomat Suite at Athénée Palace Hilton Bucharest
Our stay started with a rather underwhelming check-in experience with a surprising outcome. Even though we booked a Standard Room, we got upgraded to a Diplomat Suite.
Talking of the suite itself, things get more average. When entering the Diplomat Suite at Athénée Palace Hilton Bucharest, there’s a walkway with a small bathroom to the left and the living room to the right.
The latter is not very spacious, but comes with a working desk, a flat-screen television and a couch, two armchairs and a table.
The bedroom which is located to the far end of the hallway comes with nothing but a King Bed, two bedside tables and two chairs with another small table. Opposite of the bed, there’s the entrance to the master bathroom.
Even though the Diplomat Suite is not very spacious, the layout is actually quite nice. Nevertheless, Athénée Palace definitely needs to get some renovations done rather sooner than later. The interior is not only very old (and so is the design), but also extremely worn out.
Bathroom(s) of the Diplomat Suite
It definitely is a nice touch when a suite comes with two bathrooms.
While the small one just came with a toilet and a sink, the master bathroom was larger and also had a shower-tub combo.
The bathrooms are also in deep need of a renovation as everything is way more than 20 years old. The toiletries were, as it is usually the case with Hilton, by Peter Thomas Roth.
While the Diplomat Suite itself had a (boring) view of the inner courtyard, both bathrooms came without any windows.
Executive Lounge at Athénée Palace Hilton Bucharest
Staying in the Diplomat Suite, we also enjoyed access to the Executive Lounge which is located on the top floor of the hotel.
The lounge is not very big, but was not really crowded at any time, too. There’s an indoor area with some dining tables, a small relaxation area with a couch, some books and a television and a small, but very enjoyable terrace with nice views of the square in front of Athénée Palace Hilton Bucharest.
During the day, there’s a simple choice of some snacks and fruits alongside with a decent selection of non-alcoholic drinks.
During the afternoon, there was also a choice of sandwiches and cakes, while the evening reception had several plates with cold starters and two hot options (snacks like quesadillas).
In the evening, there was also a selection of beers, wines and spirits available which looked rather decent. The service was okay, yet nothing to write home about.
Gym, Spa & Pool at Athénée Palace Hilton Bucharest
I didn’t really expect the relaxation area at Athénée Palace Hilton Bucharest to be a positive aspect in this hotel review as I usually just like high-end Spa areas.
Nevertheless, my first impressions were very good. The gym is spacious, has daylight and comes with several machines for cardio and strength training.
While the typical Precor equipment was not the most modern, it was in a good condition. The pool which you reach after passing the changing rooms has a somewhat strange shape, but is actually fine for swimming laps if you are alone or with just one another person.
The lounging area is not really inviting, but okay for spending some minutes. There are also a hot tub and a tea and water station where you can brew any tea you like. Moreover, there are also a sauna and a steam bath of which the former was recently renovated.
Even though the Spa area of Athénée Palace Hilton Bucharest is no real highlight, it is actually totally fine and one of the highlights of the hotel.
Breakfast at Athénée Palace Hilton Bucharest
We gave breakfast a try in both, the restaurant and the Executive Lounge.
While the former definitely offers a bigger choice with a wide range of fruits, yoghurts, mueslis, rolls, preserves, cold cuts, cheeses and much more, the atmosphere in the Executive Lounge is extremely private and relaxed.
That said, the service is actually the same in the restaurant and the lounge. The quality of the items served at Athénée Palace Hilton Bucharest is nothing special, but totally okay.
Something that’s worth mentioning about breakfast is the fact that there’s an egg station where you can order freshly prepared omelets in the restaurant. Something comparable doesn’t exist in the lounge.
Overall impression of Athénée Palace Hilton Bucharest
Our stay at Athénée Palace Hilton Bucharest was a pleasant one overall. Even though we found the front desk staff a little slow and not always helpful, everyone was friendly. Due to the nice upgrade, we had the pleasure of enjoying a large room. Nevertheless, we found the décor to be extremely dated and the suite to be in a deep need of a renovation.
The Executive Lounge is a nice spot to hang out and offers a decent food spread. The Spa with gym, pool, sauna and steam bath is nothing to write home about, but totally sufficient for a city hotel. Same is true for breakfast. As a HH Diamond member, I’d return to Athénée Palace Hilton Bucharest, but without a status, I’d give another hotel in the city a try next time – maybe one with more modern rooms!
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