To get 5 stars from me on a hotel review; the stars must align perfectly. The Akantus Hotel was close, With a few tweaks and considerations, it may well get to five stars. Yet is still think it may just be the most impressive place to stay in Cluj.
We have been to Cluj on several occasions. Usually we stay at one of the many lesser 3 star BnBs in the area. However, this time was special; our 1 year wedding anniversary. Just a short drive from our home we decided to go to Cluj for the Thursday and Friday festivities. Booked it online after seeing the pictures and reading the TA reviews. US visa, mastercard, and amex accepted.
We could not obtain proper directions to the Hotel. I mistakenly forgot to look at the map and figured since the staff spoke English and Romanian we could just call and ask for directions when we got to Cluj. The place is very easy to find. If the staff knows the city well enough to guide you. Unfortunately, this was not the case. Cluj is not the hardest city to navigate, but like most in Romania; streets are not properly signed. So this made us late for dinner. An Ounce of preparation will eliminate a future pound of pain.
Enough back-story, We checked into an apartment suite with lightning like efficiency. Reception is to be commended for their speed and hospitality. The room was as advertised. Newly styled and furnished, complete with a sitting area, big screen TV and priced mini bar. I called down to get an Iron. Within 3 mins the iron arrived; sans Ironing board. I must ask, why have an iron?; if not a board to iron upon? Oh well, used up few towels on the table and went to dinner a little bit wrinkly. .
As we were leaving for dinner, I mentioned to the receptionist the date significance and asked for a bottle of champagne to be in our room for our return. The barman provided 3 options for champagne: 1)Headache, 2) Way over priced and 3) That's just silly. I ordered the overpriced Moet and headed out.
We came back to the hotel around 1 am and the Champagne I had asked for was in our room on ice. Turn down service would have been awesome to see at this point. Alas; Cluj is not Vegas. Our room was comfortable and Quiet! The bed was short. I'm 6 ft and my feet were close to hanging off the end. Robes, extra pillows and blankets were available in the closet along with sewing kits,shoe shiners, slippers and all that extra stuff we all love to take home and never use. I think the building is temperature controlled so we had to open the windows. It was a bit warm. Likely from the sauna above. The view was average. Black out curtains were an appreciated touch the next day.
The room had an efficiency fridge/minibar and a European style espresso maker. For the life of me I could not figure out how to use the espresso machine. Not because i am a moron, but rather, (as i found out later the next day) it was unplugged and had a hidden power switch. An instruction manual would have been a welcome touch. So I staggered down to meet my wife at the breakfast buffet just before it closed. I was a wee bit hungover so I tried to stick to the basics. Eggs, bacon, toast, coffee, cheese, Muffins, apple juice, fruit, sparkling water. It was a great spread and i couldn't not enjoy it. Well done and well worth the additional money on the online booking option.
Do not disturb sign was honored the rest of the day. The bathtub Jacuzzi is a becoming option but there are no shower curtains. Please install shower curtains. I will never understand how people take a stand up shower without getting water everywhere!
Went to the gym/spa. The Fitness area is quaint but nice. Awesome view. The spa left much to be desired in amenities and size. For a boutique hotel it was very charming, but I have discovered many of the spa/wellness centers in Romania to be much more inclusive. The juice, water and food price in the spa were laughable. The lap pool was attractive and the ambient temperature in the Swimming area was very nice.
We did not try the restaurants other than the Breakfast Buffet. I love it when I do not have to go through long check-in/check-out procedures. Spoiled by many an on screen menu checkout i am very accustomed to just telling the hotel receptionist, leaving the keys in the room and going home without fanfare. Akantus had no issue with this and even emailed me copies of my invoice and receipt. Well done.
Over all, the Staff always makes for a great hotel. and Akantus did a bang up job. We had a great time. All the issues I presented are merely nitpicking. From top floor Spa to bottom floor receptions, the staff was kind, helpful and even entertaining. I don't think i will return to Akantus, but i certainly recommend it to anyone who wants to make an impression. I think they are trying to set a new standard for the hotel industry in Romania. As a frequent international traveler, I must say they are making steps in the right direction.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Find convenient amenities in an ideal location at the Ramada Cluj hotel. Perfect for business or leisure travelers, and complemented by modern and elegant style, our Cluj Napoca, Romania, hotel is close to the area’s best attractions, restaurants and airport.Those traveling on business will enjoy Executive Floor and Executive Lounge access featuring a business center with computers along with meeting space and dedicated conference services. Stay connected with free Wi-Fi Internet access and then enjoy a meal and drink at Akantus Restaurant or Avocado Restaurant & Lounge, both located on-site. When it’s time to relax, visit our Spa and Wellness Center, complete with Health Bar, indoor pool, sauna and steam bath and unwind from your busy day, or get a great workout at the fitness center. Free limited guest parking is available and roundtrip airport shuttle service is offered for a nominal fee at our Cluj-Napoca hotel. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Ramada Cluj Cluj County/Cluj-Napoca, Romania