We chose the Andy Hotel for a low cost city break at half term. There were some distinct pluses - friendly staff, clean, decent bathroom (but sometimes no hot water) .... and a few English language channels on the TV. The breakfast may not have been overly exciting, but the food was adequate and the lady in charge of the dining room both pleasant and helpful. The room was clean and just about big enough. The Wi-fi worked from the lounge but the signal strength too weak in our third floor bedroom (the receptionist suggested the lounge when he gave me the code). There was a bit of a whiff of smoke - maybe coming up from the lobby?
Finding the hotel on arrival was very easy - go out of Arrivals door at airport, buy ticket from booth (tip: only change £10 at the airport exchange desk as the rate is terrible - better at the station and better still in Unirea or the bank), get on bus and validate your ticket by putting it up to the machine (it is magnetic, but the bus company man at the airport did ours for us), get off at Gara de Nord. Go to the opposite side of the station - the hotel is over the road. Really easy. Going the other way, the bus stop is just around the corner from the hotel - unsurprisingly it was the one with people with suitcases waiting there! The ticket kiosk is next to the bus stop. There was something about them not issuing plastic cards when we were there, but a local lady kindly put our fares on her card, validated it three time on the bus, and we traveled together to the airport. It cost about 80p per person each way. There is also a train service to the airport.
The area around the station is seedy and run down, much like many areas around stations in many countries. However, the heavy security presence makes the concourse much better. There are exchange kiosks (a little at a time seems to work well), food outlets (Springtime was good) and a small supermarket. Importantly, there is a Metro station under the concourse. We got a ten ride ticket for 15 Lei (about £5) - it seems to be OK to share one. We did not linger outside.
Bottom line - the hotel was wholesome, the staff were good, the location convenient for the Metro and the airport bus, the area was a bit grim. It was inexpensive - we did not expect five star luxury or an affluent neighbourhood - we were not disappointed.
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