BUCHAREST, Romania -- A Romanian/Swiss joint venture created an
elegant accommodations option in the capital at rates considerably
below those found at properties belonging to international chains.
And for a relaxing weekend, or longer, in the mountains, SC
Savion Hotel SLC also has opened a chalet-style hotel in the resort
of Poiana Brasov, a two-and-a-half-hour drive from the capital and
not far from the popular tourist sites of Brasov, Bran Castle and
Bucharest's Hotel Helvetia is near Herastrau Park, which offers
jogging trails. The outdoor Village Museum, a major tourist
attraction, is in Herastrau. The hotel stands opposite the
Aviatorul Metro station, affording a short hop to city center.
The Helvetia opened in 1993 as the first private hotel in the
city. A four-story white marble structure, it houses 30 spacious
guest rooms, including six suites, with marble balconies (one large
enough to host a party).
Though all feature king-size beds, no two rooms are furnished
exactly alike. Crystal chandeliers, wall sconces and art enhance
furniture and fabrics.
All rooms have international direct-dial phones, satellite
television and air conditioning. Even the corridors forego that
institutional look. Rather, they present comfortable sitting areas
and yet more art. Each floor focuses on one color scheme.
In the 80-seat restaurant, clients are presented with a variety
of international and Romanian dishes plus an extensive wine list.
Entrees range from $5 to $32.
Each evening, musicians play soft, cafe-concert music or, as a
spokeswoman phrased it, "listening suitable for our hotel."
Caviar and champagne are among the offerings at the breakfast
buffet included in the room rate. Round-the-clock room service is
available, and clients will find that reception and restaurant
staff speak English well.
Directly behind the Helvetia, Savion Villa, under the same
ownership, offers eight guest rooms plus a breakfast room.
In 1999, both hotel and villa received new paint, carpeting,
upholstery and fabrics.
Plans are under way to construct a 28-story hotel across the
street. As befitting a large property, such facilities as indoor
and outdoor pools, a fitness center, two restaurants and two bars
Rates for both hotel and villa run $120, single; $140, double,
and $235, suites. American Express, Diner's, MasterCard and Visa
Contact the Hotel Helvetia at (011) 40-1-223-0566; fax (011)
40-1-223-0567. Send e-mail to [email protected] or visit the hotel's Web site
Hotel Tirol features fine dining
BUCHAREST, Romania -- For business clients seeking a weekend
getaway or leisure travelers en route from Bucharest to
Transylvania's medieval sites, Poiana Brasov boasts spectacular
mountain scenery; seasonal sports, including skiing, and a number
of good restaurants.
In the latter category, agents can recommend Sura Dacilor
(Dacians' Sheepfold) and Coliba Haiducilor (Outlaws' Hut) for both
ambience and food.
Although this resort claims a number of comfortable hotels, the
1999 opening of Hotel Tirol raised the standard a few notches. As
with its sister property in Bucharest, each of the 58 guest rooms,
including four suites, is unique in decor and furnishings.
Several of the double rooms are extra large, featuring separate
sitting areas. Most have balconies and all include international
direct-dial phones and 24-channel TV.
Many rooms evoke a light touch, with white furniture and
Suites feature black leather sofas and chairs softened by
flowers and objets d'art. Some suites have a duplex layout,
including a work area, and all have whirlpool baths.
The top-of-the-line royal suite boasts a white stucco
wood-burning fireplace fronted by green marble; a dining area for
four; a well-stocked bar topped by a huge revolving globe; walk-in
closets, and both a Jacuzzi tub and circular glass-enclosed Jacuzzi
With windows stretching almost from floor to ceiling, the
Tirol's restaurant ensures that all diners enjoy a view of
Green tones predominate within, as well, and delicate flower
arrangements enhance each table.
The restaurant is proud of its cuisine and service. In spite of
an extensive menu and wine list, diners are informed that the
maitre d'hotel "stays at your disposal" for special requests.
Hors d'oeuvres include red and black caviar, smoked sturgeon or
salmon, with prices ranging from $3 to $9. Entrees range from 11
kinds of fish to a large variety of meat, chicken and traditional
Romanian dishes. Prices for entrees vary from $3 to $13.
Breakfast, included in the room rate, is served a la carte from
a separate embossed leather menu. Six pages describe omelets and
other egg dishes, breakfast meats, cereals, cheeses, fruits, breads
Although not requested, my waiter appeared each morning with a
tempting selection of breakfast cakes, insisting, "Won't you please
Other on-site facilities include a small but comfortable lobby
with a fireplace for wintry evenings, a day bar, room service, a
sauna, a massage room, parking and a 30-person capacity conference
A car with driver; sightseeing excursions, and pick-up at
Bucharest's Otopeni Airport or the train station in Brasov all can
Staff at the Tirol is young and enthusiastic, with an excellent
command of English. Even housekeeping personnel looked up from
polishing the already spotless brass staircase rail (there is also
an elevator) to greet me in English.
Rates run $72, single; $96 to $105, double, and $200 to $280 for
suites. American Express, MasterCard and Visa are accepted.
The Hotel Tirol can be reached by calling (011) 40-68-262-453;
fax (011) 40-68-262-439.