Ioana Hotel is definitely one of the best hotels in Romania but Romanian hospitality industry has always wonderful and disappointing things, in the same time.
The hotel has the best staff you may encounter in your trip in Romania - attentive, proactive, smiling - unfortunately rare features in the Romanian hospitality.
The rooms are nice and warm and the restaurant is truly unique and worth a lunch or a dinner. The children playground inside the hotel is great and attended in permanence by a caretaker.
The hotel disappoints in several aspects, quite unexpectedly. I will focus on these because the good things are already praised in many other reviews.
The way the smoking and non-smoking areas are separated is a disgrace. The (otherwise, excellent) bar near the reception has a smoking area but this is on one hand a passage area to the spa and to some of the apartments (which is disturbing and, obviously, against the non-smoking law) and, on the other hand, there is no door separating it from the non-smoking area, so any non-smoker will receive all the smoke from the nearby smokers. The smoke is getting also at the reception and in other common areas – it is a “boutique” hotel, so very small. The worst situation – that we had to face – was when cigars were used in the smoking area (they are offered at the bar, together with a good French cognac). The smell of the cigars is much stronger and transformed all the ground floor of the hotel, non-smoking area included, in a countryside pub. This is very surprising for a hotel where foreign tourist come in large numbers and where there are many families with small children. I hope this situation will change rapidly and the law will be observed. For this reason, it must lose a star, in my opinion.
The air in the rooms was always dry and there is no possibility to set the temperature at the desired level other than turning off some of the heaters.
The spa is a joke (maximum 2 persons sauna and a very small Jacuzzi, no fitness room or other facilities) but is true that half of the rooms enjoy their own private sauna and Jacuzzi.
The passages to all the rooms and apartments outside the central building do not have heating and are protected from the weather by a plastic foil! In a mountain area, where it is cold even in the summer time! We have been in February and had to cross some 30 meters in the cold when going and returning from the sauna – an unpleasant experience.
It is obvious that Ioana was not built to serve as a hotel but it was rather a residential complex, made of a central building, with apartments, and 3 or 4 separate villas. All these are now united by the precarious passages I mentioned, protected only by the plastic foil.
5 stars? No until it solves the issues mentioned above.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Ioana Hotel is a 5 stars boutique-hotele, located in quiet surroundings, in the Bucegi mountains above Sinaia. It offers panoramic views, a spa centre and close to the ski slopes.All rooms at the Hotel Ioana are tastefully styled in pastel colours and feature high-quality beds and a balcony. Each of them comes equipped with a flat-screen TV. Bathrobes and slippers can be found in the elegant bathroom.The Cota cable car is only 300 metres away from the Ioana Hotel and the Peles and Pelisor Castles can be reached on foot within a few minutes. A minibus stops right in front of the hotel but the centre of Sinaia is also reachable on foot within 40 minutes.Spa facilities include a sauna, a hot tub and a wide range of massages.Unique in Romania, the Forest Restaurant serves international cuisine and local specialities to guests who dine surrounded by still growing trees. ... more less
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