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Novotel Bucharest City Centre REVIEW: comfort and quality in Bucharest

Novotel Bucharest City Centre REVIEW: comfort and quality in Bucharest

Short European city trips with kids always need a little extra thought and planning. Wandering around a city, checking out museums, restaurants and waterparks can easily fill a whole day (and evening) but they can be tiring. During our recent trip to Bucharest with kids, we had a fun-filled few days, but knew we’d need somewhere comfortable, central and familiar to retreat to.

There’s a time and place for trying out unique hotels and we knew this wasn’t it. From past experiences in places like Seville and Hannover, we knew the Novotel Bucharest City Centre was the place to stay and it didn’t disappoint.

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Arriving to Novotel Bucharest City Centre

In a city well known for its architecture, the Novotel Bucharest City Centre more than holds its own. Originally the National Theatre building, the classical façade is backed by a modern glass building which forms the main part of the hotel, including the rooms.

It’s certainly a graceful arrival to the sweeping driveway with a modern reception and bar area waiting for you on the other side of the revolving doors. We arrived around midnight but there was still a friendly welcome and we were soon heading up in the lifts towards our room.

Our family room at Novotel Bucharest City Centre

As is common with Novotel hotels (and other chains like Holiday Inn), the family rooms are comprised of a double bed and sofa bed.

If we were being slightly critical, the room didn’t feel overly spacious once the sofa bed was down, with limited room to move around. The sofa bed was also fairly uncomfortable for adults (fine for little ones) and prone to squeaky sounds every time someone rolled over. We also had issues with the temperature controls in the room which the hotel were unable to fix for us.

There was a compact bathroom with toilet in separate room. It wasn’t quite as high-spec as the Novotels we stayed at in Seville and Hannover, but made up for it somewhat with a sweeping view across the city towards the Palace of Parliament. As our kids get older, and we need a tiny bit more space, we felt the room was on the small side for a family of four.

The family room was certainly comfortable though and ticked most of our boxes. It was worked well for a short stay, it was just slightly small for our family and the sofa bed felt more of a temporary option than it perhaps should have done.

Hotel facilities

The Novotel really shone with the facilities on offer, starting with the excellent lobby area, with reception, bar and restaurant. The bar in particular was a great place to hang out, perched on a chair overlooking Calea Victoriei.

On the mezzanine level, there’s a spa, hammam and pool for guests to use. We didn’t try out the spa or hammam but they looked inviting and the staff seemed very friendly.

The pool is good for a quick dip but was quite small and not really a place the boys wanted to spend hours on end. There’s a few comfy sunbeds to relax on plus a couple of seats. We were very politely asked to keep the noise down in the pool and refrain from jumping in; perfectly reasonable but, again, not conducive for a long pool session with the boys.

The facilities are probably more aimed at an adult crowd rather than young families. However, it was quite a luxurious novelty having the pool to ourselves; I think we were luck to catch it at a quiet time.

What we loved about Novotel Bucharest City Centre

The hotel is located on Calea Victoriei, the main thoroughfare in the city, only a few steps away from Revolution Square and its fascinating history. It’s also a short walk into the Old Town and you’ll find a metro station five minutes walk away. You really do feel like you’re in the heart of the city and it’s easy to reach most of the sites you’ll want to visit during your stay.

The building is beautiful in its own right, a real landmark in this part of town. Inside, the lobby area is modern and inviting, plus it’s great to have a swimming pool, even though it’s not huge or likely to keep your kids entertained for long.

The buffet breakfast is excellent (included in our stay), with a wide variety of food and drinks, served in the bright restaurant area.

What we didn’t love about the hotel

The family room did feel slightly smaller than we’d expected. The sofa bed wasn’t overly comfortable and was tricky to operate so we just left it down which made the space feel even more constricted. The bathroom had everything we needed but was smaller than we expected, especially when everyone was trying to get ready in the morning. If you were to stay here, we would recommend upgrading to a larger room.

The room temperature seemed to be stuck around 25 degrees Celsius, despite our (and the hotel staff’s) best efforts. With no option to open windows, the room did feel a bit stuffy at times.

Final thoughts on Novotel Bucharest City Centre

The Novotel Bucharest City Centre is a striking building in a great location in the city. You’re only a short walk from the Old Town, and the hotel feels vibrant and fresh. We’ve had mixed experiences with breakfasts in European hotels in the past, but the one here is excellent quality and value. With a late service until 10:30am, you can turn it into a brunch to keep the kids full until later in the day.

The bar and restaurant are good places to hang out and have some food or drink. Despite being quite small, the onsite pool is a bonus and a handy option if you need some time away from city sightseeing. The staff throughout are friendly and professional.

Our room was clean and welcoming, with a panoramic view of the city from the ninth floor. We felt it was a few square metres smaller than usual for a family room, and the sofa bed wouldn’t suit light sleepers, or kids who wanted their own bed. However, there are larger rooms available if you pay for the upgrade, which we recommend as worthwhile.

You may also like to read:

The best ALTERNATIVE European city breaks with kids
Bucharest with kids: your family travel guide
12 essential tips for budget family travel in Europe