Convenience of location is one of leading advantages Orhideea Residence & Spa offers visitors to Bucharest – being a mere five-minute taxi ride from the Romanian capital’s central train station (Gara de Nord).
But it’s not the only one.
The 11-floor apart hotel also hosts a spacious spa in its basement with four massage and facial treatment rooms, one catering to couples, as well as a hammam with a splendid enamel-tiled mosaic bed in its center and three stone fountains with cold and hot water, a 20-meter swimming pool with side Jacuzzi and a sauna. A cool ‘Scottish’ shower consists of a wood bucket suspended from a chain handle. An interesting feature is the ‘tropical shower’ made of mosaic and combining three elements of color, sound and water.
The spa area is discreet and tranquil with attractive furnishings including pre and post-treatment leisure beds and delicate transparent curtains. A full body stone massage treatment from physiotherapist Monica-Elena Petrescu was wonderful as was a special massage in what is termed the ‘salt cave’ given by Ionut Grigoras. The ionized air in this room built with salt blocks brought from mines throughout Romania is beneficial for the respiratory system.
Consisting of 80 apartments ranging from 93 sqm to 316 sqm in area, Orhideea Residence & Spa was built on the grounds of the old bakery Plevna (part of which still operates). Spacious guest accommodation includes open cooking facilities or an enclosed kitchen; a refrigerator; TV; overall generous space with balconies and a choice of one or multiple bedrooms. All rooms are air-conditioned and some have inbuilt Jacuzzis. Décor is contemporary and urban with open-plan living-room, dining room and kitchen areas and floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the city.
Orhideea also offers a free-of-charge business corner and a meeting room, which guests can arrange upon booking. Parking space is ample with 100 places situated both outside and in the property’s garage where a car wash is also located.
Managed by Dragos Penca, whose tourism and hospitality experience includes establishing Par Avion, an online ticket booking service, this self-catering property also lies within a short walking distance of a major shopping complex that incorporates the French supermarket, Carrefour as well as shoe and clothes stores and diverse cafes and eateries.
An enjoyable occasion at Orhideea is breakfast. Hosted on the 11th floor terrace with panoramic views over the city, here one can sample a variety of homemade Romanian specialties such as salata de vinete (eggplant salad), oua umplute (deviled eggs), stuffed peppers as well as traditional apple cake and chocolate sponge all under the watchful eye of restaurant manager, Vicky Manea.
Guests at Orhideea have plenty of choice in terms of activities. Aside from the national art and history museums, both indoor and outdoor, there is Bucharest’s old historic district. Long ignored by the international tourism market, the city is now becoming a popular vacation spot in part because of the transformation of this area. Once a huge dilapidated space, it is now a lively meeting-place boasting scores of diverse bars, cafes and restaurants. These include ‘100 Beri,’ featuring an old-fashioned, opaque glass-fronted bar with wooden tables outside and a brass chandelier hanging from the ceiling inside. Its interior walls are decorated appropriately with framed logos of famed beers, stouts and ales. Among the 100 beers are Zaganu, a domestic micro brewery, Oyster stout, Hobglobin and London Pride. The bar menu includes 68 varieties from Germany and 25 from the Czech Republic, England and Belgium respectively.
Other creatively-named pubs in the area include ‘Mojo,’ ‘Half-time,’ ‘Elephant,’ ‘Beer O’Clock,’ ‘Bazaar,’ ‘Trinity College,’ the ‘Fire Club’ and even the ‘Rehab Center.’
Interested in clothes shopping? No better place for esoteric choice than the quaint, boutique store, ‘Monique,’ located in the center of one of the old city’s most historic streets, ‘Lipscani’ (Nr. 59).
To experience Bucharest, a city only now beginning to gain recognition as a tourism destination, Orhideea Residence & Spa provides a convenient and comfortable accommodation option.