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We’re in Europe this week to celebrate Halloween. We flew on KLM from Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD) to Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (AMS) (flight review here) and connected to Henri Coandă International Airport (OTP) (review of my connecting flight’s breakfast here). After staying a night at The Marorosch Hotel, Autograph Collection (review here), we had a car take us to Bran, Romania for a Halloween party at Dracula’s castle (more here). There are no hotels affiliated with any group near the castle, so I chose based off of availability and reviews. While I went into the experience expecting no frills, there were some basics that were lacking.
Anthony’s Take: Bran Chalet has amazing views of Bran Castle and beautiful grounds. The hotel is rustic and no frills, but the staff is friendly and efficient. It’s a 10-minute walk to Bran Castle and there are multiple stores and restaurants on the way. Our room was a bit warm and the bathroom light burnt out in the middle of the night, which meant that we had to use the bathroom without light for the rest of our overnight stay.
I booked a Double Room with Balcony and Castle View on Booking.com. The rate included breakfast (as do all at the hotel). It was incredibly inexpensive and my card was charged by Booking.com a few days before arrival.
Transportation to/from the Hotel
I hired a driver through DayTrip to take us from The Marmorosch Hotel, Autograph Collection to Bran Chalet. It cost around $250 and we were with her for around six hours. While the drive takes around 3.5 hours if you go directly between the two hotels (it’s around 200 kilometers), we stopped at Snagov Monastery and Peles Castle on the way. Our driver was excellent. She provided insights around where we were going, took us to the entrance of the monastery and castle. She was fun to be around and we talked about world events, the US, Romania, and more on the ride. I’m happy I booked a van that seats 6-7 people so that the two of us could spread out. When we left Bran Chalet, we were headed back to Bucharest and I used DayTrip again. That ride took 4.5 hours because the traffic was extremely bad.
The location of this hotel is convenient. It’s less than five minutes to the town’s restaurants, cafes, kitschy shops, and a grocery store. You can see Bran Castle from the hotel.
We arrived at the hotel around 6:15 PM and our room was ready. The owner of the hotel was outside when we arrived. He quickly took us to the check-in desk, gave us a key, explained that breakfast was served until 10:00 AM, and told us that no one was on duty at night. He demonstrated how to open the hotel’s front door and told us our room was up two flights of stairs. We had a great view (pictured above) and quickly schlepped our bags up to our room.
There was one chair in the lobby opposite the check-in desk.
The stairs are lined with little skulls along the walls. This adds to the overall rustic ambiance of the hotel.
Our room was located along with several others on the top floor.
Double Room with Balcony and Castle View (9)
There are 11 rooms at Bran Chalet. Room 9 was on the top floor.
Immediately inside the door was a small bench and a wardrobe. There was nothing inside except a few hangers.
The bathroom was immediately to the left. It was tiny with a stall shower, sink, and toilet. Amenities were sparse with an almost empty bottle of hand soap and some pink toilet paper.
The toilet was tucked in the corner near the radiator.
The shower was tiny and had a bottle of shampoo mounted to the wall (no brand was visible).
The room had a decently comfortable bed, desk, TV, and chair.
The only decor in the room was in a nook opposite the bed.
The desk held a TV with a good number of channels and two glasses. A power strip under the desk provided the only outlets in the room. The cabinet was empty. It was sized to hold a refrigerator, but one was not provided.
The door to the balcony was near the desk.
It held two chairs, a table, and an ashtray. I think Romania might have the most smokers per capita of anywhere I have ever been.
The view from the balcony is impossible to beat.
A continental breakfast is offered in the hotel’s restaurant each morning. A table near the entrance to the restaurant offers self-serve orange juice, coffee, and tea.
Each guest is given a plate of meats, cheeses, and vegetables. You can also choose from sausage or eggs.
A basket of toast was also brought to each table.
Public Areas & Amenities
Other than the restaurant and free Wi-Fi, the hotel has no other amenities or public spaces for guests. No one was at the desk when we checked out and we were instructed to just leave the key. Our driver was waiting outside to take us on the long ride back to Bucharest.
Overall Impression: Bran Chalet is all about the location. The hotel has a rustic charm, but it’s not the most comfortable place to stay as the room was stuffy, the bathroom needs some updating, and the burnt out light made it difficult to use. The view is spectacular and the staff was efficient. If you’re heading to Bran and plan on staying, this is adequate for a night away.
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