Romania has been on my travel destination list since 2013 when I toured their country exhibit at ITB Berlin tourism convention. I anticipated traveling there summer 2017 with my wife for an extended summer stay to take advantage of the great Hilton Honors reward night rates at several hotels. She nixed Romania as a joint destination and said I would have to go alone.
I spent the past week in Romania and booked a great deal at Hampton Inn Cluj-Napoca at 19,000 points for a 5th Night Free reward stay and 10,000 points for a 6th night.
The 5th night free reward rate looked to be a mistake rate. Hampton Inn Cluj-Napoca had been a 10,000 points reward night hotel since I started watching Romania hotel rates with Best Western Rewards, Hilton Honors and Wyndham Rewards almost two years ago.
My good luck was in my Icelandair San Francisco-London Heathrow $270 round trip ticket travel dates narrowed the dates I could travel to Romania to 7 nights in October. I happened to see a good deal for a Wizz Airlines round trip London Luton to Cluj-Napoca, Romania $66 ticket for my dates of London travel. I generally do not buy an airline ticket without checking hotel rates first.
$24.17 per night for six nights at Hampton Inn Cluj-Napoca
When I checked Romania hotel rates in August, my potential dates of travel to Cluj-Napoca happened to coincide with two October 2018 arrival dates where I saw Hampton Inn Cluj-Napoca pricing at 4,000 points for a 5th Night Free stay. A few other dates around priced at 7,000 points per night. The glitch only happened for a couple days before the price went back up to 10,000 points for all dates.
Even better is the final points price dropped to 19,000 points total for a 5th Night Free reward stay when I went to book Hampton Inn Cluj-Napoca.
Three days later, when I decided to add another reward night in Cluj-Napoca, the price had returned to 10,000 points for all reward nights. Within a week or two after booking my six nights in Cluj-Napoca, the price for reward nights at most Hilton brand hotels in Romania doubled.
The cost to buy 29,000 points was $145 based on Hilton Honors 100% bonus points purchase promotions reducing the price to buy down to $5 per 1,000 points. Hilton Honors had a couple of those buy points with 100% bonus points offers in 2018.
My nightly rate came out to $24.17 for 6 nights on points at Hampton Inn Cluj-Napoca.
Hilton Honors Devaluation Sep 2018
Sometime around the first week of September hotels in Romania that were 5,000 points per night in Iasi and Sighisoara went to 10,000 points and hotels in Cluj-Napoca and Sibiu increased from 10,000 points per night to 20,000 points. Poland saw increases at several low points category hotels too.
Hampton Cluj-Napoca is now 20,000 points per reward night and 80,000 points for a 5th Night Free for Honors elite members. My six nights at Hampton Inn Cluj for 29,000 points would now cost 100,000 points. At that reward rate the posted room rate to pay money is often the better value compared to points.
Hampton Inn Cluj-Napoca Location and Arrival
The location of Hampton Inn Cluj-Napoca is convenient for the Cluj-Napoca International Airport. The hotel address is Bulevardul 21 Decembrie 1989, which is the main road for the airport about 7km east of the hotel. Local bus #5 can be picked up outside the airport, where an automated kiosk can be used to buy a bus ticket for 2.50 RON (about 65 cents) with a credit card or cash.
Walk out of the front of the airport to the main road and walk right until you see the bus stop.
The bus ticket kiosk has English instructions and takes cash or credit cards. Inside the bus insert your ticket into the stamper for a time stamp.
Hampton Inn is about 1.3 km or 15 minutes walk east of Unirii Square, the center of Old Town and main tourist and entertainment area of the city with numerous restaurants and pubs.
Bus #5 goes to Unirii Square and beyond.
Hampton Inn Cluj-Napoca has 7 floors and seems to be a hotel primarily catering to business people. I heard most guests speaking English.
The street entrance is actually a driveway with the hotel front door entrance about 40 meters off the street. Interesting to see my initial photo shows a cyclist on the sidewalk. Walking out of the hotel driveway one morning, I came within inches of stepping into a speeding cyclist as I stepped around the corner onto the sidewalk. Close enough that I had visions of spending my day in a local hospital.
If suffering an injury in Romania, Cluj-Napoca looks like it would be one of the best places to seek treatment. I spent one afternoon walking around a city district I nicknamed ‘hospital hill’ with every kind of specialty clinic imaginable.
Room 1501 Hampton Cluj-Napoca
Room #1501 is a corner room and had a west facing view to Old Town and probably the best view for hotel. Also, a window looking north.
Wifi worked great, TV had a few English language stations including CNN, Euronews and a movie channel. My only complaint is the room never seemed to be cool enough for me with the AC on. The first couple days had temperatures in low 20s Celsius/low 70s Fahrenheit.
There was a blow dryer on a shelf by the toilet. An iron and board in closet between bathroom and main room.
Hampton Inn Cluj Lobby-Bar and Breakfast Room
There is a small gym in the basement, but it was in use on the one time I visited and did not snap a photo. It is a windowless room and it did not seem too inviting a location, but its few pieces of equipment looked fine.
Hampton Cluj-Napoca Breakfast
Breakfast was served until 10:00am on weekdays and 10:30am on Sat-Sun. The staff were punctual about closing down the food area right at 10 or 10:30.
Each morning had the same items: hot potatoes, roasted or hash brown type patties, mushrooms, bacon, sausage and scrambled eggs.
All in all, this was a satisfying hotel stay in a decent location for Cluj-Napoca at a walkable distance to the Old Town area and pubs where I spent a lot of my time.
DoubleTree Cluj-Napoca is in a more central and quieter location closer to Old Town. If price were not an issue, then I would choose that hotel for a Hilton stay. There are some other nice hotels in the city. Platinia Hotel is a modern newer all suites hotel that looked to be the best hotel in the city that I saw. It is located next to a modern mall and Ursus Beer Factory, a modern looking upscale brewpub with relatively low prices for beer and reasonable by Cluj standards prices for food.
Even by Romania pricing standards it would be hard to get a better hotel deal than I had at $24 per night for Hampton Inn Cluj.