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From a small Dutch start-up to a recognized leader in travel e-commerce, Booking.com has taken the world by storm over the past two decades, with over 15,000 employees working in 198 offices in 70 countries.

Over 1,550,000 rooms are reserved on Booking.com per day. The website and mobile apps are available in over 40 languages too. We were amazed to discover that 128,933 destinations in 228 countries and territories are represented on this platform.

Booking.com’s mission is simply to take the friction out of travel (as well as booking fees), so if you’re travelling for either business or leisure (or a bit of both), there’s a lodging option out there for you. If you’re looking for the best deal, they promise to price match as well.

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We recently partnered with Booking.com on our Eastern European trip. Our Viking River cruise finished off in Bucharest, Romania, so what better way to discover the Romanian capital and the surrounding dreamy castles of Transylvania than being based in the city for five nights.

Booking.com screen shot

Once on the Booking.com site, you can search via destination, property name, flights, flight + hotel, trains (GoEuro.uk), car rentals, airport taxis and restaurants (Open Table). It’s so handy to be able to book as much or little of your trip in one space.

Properties can be filtered by rating, amenities, property type, landmarks, facilities, in-room facilities, neighbourhood, and hotel chain. Once you pull up a property, there’s a map, photos, description, availability check and pricing for various rooms.

Following the reserve button, there’s check-in and check-out times easily marked by green bars, cancellation/prepayment policy, children/pet information, credit cards accepted and the fine print (in a readable size print!).

Booking.com screen shot

Reviews from Booking.com guests can also be found on the left side of the listing as well as towards the bottom.

Another nice feature is being able to see what’s nearby, so you can map out your plans.

You’ll also get 24/7 assistance and support in over 40 languages via their customer experience team, rounding out Booking.com’s multi-functionality.

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A LUXURY STAY IN BUCHAREST

Breathe. Think. Unwind. Smile. This is Hotel Epoque’s motto and rest assured, the team at this charming, newly-minted Relais & Chateâux property go out of their way to make those words synonymous with your stay.

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Approaching the 45-room hotel from the street, we soon realize that the hotel occupies a cul-de-sac in the center of town, making it feel like an urban retreat. It’s a gorgeous building in the Belle Époque style, hence the name.

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After checking in, we get a welcome drink and meet with the hotel’s concierge on the open-air terrace, where we have the chance to get tips on getting around on Bucharest’s metro, places to dine, shop and sightsee.

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Our Executive Suite room has a hallway leading to a cozy couch and minibar area. From there the Juliette balcony opens up to let light in with a view down below of the neighbourhood.

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The bedroom is adjacent to the living space, with a painting above our heads of a woman in traditional Romanian clothing.

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Throughout the suite, white furniture accented with dark wood lends itself to making you feel at home as you unpack and get settled in.

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The bathroom has a soaker tub, dual sinks, The White Company of London luxury amenities and a separate shower/toilet room.

Top travel blogger Epoque Hotel-12

An added perk is having a handy smart phone at our disposal, featuring handy OS, the world’s first mobile system created for the hospitality industry.

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We used it as a second phone to take with us around Bucharest for international calls, to search for destinations and restaurants plus check in on the weather.

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SPA

The lower level of the hotel is where you’ll find a fabulous spa, pool, sauna and steam area.

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The pool is bathed in deep blue lighting, surrounded by marble and tiled walls with a few water jets on either side.

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Once you soothe your senses here, continue to the mood-lit tiled steam room that releases occasional puffs of steam from a source on the wall.

Near the dry sauna is an “emotional shower” with several jets that can be set to warm or cold, meant to help improve blood circulation.

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Top off a lazy afternoon between sightseeing with a massage treatment – there’s sure to be one on the menu with your name on it.

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DINING

Though we didn’t dine at onsite French gastronomy restaurant L’Atelier – l’art culinaire headed by French chef Samuel le Torriellec, we did enjoy several breakfasts there, complete with made-to-order eggs, fresh fruit, pastries and breads at the buffet along with a great spread of local products and excellent coffee.

On the morning of our super-early departure to the airport, the hotel prepared a custom breakfast box to go.

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IN THE HOOD

Nearby, beautiful English style Cișmigiu Park contains fountains, monuments and a boating lake with Monte Carlo restaurant holding court on a central island. Elegant pre-Communist buildings line nearby Regina Maria Boulevard.

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The hotel is a five-minute walk to Izvor metro station, located on two major lines. Most of the Old Town sights are easy to get to within a 15-minute walk, so unless you’ve got places to be near the metro stops, it’s often easier to just head out on foot.

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[Free loaner bikes for guests]

Want to receive CAD $40 back when you book a flight, hotel or tour with Booking.com? Just click here and we’ll take care of the rest!

Our stay was provided to us by Booking.com. Opinions, as always, remain our own.

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