The Congress takes place at two 5-star hotels located in the center of Bucharest – the InterContinental Athénée Palace Bucharest and the Radisson Blu. The two hotels are across the street from each other and together reflect the architectural diversity of Bucharest – the centennial Art Nouveau building of the InterContinental Athénée Palace is perfectly complemented by the Radisson Blu’s modern glass building. The two congress venues are within walking distance from the Old Town and various cultural attractions such as the magnificent Romanian Athenaeum, the location of the Opening Session.
The congress venues are easily reached by public and private transportation, from the Henri Coandă Airport (bus number 783, train to North Railway Station then bus or metro; taxis, ride-sharing apps), and from any part of the city.
Dating back to 1914, the hotel has maintained a status of legendary magnitudes in over a century of high-class hospitality and has been voted by World Travel Awards as Romania’s Leading Hotel for three consecutive years (2016, 2017 & 2018). Its outstanding lobby, Les Colonnades, with the marble columns and luxurious chandeliers, is a symbol of the Belle Époque architecture, while the awe-inspiring Le Diplomate Ballroom, a national heritage monument, represents a remarkable space for a wide range of events.
This art nouveau-style hotel, with suites decorated in the Louis XIV style inspired by the recurring styles in France and England at the time, was mostly frequented by the high society of the interwar Europe. In the 1940s, the Athénée Palace hotel was one of Europe’s most cosmopolitan places, bringing together members of the royal family and renowned journalists and writers. It was the Newsweek headquarters in Bucharest during the World War One, and an espionage hotspot, during the World War Two, thanks to the special ceiling and walls which echo the sound perfectly.
Indulge your taste buds in one of the hotel’s dining venues: savor Romanian and international specialties at Café Athénée bistro or sample flavors of the authentic Italian cuisine at Roberto’s restaurant. English Bar offers a great selection of old whiskies in a peaceful ambience, while Roberto’s on La Strada terrace features refreshing dishes and cocktails during spring and summer months.
Testimonials from Old Times…
During World War One, Ernst Latham adds, Athénée Palace was a front-page hotel: ‘Romania was a country with a fantastic historical positioning and the only European country where journalists from the neutral or allied parties could work in.’ If the German army was going South, it had to do it via Romania. If it was going East, it had to take the USSR route and set camp in Romania. In fact, Romania might have been one of history’s capitals. Here, at Athénée Palace Hotel, there was considerable political intrigue.’ The information overload at Athénée Palace Hotel is portrayed by Newsweek correspondent in Bucharest, Baroness Athénée De Waldeck, who lived in the hotel throughout the most traumatising 7 months in the history of Romania.
Radisson Blu Bucharest
Featuring elegant architecture, Radisson Blu Bucharest Hotel occupies an 8-story building opened in 2008. Welcoming guests with a casino, a seasonal outdoor pool and a rooftop terrace, Radisson Blu is Bucharest’s largest 5-star hotel. Hotel guests may also make use of the fitness offerings in the World Class Health Academy. The hotel’s outdoor pool and extensive garden are perfect for relaxing in. Nine bars and restaurants offer a rich variety of international cuisine.
Upscale Dining in the Bucharest City Center
Radisson Blu Hotel Bucharest hosts various outlets that are meant to cover the most exigent and diverse tastes. Dacia Felix Restaurant situated in the lobby is the perfect location for breakfast, conferences and group meals. Prime Steaks and Seafood is an exquisite restaurant with a glass enclosed kitchen and a walk-in wine cellar, where specialties are carefully prepared by our Chef. Caffé Città restaurant invites to an authentic Italian experience in matters of taste and atmosphere. An outdoor terrace is open during the summer season, allowing guests to savor Italian flavors in an al fresco setting. Ginger Sushi Bar & Lounge offers a large variety of Asian cuisine and is associated with perfect taste and extraordinary dishes prepared by experienced Asian Chefs. In summer time, Prime Summer Garden offers a relaxed, cozy party atmosphere, right in the heart of the city, away from the exciting rhythm of the urban life. The warm, friendly atmosphere at Sharkia perfectly complements its fresh and authentic East Mediterranean cuisine. Easily accessible for guests, the venue is located at the nearby Park Inn by Radisson Bucharest Hotel & Residence. The variety of restaurants and bars makes them ideal places for leisure or for business meetings.
The Romanian Athenaeum, renowned worldwide for its outstanding acoustics, is Bucharest’s most prestigious concert hall and the seat of the Romanian George Enescu Philharmonic. A cultural symbol of the nation and a prominent center of art and science, the Romanian Athenaeum was granted the European Heritage Label in 2007. George Enescu (known in France as Georges Enesco) is probably Romania’s most important musician. A child prodigy, Enescu started composing at the age of 5, and at 10 he played at the Court of Vienna, in the presence of Emperor Franz Joseph. He lived most of his adult life in Paris and conducted orchestras all over the world. His most popular compositions are the Romanian Rhapsodies Op. 11 (Rhapsody No. 1 in A Major and Rhapsody No. 2 in D major).
Begun in 1865 and inaugurated in 1888 to serve the activity of the Romanian Athenaeum Cultural Society, the construction of the Athenaeum continued until 1897. For 130 years the Romanian Athenaeum witnessed the work of the most famous artists, conductors and classical musicians. It is the place where, in 1903, the composer George Enescu conducted for the first time his two famous Romanian Rhapsodies.
With a sublime baroque cupola, the Athenaeum stands at the heart of the city, neighboring the Royal Palace and the Old National Library, along the Calea Victoriei Boulevard. From the outside, six Ionic style columns are decorated with mosaic medallions of four Romanian voivodes and of the King Carol I. The masterpiece of the entrance hall is the four winding stairs of Carrara pink marble, surrounded by 12 columns and decorative sculptures. Nevertheless, the most impressive place of the Athenaeum is the Auditorium Hall, shaped as a dome. 16 meters high, 28.50 meters in diameter and seating almost 800 people, the Hall is decorated with 25 scenes of Romanian history displayed round about on a 210 square meters fresco.
The building of the Romanian Athenaeum resisted the bombardments during the World War II, while most of the surrounding buildings were destroyed. During the communist times, both the fresco and the mosaic medallions were hidden under a 75 meters-long curtain and five wooden caps.
Every other year, in September of odd years, the George Enescu International Festival, hosted by Romanian Athenaeum, brings to Bucharest an impressive number of the most valuable musicians of the world, performing in over 80 different events.