Where should you stay when visiting Romania’s mountains? There are a lot of choices when it comes to local accommodations when you visit the most touristic areas of Romania. And of course, it depends on what you are looking for. If you like hiking, you can choose camping or stay in a mountain cabin. The more remote the area, the fewer choices you have. While in Bucharest, there was no sign of snow, I went into the Bucegi mountains for a few days to enjoy nature, and I stayed at Padina mountain cabin.
If there is one thing I enjoy doing while traveling, it is discovering new things. That starts with local culture, food, customs, and ends with geographical areas or accommodations. Being so curious by nature, this comes naturally for me. Of course, this end of year short holiday was an excellent opportunity to stay at Padina mountain cabin for the first time. I was in the area with a large group of people, and everyone had the option to choose the type of room they prefer: for 2, 3, 4, 6, 12, or 16 persons in the same room, with shared bathroom or a private one.
Quite unexpectedly, I was in a mood where I felt I could enjoy sharing my living space with three other unknown people when I made the reservation. So I choose a room of 4 with a private bathroom. It proved to be the right choice because I got to know three lovely ladies with whom I had much in common. We all shared the love for nature and mountains, and so got the chance to have some laughs and tell stories on this subject.
We arrived at Cabana Padina after a 4,5 hours hike from Cota 2000, pretty tired and hungry, around 3 PM. Luckily for us, they still served lunch, and we had the most amazing hot soup ever. ????
How to get there
Or you could leave the car in Sinaia, go up by cable car until Cota 2000 and then follow the hiking route from Cota 2000:
Valea Soarelui mountain cabin – Saua Laptici – Cabana Padina
Cabana Padina is, in fact, a complex of 3 buildings: the old cabin, where you will find the reception, restaurant, kitchen and some of the rooms, and two newer cabins, built at a short distance from the old one. My room was in one of the new buildings, on the 2nd floor.
I stayed in an apartment consisting of 2 bedrooms with one double bed each. You could enter the bathroom and the two bedrooms from a small hallway. The main inconvenience was that you could not lock the door of the bathroom from outside. Being external of both rooms, anyone from the floor could have access to it. However, our small hallway had a door with a pin that played the role of a locker. ????
Either way, the rooms, and the bathroom were clean. Even if on the first night it was a bit chilly, the personnel of the cabin was very kind and responsive and provided us with a heater and blankets to keep warm. Starting with the second day, we didn’t have the heating problem anymore because the whole building was appropriately heated.
Here you will find excellent Romanian traditional food. The “Papanasi” were excellent, among the best I’ve ever had. The cost of one “Papanas” is 3.14 EUR (15 RON). I loved all the food they served during the four days I stayed in the cabin. Mulled wine was excellent, and they also have delicious coffee.
The staff was friendly and welcoming, even when the restaurant was full and they were running around with the orders. Even in those moments, I didn’t have to wait too long for food to arrive.
Beware of the problems we encountered!
Unfortunately, the travelers from my group who stayed in the old cabin had some issues. I wanted to include also their experience in this review. Even though it didn’t happen to me directly, I think this is very important if you intend to stay there overnight.
First problem: some rooms in the old cabin didn’t have hot water in the showers, even though for everyone else it was available. There was a boiler, but apparently it was broken, or nobody from the personnel knew how to properly use it. Sadly, they didn’t solve the problem during our whole stay. This was unpleasant, of course, for the guests who were accommodated in those rooms. Anyway, when you do traveling in the mountains and remote areas, you should also be prepared for unexpected situations like that.
The second problem. Well, this one was bad: the room of 16 persons had bed bugs. This parasite is one of my worst nightmares. It is so because it will travel with you. And because of that, you can bring it home with you. It gets into textile and wood furniture, and it is hard to get rid of.
For this reason, every time I travel, I check the mattress for signs of their presence. If I find any trace, I’ll ask immediately to move to another floor. I strongly advise you do the same. Here you can find more information about bed bugs and what to do to avoid them.
Everyone was immediately moved from that room. It was the only room infested. Anyway, I hope the owners solve this as soon as possible and be able to offer tourists a pleasant staying experience, without any bugs on their beds.????
Final thoughts about Padina Mountain Cabin
All in all, my experience was ok staying at this cabin. If I would return? Probably I would, but with maximum caution regarding overnight staying.
I would stop there anytime to have lunch and to enjoy the excellent traditional dishes they prepare. The area is gorgeous, and you have plenty of things to do and explore.
Here are some ideas:
- visiting Ialomita Cave
- seven trekking routes with different difficulty levels (between 1 hour and 7 hours of duration). You can find these trails here and get inspired.
- touring ski during the winter
- visiting Bolboci Lake
- visiting Babele and the Sphinx area. It is one of the most impressive and famous natural monuments of Romania, must not miss it.
- visiting Scropoasa Lake
Have you ever stayed at Padina mountain cabin? If so, share your experience in a comment below. 🙂