It seems that on the site of the present hotel once had stood the Ivanciu Gherasi Inn which was replaced in 1850 by a first hotel of Niculae Neculescu, a rich landlord from Ramnicu Sarat.
It was erected in two years, between 1912 and 1914 after the drawings of the architect Theophile Bradeau who used a classic style, richly decorated. It is not the first building made of reinforced concrete as the travel guides and local blogs described it. The hotel is just the second building from Romania of this type.
After a while, between 1935 and 1937 the architect Duiliu Marcu modernized and changed the hotel. Its facade was marked by 3-story simple arches.
It was affected by the 1940 earthquake but mostly by the English-American bombardments of 1944 when it was severely damaged by the fire, all its windows been smashed by the blasts of the bombs.
It was renovated in the communist time.
Richard Nixon when he was just a senator, Herbert von Karajan or the Romanian inventor Henri Coanda are among the famous clients of this hotel.
The hotel was the main setting of the book Athene Palace written by the American journalist Rosie Waldeck. The book speaks about the events which took place in 1941 and 1942: the consequences of the French capitulation, the loosing of different Romanian territories in favor of its neighborhoods, the abdication of Carol II or about the Romanian-Fascist movement.
The historical events described in the book had been seen by the famous photographer Margaret Bourke-White while she stayed in Bucharest at Athenee Palace Hotel. She is best known as the first foreign photographer permitted to take pictures of Soviet Industry and as the first female war correspondent.
Address: 1-3 Episcopiei Street