A short drive from Gura Humorului, right near Voronet Monastery, Casa Elena is set in well-tended grounds with panoramic views of the Bucovina hillscape. Reckoned to offer the best pensiune-style accommodations in the region (famous for having hosted three former presidents, including Iliescu, since it opened in 1999), the complex comprises five different "villas," each featuring a variety of rooms in different configurations. A stay here is pleasant enough, although -- as with the nearby Best Western -- you may find it packed out with tour groups, and the guest rooms are unspectacular, done out in a countrified approximation of modest luxury with strange color schemes and cheap wood furniture. Traditional touches have been used almost perfunctorily to develop some sort of aesthetic in the numerous public spaces (it's all built to quite a convoluted plan), but it's the convenience of the location rather than the design of the place that should draw you here. Be warned that the hot-water supply is inconsistent, and if you dine in one of the restaurants, you may find some of your choices unavailable. But if you succumb to the beauty of the surrounding lush landscape, you should soon forget its shortcomings.
- © Frommer's 2013