Budapest hotel suggestions?

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Feb 20th, 2004, 06:39 AM
  #1
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Budapest hotel suggestions?

I am looking for a nice, upscale hotel in Budapest for 4 nights in March. I will be traveling there with my husband and my sister, and we are in our mid-20's. It will be the first time in Budapest for all of us, and we are interested in all the general sights, the baths, good restaurants, the music and arts scene, and fun nightlife.

I have been looking at several different hotels, including:
Le Meridien Budapest
Intercontinental
Art Otel
Danubius Grand Hotel Margitsziget
Danubius Hotel Gellert

I would love to hear from anyone that's stayed at any of the above, or has other suggestions of places to check out. We're not too worried about price, but a good location (ideas on where is best to stay?) is a must. We're open to both chain hotels and boutique hotels. Any help is appreciated!
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Feb 20th, 2004, 06:48 AM
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I loved our stay at the Intercontinental. It's a large hotel, but the service was remarkably personal. Our room had a view of the Danube and the sight of Budapest's bridges lit up at night made me want to never leave the room. Just gorgeous! I did occasionally go out, though, and found that I was within easy walking distance of restaurants and the main shopping area in Pest.
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Feb 20th, 2004, 07:06 AM
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that sounds wonderful.....did you have to request a view of the river? also, would you recommend staying on the Pest side regardless of the hotel?
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Feb 20th, 2004, 07:50 AM
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Perhaps I shouldn't be posting as you have listed specific hotels you're interested in, but we liked our hotel in Budapest so much I will go ahead and suggest it anyway. It may not be the luxury sort you are seeking, but we found it perfect for our needs.

Hotel Victoria ([email protected])is on the Buda side just across the street from the Danube. Each room has a huge picture window, the full width of the room and almost floor to ceiling, facing the river, with fantastic views of the beautiful parliament buildings on the left and the chain bridge on the right.

We felt it was well located for sightseeing (walking distance from a metro station, where we also caught a train to Szentendre). The included breakfast was good, the staff friendly and most helpful (particularly Gabriella). The room was reasonably sized, had a good bathroom and lots of closet space.

There were several restaurants closeby, including a very good French restaurant, where we ate outside under the stars, while listening to a small group play jazz.

I hope I haven't wasted your time with my post, but we absolutely loved this hotel. We also fell in love with Budapest!
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Feb 20th, 2004, 12:03 PM
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Meg: Just got back in November from the Castle Hill Hilton in Budapest and loved it!

The view from the hill looking at the Danube and the lit-up Parliamnet buildings and bridges was spectacular.

We loved everything about the hotel and it was by far the best bargain of our entire European trip - $235 for a large river view room on the Executive floor with free food and drink (including alcohol) all day, a free city tour which was great and a free wine tasting in the ancient wine cellar beneath the hotel property.

The bathroom had a marble tub with all the amenities and a separate shower, the staff was wonderful and really went the extra mile - I did not have high expectations for this hotel and was very impressed.

We visited friends at the Intercontinental which was also nice but didn't, to me at least, have the drop-dead gorgeous view of the Hilton.
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Feb 20th, 2004, 01:04 PM
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gualalalisa, not to take focus off of meg's request, but how was your weather in November in Budapest?
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Feb 20th, 2004, 01:20 PM
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Clifton: We were there at the start of the month and it was a tad chilly (around 50F) during the day and overcast.

It never rained and the weather was not uncomfortably cold because we always do so much walking on vacation. We wore jeans, sweaters and our L.L. Bean jackets. The day we took the city tour they had just opened the outdoor ice rink in the park for the season.

After reading all the posts here on the horrible European heat wave of just a few months before, I was kind of glad that the weather was a little on the cold side and not too hot!
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Feb 20th, 2004, 01:23 PM
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We were in Budapest in November 2002 and rain ond day, then had wonderful weather. One day on a walk from the Gellart baths to the castle it was so warm my wife and I had to take off our coats and tie them around us.
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Feb 20th, 2004, 02:04 PM
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Thanks to both of you. Our trip got bumped from Sept/early Oct for business reasons and the remaining choices were August or Late Oct/early Nov. We're staying in Budapest and then training into Romania afterwards (few A/C hotels there, so Nov wins - I don't like the heat either). On the upside, there's Transylvania for Halloween.
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Feb 20th, 2004, 02:12 PM
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Meg,
Yes, I requested a room with a Danube view when I booked the room. I wouldn't necessarily recommend staying in Pest. I think there are some great hotels on the Buda side, too. Wherever you stay, getting across the Danube is easy, so you can move from one side to the other pretty quickly.
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Feb 20th, 2004, 03:25 PM
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thanks to everyone for the suggestions! i will definitely look at the hotel victoria and castle hill hilton, they sound great as well....the list i posted in my original message was just what i started with, but i am definitely open to other suggestions...

one further question: it sounds from the responses i've gotten so far that it does not matter very much whether you stay on the buda side or the pest side, as long as you're near the river and a metro station....is that pretty accurate?
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Feb 21st, 2004, 07:02 AM
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Rod
 
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Everyone has their preferences, but my first choice would be the Kempinski because of its quality and location. The Meridien is next door, and I understand of similar quality although I've not stayed there. Neither has a "great" view.

The Marriott is popular with many, and all rooms have a river view, the only large hotel of which that can be said, I believe.

The Hilton in the castle district is also fine, but other than for the immediate area, is not so convenient.

I regard the Pest side as more convenient, in part because most of what appeals to me is situated there, although most thermal baths are on the Buda side. For public transportation access, the Kempinski and Meridien are probably best-sited -- steps from the one metro station with all three lines, and from a tram line. However, none of the hotels you mentioned, save that on Margitsziget, is more than 10-15 minutes from any of the others.
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Feb 21st, 2004, 07:39 AM
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The Hilton has an amazing location right in the middle of the Castle district.It is built right into some of the ruins. I would recommend Karpatia for dinner. It is a beautiful restaurant with good food. Bagolyvar has very good food but not as much atmosphere.Don't miss pastries or lunch at Gerbaud.Budapest is a wonderful city.
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Feb 21st, 2004, 10:36 AM
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I would also recommend Victoria - but go for higher up rooms for best view. But it is not 5 star. Room quality is good and not dissimilar to an OK Intercon and very good size - and fantastic huge windows as noted above, but bathroom needed redoing - serviceable but very dated with dodgy shower door (a la 70s DIY) and no bath. No facilities either although receptionist was excellent, very friendly without in any way being sycophantic. Meridien is very new and looks great but as said above, no view. Art Otel is 50 metres away from Victoria. No to Danubius - not convenient location, and Gellert has some OK rooms and some real crap - it is desperately waiting for refurbishment -although some will say it has charm.
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Feb 21st, 2004, 05:00 PM
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The Gellert has a great location but is tired. I would not recommend it. The Thermal and Grand on Margitsziet are wonderful hotels with spa packages included. They are located on an island in the middle of the Danube. It is a perfect place to jog and enjoy the scenery but not for any night life.
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Feb 21st, 2004, 05:16 PM
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Meg
We stayed at the Hilton and enjoyed it very much. We walked down the hill for public trans. or just to walk. And , of course, really traipsed the Buda side. The hotel is very accommodating - getting you a taxi,etc. When we were leaving for the train station, I asked approx. how much the taxi would be and the clerk said "not approx., it WILL be so much." All that said, we would stay on the Pest side next time. Enjoy, CJ
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Feb 21st, 2004, 05:42 PM
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I echo what some others here say about the Gellert -- an interesting place to pop in and look around, but a dreary place to stay.

We really enjoyed our stay at the Kempinski. We did an opera package through them that included tickets, transporation and dinner. Have fun!
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Feb 22nd, 2004, 12:01 AM
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Another good word for the Hilton. Beautiful setting and views, and as sealady mentioned, it is built around some cool ruins. Not your "run of the mill" Hilton!
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Feb 25th, 2004, 07:50 PM
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We loved the Kempinski.
 
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