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Laura Mar 24th, 2002 04:46 PM

GEllert Hotel, Budapest, Hungary?
Has anyone stayed here recently? We just booked here for August and now I'm reading some of the posts last year that are negative--rooms with old, outdated decor, breakfasts that aren't good, staff who are not very nice...!!! Yikes!! For 150 US/night? Please say it isn't so!

Laura Mar 24th, 2002 04:49 PM

sorry about the double post--I made a mistake on the first one and thought I had caught it in time--guess not! Not 1500/night US only (?) 150!!

Leslie Mar 24th, 2002 06:58 PM

Laura, I returned from Budapest this evening. I stayed at the Kalmar B&B which is directly behind the Gellert Hotel, and has a view of the Gellert pools and Liberty Bridge. I was told yesterday that the Danubius Group, which owns the Gellert Hotel and other hotels in Hungary is laying off 7-10% of its workforce within the next couple of weeks. I don't know if that should be a concern or not. I only walked into the lobby of the hotel and bought a Budapest Card in the gift shop. I can't speak for the quality of the hotel, but it looks like an outdated behemoth when compared to the modern hotels like the Intercontinental, Marriott, and Hilton. But, I do understand that the Gellert Hotel has old world charm, but the rooms are on the small side. Try to get a room with a view of the Danube River. The thermal baths and pools are not owned by the Gellert Hotel, but are owned by the City of Budapest, however, you have unlimited free use if you are a guest at the hotel, otherwise, the cost is about $7 per day. All of the thermal baths in Budapest are owned by the City of Budapest.<BR><BR>If price is a concern, you might check out the Kalmar B&B where I stayed. I had a wonderful room with a view of the Gellert pools. You can find information on the Kalmar at the website

mark Mar 24th, 2002 09:34 PM

I stayed at the Gellert this past December. The rooms I stayed in were well appointed. Yes, there are still touches of the Joesph Stalin design asthetic but I found it added to the Gellert's charm. The rooms there are in no way like the boutique hotels here in NYC. Could the Gellert use an update - yes. But then you might as well put a McDonalds in also. The rooms I stayed in had great views of the Danube. The breakfast buffet has improved considerably. I never had dinner at the hotel - just didn't seem the right thing to do. If your looking for familiar creature comforts then go with the InterContinental or Marriot. Staying at the Gellert added a real charm to my visits to Budapest. My next visit I'm going to try and rent an apartment.

Rae Mar 26th, 2002 10:56 AM

We stayed at the Gellert and had dinner there too. It was delicious, really, we had the Hungarian dishes. Strolling musicians were wonderful, and the view of the river from the outdoor dining room was just beautiful. I don't know why Mark didnt think it would be the right thing to do. It was convenient, delicious, romantic and authentic, what else?

kurt Apr 16th, 2002 05:45 AM

Stayed at the Hotel Gellert for 5 days in Sept 2000 on my first trip to Budapest. I'm a hotel "junkie." I like history, I like to be able to look out the window and see activity and I like "taking the waters." <BR>The Gellert has it all. We ate both in the "formal" dining room and the pub restaurant, and bought afternoon cakes in the cafe. I can say without hesitation that it was the best food I've ever eaten in Europe.<BR>(The breakfast buffet had some of the most interesting combinations of food I've ever seen at breakfast - Hungarian cuisine doesn't get much recognition here, but it has a wonderful history.)<BR>I booked a Danube view room directly from the hotel via e-mail. It was on the left side of the hotel - from the large balcony we could see the steep "hill" from which the hotel is named, across the river towards the Parliament buildings, and directly in front of the hotel the "Liberty Bridge." It was wonderful - of course the weather helped too!<BR>The room was what I would call "European solid." Not flashy, but very comfortable. The baths are wonderful - the real mineral baths are not co-ed - one for men, one for women, but true works of art - circa 1910's. A large outdoor pool area with waves is mixed, as is an indoor pool.<BR>If you are looking for the same hotel experience as you would find in any large US city - stay at the Hiltons, etc.etc. But if you are looking for a taste of European culture in a country that has seen so much history - do not hesitate going to the Gellert!<BR>(I'm planning on returning there in October.) <BR>

Bill DeSousa Apr 17th, 2002 11:21 AM

Hello Laura<BR><BR>I was just in Budapest and visited the Gellert. I was shocked! Dreary, dismal, unattractive rooms, sour staff and it even looked 'tired.' The rooms we looked at in the refurbished area were even uglier than the old rooms and the hallways looked like a morgue!<BR><BR>I'd cancel and, instead, book at the SUMPTUOUS Le Meridien Budapest. I stayed here and was dazzled! It's a magnificent hotel with impeccable service right in the heart of everything! You won't regret it, but you will if you stay at the Gellert (we met with the GM who said they are planning a $20 million renovation. I don't know if even that amount will put things right here!<BR><BR>All the best and make sure to get a Budapest Card!<BR>Bill

Ron Apr 17th, 2002 11:58 AM

Stayed at the Gellert last year for 5 nites. If you are looking for a resort type hotel ala USA, do not go. If you want a true local experience, it is a great Hotel. The rooms are just'OK', but clean, and the desk staff assisted us in several local tours and directions. The food was well above average (had one dinner, one lunch there). The outside pool area is huge and a lot of fun (stand at the far end and you'll have a wonderful view and photo! The spa/baths are really unique. They are old, and you will find many locals using them (the folks that work at the baths barely speak English). This really helped make the Hotel a memorable stay. Disney has not yet taken over Prague. Again, if when traveling you prefer 'American' style luxury, stay elsewhere. But if you enjoy something different, something honestly native, in a great location, and a hotel that epitomizes Prague, stay at the Gellert.

Ron Apr 17th, 2002 12:02 PM

Obviously I have Prague on my mind. I meant Budapest.<BR>Thanks

David Apr 17th, 2002 09:57 PM

Visited Budapest in Jan 2002. Basically concur with posts above about the Gellert. If you are looking for an American Hotel, this is not the place. However, if you want more of the local flavor this is the hotel. Make sure you visit the Gellert baths. If homesick for America, you can visit the Mariott across the Danube (probably one of the most hideous hotels on the outside). They do have a remarkable desert buffet in mid-afternoon. You will love Budapest.

Joe May 16th, 2002 07:23 PM

Laura:<BR>I stayed there last summer and it was very nice. One problem, not all the rooms are airconditioned. We were lucky, our room was facing the mountain and there was a constant breeze. The breakfast was excelent and plentyfull. The thermal bath is a must. Enjoy and don't worry.

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