Here you will not find the dandy Ralph Fiennes and the ever determined to please Zero as this is of course NOT The Grand Hotel Budapest however it is A grand hotel IN Budapest. Mr. ESLT and I have booked and subsequently had to cancel our visit to Budapest and this hotel specifically on a number of occasions for various reasons. Therefore, when it was confirmed that we were staying here for 3 nights for our fourth wedding anniversary in June 2015 I could not been happier. Trusty Tripadvisor was consulted to triple check that this was the right hotel. With over 3,000 (from 3,200) Very Good and Good reviews and the fact that at the time of booking it was #1 Hotel in Budapest it wasn’t possible that so many people could be wrong(?).
The Palazzo Zichy is, in a word, awesome. From the very polite and professional staff at check in all the way through to check out. The exterior of the hotel is nothing to write home about. Yes, is located in an old Hungarian building which is beautiful in itself but nothing to suggest the fantastic decor which welcomes you inside. The foyer area is grand and welcoming yet modern and large with the Reception desk taking pride of place in the middle. To the left of the reception desk is a comfortable looking sitting area, perfect for chilling out in with a book. To the right of the reception desk is another seating area which between 10am and 5pm offers free hot drinks, bottled water and salty snacks that you can help yourself to whenever you like. After 5pm this area becomes the cocktail lounge. At 1,500huf (around £3.40) each the Mimosas were my favorite and I’ll admit to having more than one (hic!).
We stayed in room 109 which was situated on the 1st floor of the building and offered us a great view of the square below. In the square there is a Bistro and a bar, both of which have outside seating areas. We could not hear a murmur from either in our room – great sound proofing. The modern decor and colour scheme is continued through from the foyer and we were faced with a lovely superking bed which was extremely comfortable. The room also boasted air conditioning which was very welcome as we stayed over 3 very sticky, humid nights. Black out curtains also hang from the large window which really helped on the mornings we decided to treat ourselves to a lie in. There is minibar, which granted we didn’t use very much however the prices are very reasonable prices, but then again Budapest isn’t a very expensive city. Mr ESLT had also organised a bottle of champagne and a bouquet of flowers for me as it was our anniversary (which were both beautiful – thank you) and the hotel give us a complimentary fruit plate (again – thank you).
The bathroom is quite dark but it has a bath which is rare in Europe, especially mainland Europe. And even though I didn’t use the bath once whilst there (I promise I showered instead) it felt like a novelty having one. Again, large and modern and in complete keeping with the rest of the hotel. Great light above the vanity mirror which was fantastic for putting my make up on. Also my hair is ridiculously think and where possible I always like to take my super powerful hairdryer. However, on European city breaks where we only take carry ons this isn’t usually possible and that was the case this time. However, the hairdryer in the bathroom was great so probably no need to pack yours if you were thinking of doing so.
The Palazzo Zichy is located on the Pest side of the Danube River. We jumped in a taxi from the airport which cost approx. 7000 huf (around £16). It is located in a residential area with plenty of bars and restaurants on the doorstep which sell local beers and cuisine for, compared to Western European cities, crazy prices. We were having 2 course meals and 2 beers each for less than £25. It is around a 30 minute walk (2 km) to the city centre where we can find shops galore and many chain restaurants. To get to the river front and the closest bridge that links Buda to Pest (Liberty Bridge) it will take you about 15 minutes (1.3 km) on foot. Granted it’s not slap back in the city centre but it is a pleasant walk to it if you are able.
Breakfast is included in the nightly rate and served until 10am on weekdays and 10.30am at weekends. Mr ESLT and I aren’t really morning people (not at all really) so only managed to drag our backsides out of bed on one of the mornings we were there. I MUST point out that was NOT because of the variety, quality or quantity of the food. It is simply because we love to sleep! Regardless, the morning we did manage breakfast it was fantastic. Plenty of hot options – eggs, bacon, beans etc. cut meats, cheeses, pastries, fruit. Together with juices, teas, coffees you can even have a glass of champagne with your breakfast if you want. I’m 100% there is something served each and every day which would appeal to everyone. All served under the beautiful glass roof which allows heaps of natural light in. If you are a morning/breakfast person I imagine this would be your idea of heaven.
I loved this hotel – great choice Mr ESLT. As with most things in Budapest accommodation is cheap with this four star beautiful hotel setting us back a mere £60(ish) per night which compared to other European hotels of this standard is phenomenal. If this hotel was in London for example I’m sure the price tag would be at least double. There were additional services this hotel offers that we just didn’t need or have the time to use i.e. a gym, DVD library etc. I would love to stay here again if I ever return to Budapest which I hope to do one day as I do not feel that we even scratched the service of what this city has to offer. Everything about this hotel was fantastic without being too ‘flashy’ and will be recommending it to all friends who are visiting this lovely city.