Last year Timothy and I went on a backpacking adventure to Eastern Europe and the Balkan countries, we started our trip with a night in the InterContinental Düsseldorf before boarding the overnight Nightjet onwards via a brief change of trains in Vienna to Budapest.
Budapest is the capital of Hungary and I was amazed by its beauty, you could clearly see the city had a rich history and there is a lot to discover. Out hotel of Choice was the InterContinental Budapest located along the Danube riverbank right next to the famous chain bridge, Széchenyi lánchíd, and just a short walk away from the beautiful, Országház, parliament buildings.
The hotel itself was built during the 1980´s when Hungary tried to attract more foreign tourists by building some western standard luxury hotels, this can still clearly be seen from the hotel exterior being a big concrete block however inside it has been well taken care of and is up to date to modern standards and expectations.
The room was a standard Intercontinental bedroom with 2 double beds (enough room for us both to stretch out at night!). Inside you could find all the usual items, like a wardrobe with slippers and bathrobes, a minibar, complimentary coffee and tea facilities, a television and a phone. At the window there was a small corner with 2 seats and a table on which there was my Ambassador welcome gift, a small fruit basket and a bottle of Hungarian red wine. Along the window you had a big windowsill which I used to put my stuff on. The bathroom itself was relatively small with the typical Agraria amenities, a sink, a toilet and a bath/shower combination, unfortunately with a shower curtain rather than a glass wall. The best part of the entire room was the view, we had a magnificent panoramic view over the Danube River, the chain bridge and the Buda Castle and old town on top of the hill at the opposite bank. As the view was breath-taking both day and night we never closed the curtains of our room so we could wake up and see the beautiful view as soon as we opened our eyes.
As we booked a Club Room we had complimentary access to the wonderful and spacious club-lounge, which is located on the first floor also sporting a panoramic view of the bridge and the castle. The lounge was subdivided into a number of smaller areas, you entered the lounge in an area where there was the welcoming desk, here your check-in and check-out was also handled, far away from the hustle and bustle of the main lobby. Beyond the entrance you had a small areas with some sofas and small coffee tables before you entered the room with the bar, buffet and dining tables. All the way at the end, after walking up some stairs, you had some more seating in a glass wrapped panoramic setting which of course where the first to be taken.
In the morning a breakfast buffet was setup as well as a menu from which you could order some freshly prepared items. In the afternoon you could enjoy the afternoon tea with some sandwiches and cakes and in the evening you had the open bar with a number of could food items on the buffet while you could order some hot canapes to be delivered to your table. The hot canapes where nicely presented in an étagère, but where relatively small and because you needed to ask the staff for them you weren’t as inclined to order more. It was remarkable that in this lounge there was a lot of staff present serving you , whenever you got up to get something they would do it for you, while this ensured you had the best possible presentation of drinks and food items it did make you feel uneasy at consuming too much as this might be frowned upon.
The Spa, Pool and Fitness
The spa, pool and fitness area was located on the first floor, next to the lounge. You had the usual offer of massages and beauty treatments available (at extra cost) as well as a fully equipped fitness area and an inside pool. The inside pool was really inside inside, there were no windows allowing natural light to enter the room, making it feel like you where swimming in a bunker. But the pool was nicely decorated with some nice loungers alongside to relax, during our entire stay we almost always had the pool for ourselves as there where not much guests using it.
I will definably visit Budapest again in the future, most likely combined with exploring a bit more of the rest of Hungary. I also liked the Intercontinental in Budapest and will probably stay there again next time I’m in town.