Hotel Palazzo Zichy
Lorinc Pap ter 2
Budapest 1088, Hungary
Not so Hot.
Traveling solo in Budapest, I was looking for a hotel that would raise the bar in terms of customer service; so I found Hotel Palazzo Zichy from all glowing reviews on Trip Advisor. These reviews made me think, could I possibly have the best hotel stay experience after a long time? Well, keep reading to find out.
Hotel Palazzo Zichy is not exactly your city center located hotel. It's a hidden one in the quiet streets of Pest. So how do we get here? Simply enough, do you want to struggle with your luggage and do hoppadie-hop-hop from bus switch to metro then switch to on-feet walking to get to this place? I sure did not. I arranged an airport shuttle (round trip - 2500 forints = $25.00 USD).
After the shuttle dropped me off to the hotel turn-after-turns, I almost felt like I was clueless in this jigsaw puzzle. I was hopeful that upon my arrival, I would feel ease and comfort; not that I was expecting a bottle of champagne from this place, but I was just thinking of relaxation and a quick check-in; which it was. By the way, the lobby is so beautiful. The receptionist who helped me with my check-in was fluent in English and she assigned the room quickly. It was short and quick. No worries.
Stepping forward to walk towards the elevator to reach my room on the 3rd floor. The elevator itself is not spacious to hold more than two people in my opinion. It will surely hold more bodies, but be sure to hold your breath (suffocation warning) if you can. It gets crammed and you don't want to exude your warm minty breath on anyone's neck or face. Okay, well…out the elevator, into the room!
Single bed, superior room - looked good on first impression. The window was large and high ceiling makes the room feel more spacious. Close the curtains if you wish to feel darkness. Why the rooms are not well lit is beyond me. I'm a young guy, I can see (everything), and even by my standards it didn't feel the room was well lit - perhaps the hotel wants to go fully green.
The bathroom has a somewhat Peek-A-Boo glass doors (shower and main door). I don't have a problem with this, but I can sense that others would find this an issue. If privacy in your bathroom is your concern, then maybe you should think about another hotel.
I was tired, I wanted food, and did not want to go out even though there are restaurants less than 2 minutes in front of the hotel. I ordered room service - I always do to test out hotels and how they behave with room service. I was so hungry from a long flight, I was thinking to try this "Fruit Soup" for appetizer, and for the main dish I went with Grilled chicken and Veggies. The "Fruit Soup" (Hungarian delight) was actually quite good. The grilled Chicken - no, no, no! It was too salty for my taste. Now, I am not trying to be your doctor, but there is no indication of how much salt this dish has, and the menu won't tell you that it’s a salty dish. As for the veggies, it just wasn't warm enough - maybe my Grilled Veggies on the side was microwaved (gosh, I hope not) on low setting. Who knows? Whatever the case may be, it was not delish.
The second night, I ordered in, again (on purpose)! This time the food (another dish) was warmer, but not warm enough. Fail! I decided that this is a good test to know. I did make it a point to tell the receptionist about this when I checked-out after three nights of my stay, and the receptionist told me that room-service isn't their specialty, and most get food from the corner across the hotel. Why bother having a menu in the room then? Pointless.
The breakfast - Major fail. They won't charge you if you order this to be served in-room. Nice to know! The Problem is, it is not inclusive of things you could get downstairs at the breakfast room. They gave me stuff that I never wanted and I did not circle these items on the in-room breakfast card. On the flip side, items were excluded that I could have had. They just don't ask - they rely on you to tell them (even then they will likely mess it up).
There was this guy named Bruno - big shout out to him. He works in the breakfast room attending all the guests. He's friendly and approachable, and will do his best to make you comfortable.
Shower. It was a struggle for me to see which direction the hot water knob works. I kept adjusting but didn't find it hot enough, but took me two days to get to the temperature I wanted. I'll give this hotel benefit of the doubt about this - maybe I just didn't get it right away. It was fine. Showerhead is good - I've seen better though. I want to make a mention of the soap they have for use; it's terribly dry. It leaves a dusty residue if you use it to wash your hands. Maybe my skin is sensitive, but not a good soap. Bring your own please.
The bed is comfortable. It's simple enough. Not too soft that you will plunge right in. You'll get a good night sleep. The bed sheets are fresh.
Did not care for the mini-bar. They have complimentary snacks and drinks available in the room next to the lobby. It's a nice touch! It's only till 5pm though - makes sense right? Can you imagine if they have this 24 hours a day, they would run out of things quickly. Most people go out during the day to sightsee any way.
This hotel has a gym - I bet it is smaller than your living room. Not a big deal if you’re alone and want to workout your body in this tiny space. If you have company, then yes, you're going to be part of a sweatshop with some very nice sweaty-body fragrance to exchange.
Wi-Fi is good for the most part. It does get choppy on heavy usage, but not a problem at all otherwise.
The location: It's far. Let's not lie. You want to walk, you can. It's 15-20 minutes (put on your speedy Gonzales hat) depending on how fast you move to the main road towards "Astoria", then another 10-15 minutes from Astoria station to Elizabeth Bridge and Danube. It's a straight walk, and lots of constructions going on - this may slow you down. Can you take public transport? You can, go for it, but it still isn't that ideal for those looking for a 'perfect location'. I did not mind the location for the most part, but I did care to think of my well being and safety late nights. It can get eerily quiet around corners.
There was this one gentleman at the reception with somewhat long-curled hair; he seemed to be bothered when I questioned him how to get around. His tone of voice rose the second time around when I tried to clarify his sense of direction, which was not quite clear to me. Pretty rude in my opinion. I mention this because I keep reading how great and ideal all the workers are at this hotel. It's Not "That" Perfect.
All in all, I think this hotel is beautiful looking inside, and it is definitely clean, which is such a huge plus and a relief. Other than that, it is quite overrated when you take into other factors like room service, location, its small perks, and how you are treated ultimately. Remember, you're paying for the whole package, and service at your fingertips is just one piece of what you will be paying for. Does this hotel offer that? You can decide, but based on my experience and feedback, I am going with strictly three stars for this hotel. It's expensive compared to other hotels, and needs a lot of improvements.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.