My husband and I have just returned from a 5 day/4 night stay at the Zara Continental Hotel in Budapest.
Whilst the hotel has been beautifully renovated, and you see the before and after pictures, it appears on the surface to be well-appointed, we felt that there were a few faults that need highlighting.
Firstly, the bedrooms were beautifully furnished. Fault 1: as big as a postage stamp. Neither myself or my husband are very tall in height or width, yet we had issues with walking around the bed, and moving around the room. To say there was any free floor space, is a understatement. The wardrobe could barely hold any clothes, and there was no other storage space avaiable. Therefore, we left 2 suitcases, one on the luggage rack and one under the dressing table unpacked for the duration of our stay. This made walking out of either side of the bed quite difficult. I bruised my legs several times from knocking myself on the jutting out corners of the bed.
Again the bathroom was so tiny - that you felt suffocated if you stayed in there too long. A shower cubicle - no complaints here - though I did flood the bathroom the 1st day. The toilet directly faced the shower and there was no room around the sink area to put our toiletry bags - let alone empty the contents out.
Having done may city trips in the past, you are always fore-warned about small hotel rooms in Paris, NYC, Rome..... and we were not expecting this at at 4 star hotel.
Secondly, the breakfast. On the first day we went for breakfast, and waited 15 minutes to find a clean and empty table - clean I emphasize here. The waiters in the breakfast lounge never appeared to clear the tables - either when a table was vacation by hotel guests or removed dirty plates (when you did manage to find a table). By the time we found a table, we had to wait a further 15 minutes to get the table cleared despite repeatidly asking a waiter to do this, and then had to ask several waiters to wipe the table clean or provide us with clean crockery to eat with. This issue continued throughout our stay.
The breakfast buffet was of wide-variety but everytime they came to replenish the stock - such as fresh fruit platters - it appeared that everyone in the dining room was ready to pounce to get the food!!! There usually was a large queue at the 2 coffee/water machines which was a bit annoying too.
Thirdly, we had booked a romatic dinner at the Citadella one evening, and asked the hotel to order us a taxi. We asked how much this would be and when we got a price, it differed between everyone. Several people were asked but no-one knew. The doorman asked the taxi, and then told us the price, by the time, we got into the taxi, the price changed again. The journey there ended up being triple the amount of what we paid when we took a taxis back to the hotel after dinner. This was later reported to the hotel management but they just shrugged their shoulders.
The hotel had a well-apointed, although small spa area, indoor and outdoor (roof) pools, and gym. Towels were provided for guests. We used these facilities quite frequently.
We found the hotel in a good location - though you had to walk 10 minutes or so, once you got your bearings to the nearest metro station - and we walked to most places quite easily. The hotel was very quite - no late night traffic driving past the hotel at all hours - though our room faced an inner courtyard.
Maybe they should have designed the dining room better as they obviously couldn't cope when the hotel was full and maybe they should have designed that the bedroom was larger. The bedroom was only fit for sleeping in and if we came back to relax after a day sight-seeing before going back out to dinner, we felt it wasn't very relaxing as due to lack of space and how warm it always was.
As I said over all the hotel is lovely but these small glitches spoilt some part of an otherwise thoroughly enjoyable stay at the hotel. I certainly wouldn't recommend the hotel to someone who suffers from claustraphobia.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Continental Hotel Budapest 4* Superior symbolizes the past and future, the traditional Hungarian hospitality and refinement of detail and personal service of our age. The building reflects the elements of the art nouveau style and the modern unique design characterizing ZeinaHotels, in the heart of Budapest. The 4 star superior, 272 room hotel - offering standard, deluxe and executive rooms plus suites - will revive the spirit of the legendary accommodation keeping its name and historical facade. ... more less
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