What an extremely pleasant place to stay. Our impressions were good straight from the off. We arrived mid-evening and lo and behold a coach full of guests were waiting in the foyer to check in. Not our day and a bit of a wait so we thought, but we were surprisingly wrong. We received a kindly nod and it was straight to the desk for check in. We handed over our downloaded room upgrade to Daniel at the desk and received a Deluxe Room upgrade. It was brilliant value for money.
Sixth floor facing the courtyard and as tidy a room you could wish to have. Modern, quiet and of medium size with a beautifully tiled bathroom to wash away the travel miles. It was just the job. One slight blemish was the lighting which could have been a lot stronger for shaving and to help my wife in applying the war paint! The bed was big, a little on the firm side but nice and clean. The air con worked a treat which was required for day time temperatures reaching 25-28 degrees. We had a kettle; tea & coffee but bring your own if you prefer your own brands. The cleaner was very obliging and the bed was made up and towels changed for the three days we were there. There were also complimentary bottles of still and gassy water plus a fridge with mini-bar if you wanted it. A hair drier was located in the bathroom. There were eight coat hangers in the wardrobes and sufficient drawers for what we needed. There were around 10 channels on the TV (one English – BBC World) but to be quite honest we weren’t visiting this lovely city to watch TV.
Breakfast was bountiful with lots of stuff to choose from but because it was so busy they often ran out of things. But if you asked the staff they attended to it as quickly as they could. Hot & cold food, various coffees, fruit juices, cereals, breads, fruit were available and of excellent quality.
The hotel itself is beautifully decorated in a modern way. High ceilings, extremely clean with quality furniture all over. Apart from breakfast, we chose to eat elsewhere although the restaurant looked pretty busy when we were there.
• The location of the hotel was very useful for us also as it was just a 5-10 minute walk to the Astoria Hotel where we could pick up the Hop-on Hop-off bus (red & yellow routes). The bus cost 4500 HUF’s (around £13.50 each) each but you get 2 days plus a river cruise. Great for taking photos.
• The airport shuttle can be booked on-line from the airport shuttle site or at the airport. It takes around 35 minutes one way. You will need to ask the hotel receptionist to phone the Shuttle number 24 hours before you depart to book the return. They will give you a departure time. I can’t remember the cost but it was pretty reasonable.
• We paid 6 euros each for use of the Wellness centre situated on the roof of the hotel. A heated stainless steel pool (not big but big enough), Jacuzzi & Sauna plus some sun beds. Can I tell you it was well worth it after miles of walking during the hot day sightseeing around the city.
• The city itself it extremely picturesque with masses of beautifully crafted statues and amazing buildings. Everywhere we visited was clean and everyone we met had a grasp of English and were very friendly and courteous.
• The hotel is about a 20 minute flat walk to the Danube, 15 mins to the main shopping area and 5-7 mins to the nearest tourist site i.e. the synagogue. The nearest Metro station is not very far away either.
• There is a pub about 2 minutes away to the left of the front door of the hotel which served food all day & most of the night. Quite tasty food and the drinks were quite reasonable too.
• Take a meal in the Café Lado also to the left of the hotel. It’s a step back in time and worth it just to see the locals dance to the Ladies Swing Band. The food was pretty decent too.
In summary: I can thoroughly recommend the Continental Zara hotel as a stop-over for anyone visiting the lovely city of Budapest. The staff are very friendly, courteous and obliging.
- 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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