I just got home from my weekend trip to Budapest, where my partner and I had booked a two night stay at the Boscolo. As it was his birthday weekend, we splurged on a Junior Suite. The room was amazing, we loved the bathroom, it was like having a private spa. The king-sized bed was pretty comfortable. Part of my reason booking the Boscolo was the room size and ambiance, along with having a Nespresso machine in the room since we are both coffee addicts and don't eat breakfast. When we arrived, the coffee capsules in the room were all decaf, except one, which was USED and put back in the box. Gross. No problem, we called down for more, and extra feather pillows for the bed. I waited by the door, since my partner was sleeping and didn't want the staff to wake him. When the two staff arrived, I mentioned that they should be quiet- I went down to the lobby to speak to the concierge about dinner reservations. Well, they slammed the door, talked to each other really loud in the room, and brought powdered coffee instead of capsules and foam pillows. Whatever. The concierge was very helpful, listened to my food preferences and got me a table in an amazing booked out restaurant. I ordered more coffee and feathered pillows and they brought me the right stuff. So far so good...we took a nap, drank coffee and went to a fabulous dinner. Here's where the problem started...
We decided to explore the hotel after dinner and wound up in the "cigar bar" which due to the smoking laws is not called that anymore despite the signs. Sitting at the bar, the only alcohol bottles visible was an impressive collection of single malt whiskeys. It took 10 minutes before the staff noticed we were there and we were not offered menus. Since it looked like a whiskey bar,I ordered two of my favorite ones. When we got the bill I almost died. I have drunk the same whiskey in London, New York City and Dubai. I have never paid 20 euros for one glass of a 10 year old. This is normal single malt. Nothing special. I said something and he explained that single malts have a higher taxation. I asked then why is the bar only stocked with single malts? It invites you to drink them. After asking to see the menu, everything else, cocktails etc. was priced ok for a hotel bar, but the single malts were outrageous. As a former bar owner, I know exactly how a bar is run. You do not stock 20 single malts and put them in eyesight, and then pretend you're clueless when the customer is shocked how much one is. They should change this immediately. Cigars and whiskey I get. But when there are no cigars in sight and there is a higher taxation on single malts, give a customer a break. It's bad.
Turn Down Service: Was a joke. Housekeeping didn't even rinse out our coffee cups, let alone replace them. The room didn't look any different except a tiny corner of the duvet was flipped and our slippers were placed near the bed.
In Room Movies: We came back to our room around midnight and wanted to watch the new Tim Burton. The tv produced an error message, said to notify staff which we did. We also asked that they send up two clean coffee mugs...Bottom line the guy was very friendly but couldn't fix the problem. So no movie. Housekeeping showed up very annoyed and produced 6 Nespresso capsules! No clean coffee cups. Whatever. We were actually a little amused having two staff members in our room with us in pj's and I rinsed the coffee mugs out.
When we got back to our room after a wonderful day and dinner around midnight the next day, I noticed that the towels we had used had not been replaced, (so one towel left for 2 people) the dirty washcloth was still there, the water glasses had not been replaced so we had to drink out of the bottle, the coffee cups had lipstick stains still on them (wasn't my color!) and the bed wasn't properly made up, it was missing a sheet and the blanket was balled up under the nightstand. Tried to rent the movie again. Got error message.
So another midnight call to the front desk, another visit by charming TV guy carrying an armload of towels and NESPRESSO capsules instead of coffee cups...(by the time we left we had at least 20 capsules and no clean coffee cups) but he couldn't fix the problem. So I explained the situation to the front desk, he said he would comp breakfast at the New York Cafe downstairs the next morning.
Next morning, slept in decided to go to the spa. Called the spa and asked if the small pool was full (it was) asked if we should bring room towels she said she had towels for us. She was very nice and called us back when the pool was empty around 11:30. We went down in our robes using the spa elevator...asked for towels. She said she was out, but in 10 minutes there would be more. We went swimming, went to the sauna, asked for towels, no towels. 10 minutes. (30 minutes after I asked for one) You can't be soaking wet and cold, trying to relax in the quiet room so I said, listen you need to get us towels now. She produced one towel. We decided to back to the room, the spa elevator didn't work. So soaking wet in our robes we had to march through the lobby in front of everyone.
Checking out- We asked if we could get our comped meal before our taxi came, the concierge said breakfast was over. I said the night staff said The New York Cafe, and they are still serving food so what's the problem? Apparently they are not affiliated with the New York Cafe after 11 am. So no food. After listing the problems that we had over 3 days with NORMAL, MUNDANE, services that hotels (especially 5 star ones) should provide, and that not running smoothly, especially at over 300 euros a night, he comped us a free ride to the airport and our one mini bar scotch and beer. Uh-huh.
So we decided, heck, we have an hour and 40 minutes until our taxi, let's eat there anyway, it's pretty. Yes, it's pretty. But they don't care. We had excellent service in Budapest. Everywhere else. We explained to the Maitre that we had our taxi coming and if he could make sure we get faster service. It took him 10 minutes to get us the menus. Another 10 minutes before someone came to take our order. We don't mind slower service when we have time. But we specifically told them that our taxi was coming. We started ordering. And then he shook his head. "Maybe you get your food." What??! We still had an hour an 20 min. And he's saying maybe? He didn't tell us yes or no, he said "maybe". We were going to shell out for a 70 euro lunch and maybe we would get it. He didn't even offer alternative quicker dishes. Budapest has great food. We ate at amazing restaurants. We left this one. I hate snobs, I hate young waiters serving mediocre food in a pretty place ripping off tourists and then being snotty on top of it.
Beautiful hotel. If they can get their housekeeping up to speed, it could be 5 star. It looks like one, but the service is not.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Experience 5-star luxury when staying in the gorgeous Boscolo Budapest, Autograph Collection. Our contemporary hotel is one of the most grand luxury hotels in Budapest, Hungary. It offers proximity to some of the Budapest area' best attractions, including Chain Bridge, Great Synagogue, and Vaci Utca. We invite you to stay with us and visit our serene indoor pool, state-of-the-art fitness center, full service spa, and impeccable restaurants during your visit to Budapest. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Boscolo Budapest, Autograph Collection Hotel Budapest
- Hotel Boscolo New York Palace
- New York Palace Budapest