We jetted off to Budapest Hungary for the first time feeling rather festive and excited to visit a new country, knowing we were staying at the Palazzo Zichy Hotel.
A 40 minute taxi ride from the airport brought us outside the hotel that we found tucked away in a quiet square opposite an elegant little church.
We were greeted with a beautiful lobby entrance with chandeliers dark marble looking floor and high airy ceilings along with big welcoming smiles from the staff.
Our arrival was relatively early and we didn’t expect our room to be ready for us as check in was a few hours later. However the staff bent over backwards to try and get our room ready as quickly as possible and offered us tea and coffee. Within 10 minutes true to their word, our room was sorted!
The room itself was bright and spacious with a huge TV, a very comfortable bed, a large shower area and a time wasting view out the window of the square below where passers by stopped in the nearby cafes for a beer or some mulled wine. A man was selling Christmas trees on the roadside and the often ringing of bells from the church made it a joyful setting.
The bed was very comfortable and there was plenty of wardrobe space. The room became extremely hot during the night and we couldn’t work out how to adjust the room temperature, which was a little frustrating at the time but only a minor problem.
Breakfast in the morning was delightful. Situated on the lower level of the building, we found a wide variety of different ham, cheese, pastries, cereal, bread, fruit, coffee, juice and more. We stuffed ourselves on Hungarian meats, cheese and bread, it was delicious!
A little annoyance with the hotel was the elevator situation. There is only one elevator for the entire hotel covering all floors, meaning you could be left to wait for 5 minutes for the lift to eventually arrive at your level. If you were staying on one of the lower floors then this might not be so inconvenient. But we were on the 5th floor and spent some time waiting for the elevator to arrive each time we needed to use it.
The location of the hotel was outside the first ring-road of the city meaning it was a good 20 to 25 minute walk to reach the Christmas markets at St Stephens Basilica and other top sights. One of the reasons for us visiting Budapest at this time of year was for the famous Christmas markets, so for this reason the hotel was quite some distance away if you are planning on spending a lot of time soaking up the atmosphere at the markets.
Overall our stay was great and we would definitely return. The staff were very polite and tried extremely hard with their English (which was very good), made us feel welcome and satisfied every time we asked for directions or a taxi.
By Alan Bogle.