Welcome to the 6th hotel of my trip so far in Europe this time around, Seeing The World In Steps is getting back on the path and checking out both a new city and a new country. I love checking out a new place. So happy to be in Hungary and Budapest! Welcoming country number 30th will be a stay at Hilton Budapest! We will also be here during my mum’s birthday which makes it even more special. There are two Hilton properties in the city and Hilton Budapest which is located on the castle side is the better choice. The location might be out of the core city centre but the hotel does provide great accessibility to the surrounding attractions and it’s located right by Fisherman’s Bastion. You have a bus stop right outside the hotel and if not plenty of other options like Bolt are available.
Booking Process & Pre Arrival
Before my stay, I was pre-upgraded to a King Danube River Suite in advance. This was an awesome upgrade and perfect for celebrating the occasion. We were here just nice during my mum’s birthday. The suite would have normally cost 617 SGD a night during my stay. My nightly rate was around 223 SGD including the tax. This was brought down by utilising my Citi Prestige 4th-night benefit to 167 SGD a night after the 4th-night free benefit.
The hotel concierge service was excellent as well. I have arranged for an airport transfer with the hotel as well as a COVID test on the day before we check out since we had to get one to head to the next destination. From the airport to the hotel I was quoted 15,000 HUF and you can pay in cash (HUF, EUR, USD) or Credit Card. If you would like to charge to the room, there would be an extra 5% charge. For the return trip, it will be 9,900 HUF. While I have just book for a standard yellow cab transfer, it turn out to be a private car. We got a cosy Mercedes Wagon on arrival and for departure it is a minivan. We decided to pay in Euros and the rates quoted by the driver are bad. It seems to be a trick to get more money, we were first asked for 50 Euros before he drop to 42 Euros after we appear to be hesitant and he play with his phone for a while. It was a smooth transfer after all and we were greeted at arrivals with a name card. You can email firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance. Hilton Budapest features 322 guest rooms and suites spread across 11 categories. You can find the breakdown below.
|Rooms||Executive Lounge Access||Bathtub||Room Size|
|Superior with Danube River View||No||Maybe||31.7 Sqm|
|Executive with Danube River View||Yes||Yes||31.7 Sqm|
|Double Queen Executive||Yes||Yes||31.7 Sqm|
|Junior Danube Suite||No||Yes||64 Sqm|
|Danube River Suite||Yes||Yes||68.1 Sqm|
|King Loft Suite with Street View||No||Yes||62.9 Sqm|
|Two Bedroom Suite||No||Yes||105 Sqm|
|Presidential Suite||Yes||Yes||166 Sqm|
It took around 40 mins to arrive from the airport. Upon entering, I was warmly welcomed and the driver hand us over to the front office associate. It was already dark when we arrived and I am really not a fan of the short daylight during winter. Check in was prompt and fast given the lack of crowd! The hotel was operating at pretty medium occupancy during my stay. I was informed of being arranged in one of the best suites that they had and I would love it. I was then given more information on the hotel including the restaurant as well as the lounge. The hotel has a pretty lovely lobby area with plenty of seatings. It is nice to see the place is decked out in festive decorations as well. The King Danube River Suite which is just two tiers below the Presidential Suite would have usually cost 617 SGD a night. We were also informed of where to meet for my pre-arranged COVID test on the 3rd day of my stay.
Look at how lovely this hotel is. I love the furniture design and colours. It felt very festive!
King Danube River Suite
I was assigned room or suite 207, a King Danube River Suite located on level 2. It is located in the corner as well. I knew that I was in for a treat after seeing the pictures. This got to be one of the highlights of my stay. The suite is huge and measures 68 Sqm in size. I love the finishes and my eyes glowed when I first entered the place.
The suite is located in the corner and upon entering there is a long entryway with the entrance to the bathroom on the left. There isn’t a half bath in the suite despite it being a full suite but rather the place is designed in a way such that you can access it from the living area and the bedroom. This allows it to be configured to be a half bath when you are hosting guests over! The lack of a half bath makes this 68 sqm suite even more spacious and impressive when thinking of it. I will share about the bathroom later on. Alongside the entryway, you can find a full-length mirror which is definitely super useful for having a look at your dressing before heading out.
You can also find a small wardrobe here. I love having an area to house your coats and jackets near the entrance as this proves extremely useful especially when you are travelling in the winter season. An ironing kit can be found here as well. It is also possible to connect the suite to a room next door to make this a 2 bedded suite. Turning left, you can find the lavishly decorated living room area which is super spacious and nicely decorated. It’s in a rectangular configuration and you can find windows stretching the entire length of the living room. This got to be the highlight of the entire suite. It boosts amazing views of the Danube river and the Pest district. This is a million-dollar view! Check out how charming it gets.
My eyes are glued to them immediately! It is equally lovely in the evening as it is in the morning. It is as if I have the entire Fisherman’s Bastion into my suite and a private viewpoint. Blinds and curtains are electronically controlled here but who uses them when you have such a view.
In the front area of the living room, in the first half, you can find a sofa set which nicely sits about 4 pax and it surrounds a coffee table. Perched on the wall you can find the huge high definition Smart TV. The channels are pretty limited but you can also connect your laptop to the TV to stream shows. I appreciate that they had HDMI ports and power outlets are nicely designed on the side.
Below the TV, this is also where you can find the minibar area. A kettle and an ice bucket are provided. You can find a proper Nespresso espresso machine with capsules provided too. These are refilled daily. In the cabinets, you can also find some packaged teas and glassware as well as a mini-fridge that is fully stocked. Bottles of water are provided and a stark contrast to the rest of the hotel, the water not being replenished daily which do feel a bit stingy, especially for a hotel of this calibre. It is said that it will be chargeable upon request and it is weird as the rest of the property are pretty generous such as breakfast and lounge. Funny enough, a staff called back and told me that I could just get bottles from the lounge as I had access when I ask if there is a supermarket nearby.
The amount of seatings is unbelievable in this suite. This suite is perfect for a cosy party or gathering. In the middle of the suite, you can yet find yet another couch alongside the windows. It’s comfy and this is perfect for gazing at the view with a cup of coffee.
At the end of the suite, you can find a proper dining table that comfortably seats 4 pax. I love the pairing of colours in the suite. Seeing that the suite does not have a proper working desk, this area also acts as the office table and it’s comfortable to work on. The chair offers good back support and outlets can be easily found here. The Wifi is easy to connect and strong in the suite.
Left on the table you can find a generous welcome amenity consisting of some water, macarons and a whole cake from the hotel. It is very lovely and my mum sure appreciate it given that it was her birthday. The cake was rich and delicious. We finished it even though we were super stuffed after dinner.
You can yet find another larger wardrobe in the living room area alongside the wall. There is a generous amount of hangers and you can also find a safe here. Bathrobes and bath slippers can be found inside as well as a luggage rack.
A door separates the bedroom area from the living room area. I love how chic and cosy the bedroom is! You can find the plush king size bed in the middle of the room and this is one of the comfiest beds I ever had. The firmness of the mattress is just right for my liking! I love the sheets too which were smooth and high quality. Crucially, the pillows offer great neck support! They don’t turn to mush with the slightest contact. Surrounding the bed you can find two nightstands.
Controls for the lights and blinds are conveniently located as are power outlets. They even have USB charging points which are commendable. This is something so simple but hotels get it wrong easily. On one side of the bed, you can find an alarm clock with a built-in wifi charger as well. I had a great rest here every night.
By the wall on the left is another wardrobe. There are plenty of storage space in this suite! On the right, you can find another TV mounted on the wall. It’s a smaller size than the one in the living room but still super high quality. Towards the side of the bed, by the window, you can also find another lazing daybed right by the window with a side table. This is perfect for reading a book and relaxing over a cup of coffee while you enjoy the panoramic view of charming Budapest.
Finally, let me share about the bathroom which is another spectacular part of the suite. There is a separate bathtub area in addition to the standing shower. Hilton bathrooms are constantly their weakest area, especially in older properties, as such, it is always nice to find a lovely one. The bathroom is extremely spacious and comes with his and her sinks. I love the look of the bathroom and decked out in white. Amenities provided are from Crabtree and Evelyn and generously provided. There is a cosmetic mirror installed too. The finishes were top notch.
Water pressure and temperature control were excellent! I had a great shower. The showering space was spacious although the half glass does mean that some water will get splashed out easily when you are showering.
The gym is open 24 hours and is a rather great place. You do not have to make reservations or anything. It is located a level above the lobby on level 1. There is even a sauna here which is open from 5pm to 9pm. You can find a showering room in the facility as well. The gym is really lovely and a nice space. It is well equipped and comes with a lovely view of the area. I am sure that this helps with motivation when exercising. No matter how tough the workout is, I am sure it will be better when you have that view in front of you.
The Executive Lounge is located at Lang Restaurant given the low occupancy. It is probably more cost-effective to close the actual lounge and have it in an area cordoned off in the restaurant. The lounge currently operates from 7am to 8pm daily. Breakfast service starts from 7am to 10.30am and it is the same as the restaurant technically but just with better service and a private seating area. I will share more on this later. It is nice as guests in the executive room and above who do not book a breakfast rate are accorded the full restaurant breakfast. From 10.30am to 8pm you have all-day refreshments consisting of a variety of fruits, nuts and crackers, hot & cold non-alcoholic refreshments. Evening receptions start from 5pm to 7pm where hot & cold snacks and bar set up with alcoholic beverages are served.
It is quite a nice space in the restaurant and it is quite a good makeup for the actual lounge given that the restaurant have a great view of the Fisherman’s Bastion and overlook the Danube River area. It is an intimate affair and never gets too crowded given the low occupancy or elite members. There are probably like at most 4 to 5 groups each night. Check out how lovely it is. I love the view. In the day you can find some all-day drinks consisting of water, soft drinks, juices, coffee and tea. The service and staff here are excellent and attentive. There are also some snacks like nuts available. I really appreciate having a nice space to work during the day with some drinks while resting.
Evening canapés is served from 5pm to 7pm and in addition to those that are available all day long you have some alcoholic drinks available too. The is a pretty great collection. You have spirits consisting of Gin, Vodka, Rum and Whisky. Then you have a sparkling wine, a white and a red. The wines are really good. I am glad that they had some local Hungarian wine available too. I love trying out local wines. Then you have 2 types of beers as well.
There are some hot food items and cold canapés such as mini tarts and crepes. Then there are some cheese, bread and cold cuts. The items change day to day! You have some fruits and nuts too. It’s not too shabby and makes up a good snack before dinner.
Breakfast at Lang Restaurant
Breakfast is served at the hotel restaurant, Lang which is located just off the lobby area on the ground floor. Breakfast service starts from 7am to 10.30am daily. I was promptly welcomed in by the staff. It certainly gets crowded here during peak hours which is the only time that I saw a crowd at the hotel. With that being said, you still do not need to queue. Breakfast is included if you book a rate that includes it or if you are a Hilton Gold member and above. Given that the lounge is not in operation, guest with lounge access also gets the full restaurant breakfast. I was shown in after giving my room number and got my choice of seating. You have to come early to secure one of those seats with a great view of the Fisherman’s Bastion. Look at how lovely this is. The lounge area is only reserved for guests with lounge access. The staff are more attentive here and the service is better but you are further away from the buffet line.
The food is the same but it provides an exclusive quiet venue for top tier guests to enjoy their breakfast. This is something that I really appreciate especially when the hotel is at high occupancy. Hilton Zurich has executed this well. Drinks orders were taken and breakfast is in a buffet model where guests can help themselves to whatever they want. Oh, I miss this so much! The selection is pretty good and you have some continental selection which includes a great selection of pastry and I love those cinnamon rolls. Huge selection of both whole fruit and cut fruit, cheese and cold cuts. I love those Hungarian salami!
There have some hot dishes from porridge to beans. The usual favourites like hash browns, sausages, scrambled eggs, bacon, pancake and grilled tomatoes are available. In addition, you can also have your egg to order and even freshly made french toast. I will let the pictures do more of the talking.
Drinks wise you have coffee, tea, juices and water.
On my day of departure, I had to check out and get to the airport at an ungodly hour of 3am and could not make it for breakfast. The hotel did prepare some breakfast boxes consisting of some sandwiches, juice, water and fruit. It is lovely of them and they came in useful when we had them at the airport while waiting for our flight.
COVID-19 Testing Experience in Budapest
Given that I had to undertake a COVID-19 test before heading to my next destination I reach out to the hotel in advance to get some information on what it will be like in Budapest. The concierge is super helpful and provided me with lots of information. In the end, I just ask them for help to arrange for a testing and it is really easy. You can reach out to them at email@example.com. Prices were fair too and after my huge scare in Paris, I will rather opt for the swabbers to come to me rather than head to a swab site if the prices is not too drastically different.
All I need is an antigen or ART test and it costs EUR 42. Prices seem to be much more expensive than other cities. PCR test has a result within 24 hours while antigen results are ready in about 15 minutes. While there are 3 different test sites where guests can go. All of them are located on the other side of the river. There is an option to take the test at the property for an additional fee of EUR 23 per group. Given that there is 2 of us it might be cheaper to even get them to come over instead.
The swabber came right on time and we just did the test by the lobby. It was really professional and he had everything on hand even a mini printer. We went thru a quick registration to fill up our details. Then got the swab. The results come via email within 30 mins in English. They were absolutely valid and accepted by the authorities for travelling. In reality, the person just took EUR 40 for the test.
This is an excellent offering for Hilton members in Budapest or even other tourists heading to the city. It is one of the best hotels in the city and I love how lovely the view is. The location might be a little out of the central area but the view and vicinity to the castle district more than make out for it. Elite recognition and treatment are excellent. I will love to be back anytime again and again. While I had not tried the other property in the city centre, I believe that this is the better one. I had an excellent stay and an amazing suite. This got to be one of the top 5 Hilton hotels that I have stayed in. I do wish that they installed key card access for the lifts which will be much more secure.