An April 2001 trip
to Budapest by estnet
Quote: High in the hills of historic Buda I could imagine I had traveled back in time...cobblestone streets, horse drawn carts err..carriages, but what was that funny horseless carriage doing here?
Hotel | "Hilton"
Elegantly dressed doorman opens the door and I approach the check-in desk. Rooms are nice, but not really special.
The television has many pay channels. It is easy to accidentally changed to one of the pay channels and there''s no check to verify that you actually want to pay for it. The good news is that there''s only one charge per day for all the channels, the bad news is that many other channels are ones you would not want your young child to see.
The executive lounge is large and overlooks the river. I guess at one point it was quite scenic but right now there''s a lot of construction going on so the view is a tiny one of the river, then you get to see a lot of scaffolding and plywood and hear a lot of sandblasting. The casino has been closed for over a year and the fourth and fifth floors are closed for renovation. Construction is going on in the hallways -- well you get the idea this is not the most restful of environments.
If you plan to stay here check for special rates because it is pricey enough with those - definitely not worth the rack rates.
Member Rating 3 out of 5 on May 4, 2001
HESS ANDRAS TER 1 3
Hotel | "Hilton West End"
Rooms have a clean (read sterile) feel, tend to feel a bit small for this price hotel, but everything looks new. Decor is...not even sure how to describe it?pseudo ultra modern? Not unpleasant but it somehow just doesn''t fit together to be aesthetically pleasing (at least to my taste).
In the middle of the bustling city so with a very different feel from the older Hilton in Buda. Staff seems efficient and friendly.
Hilton Westend Budapest
VACI UT 1
I had the lunch special (which cost less than US $3), which consisted of a great hot and sour soup, rice and an entree of choice - I have spicy pork and vegetables. The servings were huge - easily enought for two people. With the bill came some fresh orange and .... a small glass of chinese wine! What a nice surprise!
There is an extensive menu at extremely reasonable prices- in english for those of us who do not speak Hungarian. Staff was the friendliest of all my restaurant encounters. The food was a wonderful change from the good but extremely heavy native cuisine.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 4, 2001
Ping Kinai Etterem
1024 budapest, moszkva ter 6
Very elegant waiters, floor to ceiling windows overlooking the lake and gourmet food at budget prices.
Even at lunch most people were well dressed. I wanted to try the goose foie gras so I ordered an appetizer portion($4) and some soup. The waiter recommended the cream of asparagus with slices of fried truffle (around $4). Wow -I couldn't have purchased one of the six truffle slices for that price at home! The soup was served piping hot and was delicately flavored, not too heavy and a great experience.
The appetizer portion of foie gras would be called a main course anywhere else. The only problem was that is was cooked more than it should be, but otherwise it was delicious (my arteries were groaning). Desserts looked amazing - but I had had more than my limit of fat for the day so I'll have to come back :)
Tickets are not expensive - the highest are US $20. I went twice - the first night was an (strange IMHO) opera Bluebeard's Castle which is described in the program as "having no plot...everything visible on stage involves the symbolic actions of two symbolic figures in a symbolic space, in symbolic time." Well - just don't ask me what the story line was , but it sure was a unique experience, especially the contrast of seeing this ultramodern starkly staged piece in an opera house with classical ornate designs, small boxes with elegant velevet hangings and the feel that I had been transported back in time 100 or 200 years.
The second night was magical...a Hayden opera (L'infedelta delusa which apparently doesn't translate into English from Hungarian as best anyone could translate was "Thwrated faithlessness". The orchestra appeared with white wigs and in period costume! Now I KNEW I had been transported back to an earlier century. This opera did have a story, actually quite a funny one, was staged well, with excellent costumes.
There are tours - but if you are there when anything is going on go to a performance and then look around. It is a great place.
Andrassy ut, 22
Budapest, Hungary 1061
+36 1 353 0170
menlo park, California