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Mercure Budapest Metropol 3m
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RAKOCZI UT 58, Budapest, Hungary 1074
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A Place to Rest your Weary Head in Budapest
London, England, United Kingdom
February 12, 2010
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Travelling with a group at a popular time such as New Year can often make finding hotels difficult. One year I was single so needed a single room, and this was proving to be difficult as many places did not offer single rooms and if they did they ...
Travelling with a group at a popular time such as New Year can often make finding hotels difficult. One year I was single so needed a single room, and this was proving to be difficult as many places did not offer single rooms and if they did they were not very nice so had to bite the bullet and get a room that was only a fraction less than the price of my friends' doubles. Apart from that the only criteria was that the hotel be centrally located and clean.
The hotel Budapest Metropol certainly fitted the above criteria and when we booked the rooms there was an offer of four nights for the price of three on a bed & breakfast basis. We also requested non smoking rooms and quiet rooms and these were acknowledged but could not be guaranteed (although we did all get quiet, non-smoking rooms). In total I paid £196.87 for my room and the doubles were £223.88 per room.
The hotel is in a fairly good location just one minute walk to Blaha Lujza Ter Metro station and a supermarket; less than ten minutes to Liszt Ferenc Ter, a street full of restaurants and bars (although there were other individual places nearer) and 15 minutes to the river. It also has an underground car park if you are driving into the city.
The hotel originally opened in 1896, the same time as the Metro system opened in the city. The general décor is modern and is saved from being a bland chain style by utilising the Metro theme with the lift doors cleverly painted to resemble old style train doors. Different station names (with historical details) are given on each floor. It is a nice theme, which managed not to cross the line into tacky. The reception and communal areas are all spacious, but I am not aware of any ground floor rooms, so wheelchair users would need to use the lift to access their rooms (which could be an issue in the event of fire). The Reception desk in manned 24 hours and you can use the safety deposit boxes in the back office (there are none in your rooms). There was a small gift shop in reception as well. There is a small seating area here, it is a smoking section, but as the whole area is quite large and airy, it is unlikely to offend unless you are sitting close to the smoker.
Check in was efficient and polite, the receptionist gave everyone a map (one of those free ones with adverts for 'interesting' bars for gentlemen on it) and marked where the hotel was and pointed out which direction the river was. My single room was small but adequate. There as a 4 foot/120cm wide bed, desk, cupboard (half a dozen hangers for trousers or tops/jackets as well as shelving) and low shelf for your case all in a matching teak type finish. There was also a TV (which could receive BBC World, but that was the only English Language channel I found, plus some pay-per-view movies and some music channels) and telephone (calls from 110 Hungarian Forint - just over 30 pence). I was pleased that lighting was adequate with an overhead light as you walked in, a desk lamp and two small nightlights over the bed, adequate for reading by. The bathroom had a bath with integral shower, toilet, sink, mirror and hairdryer (with safety switch so you can't accidentally electrocute yourself). There was also a small water glass and some complimentary toiletries (hair and body gel, conditioning shampoo and soap) which seemed to be of reasonable quality although not of any particular brand name. My friends' double rooms were all quite a bit larger and had a separate toilet from the bathroom, a larger bed (5 feet/150cm), more cupboard space and a table and two chairs. My room overlooked a small internal area. You could not go out on it, as it also looked down on the glass covered atrium over the snack bar/restaurant. As I was on the second floor, I didn't get a great deal of natural light, particularly as it was overcast for most of our visit.
I found the reception, restaurant and cleaning staff to all be helpful and friendly, with the exception of one incident with a reception member (who had previously checked us in so efficiently). It was completely out of character with the service any of us received at any other time in the hotel however. We had pre-paid, but the hotel accepts all major credit cards or you can settle in cash - Hungarian Forint or Euro if you prefer.
The buffet breakfast was extensive and served between 6.30 and 10.am, they weren't at all prompt in clearing it away, still topping up juices and croissants at 10.15, so late arrivals are still catered for. It is served in the Snack Bar area that serves drinks and snacks such as soups and small meals throughout the day at quite reasonable prices. There is a smoking and non-Smoking area here. Foods available for breakfast included hot sausages, bacon, boiled eggs, omelette, mixed grilled vegetables (lovely but I cannot get my head around carrots for breakfast), as well as cereals, fresh and dried fruits, breads (there was a toaster available), cold meat and cheeses and yoghurts. There were also coffee, tea and cocoa available as well as three fresh juices.
The hotel offers three meeting rooms for corporate clients. There is a 'business centre' and the hotel also has Wi-fi but there were not notices of the price. The hotel does not offer a swimming pool or fitness suite (Budapest has plenty of natural thermal pools). I did not see any children in the hotel during my four night stay, there are no obvious child friendly facilities.
I would recommend this hotel as it suited my friends' and my needs perfectly. A hotel closer to the river would be nice, but the price increases accordingly, so if you don't mind a short walk or hopping on the metro for one or two stops this is not going to be a problem. Not all attractions are by the river, and there are places to eat and drink in the area. The hotel is clean, and apart from one strange instance, we felt we could not fault the friendliness and helpfulness of the staff. The breakfast also represents good value and I would recommend getting that included in your price.
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