I never expected that a highlight of my two month trip to Europe would come in the form of a hotel room, much less a chain hotel room. But that is exactly what happened when I walked in to my room at the Novotel Budapest Danube.
From the moment I checked in I felt truly at home and even a little bit pampered. It definitely pays to travel Europe in winter. Rates at the hotel were significantly cheaper than at other times in the year, meaning I could splurge on a room with a view. Boy was that worth it.
As the name suggests, this four-star hotel is located on the banks of the Danube River, directly opposite the Hungarian Parliament. The hotel is just a short walk from the train station, but it’s also worth taking a walk along the banks of the river and across the The Széchenyi Chain Bridge. Prepare yourself for truly sensational views from the bar and restaurant, as well as several of the rooms.
It is absolutely worth getting a room with a Danube view. We had a superior room that felt like it had the best view in the building. The room was spacious with a large bed, couch and desk. Rooms have free wifi with a strong signal, a mini bar, tea and coffee making facilities and good quality toiletries in the bathroom. I spent more time in the room than I had planned and we ate in occasionally as you simply can’t beat the view of the Hungarian Parliament at night.
Buffet breakfast was included in our rate and did not disappoint. Being someone who tends to avoid bacon and eggs I can be fussy with my buffet breakfast but I was pleased with the food on offer. As well as the usual hot selection of bacon, eggs, mushrooms, tomato and hash browns, there were also a wonderful selection of good quality cold meats, cheeses and boiled eggs. A variety of sweet and savoury pastries, breads and crackers and biscuits were available as well as a number of different spreads. Fresh fruit, flavoured yoghurts, muesli and cereals were also on offer. It filled us up until well past lunch time.
A brief word on tour groups. We had a lovely leisurely breakfast on the first morning of the trip but were disappointed to find the breakfast room completely overrun by a very large tour group on the following mornings. Staff did their best to keep up but given the speed at which members of the group loaded up their plates (and pushed past other guests) perhaps it would be best for tour groups to be given certain hours for the buffet or for other arrangements to be made. Special shout out to the parents who let their children drink directly from the jugs of water and juice. Fortunately staff quickly dealt with that problem.
We also had dinner in the restaurant and enjoyed pasta and paprika chicken with noodles. We also had room service; on the first night after arriving late a club sandwich and wedges were well received with prompt service and bargain prices.
The X Factor
The view alone is enough to make this a memorable stay. But the staff really added to our experience.
From the quick and polite delivery of room service, to reception staff holding our train tickets at the desk for us for several weeks before we even arrived in Budapest (we couldn’t have them delivered to Australia), they really do go above and beyond.
I will definitely be back!
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