Budapest, sparkling gemstone on the Danube River and one of the most popular destinations for a romantic weekend for two. March may not be the most perfect time of year, but even when it is raining and snowing, there is so much to do and to explore. The only thing missing then is just the perfect hideaway to retreat to: Hotel Nemzeti combines an elegant yet homely accommodation in a lordly ambiance with an excellent access to public transportation and a fantastic price performance.
It is just a quick 10 minutes walk from Budapest´s Keleti train station (six blocks) and with its excellent location right at Blaha Luzja Tér metro station (Line M2), Hotel Nemzeti, or Hotel National, can be easily reached by foot, metro, bus or tram.
From here, you can easily access the world-famous historic downtown area either by walking or by public transportation. So even if the hotel is not located directly at the Danube River, it is just a matter of minutes until you will get there.
I loved the splendid Baroque style facade of the 19th century building which looks particularly nice when illuminated in the evenings from the moment we arrived.
The gorgeous entrance hall features extraordinary stucco details which harmonizes great with the modern furnitures and carpets. You can only imagine what this must have looked like centuries ago.
As we had arrived with the overnight train from Munich, our room was not yet ready at the time we had reached the hotel (around 10:00 am). But since we knew in advance that check-in was not before 1:00 pm, we had prepared a backpack with towels, swimsuits and flip-flops, so we could bridge the few hours in one of Budapest´s famous bath houses.
One of the definite architectural highlights of the ground level is the amazing breakfast area which spans underneath a magnificent glass dome. The modern spiral staircase in the background surely is an eye-catcher as well as the splendid stucco columns.
We had the breakfast included in our rate and it was definitely worth it. The buffet offered various items such as cold cuts, fruits, cereals and a warm station serving sweet and savoury egg dishes, sparkling wine, a wide selection of juices and lemonades and a coffee maker, which actually served wonderful cappuccino. And if you wanted to, a menu on each table allowed you to order from made-to-order breakfast favorites such as scrambled eggs, omelets or poached eggs, any way you like them.
There also is a wine bar which we did not try out, but which was quite busy in the evenings. The staff was pleasant and very helpful throughout the entire stay, regardless if it was the front desk, the waiters or the room attendants.
Our room was located on the third floor. I had asked upon booking for a quiet location and was more than happy, that my request was well taken care of. Of course, taking the elevator is always the primary choice, but once you have taken a look onto the absolutely splendid staircase that lies to the right, I promise that you will voluntarily decide to use that instead of the lift.
Our modern and elegant room lied across the inner courtyard on the opposite side from the marvelous staircase. It was a little of a walk to it, but this secluded location guaranteed a maximum of comfort in terms of a silent and relaxing environment.
In extreme contrast to the Baroque style stucco elements lie the minimalistic hallways that lead to the guest rooms and suites. I personally would have chosen a different carpet, but I found the modern design generally to highlight the lordly public areas very well in terms of architecture and layout.
We were put up in room number 301, a spacious and tasteful accommodation with a huge bed (we slept like sleeping beauties). Other standard fittings include a mini bar, coffee maker, complimentary water and free WiFi.
The flat screen TV offers an international program and there was ample stowage space in the closet and on the table.
Since I get to sleep in so many hotels around the world due to my profession, I love it when you can actually open up the windows to allow fresh air inside.
The modern bathroom featured luxurious amenities. I always have my personal shower gel and body lotion along with me on my travels, but the ones offered here were also of excellent quality.
It was raining the entire day when we arrived in Budapest, but both of us love to listen to the sound of the rain when going to sleep at night. It is almost like getting hypnotized :).
The hotel does not feature a fitness center, but there is a small Finnish sauna located on the top floor if you wanted to relax a bit after a tiring day outside.
Of course there far more elegant hotels to stay at when in Budapest, but after comparing prices and services, I found Hotel Nemzeti to be the perfect choice in terms of comfort, convenience and price performance.
I would definitely stay there again and can recommend this boutique hotel highly to anyone of you planning a couple´s weekend or a pre- or post stay during a Danube River cruise.
Jozsef Krt. 4
1088 Budapest, HUNGARY