Unlike Clare’s Spanish road trip last month, we set out on holiday to escape the English ‘unsummer’ and were not disappointed with sunshine and clear skies in Budapest. The temperatures were 22-28°C and perfect for sightseeing! What a rejuvenating, relaxing and amazing few days we experienced – starting by stepping into the well located historic city centre Anantara New York Palace Budapest Hotel, instantly greeted by friendly doormen all through to the front desk, which enabled a seamless check-in. Magnificent, beautiful cakes and snacks waited for us in our Junior Suite, the bed as wide as a regular bedroom, the bathroom the size of a kitchen, and the hallway almost as long as a cricket wicket, perfect for a quick net!
The grandeur and opulence of the hotel was mind-blowing – I’ve visited many 5-star hotels but this took my breath away. The high ceilings and décor of the communal spaces, and the stunningly elegant New York Café and live music just perfectly offered a wonderful ambience in which to relax. The top floor shows pictures of the hotel in the early 20th century and gives one interesting history of the building. Exquisite dining and exceptional service also were major points to note. The staff had a great attitude, were helpful and always available. The food was delectable at the hotel, but likewise via Trip Advisor the Goulash and Hungarian cake in the plentiful nearby restaurants are just not to be missed! The meeting space is bright with natural daylight, spacious and calm, adaptable for any occasion, and highly recommended!
An added bonus was the NH Collection Budapest City Centre which is connected to the Anantara, for overflow accommodation. These rooms are enormous apartments, fitted with washing machines, fridges and ovens – extremely good value for money!
Once we had recovered from the shock of our incredible Junior Suite, we decided to hit the town and booked a river cruise on the Danube, the 2nd longest river in Europe. GetYourGuide.com is a great app to view what is on offer in any destination, and we opted for the sunset booze cruise – we were certainly the oldest people on the boat, but our behaviour with the cocktails cunningly disguised our age! – a great way to see the city in style!
There are so many other sightseeing highlights in Budapest; from museums and art galleries (to learn about Hungarian history and culture), shopping, the famous ‘ruin bars’, to experiencing trams, buses, and scooters, but we opted to walk up to Buda Castle for some history and spectacular views, although crossing the chain bridge afterwards was not to Andy’s liking due to a vertigo affliction, that sent him into a curious tourettes explosion from start to finish! The next day was a must visit to Heroes’ Square and Szechenyi Thermal Baths.
There are also an abundance of resplendent historical sites in the city, and there would certainly be no problem sourcing a grand offsite meeting or dinner. Thank you for your incredible and wonderful hospitality, which by far exceeded my expectations Tamas Fazekas, Daniel Kempf, Eric Montagnon and Evelin Lukács!