Following a few days in Munich during Oktoberfest, I flew into Budapest, where I spent a total of five nights. This was the main destination for my trip to Europe, and I’d been looking forward to coming back to the city to bathe, explore, and check out some new hotels.
After a thoroughly pleasant experience at the Matild Palace, I walked along the Danube River on the Pest side of Budapest to check out the Budapest Marriott Hotel. This would be the fourth Marriott Hotel on this trip, and after having some great experiences in Prague and London, I was hoping to have the same here.
In particular, I was looking forward to checking out the sunset over Buda from the hotel, given its prime location.
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Budapest Marriott Hotel – Booking
I was on a roll this trip for finding travel agent rates at hotels that I wanted to stay in. After burning some Marriott Bonvoy points in Munich, I was back to paying cash for hotel stays, as the rates are hard to beat.
Regular cash rates at this property start at around €150 ($202 CAD) in the low season and over €400 ($540 CAD) in the high season. If you’re flexible with dates, expect to pay around €220 ($297 CAD) per night.
If you’re booking with points, you can expect to pay 40,000–60,000 Bonvoy points per night. Based on our current valuation of Bonvoy points at 0.9 cents per point, there isn’t necessarily a compelling case for points redemptions.
Of course, if you have a Free Night Award sitting in your account, it could represent decent value, if you consider the cost of the annual fee of the credit card as your price per night.
This property participates in Marriott Luminous, which is a luxury hotel program that offers additional perks at the same price as a regular flexible rate. By booking through Luminous, you get complimentary breakfast for two each day, early check-in and late check-out (subject to availability), and a room upgrade (subject to availability).
Budapest Marriott Hotel – Location
The Budapest Marriott Hotel is located in the heart of Pest, right along the banks of the Danube River.
If you’re looking to spend some time enjoying Budapest’s many sights and sounds, this hotel is ideally situated.
On the Pest side, you’re not far from the Hungarian Parliament Building, Margaret Island, or the city’s main square, Deák Ferenc tér. There are plenty of ruin bars and restaurants, as well as the Central Market Hall, all within walking distance.
Just across the river on the Buda side, you’re directly across from Buda Castle. Gellért Hill is just across the Elizabeth Bridge from the hotel, and makes for a great place to enjoy sweeping views of both Buda and Pest.
The closest bath to the hotel is the Rudas Thermal Baths, just across on the Buda side of the river.
Getting around the city is also very easy from the Budapest Marriott Hotel. The closest metro station, Deák Ferenc tér , is only a few minutes away by foot. And of course, you can always catch one of the city’s many iconic trams from nearby streets.
The city’s main train station, Keleti, is accessible by car in under 10 minutes, or by transit in around 15. The airport can be accessed by car in around 30 minutes, or by express bus in around 40 minutes.
Budapest Marriott Hotel – Check-in
I strolled over to the Budapest Marriott Hotel in the late afternoon, after spending a few hours in the nearby Rudas baths. The hotel’s glass wings and concrete towers stand out on the Danube’s banks, and it’s one of the larger buildings and hotels in the city.
The hotel was bustling when I arrived, likely due to the number of river cruise passengers who come to the city. I wound up walking through the hotel’s restaurant entrance, but I later found the main entrance on the side of the building, just up from the pathway along the river.
Immediately upon entering, there is a large lobby lounge that occupies the space between the hotel’s main restaurant and the Executive Lounge.
There’s also a communal work table with eight seats and two computers, should you wish to get some work done in the common area during your stay.
There wasn’t a line at the check-in desks, and I was waved over to go through the check-in procedure. The associate acknowledged my Marriott Platinum status, and walked me through all of the hotel’s facilities.
Prior to arrival, I had made my best effort to “suite-talk” my way into a better room than the base-level room into which I’d booked. Alas, my efforts didn’t bear fruit, and even a last ditch effort was met with the standard mention of all suites being committed for the night.
In this case, I wasn’t too fussed, as I’d just had a wonderful stay at the Matild Palace in a suite, and my friend was heading in from Zagreb to spend a few days in the city with me. In the end, I was grateful that a Twin Room was available, and it wound up being entirely sufficient for our stay.
The room was in the northern wing of the hotel, with westward facing views. As I found out, it was a great vantage point from which I could watch the sunset.
I scoped out the nearby Executive Lounge before making my way to the elevators, down the hallway, and into Room 533.
Budapest Marriott Hotel – Deluxe Twin Room
The room was bathed in sunlight as soon as I walked in. I had a few minutes to admire the sunset from the window, before it dipped below the hills of Buda.
Having admired the occasion, I then took stock of my modest surroundings. The mainstay of the room is two twin beds, located side-by-side with a table in between.
At the base of the window is a bench with two throw pillows and a wooden tray.
Immediately opposite the beds is a desk and a flat-screen TV. When I arrived, I found a welcome note along with a small bottle of prosecco, some baked goods, and some delicious paprika paste.
Moving back towards the room’s entrance, there’s a tall wall unit, which was home to the mini-bar, tea kettle, an open closet, and bathrobes in plastic bags. There wasn’t a coffee maker in the room, but rather instant coffee in packets.
Opposite from the wall unit was the room’s bathroom. It was definitely smaller than bathrooms in suites that I’ve stayed in, but had a standard backlit mirror, shower, and toilet.
Overall, the room was functional, and had a great view of Buda, the Danube, and the sunset. It was a bit compact, but both my friend and I had an entirely comfortable rest.
Fortunately, there were other aspects of the hotel that made up for our modest lodgings.
Budapest Marriott Hotel – Breakfast
I enjoyed complimentary breakfast as part of my Marriott Bonvoy Platinum status. Breakfast is served in the hotel’s main restaurant, DNB Budapest.
My friend was keen to check out the hotel breakfast, as he’d heard a lot about my ventures in the Miles & Points world. We headed down for a bite to eat after a morning run.
DNB Budapest occupies a good portion of the hotel’s ground floor. The main area of the restaurant is tucked behind the bar area, which is immediately accessible from the hotel’s lobby.
The breakfast buffet is located in the central part of the restaurant. There were several different stations set up, which was indicative of a solid offering.
There were many options for everyone at the buffet. On one side were the hot food items and a made-to-order egg station. In the middle were freshly baked goods, a full honeycomb, and cereals, and on the other side were cold cuts, smoked salmon, cheeses, fresh fruit, and pickled vegetables.
Furthermore, there were containers with juice and an automatic coffee machine nearby.
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We helped ourselves to items from each station, and wound up ordering omelettes with Hungarian salami.
I was very pleased with the breakfast offering at the Budapest Marriott Hotel. There were more than enough options to satisfy any cravings. We left breakfast feeling quite full and ready to explore the city for the rest of the day.
Budapest Marriott Hotel – Executive Lounge
The Executive Lounge is a great benefit for anyone with Marriott Platinum Elite status and above, as well as guests staying in an eligible room. Outside of North America, Executive Lounges can be the difference between an okay stay and a fantastic stay.
I wound up spending quite a bit of time at the Executive Lounge at the Budapest Marriott Hotel. My friend’s bus arrived in the late evening from Zagreb, so I got caught up on some work, enjoy some snacks and drinks, and wound up talking travel with a few other people in the lounge.
Entrance is restricted during the evenings, when the hors d’oeuvres service is going on. During that time, an attendant verifies your room information, but during the rest of the day, you can just walk right in.
There are a number of seating areas spread throughout the lounge. Along the walls around bench seats, while the part of the Executive Lounge that’s closest to the windows has more casual seating, perfect for having a quick nibble and a drink.
I set up alongside another few digital nomads on the bench. We all wound up having a glass of wine together, and discussed the nature of work, travel, and hotel amenities.
For the evening hors d’oeuvres service, there were two hot dishes alongside a number of salads, cold cuts, pickled vegetables, cheeses, and desserts.
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Aside from food, there was also a solid beverage offering, complete with a number of Hungarian wines, beers, hard liquor, soft drinks, and an automated coffee machine.
I thoroughly enjoyed having access to the Executive Lounge. Combined with a fulsome breakfast offering in the main restaurant, the Executive Lounge is a strongpoint for those with Marriott Elite status.
Budapest Marriott Hotel – Other Facilities
We popped into the bar at DNB Budapest to use up the $10 food and beverage credit I chose as my welcome gift. There were a few local beers on tap, so we sat and enjoyed them prior to checking out.
The lobby lounge at the hotel is also known as the Liz and Chain Greatroom. You can easily order drinks from the bar and enjoy them in the lounge, or you can also consider sitting outside on the patio at DNB Budapest.
On the sixth floor of the hotel is the Liz and Chain Sky Lounge. It’s supposed to have a fantastic view of the river during sunset and at night.
Unfortunately, when we went up to have a drink, they were closing down early for the night, and didn’t open again until after we had checked out. Should I stay at this hotel again, I’d be sure to have a look.
I stopped by the fitness centre and spa to check it out. Both are accessed via the same entrance on the first floor of the hotel.
Access is complimentary for hotel guests, and others may purchase a membership to enjoy the facilities.
Most of the spa features are contained in a single room. Here, you’ll find a hot tub at the top of a staircase, a steam room, and a sauna.
The fitness centre takes up most of the area here. In fact, there are several different rooms with a range of equipment.
In one area, you’ll find a spin room and some HIIT training equipment.
The main room in the fitness centre is host to free weights, strength training machines, and cardio equipment. The cardio machines face the windows, with a nice view of the river.
I didn’t get a chance to visit the spa or the fitness centre during my stay, as we opted to check out the baths and run outside instead. It seemed like a great place to visit, though.
The Budapest Marriott Hotel is ideally located on the Pest side of Budapest, close to attractions, transit, and a host of dining and drinking venues. It’s a great spot to catch the sunset, too, given the direction most of the rooms face.
The restaurant is host to a fantastic breakfast every morning, with many local Hungarian ingredients and dishes. Furthermore, the Executive Lounge is surely a strongpoint of the hotel, with a decent hors d’oeuvres selection, plenty of drinks, and enough space to feel like it doesn’t great crowded.
If I had to choose, I’d stay at the Matild Palace without question. The Budapest Marriott Hotel has a solid offering, though, especially since it comes at a much lower price point.