If you stay here you need to ask for a river view room.
I stayed at the Intercontinental Hotel, Budapest, twice and the first time I had the most incredible vista out to the Royal Palace and the River Danube you could imagine. It’s here, if you can’t imagine it.
I was recovering from Sziget Festival and thanks to my IHG Rewards Points I could book into the hotel for a bit of luxury. My friend was with me and for the first ten minutes of arriving in the room we just sprawled on the beds, unable to move from the most comfort we’d experienced for a week, well longer than that in my nomadic case.
Looks good, feels good, it’s good!
When we finally did move it was to ogle the view, from the handy window seat covered the whole vista. If you’re planning on writing some River Danube-based poetry this is the spot to do it.
I soon realised my name was on the TV, possibly the only time I will get my name up there but exciting all the same.
Our bathroom was big and bright with a powerful shower and fluffy towels – a heavenly experience that lasted a lot longer than my usual jump in, jump out. Finally, after Sziget Festival I was clean.
The perfect luxury hotel
That first visit I stayed back to do a little work and relished sitting at an actual desk – normally I’m a sofa kind of girl – and having the incredible view every time I looked up.
I spent a good few hours in luxury in that room, it was perfect for business and leisure travellers. I like to think I’m a bit of both. When I’d finally had enough of my laptop we reunited and made our way downstairs, past the endless row of cakes and pastries lining the cabinets and bar and leading us to the door.
After a meal at one of the river view restaurants about 50 paces away we came back to rest our festival weary bodies. Of course we slept well, the dark curtains, luxury pillows and feather duvet helped with that. I should’ve mentioned before there’s a pillow menu – have you ever heard of such a thing? I’d have to stay here 9 nights to try them all.
Intercontinental visit number 2
Unexpectedly I decided to stay in Budapest for longer than the six days planned, so I went with my friend to stay at the hotel she’d booked round the corner for a night. Nice, but not quite the Intercontinental I’d warmed to.
In just 24 hours I was back, this time for two nights. One of the reasons I was staying was for the St Stephen’s Day Fireworks and I innocently thought they’d be brilliant from the huge windows at the Budapest Intercontinetal. I wasn’t feeling too good at this point so I was picturing myself with room service, my dressing gown and watching the display from the inside.
Of course the hotel knew this was a prime spot for the fireworks and so they’d added a levy on the room. Shame. My allocated city view was fine, just not quite the river I’d got used to.
This visit was on my lonesome and so I spread my stuff out. It’s amazing when you’re travelling how good it feels to actually have a place for things. The rooms are so big and relaxing, if I had the time I’d love to just lie and watch TV.
Lord it up with room service
I ordered room service, for my first time ever. It was brilliant. The guy came in with the trolley and everything was covered in the serving trays, all fancy.
Smoked Norwegian salmon with creamy horse radish, lemon, caper and toast – 3,400 HUF (£8.68)
A seasonal fruit salad 1,600 HUF (£4.09)
And the spa
The spa here is a definite selling point. When I went down at 8pm on the Thursday I was the only one there. I did a few lengths and got in and out of the sauna and steam room. It was so, so relaxing. Budapest is well known as the ‘spa town’. I don’t know what I’m going to do without a spa every day.
There’s plenty to choose from at the spa – aloe vera massage, rose massage, grape seed oil massage – you get the idea.
There’s a huge restaurant downstairs I didn’t get the chance to try but on St Stephen’s Day they were bringing out some incredible trays of food as I was having a nose in there.