The Hilton Budapest is probably one of the most iconic buildings on the Castle Hill. It is just above the Fisherman’s Bastion and bang on the doorstep of St Mathias Church. From the Hilton Budapest it is an easy walk to the Castle, various restaurants and museums. The best part is that the vistas are stunning from the scenic rooms, promising a great stay for anyone.
And that is where my sister and I come in. I’ve held a HHonors Platinum Barclaycard for about a year and one of the sign-up perks is a free night at any Hilton hotel. The only downside is that you need to spend the voucher within six months of receiving it and I hadn’t known this at the time of opening. I was planning to spend the night at the Waldorf in Jerusalem but my flight there was on the 26 of August and the voucher was going to expire on 19 August. I was pretty gutted but the assistant on the phone said that I could transfer the voucher if I wanted to. So I asked my sister and her husband if they wanted it and they said YES!
The Inspiration for the Night
One of my favourite movies is “Up in the Air” and when I first watched it in the cinema I never thought I would do similar things to what George Clooney was doing. I was in my last year in university, pretty broke and penniless and when I saw the places he visited they kept reminding me of my nice holidays and exchange semester in the US. At the end of the movie his dream comes true and he becomes a lifetime member of AA, but instead of spending it all he gave some to his sister to go on a nice holiday. So this was my inspiration as well, I couldn’t really spend the voucher but I knew it would make my sister happy so I gave it to them.
My sister then gave me dates when they could stay at the Hilton Budapest and after some going back and forth with the reservation agent I booked the room for a Saturday night. The Hilton Budapest was going through some major renovation works so I phoned in advance to make sure they would stay far away from the noisy rooms. Luckily the receptionist told me that the renovation works would be halted for the summer so all was going to be well.
Checking in to the Hilton Budapest
I live in the UK and when I got into the car I saw they phoned. Initially I thought something must have gone wrong, but no! I phoned them back and she said that they just checked in and everything looked amazing and the receptionist was super helpful. The receptionist even guided them up to the room and offered to change it if it wasn’t quiet enough! So she was happy.
The views were absolutely stunning and everything smelled super clean and brand new. They stayed at one of the higher floors in the corner, in a freshly renovated room, overlooking the Fisherman’s Bastion and the Parliament. My brother-in-law is an engineer so he did look at every nook and cranny so here is his journal:
“The room looked great and we especially loved the view of the Parliament. When looking out of the window I noticed that they actually manufactured the glass in 2017, so it was really brand new.”
The carpet, the furniture and everything else was squeaky clean, the fridge full of drinks and snacks – so nothing to complain about. The only thing I would mention is that the hot/cold sign on the shower tap is a bit difficult to spot and to pull out the drawer in the bedroom cupboard the door needs to be fully open. The bed was very comfy and my wife loved to cosy up on the armchair by the window, as the picture testifies!”
A Weekend at the Hilton Budapest
After checking in to the Hilton Budapest they spent some time in the room admiring the views then they went out for lunch. I recommended the Deryne Restaurant at the bottom of Castle Hill. Déryné has been the local Grand Café and Bistro for those living in the inner Buda districts since the early 1910s. It was one of the first 24/7 cafe houses in the city, with a French bakery and patisserie, live music, fresh international papers and a lively terrace.
I’ve had lunch and dinner there various times and when it was my birthday in 2010 I happened to sit at a table next to the former Prime Minister’s! At the time Gordon Brown was still the UK’s prime minister so every time I mentioned his name, the body guards of Bajnai Gordon (the former PM) would turn their head and check us out.
My sister said they had a good time there sitting at the cocktail bar, although they said the servings might have got a bit smaller than how I explained. I remember I was never able to finish the portions, but they completely cleaned theirs!
They followed the lunch up with a nice long walk around town then went for dinner at the Baltazar Restaurant which is near the Hilton. The Baltazár Grill’s website says that it is a “gathering place for connoisseurs to enjoy dining, drinking, and socializing”. It is a restaurant starring a charcoal grill loved by locals for its meats and extensive selection of regional wines. The Wine Bar focuses on top quality and authentic wines of Central Europe and also showcases the best gins of the world.
Breakfast at the Hilton Budapest
My brother-in-law managed to take a couple of nice shots of the night-time view of the city. If ever I stay there I am pretty sure I will be glued to the window too! In the morning they reluctantly had to get out of the comfy bed for breakfast. It was all you can eat breakfast with the usual stuff like toasts, omelettes, various drinks and a plethora of other choices.
After breakfast they checked out and went for a walk again then back home. If you ever visit Budapest and can afford the Hilton, I would definitely recommend it, if my sister says it’s good then it is definitely good!