The Ritz-Carlton Budapest: An excellent experience, despite a few shortcomings in the catering

After a long journey from Boston via London, here came our first night on Hungarian ground.

As a reminder, here is the itinerary followed:

#TypeReview
1DiarySummer escape in Hungary
2LoungeBritish Airways Galleries Club, Boston Logan
3FlightBritish Airways Club World, Boston Logan – London Heathrow, Boeing 777-200
4LoungeBritish Airways Galleries First, London Heathrow T3
5FlightBritish Airways Club Europe, London Heathrow – Budapest Liszt, Airbus A320
6HotelThe Ritz-Carlton, Budapest
7RestaurantOttimo at The Ritz-Carlton, Budapest
8TrainMAV Start Intercity First, Budapest Nyugati – Debrecen
9TrainMAV Start Intercity First, Debrecen – Budapest Nyugati
10HotelMatild Palace, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Budapest
11RestaurantSpago by Wolfgang Puck at Matild Palace, Budapest
12RestaurantBistro Parísi, Budapest
13RestaurantThe Duchess Rooftop Bar at Matild Palace, Budapest
14LoungePlaza Premium Lounge, Budapest Liszt
15FlightBritish Airways Club Europe, Budapest Liszt – London Heathrow, Airbus A320
16LoungeBritish Airways Concorde Room, London Heathrow
17FlightBritish Airways Club World, London Heathrow – Boston Logan, Airbus A380-800
Today’s itinerary

Booking

I booked this hotel a few weeks before our arrival in Budapest. The prices for this night were insane in the city, certainly due to the UEFA Europa League final taking place that evening in the Hungarian capital.

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However, the Ritz-Carlton remained relatively affordable, at under €600 a night, while most properties, even the most basic, were running between €700 and €1000 a night.

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A few days before our arrival, I booked a transfer from the airport, which meant we didn’t have to wait so long for a cab, especially arriving at such a late hour.

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A few hours before our arrival, I was given an upgrade to one of the hotel’s most beautiful suites, which is excellent and unusual for a Ritz-Carlton.

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Arrival

After our late arrival in Budapest, the driver sent by the Ritz-Carlton was waiting for us at arrivals.

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Speaking perfect English and extremely courteous, he dropped us off at the hotel after a thirty-minute drive.

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We then proceed with check-in formalities. The hotel was used as a base camp for UEFA officials, which somewhat distorted the decor of the lobby.

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We were immediately taken care of by a receptionist who proceeded with the check-in formalities. These took a little time, but were carried out courteously.

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Our upgrade to a Deluxe suite was confirmed, as was my request for a late check-out at 3pm. At the Ritz-Carlton, we weren’t offered breakfast as a Platinum welcome gift, but we weren’t planning to take it anyway, given our late arrival. No access to the Club Lounge either, as is the case in all Ritz-Carlton hotels.

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Room

Our suite was located on the 8th floor. The elevators were ultra-fast.

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The door opens onto a small entrance vestibule, equipped with a vanity unit, giving access to a first half bathroom.

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This first vestibule opened onto a living room with a large sofa, armchairs and a coffee table on which a welcome gift had been placed.

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A mini-bar and Nespresso machine were also available. At the far end was a large bay window with a table and chairs for dining. The bay window and curtains were electrically operated. The decoration is very nice.

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Next came the bedroom, with its ultra-comfortable king-size bed facing the TV.

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At the far end, a large double closet, and the bathroom, a little too marbled for my taste, but with shower and bath and high-quality toiletries.

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To finish, a video tour:

Hotel facilities

The hotel was equipped with a fitness room and a renowned spa, which we were unable to visit during our stay.

Catering

The hotel has two restaurants and a café. You can find a review of our lunch at Optima, the hotel’s Italian restaurant, in a separate article.

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Service

Aside from the disappointing food and beverage service, the hotel’s staff was lovely, even if our interactions were limited given the total length of our stay.

Departure

Check-out formalities were a breeze, completed in just a few seconds and with our bill emailed to us within minutes of our departure.

Bottom line

A very pleasant experience that we’ll be happy to repeat.

Olivier Delestre-Levai
Olivier Delestre-Levai
Olivier has been into airline blogging since 2010. First a major contributor to the FlyerTalk forum, he created the FlyerPlan website in July 2012, and writes articles with a major echo among airline specialists. He now co-runs the TravelGuys blog with Bertrand, focusing on travel experience and loyalty programs.
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