With the impending removal of Club Carlson's last night free benefit and recent devaluation, now is a prime time to burn through any extra Club Carlson points and maximizing the 2-for-1 award nights.
On a recent trip to Budapest, Hungary I decided to stay two nights at the Art'otel Budapest. Normally the hotel costs 28,000 points per night, but using the last night free benefit that is still currently available with the Club Carlson Visa I booked two nights for this price.
The hotel has a great location on the banks of the Danube river just across from the Hungarian Parliament Building. During our stay we also planned on exploring some of the hikes near Budapest, so we wanted a location that was both close to the city center and one that made it easy to escape the city for a day.
I was upgraded to a river view room upon check-in thanks to the Gold status that comes with being a Club Carlson Visa cardmember.
I also inquired about complimentary breakfast, but was informed that only Concierge members received this benefit. However, I was offered a discounted breakfast of 10 Euros per day instead of the normal 14 Euros, which I considered a decent deal and opted-in in order to give the breakfast a try.
The hotel faces the Danube river and it's main entrance is along the waterfront. Walking along the Danube is a very enjoyable and easy way to navigate the city, plus you almost always know where the hotel is based on landmarks along the river.
There is also a secondary entrance on the opposite side of the building that requires a key card to both enter and exit.
The hotel's main restaurant is adjacent to the lobby, however I did not get a chance to give it a try. The hotel's breakfast is located in a separate dining area in the center of the hotel.
I was assigned room 123, which is a Danube view room on the first floor. Given that the room is located on the first floor facing good-sized street I thought that street noise may be a issue, but it was almost entirely quite in the room at all hours.
The room had a very clean design and featured art from Donald Sultan which was not overly spunky like some Art'otels I have stayed at, such as the Art'otel Berlin.
The room had a small entry area with a luggage storage bench, two small closets, and entry to the bathroom.
The entertainment area was simple with a flat screen TV and an long open work desk. There was also a small coffee and tea making station located above the mini bar.
Surprisingly there was no complimentary bottle of water and maybe not so surprisingly, there was no welcome gift as a Gold member. I've found that the welcome amenity benefit in entirely hit or miss at Club Carlson properties.
In on of the bedroom's corners there was art piece of a small metal bird, which was interesting but did not really add much to the room. A feature that I did like was the city skyline light that could be turned on and off independently from the main lights.
The bathroom had floor to ceiling tile and felt very modern, but not overly flashy or luxurious.
Overall it was comfortable and large enough, the only thing that stood out was the sink, which was made from thin metal and did not fit into the rest of the design and quality of the room.
As I mentioned I did not received complimentary breakfast as a Gold elite member, but did opt-in to pay for breakfast at a discounted price of 10 Euros.
I'm sure there are less expensive options for breakfast in the city to be had but the convenience and quality of the breakfast at Art'otel Budapest was exceptional for that price.
There were three separate seating areas in the breakfast area which all had a very different feel and brightness. I found the nicest to eat in was the central atrium which featured natural light from a large sun roof.
The breakfast spread was large and well prepared with anything you wanted from fresh cheeses, meats, yogurt, fruits, an assortment of baked goods and breads, several hot dishes including eggs and sausages, and of course coffee, teas, and juices. It was also possible to order side dishes such as freshly prepared eggs.
Lastly, the view overlooking the Danube from the room was quite nice with two large windows. Both the parliament building and chain bridge are visible from the window and they also look great during the night lit up.
The Bottom Line on the Art'otel Budapest
There are several cheaper Club Carlson hotel options in Budapest, but given the superb location and that it is a newer property I consider the Art'otel in Budapest a good value. The hotel is in great condition and service was good overall---minus the lack of a welcome amenity.
It's hard to beat the location as you can walk to just about every major sight and tourist area of the city within 20 minutes, which is a huge factor for me if I'm only staying for 1-2 days. I'd certainly recommend and stay at the hotel again on another trip to Budapest.
Are you planning or have you stayed at this hotel? What was your experience?
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