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“Run down relic of a "grand hotel"”

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Danubius Hotel Gellert
Ranked #96 of 333 Hotels in Budapest
Gotland
Level Contributor
85 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
“Run down relic of a "grand hotel"”
Reviewed 15 June 2014

We looked at the pictures on internet and in the brochures and were very excited to stay at one of the most stylish, genuinely Hungarian hotels. But reality was quite different from the pictures. We could even see that the pillars and parts of the house was kept safely together with strong plastic belts, like the ones you use to secure cargo.

The dominant impression is that the hotel is struggling the last few seasons before it will give up. It is conveniently located close to the river, at the Freedom Bridge, with a subway station and tram station just outside. Most of the staff are ok, the business center was very helpful (Anniko was a treasure!) There were wifi in the reception and they said it would be extended in the summer of 2014. But there were quite a few drawback to our stay. "Proximity to bath" may be true, but it is far from easy to find the way and to figure out how to navigate. There seems to be a tension between the public bath and the privately run hotel. Try it once and you will get it. There are much better baths in the city (try Szechennyi!).

There is however a very good health and massage center connected to the hotel: Santevita. We tried many of their services, including hairstyling, pedicure, Swedish massage (an Hungarian man was extraordinary good at finding and treating tensions in back and shoulders!)

Rooms are generally dusty and smelly. We got a "suite" (104) which turned out to be a bedroom with an office and an extra tent bed. Very big rooms, but not fresh! Second room had a terribly smelly bathroom (sewer system broken?). During our stay we tried four different rooms, of which the last one was said to be top standard (215). But it was shabby. Old AC was hanging on the wall, the new AC did not work properly, bathroom was dusty.

Breakfast is acceptable, even good if you are the first customer (around 7 am), but an ordinary street café would usually be better. We bought our own bread and freshly made orange juice outside of the hotel and just used their coffee, which was fine!

Room Tip: Try a room on the upper side, away from traffic if you want silence. Or at least higher up. During s...
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  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
3 Thank Laotse2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
M_Vasony, Guest Relations Manager at Danubius Hotel Gellert, responded to this review, 23 June 2014
Dear laotse2,

We do appreciate your very detailed and long feedback on TripAdvisor about your recent vacation in the hotel, and you are absolutely right.
We all really hope sooner or later it will have to be closed for a total refurbishment. Actually the management and the owners do have the plans ready for this refurbishment but at this moment we do not have the information when this will start.

Kindest regards,
Mihaly Vasony
Guest Relations Manager
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Wien
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 11 June 2014

Time for a positive review: We have been staying at the Gellert for a couple of times, and we have always enjoyed it. You simply cannot beat the location, the views, and the grandezza of this aging building. Access and proximity to the bath are, of course, invaluable. Prices are reasonable, especially when you are traveling with kids and need some more space in a suite. Although the living room of our suite (Nr. 323) looked a bit more like socialist office space than like, well, a living room, there was lot of space for the kids to play and to run about. When you are traveling with children this can be very important ... The Gellert indeed provides a fantastic trip back through the socialist and non-socialist stages of Hungarian history in the 20th century. The hotel employs well-trained and very friendly service personnel, and these guys really do their very best to live up to the "Grand Hotel" image.

Of course, the more negative reviews have expressed their criticism for some very good and true reasons: The house is aging, the furniture very outdated and sometimes damaged, bathrooms dated and a bit smelly, there is indeed limited parking, the Wireless is overpriced, and the rooms facing the river are a bit loud due to car and tram traffic. Travellers interested in the Gellert should use the information available in the internet and decide whether they like this "experience" or just prefer another chain hotel. That said, I would still very clearly prefer the Gellert over some of the renovated, but very exchangable chain hotels in the city.

Room Tip: I would always recommend to go for one of the bigger rooms or suites. The price difference is not th...
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  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank tiemanng
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
M_Vasony, Guest Relations Manager at Danubius Hotel Gellert, responded to this review, 24 June 2014
Dear tiemanng,

We thank you for sharing your experiences on TripAdvisor about your recent vacation in the Danubius Hotel GELLÉRT. We also thank you for having chosen our hotel, and for "time for a positive review"
It was a real pleasure for us to read your very kind and very detailed review.
We were happy to read : "prices are reasonable, in the suite there was a lot of space for the kids to play and run about.. the hotel employs well-trained and very friendly service personnel. "
As you heve mentioned "we have been staying in the GELLÉRT for a couple of times" we will be more than happy to welcome you again on a future occasion.

Kindest regards,
Mihaly Vasony
Guest Relations Manager
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Winchester
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 June 2014 via mobile

I was worried about this hotel by some of the reviews I'd read. It was in need of a lick of paint, it was outdated - these seemed to be the genuine feel.

However, I felt that these added to its character. I enjoyed my stay very much. The room was basic but suited our needs, the staff were professional, friendly and courteous, and the overall aesthetic feel of the hotel suited us and was perfectly in keeping with the trip.

The spa was weird in a way and even a bit intrusive but that's just down to us not being used to the culture. A few more trips would have ironed that out. It was worth a try, but I don't think I'll ever get used to a great big burly bearded man giving me a massage. I'm used to my massages having a sense of dignity about them but being ordered to strip completely naked by the guy was a bit nervy for me. Mind you, I felt great afterwards!

The wife and I would definitely go back. We had a great time in Budapest and enjoyed our stay in the hotel.

Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank Ben C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
M_Vasony, Guest Relations Manager at Danubius Hotel Gellert, responded to this review, 23 June 2014
Dear Ben C.,

We do thank you for your kind comments on TripAdvisor about your recent stay in the Danubius Hotel GELLÉRT. Thank you for having choosen our property.
We do appreciate your feedback like "the room was basic but suited our needs the staff were professional, fiendly and courteous ".
"My wife and I would definitely go back " please do so we would be more than happy to welcome you again in the GELLÉRT !

Kindest regards,
Mihaly Vasony
Guest Relations Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
22 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 June 2014

I stayed at this hotel recently for 1 night and really enjoyed it. Is the hotel new and modern, no. If that's what you're looking for then don't stay here. If you're looking for history and that classic feel then this is where you want to be. The historic Gellert baths which are attached to the hotel are beyond relaxing and first time entry is free if staying in hotel (normally entry fee is $50). There is a wavepool out back which I read is the first one in the world and still utilizes the original technology, how cool is that! The location is on Buda side next to Gellert Hill and from here you can also walk 20 min down to the Royal Palace as well as Buda Castle. There is a convenience store only about 1 min walk to the right of the hotel, the hotel restaraunt is very good and also tram stop location right in front of hotel that you can take pretty much anywhere in the city.

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank janders050413
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
M_Vasony, Guest Relations Manager at Danubius Hotel Gellert, responded to this review, 23 June 2014
Dear janders050413,

We thank you for taking the time for a short feedback on TripAdvisor about your recent vacation in the Danubius Hotel GELLÉRT. We also thank you for choosing our hotel.
Yes "if you are looking for history and that classic feel then this is where you want to be" thank you..There seems to be a miscalculation in the entry fee for the bath as it is not more than US 25, HUF 5500.
We do sincerely hope to welcome you again in the Gellért,

Kindest regards,
Mihaly Vasony
Guest Relations Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Perth, Australia
Level Contributor
258 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 106 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 June 2014

This hotel is ideally located on the Buda side. It overlooks the Danube and the Liberty Bridge. Be careful when booking room, make sure your advise if you have a disability. Most showers are in the bath which if difficult if you have knee issues. WiFi avail in rooms at a fee. Free in lobby.
The Hotel is old but has real Hungarian triad tigon on show. Nothing about this Hotel will disappoint. The staff at reception were very helpful finding a suitable room for me. Just over the bridge the famous Market Hall is located.

Room Tip: Make sure you book a room overlooking the Danube. Also be aware that the single beds then to be sho...
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  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Peter M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
M_Vasony, Guest Relations Manager at Danubius Hotel Gellert, responded to this review, 23 June 2014
Dear manooch,

We are pleased that you have chosen to stay in the Danubius Hotel GELLÉRT, and we thank you for taking your time for a short review about your recent vacation on TripAdvisor.
We appreciate your comments like "nothing about this hotel will disappoint...the staff at reception were very helpful finding a suitable room for me"
Hopefully we will be able to welcome you back in Budapest and in the GELLÉRT soon!

Sincerely,
Mihaly Vasony
Guest Relations Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Berkeley, CA
Level Contributor
76 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 70 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 June 2014 via mobile

I'm presently staying at the hotel gellert for 5 nights and am already dismayed. The outside is beautiful, but the inside is in a sad state of repair. Specifically

--my bathroom smells strongly of sewage. Just awful to open the door.


--the bed is about what I had in junior high summer camp. I wonder if the mattress is a 100 year old antique. The springs poke my back


--the room has no temperature controls. Neither air conditioning not an ability to control the heat

--almost everything is worn. Wifi is complicated and expensive for most

It's great that it's historic. It's neat that it has character, but such a bad mattress and a bathroom that smells strongly of sewage ruins it. Sorry. This is not the grand budapest hotel.

Stayed June 2014, travelled on business
Helpful?
1 Thank CountryPlusPlus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
M_Vasony, Guest Relations Manager at Danubius Hotel Gellert, responded to this review, 23 June 2014
Dear CountryPlusPlus,

Many thanks for your comments on TripAdvisor about your recent holiday on the Danubius Hotel GELLÉRT. I am sorry that I did not have the chance to meet you, I surely would have offered you other options.
Yes the hotel will have to close for a total refurbishment we do have the plans ready for this - but this had to be postponed because of the financial crisis, and at present we do not have the information when this refurbishment will start.

Best regards,
Mihaly Vasony
Guest Relations Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
s'Gravenhage
Level Contributor
225 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 May 2014

Just a three day stay this time. Thanks to the hotel manager we got a fantastic double room with a stunning view from the balcony, overlooking the Danube, the Liberty Bridge an Gellért Hill. The hotel is almost a hundred years old which is visible in some areas, but it is beautiful and charming. The staff was very friendly and helpful, as always. Breakfast is included in your stay and very luxurious. Really elaborate, it's fresh and well displayed. I loved every time I stayed in the Gellért, and I will go back for more!!!

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Anna630_5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
M_Vasony, Guest Relations Manager at Danubius Hotel Gellert, responded to this review, 5 June 2014
Dear Anna630_5,

We do thank you that you have chosen to stay in the Danubius Hotel GELLÉRT several times. It was a pleasure for me to offer the best available room for you and we are grateful for your very kind comments after every stay on TripAdvisor. We appreciate your kind feedback like "the hotel is almost a hundred years old,...but it is beautiful and charming...the staff was very friendly and helpful ".You wrote: I will go back for more,- you are welcome just let me be informed about your arrival,so I could assign a nice room again.
Sincerely and my kindest regards,

Mihaly Vasony
Guest Relations Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Danubius Hotel Gellert

Property: Danubius Hotel Gellert
Address: Szent Gellert ter 2., Budapest 1114, Hungary
Phone Number:
Region: Hungary > Central Hungary > Budapest > Gellert Hill
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#19 Spa Hotel in Budapest
#65 Family Hotel in Budapest
#71 Luxury Hotel in Budapest
#83 Romantic Hotel in Budapest
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:4 star — Danubius Hotel Gellert 4*
Number of rooms: 233
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Art Nouveau style Danubius Hotel Gellert first opened its doors in 1918, and has long been an iconic Budapest landmark that has even featured in Hollywood films. Its stately building, at the foot of the Gellert hill, also houses the world-famous Gellert Baths, which include an outdoor pool with the original wave-generating device installed in 1927. Over the years, some famous names have stayed at the Gellert – including American presidents and European royalty – and the hotel retains the elegant atmosphere of a bygone age. Guests can enjoy superb cuisine at the Panorama Restaurant or Gellert Brasserie, and take advantage of wellness treatments and medical programmes at the adjacent Gellert Baths. Furthermore, the hotel is the perfect base for exploring, located next to one of Budapest’s most beautiful bridges and a short walk from Pest’s Great Market Hall and shopping streets. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Danubius Hotel Budapest
Hotel Gellert Budapest

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