After a disappointing attempt at staying in a private room in a hostel this March (n.a. 2017) in Budapest, we decided to look for either hotels or rentals. Some horror stories via Airbnb later and a big price on the Airbnb place that sounded (and looked) good and I was ready to look for a hotel. Many searches later and I chose Central Hotel 21. I booked the 3-star hotel via Booking.com and I paid once I got to the hotel (56 euros in Forint for 2 adults in a double, no breakfast).
How to get to
When I searched for a place to stay for my weekend in Budapest (in Nov 2017), I wanted something central or with easy access to the public transportation. Central Hotel 21 is super close to Rakoczi ter metro stop on M4 (green) and also within a short walk of Blaha Lujza ter metro stop on M2 (red).
If you come from Keleti train station, hop on M4 for 2 stops. Get off at Rakoczi ter, cross the street and then follow the small street passing by two bookshops. After the police station, make a left and keep walking on the left-hand side. Soon enough there’s no 10 on Maria ut. Reception is at the first floor.
If you come from the airport, get off M3 (blue) at Deak Ferenc ter and then switch to M2 (red). Get off at Blaha Lujza ter and walk down on Jozsef krt all the way to the M4 stop. Or hop on tram 4 or 6 to Rakoczi ter (3 stops).
We know Budapest well and I still used Google maps to figure out the part from the M4 stop to the hotel. But it was easy to get to.
Central Hotel 21 offers 26 rooms and 3 apartments. The 6 adults apartment is 55 sq and the 4 adults apartment is 40 sq m. The triple room is 20sq m, while the deluxe double is 15 sq m. The standard double (the one we chose) is 12 sq m.
I really loved the neighborhood and the old building the hotel is located in. And I was super pleased by how new and clean the standard double room was. It wasn’t big by any description and the bathroom is rather tiny. But, for us, it was great. Warm, with the possibility to adjust the heating, clean, and big comfy bed. There were enough electrical plugs available (I counted 5!) which is always nice. I immediately fell in love with a small corner where a writing area was located alongside a phone and a lamp.
There was a cupboard (we never used), as well as lamps and drawers on both sides of the bed (never used them) and a safe (we never used either). There is a mini bar, too (you have to pay to fill it up, of course). The bathroom has as hairdryer and there are toiletries available. You can also request a shower cap at the reception.
We also had a big TV (and exactly one channel in English…) and there was decent wi-fi. And by decent I mean, it worked properly when others weren’t online (typical). Thanks to the latest “roam like home” law in the EU, I have enough data in roaming to not even worry about wi-fi at the hotel (unless I have to work). My husband, on the other hand, did say that the wi-fi was unreliable at time.
As a vegan, I decided from the time of booking that I won’t be paying for the breakfast as I knew the options were limited anyway. So, do yourself a favor and don’t pay the extra 6 euros per person per day for that either.
We found the hotel easily and walked up one flight of stairs, passing by the locked storage. At reception, we managed to get all formalities done fast and in English. I requested early check in as check in is at 2 pm and we arrived before noon. We were lucky that a room was ready and we settled in fast. Changed clothes and out we went to grab a bite to eat.
Happy Cow app failed me miserably as it kept showing a place super close to the hotel (which closed meantime and was non-existent in reality) and we ended up at Subway. So yeah, for the food part, make your way towards Blaha Lujza ter.
After we roamed the city for a good while, when we came back, in spite of not turning on the heating, it was really nice.
So we fell asleep for a bit before we showered and went out.
I usually have a super hard time adjusting the hot water in any accommodation but , this time, it was really ok.
We turned on the heating when we went out and by the time we came back, it was a bit too warm so we adjusted it for overnight. I really like to be able to sleep in a t-shirt and shorts, so loved it.
Central Hotel 21 also offers exchange services from Euros only. The good part is that they use the official exchange rate so we exchanged 50 euros before we headed out (although I counted 3 OTP banks within a short walk of the hotel).
The next day, check out was at 11 a.m. but given our choice not to have breakfast at the hotel, we left around 10:30 a.m. A Sunday coupled with not-so-many food options and I lived off a strong espresso until almost noon (intermittent fasting FTW!).
Overall, we really enjoyed our first stay in a 3-star hotel. I loved how cozy the room was. The small bathroom didn’t really bother us (though it could have been a bit bigger). For the summer there’s AC.
What bothered me was the smoke coming from the smoking area (which was in the courtyard). At first, I thought people were smoking on the terrace close to the rooms but quickly found out, the smoke was making its way up. The rooms are non-smoking, of course.
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