Review: Colors Budapest Hostel & Apartment, Hungary

Address: Veres Pálné utca 14, Budapest, Hungary
Website: N/A
Facebook page
(for your own sake, DO NOT book with them)

How to get to:

The Room:

I was too pissed to take photos and their photos on Facebook do not match reality (hmmm, I wonder why?!).

We booked a “Standard Double Bed Private Ensuite”. Which turned out to be a double bed (perched on top, accessible with a leader) and a bathroom “accessible via kitchen”.

While I was writing this review, I also went both into my confirmation email and Hostelbookers managage my booking.

Left is the print-screen from Hostelbookers (today), right is the email confirmation from Mar 4. Let’s play the “see any differences game”.

Yup , my original booking doesn’t say “private bathroom” (which would have made me not even book!). Instead it says only “bathroom ensuite”. But after my “lovely” encounter yesterday (n.a. Mar 11 , read below), the Hostelbookers information contains this “vital” detail. How smart and darn, how fast! (sure enough I didn’t have a laptop with me or enough roaming data to write this review yesterday and notify Hostelbookers immediately. They did.)

Our experience:

I’ve been making plans to meet a friend in Budapest and last weekend (n.a Mar 4) we finally narrowed down when she’ll be there so I can go as well. Talking to Alex, we decided that we should stay overnight and not take the 7:10 pm train back. At least we would explore a bit, right?

So, I go on hostelbookers (where I have booked our stays since 2012 without major issues…except this hickup, also in Budapest). I find several option but not my favorite place to stay (which is this one). I figured they didn’t have rooms for the weekend we wanted to go. And I choose Colors Budapest Hostel & Apartment. Good on paper. Not to mention, 30 euros / night and a double private ensuite. SCORE!

Two days before our arrival, I email them to confirm when we’d get there and also get a confirmation we will have towels in the private rooms. And a general nice email, talking to “Blanka”.

Saturday morning, we take the 8:20 am train (yay, no delay) and we got Budapest on time. We told them around 1 pm and that’s exactly the hour we got there. I get in front of the building and I see a sign with the hostel name but no intercom to call. Ok. Weird. I turn on my data roaming and call the number. A very irrate guy explains that the intercom is right under my nose. Excellet, score one point for being “nice”. NOT.

I go up to 2nd floor. He buzzes me in. I say , again, who I am and I get a : I cannot deal with you now, I have some money to sort. Shusses me and shows me where to sit and wait. NOT Cool! I have enough time to check my emails, email and text my friend about our arrival (we were due to meet them at a restaurant at 2 pm). May I say that the “common room” was a lobby, reception, kitchen…everything?! Yeah, cramped. At least the wi-fi worked decent.

He eventually tells me that check in is at 2 pm and proceeds to flirt with another girl who was working on her laptop (in the same common room). I show him the email from hostelbookers where it says check in is round-the-clock. He proceeds to explain me that it is the reception, not check in, and makes me feel stupid . Good going! We have a lovely relationship so far, Sandor! I feel like wringing your neck since I first heard your voice. Probably he hated me already, too.

At one point he explains that our room is actually ready. Wow, couldn’t you have checked, maybe before you started flirting with the other girl? Yeah, just saying! Meantime Alex comes from terrace / balcony and actually tries to talk to the guy in Hungarian, trying to bridge any possible “language barrier”. Same luck as me, by the way. Sandor was just as rude so now he probably hated both of us. And we definitely hated him!

He checks us in, I pay the rest of the money in Euros. And he asks for a deposit of 20 euros or Forint equivalent. Nowhere on the hostelbookers site, reservation or in the email we exchanged is there a note about deposit. (check for yourself, please).

He then prints out this:

And tells Alex (in Hungarian) that if we cannot find it we should come back. And, of course, Sandor cannot go with us there cause he is stuck at the reception. He eventually sends the cleaning lady (I think, the same one he was sorting money with when we arrived) to show us the place. Never mind the building – I get it, it’s old. But check out the entrance to the apartment. And I assure you it was creepier once you entered that door!

First thing I see is a note about the bathroom being accesible via the kitchen. So where is my room since the bathroom is ensuite? In case, you have doubts, this is the definition of “ensuite” (Source):

Definition of en suite for English Language Learners

—used to describe a bedroom to which a bathroom is directly connected or a bathroom that is directly connected to a bedroom

So, I concluded that my bathroom was not ensuite. It was private. And I was already fuming. But it gets “better” . Errr…worse. She opens the door and I see: a window, two armchairs and a leader. I freak out. A leader? Exactly where is the bed? And no, I didn’t take photos as I was litterally shaking. I was THAT pissed. And about to take the phone to call Sandor and release hell on him. Instead, we locked the room, the apartment door, the entrance to the floor…and went back to Sandor and the reception.

By now I was sure I won’t meet my friends at the time we set because I had to deal with getting a refund. And wasn’t sure how easy that would be. I wasn’t going to stay in that hell hole.

So we go back to the reception, Sandor buzzes us in and I plant the keys on his desk and tell him I won’t stay there and want a refund. He asks “why” . I tell him that the room is not what I booked. That is not ensuite and there’s no way in hell I will climb a leader to get to my bed. (SERIOUSLY?!)

His only reaction: “Ok with me” and proceeds with the refund. Both the room payment and deposit.

I would have expected an appology. Or offering a fix. Or at least asking us if we can manage to find a place to stay. Nope, nothing. He was probably glad to get rid of us and we were glad to get rid of him.

We made it to the restaurant with time to spare, by the way. It took me quite a long time to calm down but didn’t escape the head ache that came with the experience.

We arrived back home at around 2 am today (Mar 12) and this morning I set out to write reviews for Tripadvisor and Hostelbookers. That is what says on the latter when I click to review: “It appears you have already submitted a rating for this booking”. No, I have not, by the way. So I email their customer service with my long review I also submitted on Tripadvisor and I also asked them to open up the review for me. Five minutes later I want to take the above screen shot and discover the property details have been updated. Sandor was stuck at the reception and found time to fix the listing.

I kept asking myself if it was my fault for booking the “wrong” place or was it just bad luck? But going over the details over and over again, all I can pin point is how rude Sandor was and how far from reality the reservation email was. If it matters, the hostel does have good reviews on both Hostelbookers and Tripadvisor.

The conclusion? Please, for your own sake, DO NOT ever book with these guys. If you a low budget, there are plenty other options, including this one.

As for us, we will never book a private room in a hostel again.

The good

  • location (close to two metro stations and near the Danube)
  • price (dead cheap)

The bad

  • rude staff
  • room not matching what was booked
  • creepy apartment

Our rating:

(In all honestly, they do not deserve this star either, but we don’t have a rating for “run in the opposite direction while wanting to wring their neck at the same time” kind of place.)

UPDATE: Mar 14, 2017

Guess who gets an answer from Hostelbookers today?

Do I even have to mention that the highlighted info was nowhere on the site when I booked or sent to my email?
So yeah, this was the last time I’ve booked through hostelbookers (refusing to post a review because it’s so bad is quite a sign of how “seriously” they take the complaints).

Note: this article does NOT contain any affiliate links. This was NOT a sponsored stay.

7 thoughts on “Review: Colors Budapest Hostel & Apartment, Hungary

  1. This is so good to know! I will be visiting Budapest again in June and will be staying far away from here. I am so sorry you had such a terrible experience. Honestly good service can turn around a bad experience and they just ruined that twice over.

    • Yes, they did. The guy didn’t care and made sure to let us know that.
      I do like Astoria Hostel but couldn’t find a room this time.
      I was also sorry to see my fav cafe has closed.
      Next time we go to Budapest, we will probably look for a hostel (Ibis, BestWestern, that sort of stuff).

  2. Too bad! I wouldn´t care much about the ladder, but ugh, I hate when they are rude since the beginning. I make it my point to be extra nice to all people working in services, starting at waiters and ending at email support people and it just pisses me off when they treat you like this. I´m not Queen Elizabeth, but where´s the basic politeness?!

    • I am not a fan of climbing down a leader in the middle of the midnight (to tiptoe to a bathroom which opens from the kitchen…)
      I prefer my bed to be on the floor.
      Coming from Customer Sevice, I know that a job in services is challenging but, exactly, where is basic politeness and common sense?

  3. Pingback: Hostel Nightmares: When Hostel Stays Go Bad - Tales of a Backpacker

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *