Budapest – Hungarian Tourism Invitation October 2011

Sally and Evie travelled to Budapest – a 3 day trip organised by Hungarian Tourism.

Taking a direct flight from Gatwick to Budapest. 30 minute transfer to the City Centre.  We managed to visit five luxury 4* and 5* hotels, along with Restaurants and venues suitable for a variety of dinner events.

Hotels included:
* Zara Continental Hotel –  located in the heart of the City. Originally a Spa, this building is unique – mixing art nouveau and modern interior. 6 meeting rooms. Rooftop pool, Spa and Panorama Roof Garden. 272 bedrooms free WiFi, Suites with terrace. This hotel is ideal for those looking for a trendy venue.

*  Boscolo Budapest Hotel – 185 cosmopolitan style rooms. A brand new modern conference area has just opened now taking up to 550 in main hall – lift into room allows access for a car launch. All materials for this project were shipped in from Italy. “I believe this is the first time I’ve seen seamless silk wallpaper in bedrooms”.
The Hotel’s New York Cafe offers a dining experience not to be missed – famous for it’s American Cheesecake.

* Four Seasons Gresham Palace – 179 large bedrooms, including suites with vaulted ceilings and step-out balconies. Dining Room and modern glass winter garden suitable for private events. The former Palace was restored and opened in 2004.

* Hilton Budapest overlooks Buda Castle, ruin courtyard, and views of the City.  This venue offers has the largest conference hall, 3 open-air venues in the hotels grounds.

We stayed at the InerContinental a modern hotel located along the Danube with bedrooms overlooking the River, Palace and Castle. The hotel has the largest Ballroom in Budapest. All meeting rooms have natural daylight. Ground floor terrace alongside the Danube can be used for Cocktails/Receptions. The hotels Club Lounge offers an extended breakfast and use of business corner- it’s boardroom is offered first 2 hours free of charge, booked on a first come basis.

We experienced Hungarian and speciality cuisine at a variety of Restaurants and Cafes:

* Modern and Traditonal Hungarian cuisine – at 2 art deco Restaurants within 5 minutes walk of central 4* and 5* hotels
* Dine on board a River Cruise along The Danube, Eventboat moored by 3 riverside hotels
* Equestrian Park a 30 minutes drive from the City. Venue is home to the Hungarian Horse Driving world champions. Book an evening horse show followed by traditional Hungarian Dinner and Folklore Programme.
Afternoon tea in the Salon at one of the oldest, largest confectionary Cafes in Europe! Venue also caters for large private dining events.
* Sample drinks in a ‘Ruin Pub’ – the latest trend in Budapest

You could also choose to organise a dinner event at the Palace National Gallery or Opera House. Many hotels offer private dining on top floor with terrace and views. Alternatively guests could enjoy a champagne drinks reception at the Royal Lounge Hall Budapest Station, followed by carpetted farewell, brass band … then board a steam train to dine at the Hungarian Railway Museum.  Or incorporate a sightseeing tour of the City into your event Programme, with historic Limousines.

Many of the hotels we visited offer meeting rooms with state of the art AV, spacious accommodation, and outstanding dining spaces. Also a good mix of traditional architecture – with stunning stained glass atrium and ceramic mosaics.
Many hotels have adjacent properties of similar standard, which makes Budapest a good destination to host large events where you may spread across more than one venue.

We attended the Business Travel Show and met other group representatives during a Workshop: Accor, Radisson, Le Meridien, Marriott, together with neighbourning destination bureau Prague.