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CONTINENTAL HOTEL ZARA
The Continental Hotel Zara is a beautiful four-star design hotel located in downtown Budapest. It offers 272 rooms in six different styles ranging from standard rooms to deluxe, executive, junior suite, suite and continental suites.
We spent four nights in a standard queen room at the Continental Zara and this is an honest review of our stay.
Our standard queen room had a really elegant feel to it when it came down to the decorations and the mixture of materials used (wood, leather, cotton, etc).
We thought that a little more attention could have been given to the bed as the photo above shows the appearance as soon as we checked in.
Is it us or does it look a bit disheveled?
There really wasn’t much to the room other than the bed, the wardrobe, a relatively small LCD television and the long bench seating area shown on the left in the photo above. The room itself was smaller than we had expected it to be but we’re never too worried about the size of the rooms when we travel.
One of the biggest disappointments was that our room had no desk or workspace where we could sit down and use our laptops. Instead, we had to use our laptops in bed and it was super uncomfortable. I spent about an hour or two in bed on my computer before giving up due to a sore neck and back.
Considering that the Continental Zara is a four-star design hotel which caters to many styles of travelers, including many business travelers, we were truly boggled by the fact that the room didn’t include a desk/workspace. As I mentioned above, this was a huge issue for us and because of this, we would not recommend that business travelers stay in a standard room here.
I should add that the hotel does offer an excellent business center located just above the lobby of the hotel and while that’s a great amenity to have, there is still something to be said about being able to work or surf the web from the comforts of your own room.
What else can I say? As you can tell from the photos, the bathroom was beautifully decorated and spotless.
We loved the small standup shower located in the back corner of the room. The toilet was square, which we thought was quite interesting. As far as the bathroom goes, it was one of the nicest we’ve seen on our travels through Europe.
As soon as you walk through the front doors, you’re met with this giant lobby which used to be home to the former “Hungaria Bath”, one of the most historic spa/baths in all of Budapest. Very interesting! The lobby is very inviting and has plenty chairs to kick back in if you decide you want to spend some time chatting with friends and family in a common area setting.
In the evenings, you’re greeted with soothing hotel style music by a local pianist.
The indoor pool and jacuzzi are located on the top floor of the Continental. There is also an outdoor rooftop pool as well but it was a little too cold for us to be swimming outside in October. As for the indoor pool, it was quite large for an indoor pool and it was really refreshing.
The jacuzzi was disappointing!
I headed up to the jacuzzi one night in hopes to be able to kick back and relax my muscles after a good workout in the gym and it wasn’t until I stepped into the jacuzzi that I realized that the water was cold! Yes, the shower that I took prior to dipping my foot into the jacuzzi was more like what the temperature of the jacuzzi should have been.
I’m still confused as to why the jacuzzi was so cold? Maybe they were having issues with the jacuzzi that evening? I wasn’t in the mood to ask the staff what the issue was so I simply headed back to my room.
Liz and I really enjoyed the on-site gym at the hotel. We spent our mornings and evenings here working out and we were really satisfied with the equipment. There was treadmills, bikes, free weights, benches, pull up bars, machines and more.
The gym gets an A+ from us, for sure.
Each morning we headed down to the buffet style breakfast located just steps from the lobby. The buffet had just about everything you could think of on offer as far as food goes. From cereals, oatmeal, eggs, bacon, pancakes, fresh fruit, and a boat load of other options. There was also fresh squeezed juices, coffee, tea, hot chocolate and more.
We thought the food quality was excellent but by the end of the four days, we were ready for something different. As with any buffet, it usually gets quite old after eating the same stuff for a few days straight. In saying that, we still highly recommend it!
If you’re a sucker for location when it comes to choosing your hotels, you’ll love the Continental Hotel. It’s five minutes walk from the famous Dohany St Synagogue and 10-15 minutes walk from Deak Ference Sq, the main metro/bus/subway station.
The central train station is located about 10-15 minutes walk and the nearest major mall is located about 20 minutes walking distance from the hotel.
There are all sorts of local restaurants and grocery stores (Tesco) located just around the corner from the hotel. If you need to do laundry, turn left out of the hotel and once you cross the first intersection, you’ll find a small internet cafe/laundromat on your right hand side.
- Free Wi-Fi
- Air conditioning and heat
- Queen-sized bed
- LCD Television
- Fresh Towels/Robes
- Tea Kettle
We encountered a couple of issues during our stay and in all fairness, it’s our job to fill you guys in on the good and the bad parts of our stay.
After our first night at the Continental, we awoke in the morning to a staff member opening our door and then quickly shutting it. We thought it must have been a mistake. No problem! That was, until later on that afternoon two staff members arrived at our door, inserted their card and walked in as we sat in our bed on our computers. I walked to the door and politely asked them what they were doing and they said that they were here to clean the windows (from the inside, of course). They apologized and shuffled down the hall.
The following morning after breakfast one of the housekeepers knocked once quickly and then immediately walked right in our room before we even had the chance to respond. We were furious at this point as it had been the third time a staff member had walked into our room uninvited. We don’t know what is going on with the housekeeping and cleaning staff here but they need to be trained to not only knock but also give the guests a minute or two to answer the door before they barge in.
This was a small issue at first but after the third time, we were pretty frustrated to say the least. There wasn’t a “please do not disturb” sign for us to put on our door otherwise we would have used it.
While we enjoyed our stay, there were some serious quirks about this hotel including the lack of workspace in the room as well as the univited staff walking into our room on several occasions.
Overall, we would recommend this hotel based on the quality of the rooms, the fitness center, and some of the other major amenities. We definitely wouldn’t recommend a standard room here for any business travelers looking for a place to stay in Budapest.
If you’re looking to save money on your upcoming stay at Hotel Zara, book your reservations HERE.