Tag Archives: budapest

Lounge Review: Platinum Lounge Budapest Airport (BUD)

The third lounge that I visited in Budapest Airport was the Platinum Lounge serving Schengen flights. This lounge is located amongst the A gates, so you can only get to it if you’re flying somewhere in the Schengen region. Again, I accessed this lounge via Priority Pass.

Entrance to the Platinum Lounge

Entrance to the Platinum Lounge

This lounge was the saddest of the three that I visited. It wasn’t well lit given that it has no windows to the outside world, and it’s just a large room with some sad food options. There were only three other people in this lounge while I was there.

Also, I just walked into this lounge. When I entered, there wasn’t anyone at the front desk, so I waited for a couple of minutes. I got tired of waiting, so I just sat down, and then only maybe 5-10 minutes after that did two women come out of the back room and go to the front desk. Neither of them said anything or ask me for credentials to enter the lounge.

Lounge seating

Lounge seating

Work stations

Work stations

There is a salad bar with cheese slices, salami, corn, iceberg lettuce, and mayo packets. Given the lack of traffic in the lounge, I’m not sure I’d want to eat any of those things (then again, cheese and cured meats can sit at room temperature for a while). They also had Sport bars and Turo Rudi (another Hungarian chocolate bar; it’s like a curd with a chocolate coating), and the breakfast options were perhaps better because they did have yogurt and cereals.

Salad buffet?

Salad buffet?

Dairy products and turo rudi

Dairy products and turo rudi

Fruits and cereals

Fruits and cereals

Drinks

Drinks

More drinks

More drinks

Bar snacks

Bar snacks

Turo Rudi and some sparkling water

Turo Rudi and some sparkling water

That being said, I would not recommend coming here. Just spend more time at the other lounges and budget a smidgeon more time to get to your gate. This lounge was sad and depressing. I guess if you really want some Turo Rudi or some yogurt, then it might be worth a visit.

Lounge Review: SkyCourt Lounge Budapest Airport (BUD)

The second lounge that I visited at the Budapest airport was the SkyCourt Lounge. This lounge is also accessible via Priority Pass, and it’s also above the main entrance right after you pass through security.

Entrance to the SkyCourt Lounge

Entrance to the SkyCourt Lounge

One notable feature of this lounge versus the Menzies lounge is that this lounge has toilets! No need to pee with the common people. The lounge is also a bit larger than the Menzies lounge with a variety of different seating areas. I’d say the furniture was less interesting but more comfortable compared to the other lounge.

Seating

Seating

Tables

Tables

More seating

More seating

Charging station

Charging station

Coffee and milk

Coffee and milk

Drink fridge

Drink fridge

Alcohols (with Unicum)

Alcohols (with Unicum)

This was the first time I’d ever seen a sandwich fridge in an airport lounge. So many packaged sandwiches. But the sandwiches did not look or smell very appetizing, and it seemed a little excessive given how few people seemed to be using the lounge. But I guess it’s nice to have if you’re super hungry. Beyond the sandwiches, there were also a variety of pastries (both sweet and less sweet) as well as some cereal crackers. There was also a typical assortment of drinks with Unicum making an appearance.

Packaged sandwiches

Packaged sandwiches

Food

Food

Desserts

Desserts

Packaged sandwich

Packaged sandwich

The wifi was blazingly fast for an airport lounge. I got something like 15 mbps both up and down. Some of the signs also say Malev Ground Handling, so I wonder if this space used to be the old Malev lounge before they went under?

Again, this is a solid Priority Pass lounge, but I might hit up the Menzies lounge instead if I wanted some Hungarian chocolate bars.

Lounge Review: Menzies Lounge Budapest Airport (BUD)

There are a number of Priority Pass-accessible lounges at the Budapest airport. The first I visited was the Menzies Lounge. This lounge is located above the main entrance area when you pass through security.

Signage for the lounge

Signage for the lounge

Menzies Lounge entrance

Menzies Lounge entrance

The lounge is just a simple, relatively small room, but there’s plenty of seating. I thought the furniture was cool and funky, and electrical outlets were plentiful. There were a variety of seating options whether you wanted to sit by yourself, stare out the window, or eat or work at a table.

Seating

Seating

More seating

More seating

Interesting furniture

Interesting furniture

Some views of apron

Some views of apron

Cubbies to charge your phone

Cubbies to charge your phone

Alcohol in the fridge

Alcohol in the fridge

In my opinion, the most notable feature of the lounge was the giant bags of Cheetos that were peanut butter flavored and ketchup flavored. I had never had either, so naturally I had to try them. I love ketchup, but the ketchup-flavored Cheetos tasted like ketchup that’s dried up from sitting out too long. The peanut butter ones were more palatable, but not worth the calories. Interestingly, I thought that they tasted better when eaten together.

In terms of other food, there were some packaged Hungarian chocolate bars (including Sport and Balaton bars–try them!), some cereal-ish bars, and some muffins. There was beer and wine on offer, as well as Unicum, a Hungarian specialty.

Snacks and drinks (including Unicum!)

Snacks and drinks (including Unicum!)

More drink options

More drink options

The wifi was decent, and there are no bathrooms inside the lounge. This lounge is nothing fancy, but it’s perfectly serviceable for a Priority Pass lounge.

Hotel Review: Radisson Blu Beke Hotel Budapest, Hungary

The Radisson Blu Beke Hotel has a great location not too far from Nyugati Palyaudvar (a train station that’s also on the blue M3 line, so easy to get to the airport on public transportation) and Oktogon (on the yellow line), so it’s easy to walk to a lot of interesting places as well as take public transit everywhere. It’s a Category 2 Club Carlson hotel, so it’s 15k points per night, and at the time of this stay, I had used two free award nights through the personal and business version of the Club Carlson credit card and thus paid 30k points for 4 nights.

When we checked in, we were originally given a normal room with no mention of status or an upgrade. The welcome amenity for being a gold member was a bottle of water. Honestly, a bit disappointing, both in the lack of recognition, lack of a better room (it wasn’t even a high-floor room), and the paltry welcome amenity, but it was such a steal at 30k points for 4 nights that I didn’t want to complain.

Beds in room number 1

Beds in room number 1

The only qualms I had with our room were the lack of electrical outlets and the fact that the air conditioning didn’t seem to work. Many people have complained about the furniture and decor of the hotel, but I thought it was a step up from the Park Inn Bratislava. The wifi was also pretty fast compared to the other Club Carlson hotels we stayed at on this trip.

On the second night of our stay, it was quite a bit warmer that day, so we ended up calling maintenance to look at the air conditioning since it wasn’t getting any cooler in our room. To make a long story short, apparently the air conditioning on some floors isn’t very good, so after visiting rooms on a couple of other floors, we ended up getting a suite on the 6th floor, and they put an extra twin bed in the living room. Cheers to the front desk agent working that night for really going the extra mile. The suite had a huge living room, and the air conditioning worked well.

Furniture in suite

Furniture in suite

Added bed and table in suite

Added bed and table in suite

Main bed in suite

Main bed in suite

Main bedroom in suite

Main bedroom in suite

Overall, I’d happily stay at this hotel again. Yes, it’s a bit dated, but it’s a comfortable hotel. The location is amazing, and it’s still a pretty good deal at 15k points per night.

Three Magical Hungarian Phrases That Every Tourist Should Know

One of my friends is headed to Budapest, and he asked me for some advice about navigating Budapest, given that I lived there for a time during college. And my biggest recommendation is to learn these three magical phrases:

1) Jó napot kívánok
2) Beszél angolul
3) Köszönöm szépen

These mean “hello”, “do you speak English”, and “thank you”, respectively, which doesn’t sound that impressive or magical, but whenever I used these phrases in Hungary, people would magically become much more helpful.

I have two guesses as to why I had so much success: 1) given that Hungarian is rather obscure and not useful/intelligible with other languages, I don’t think many tourists make any sort of effort to speak any of it, so Hungarians appreciate it when tourists try; and 2) because these are the formal forms of these phrases, Hungarian people find it kind of quaint or amusing that a tourist might try using them and thus become more helpful. I mean, if someone came up to you and said, “I wish you a good day” or “thank you beautifully” (the literal translations of phrases #1 and #3), wouldn’t that put you in a better mood (ignoring of course that the latter phrase isn’t colloquial at all) and more willing to help that person?