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Danubius Thermal Hotel Margitszget

Margaret Island, Budapest, Phone: 36 1 889 4720
danubiushotel.com

Reviewed by: John from FL, review #1849

When: 2004

Always wanted to go to a SPA but couldn't afford it. Well, now you can.

I have always wanted to go to a spa and relax, but everytime I checked on the prices, it really was out of my range. Then one day, I can't remember the magazine, I read an article about the spas in Budapest. I conacted Tradesco Tours and got a brochure. Surprise, Surprise. There was a 3 weeks for the price of 2 weeks special at the Danubius Thermal Hotel Margitsziget.

The hotel was built in 1979 as the worlds first ever metropolitian health resort hotel. The price was too good to be true for what you got: 21 nights accommodation, with half board (buffet breakfast, lunch or dinner) roundtrip air from New York, pickup at the airport and transport to the hotel, 15 spa treatments per week. Full use of the thermal bath, swimming pool, fitness center, sauna and steam room. The price, for double occupancy was between $2100 and $2900, per person. Sounded a little too good to be true.

But we took a chance and went. Another great decision. The flight was ok, the pickup at the airport was right on time. I had looked up the hotel on the internet and it looked good but what does it really look like. The pickup van drove us to Margaret Island, which is on the Danube between Buda and Pest. The island was beautiful, there are flowers, and a water park and another hotel or two, a church, the grounds are kept in great shape. The hotel was beautiful, more than what we had expected and right next door about 10 yards connected by a tunnel was the Grand Hotel Margitsziget. The room, AC, private facilties, balcony, refrig, TV, telephone. The lobby was very nice, with a lobby bar, desk area and a small shop.

Dinner that night, which came with the total price was unbelievable, there was 5 entrees,great salad bar, dessert area, and more than you could want. Wine which was extra, by the glass was I think, $3 a glass. The next morning we met the Doctor, unless you have something wrong, this doesn't take long, but he does set up the spa treatments. All treatments are 20 minutes long. Massages, mudpack, electrotherapy, etc. After the Doctor you go to the Scheduler and they set you up a 3 week schedule - which by the way you can change if you want. We told them that we didn't want any treatments on Wednesday or Saturdays and that was our tour days of Budapest.

Sometimes, if treatments were scheduled in the morning we would go downtown to Pest in the afternoon. Let me clear up one thing and something we didn't know before we got there. The city is not Budapest, its Buda, which is the older part and Pest which is the newer part, more lively part. The bus was about 10 yards from the hotel, we bought one of those, bus/train/tram/triolley passes and used them anytime and all the time.

Dinner was great the first day, what would breakfast bring - too much. The restaurant we were to find out served International, Hungarian and dietetic menus. If you could not find something you liked - you really had a problem. Some nights there were as many as 7 entrees. You could also eat your meals at the sister hotel, right next door. We did that a couple of times.

The treatments could start as early at 7am and went as late at 8pm. You also get a big white bathrobe and you spend a lot of time in it. Its amazing, here you are in this great upscale hotel, and everyone is walking around in a bathrobe. No bathrobes during meals.

We had a regular schedule, I would get up early and go to the fitness room for about an hour, then my wife and I would go for a walk around the island. There was a 3 mile track that was around the island. Then breakfast and then treatments. There was an indoor and outdoor pool which we spent some time in and also the thermal pool which we went in to daily. We rarely had lunch, the breakfast and dinner were more than enough. Every Wednesday and Saturday, we toured the area.

The staff was excellent, the facilities were fantastic, the food was outstanding and best of all I finally got to go to a spa that we could afford. We went to Buk, Hungary in 2005 to another Danubius Hotel and in July 2007 we will be returning to the one in Budapest.

This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.

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