Q: What is it? A: The first so-called ‘design hotel’ in Budapest. Opened in 2007. Modern and friendly with quite the view over the Danube. Not even close to luxury, though.
Isn’t it located on the ‘wrong’ side of the river?
People advised me not to book this hotel. ”Naah, you shouldn’t stay there. Everything that’s happening will be happening on the other side.” Yes, that’s true. The Buda side of the Danube is dominated by a ginormous castle and some sleepy suburbs. The landmark ”Chain Bridge” that spans the Danube takes you to all the action. It seems to me like those people are either in favor of walking in stiletto high heels or very lazy. A mere six-minute walk separates the Buda area from Pest, and even in winter time, the walk is a pleasant one, (and those who feel exhausted may have a drink in The Bar in the lobby of the Gresham Palace).
It tries to look modern. It’s fairly successful.
The architect László Benczúr obviously tried to create something contemporary. It’s quite a successful attempt. The hotel is no whimsy Philippe Starck-clone. Nor is it suffering from a lack of ideas. What it might be suffering from, though, is a lack of space, (it’s much smaller than the wide-angle photos you see on various websites). I am prepared to put up with that as my room, (#001, one of the three suites on the top floor), is certainly not small. It also gives you one of the better views that I’ve ever had from a hotel room. As usual, the attempts to be minimalist creates new kinds of problems for hoteliers: A little dent or a scratch will look like a meteorite crater. Sure enough, the Lánchíd 19 keep an army of painters busy in the atrium and my suite would soon benefit from a little renovation by this army.
The concierge alone makes it worth a stay…
The Lánchíd 19 is no five-star operation. It couldn’t be. Actually, I would put it in the budget category, as prices are almost ridiculously low, particularly if you take advantage of the pay-in-advance offers. Still, no sleek design or nice price tag would qualify a hotel to remain in my book. In the case of the Lánchíd 19 the concierge services are what really makes it worth staying there, thank you all, guys! The staff is very helpful and sometimes that is needed in Hungary, as the language barrier could actually become a barrier in this country, (the translation of Warning is Figyelmeztetés… well, you get the picture).
Q: Recommended? A: Recommended!
Book early, as the Lánchíd 19 offers only 45 rooms and 3 suites. Arrive with sound and modest expectations and you will probably find that this hotel exceeds them. Don’t expect 24-hour room service. Expect a friendly place with a price tag in the budget range and you will still be smiling upon check-out. If you ask me, Budapest is a pretty cool city where things are changing quite fast. People are friendly and there are quite a lot of things to see. The mental iron curtain is no more – it’s safe to say that I will be back.
Lánchíd u. 19-21