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user review | Hotel

Four Seasons Budapest Gresham Palace, Budapest

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Posted on: September 17, 2010 at 8:19PM

By Guest

The most disappointing hotel stay in the past decade I have been travelling. A series of unfortunate events. This about sums up our experience at this hotel. And this is an understatement. Check in went smoothly. The front desk allowing us to check in early. Room was quite disappointing. A bit cramp and the sloping ceiling made it feel even smaller and the sitting area a bit inconvenient as I bumped my head twice .. But the bathroom was very luxurious, spacious and well appointed. In the afternoon, upon returning to the hotel, we passed by the concierge desk beside the dining room. I asked the head concierge lady Marta if they had any special brunch for the weekend. She looks at me and my companion really sternly and brusquely say, “NONE” . I was a bit surprised by the tone of her voice. So curt. She did not even bother to offer us any other alternative. So, holding my patience, I asked her, “what do you have for weekends”, at which she looks at me sternly and says, “I said, we have no brunch”. I was really really flabbergasted! This is a 5 star hotel that boasts 5-star customer service. Is that how you talk to guests. In the end, she did apologize (but only after I complained) and arranged for a one-hour Danube cruise for us the next day. After dinner on our first evening, I went back to the room looking forward to a nice soak in the tub after a long day. As the water started pouring , I noticed black particles and this rusty orange stain running at the bottom of the tub in several areas. Using the face towel, I ran it through the particles and the white towel turned black mixed with rust colored stains. It was disgusting. At which point I had to call housekeeping to do something about it. The response was quick and people from the front desk actually went up to check on this matter. The housekeeper apparently overlooked this when she did turn-down service earlier and our tub was never cleaned when we checked in. I must say, this is a major faux pax and oversight for any 5 star hotel, more so, for Four Seasons. It was late and Sarlota, the manager offered to transfer us to another room. She was kind enough upgrade us to the room with the bridge view. But it was a hassle to repack our things so late at night and settle in another room. By the time we unpacked, it was too late and was too tired to draw a bath. A really disappointing and stressful day. But the saga continues. The following day, we walked around Budapest and after another long day we decided to try the hotel’s restaurant. Another disappointment. I ordered the lamb and my companion ordered a steak. When my lamb came,I actually asked the waiter if what I ordered was an appetizer? The steak was so-so only at best. Although the service was very good. After a disappointing meal, I thought, I could finally enjoy and relax in my tub. As the tub was filling up, I went out the balcony. After a few minutes, I noticed bugs flying inside our room. Apparently, the hotel failed to notify us that during this time of the year, they get a lot of bug problems. Nobody warned us NOT to open the balcony door or that we could encounter bug problems. To cut a long story short, after an hour of sorting this out, we had to move to another room again. As I was packing my things yet again, I noticed my special travel pillow was nowhere in sight. After reporting it to the front desk and they investigated , we found out housekeeping took it from the room and it got mixed up in their laundry. It took them a couple of days to find it and can you believe that they were actually going to charge me shipping to return it to me. Wow! So I flew out of Budapest without this pillow. They did eventually ship is back to me for free. By the time, we got settled in the new room, it was midnight and we had to catch an early flight the next morning, so went to bed exhausted, really stressed and unable to get to soak. But it just kept getting worst. In the middle of my already fitfull sleep, our door bursts open and all our lights went on. A man enters our room. I was so scared. Suffice to say, I didn’t sleep well for the second night in a row. Upon check out, they only made us pay for one night. But this is besides the point- we came to Budapest and chose Four Seasons to be abe to gey a few days of blissful relaxation and a stress-free vacation NOT a freebie I would rather have paid for a mishap-free weekend rather than a nightmare weekend A day after, their GM, Julien gave me a call while we were in Geneva already. He did apologize and asked me to relay everything that has happened. He knew some of the incidents, others, he was hearing for the first time. He generously told me over the phone that he wanted to send us some free room vouchers so he can personally make up for all the mishaps and bad experience we had. He went as far to say, that it’s up to us if we use it or transfer it to someone else. But rest assured,he will e-mail them to me that same day and hope we could be back in Budapest to use them. Three days later, we get an e-mail from Julien, with him rescinding his offer as we already got a free night’s stay when we checked out. This is really bad form. After the bad memories and experience, I doubt if we were even returning to Budapest. But it’s the principle behind how this entire situation was handled. It was NOT as if Budapest is a destination that we will be going back to anyway after this very bad experience Isn't this the kind of service and review you would get or experience from hostels or 1 star hotels? To be fair, the front desk managers all tried their best to smooth things over . Thanks to Sarlota, Thierry, and Richard. To the hotel’s GM Julien Carralero- NEVER rescind any promise you make to your guests- really bad form and you make it all about the money and NOT the experience. Ans once again, it’s not as if we were going back to Budapest again.

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