While I was looking for a hotel in Budapest I started with Accor Hotels. I have stayed with them in the past, both as a guest and as a hosted blogger. I quite like them, I know what to expect and they have never disappointed me. Also, they have a great range, right from Ibis Budget to Raffles and Fairmont. My quest ended up with booking Novotel Budapest Danube.
Accor has many properties in Budapest. Sofitel was out of my budget so it was quickly ruled out. I had to choose between two Novotels, Ibis Styles and Mercure. In the end I went with Novotel Budapest Danube because I loved the pictures I saw on the website. I said to myself, “I may not get the view of the parliament from the room but I will surely get it from somewhere.” My only doubt was what if the view was not representative? But I got what I saw in the pictures and more. My sister and I thoroughly enjoyed our stay at Novotel Budapest Danube.
To get my relationship with the hotel clear, I paid for my stay and other major expanses. I did get in touch with the good folks at the hotel before I went. I was given a nice room with a view. Other than a late check out and the nice view, I paid for everything else. In return I did an Instagram takeover for stories on their handle during my stay.
I signed up with Le Club Accor. I got a few emails about my stay before I arrived. One of it was about online check-in. It is a great thing, do make use of it. I entered all the relevant information online. So, when I arrived at the hotel, they just needed a signature or two and my credit card to hold some amount on it! My check-in was a breeze and we needed it. We were really tired after our long journey from Delhi to Budapest with a halt in Rome.
We asked for twin beds and we got it without any mistake. We had a great view of the parliament building from our room. We stayed in 338, it has a great view. On the first day, my sister and I could not take our eyes off it! When we would do Whatsapp calls home, she would show the view to everyone, I did the same. The room with the view made our stay truly memorable!
We had good sleep throughout our stay. The room was made up without fail! The bathroom was clean and the accessories fair trade.
There was tea in the room. But my sister and I are big on tea. So, we carried a bit of milk powder and Indian style ginger tea sachets. It was a great idea. On our next trip together, we will carry more, as we ran out of ginger tea!
I did not book the breakfast with the room. On the first day my sister and I in our great enthusiasm went out for breakfast. From the second day, till our last, we took every breakfast in the hotel. They have a large spread and plenty for vegetarians.
My sister used to like their peaches a lot. I enjoyed the yogurt, eggs, nuts and an occasional waffle! We also liked the baked beans, mushrooms and the choice of breads!
All Accor Hotels to the best of knowledge subscribe to the sustainability program Planet 21. Using Fair Trade products is one part of it. Fare Trade as an organization works with farmers and workers to get them a fair deal!
The usual appeal to the guests to reuse towels is there. I have participated, in a small way, with their Soap for Hope project but in Singapore. I like it a lot that they care for the environment and make a big deal of it!
Proximity to Public Transport
Novotel Budapest Danube is at an easy walking distance from Bethany Tere, a public transport hub. You can catch M2 metro line from here. There are many buses and trams available as well. I used the metro and trams frequently to get around the city.
The Blue Line of Red Bus Hop On Hop Off also stops at Bethany Tere. We bought a travel card which was valid for all public transport with a few exceptions.
Proximity to Restaurant and Shops
Right behind Bethany Tere there are many restaurants and shops. There is a Spar, a general store, from where I used to buy beers. We also did some shopping from there. We tried Edeni Vegan, Coyote Coffee and one Italian Restaurant in the square. You have more options if you hop two stops on M1 and go to Derek Ferm Tere. That takes you straight to the city center right next to the Budapest Eye.
We stayed at Novotel Budapest Danube for seven nights. My sister and I would walk all around the city. It was cold in November. When we would walk through the doors of the hotel into the warmth of the lobby, we knew we were going to be comfortable and well rested! I would happily stay with them again!
I have stayed in many Accor hotels both as a blogger and on my own and I quite like them. They offer a wide range from Ibis Budget to Sofitel, Fairmont, Raffles and more! They have something for everyone and in my opinion that something is good.
I was invited to Mercure Dwarka (Gujarat) as a blogger. It is a newly opened hotel. It was my first stay in a Mercure.
I had a large, clean and comfortable room at my disposal. My room had a queen size bed and plenty of pillows. For decorating the walls, they use paintings by the local artists. I could see the sunrise from my room. I stayed in room number 202.
There were tea and coffee sachets in the room along with the kettle. I would give the restaurant my water bottle and ask for filtered water which they always gave me happily. I drink so much tea that 1 liter regular water is very little for me.
The bathroom was nice. They use fairly traded products which is a great initiative. The shower always behaved well, with great pressure and just the right amount of hot water I liked. I was comfortable in my room.
The buffet breakfast is served at Makhan (means butter in Hindi) Restaurant. It is the only restaurant within the hotel. They serve good food. Given that Dwarka is a religious city, they serve only vegetarian food.
The buffet has a combination of international and Indian foods. I largely ate Indian but succumbed to donuts once! I liked the masala tea they served.
When you travel in a group you end up spending some time in the lobby waiting for your group members. Mercure Dwarka has a cozy lobby with a view of open fields all around if you care to push aside the curtains. On some days I could see shepherds moving around with their herd.
The front porch and the parking area makes for a pleasant evening walk. By the evening the weather at Dwarka becomes balmy due to the sea breeze. It is fun to go for a walk after dinner.
I hardly ever write about the security features of any hotel. Mercure Dwarka follows the standard procedure of inspecting the car at the entrance. They scan the luggage and ask the guests to walk through the metal detector like any other large hotel in India.
Our local taxi drivers made the routine process interesting. They would complain loudly every time the security would ask them to stop the car and open both the bonnet and the boot. They told me no other hotel in Dwarka did this, and anyway what did they expect to find in the car?
I pointed out to them that they scanned all our luggage too and we too walked through metal detection. I added it is standard over the country at least for the bigger hotels. They were partially pacified when they saw our bags also getting scanned after every trip.
Mercure Dwarka is a modern hotel in an ancient city. It makes for a comfortable stay. The food is good. You need to remember that it is a little outside the city. But as there is hardly any traffic in the city you can be in the center in less than 15 minutes by car.
PS. I was invited by Mercure Dwarka on a FAM Trip as a travel blogger!
My stay at Ibis Singapore on Bencoolen is about to end and I will remember it fondly. Singapore was my first trip abroad when I was a Ph.D. student. I was presenting a paper at Nanyang Technological University. Eighteen years later, I have quit my in academics and I am here as a travel blogger to attend #escapers17 on the invitation of Accor Hotels, Soot, Tiger Air and Asia Holidays.
I have stayed at Ibis before as a blogger (Ibis Delhi Airport, Ibis Budget at Makassar) and on my own (Ibis Budget in London). I have to say they maintain a standard and you can rely on them to find a comfortable room waiting for you on your arrival. Ibis Singapore on Bencoolen was no exception.
Ibis Singapore on Bencoolen is located at 7-8 minutes’ walk from Bugis MRT. To me being near to public transport is important as taxis turn out to be insanely expensive in the end. There are food courts and shopping malls around. Bugis has the Downtown line so you can directly go to the major attractions of Singapore.
I have a comfortable room and for a change I am writing my review sitting in the room itself. I stayed in 1006 at the 10th floor. As I have stayed with Ibis before I am familiar with the layout.
The bathroom is functional and clean. And by night when I have completely tired out myself, I can switch off the room lights right from the bed.
I also like that they place a lot of emphasis on reusing the towels and the linen. I need to find out more about their Planet 21 program. There is a working table in the room but I mostly worked sitting on the bed! I could charge all my gadgets easily.
The Room with Extra Benefits
If you are staying at Ibis you can book a room with extra benefits. It automatically gives you early check-in and late check-out.
However, what impressed me most is the pre-loaded phone called Handy. It comes with a local SIM which already has unlimited internet access. You can make calls to 27 countries (India included) both to the land line and mobile phone.
I used it in a slightly different way! I would turn its hotspot on and connect my own phone to it! And then I would use my phone as I use it anywhere. My family stays in touch with me via Data calls so I did not use the calling feature of Handy. So I did not buy a local SIM at all. I found Handy most useful because all I need was to turn the hotspot on and get connected via my phone!
Food at Ibis Singapore on Bencoolen
Being a vegetarian has become easier and I could find many choices at the Ibis Singapore as a vegetarian. I took many meals here and I could find vegetarian choices at all three meals, breakfast, lunch and dinner. At breakfast they have a bit of Indian options too. The bar cum restaurant has a 24X7 menu which is really useful. I was late one night. It is comforting to know that you will get food in your own hotel when you are dead tired.
I quite liked the hotel. I would happily stay at the Ibis Singapore on Bencoolen again.
My trip to #escapers17 has been sponsored by of Accor Hotels, Soot, Tiger Air and Asia Holidays.