I really dig nice hotels. I’m a Taurus, and apparently that makes me a sucker for luxury. I like old school hotels, and I like nice post-modern ones, too.
We’re staying at the Novotel Budpaest Danube, a four-star hotel that’s right on the river in Buda, directly across from the Hungarian parliament. In actuality, it’s not a particularly remarkable hotel, but they’ve done it up nice. It’s a very modern, comfortable business hotel, with all the amenities you’d expect. The staff speak good English (certainly not a requirement, but handy) and have been very friendly and helpful.
At first glance, the location looks a little dubious. It’s seemingly central, but most of the cool stuff in Budapest is either up in Buda Castle or across the river in Pest. Happily, the hotel is two minutes away from both the excellent metro system and a tram line. We’re big believers in using public transport when we visit big cities–driving is usually stressful, frustrating and expensive–and so the location has worked really well for us.
I enjoy modern European hotels because they’re often full of cool, tiny design features which I haven’t seen before. I’m not one to peruse House & Home magazine, so these may seem unremarkable to everybody else.
I really dug the anti-steam mirror. I guess the hot water tubes are run behind the central portion of the glass, and it never steams up. I also liked the nifty sink, where the counter just kind of melts smoothly into the basin:
In the toilet room, I enjoyed another playful design element. In many parts of the world, they divide the toilet’s flushing mechanism into two buttons. This is a clever water conservation strategy, as you need less flushing water for, uh, number one than for number two.
In this bathroom, they’ve kind of exploded the scale of the button (which is usually the size of a loonie and embedded in the top of the basin), rendering them as two stainless steel bubbles on the wall. Cool, eh?
This is a great example of how clever designers rethink ordinary things and show them to us in a new way.