Hotels Reviews

A lackluster stay at the New York Palace Budapest, Autograph Collection

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We adjusted our trip last minute from new year’s in Cairo to Budapest, and as luck would have it, there were rooms available at the New York Palace for 35k a night. The hotel looks gorgeous online and is home to one of the most famous coffee houses in all of Budapest so even though we were disappointed to postpone our trip to Egypt, we were very excited to experience Budapest.

We arrived from Rome, hopped in a taxi, and arrived at the hotel around 11:30 or 12.  Oddly the bellhops did not greet us upon arrival, and we lugged our own bags up to check-in. Not a big deal, but after experiencing the level of service at the St Regis Rome it was noticed. In fact, the porters were far more attentive for the rest of our stay so I attribute to a busy NYE check-in.

The Deets:

  • When: December 2018
  • Where: Budapest
  • Loyalty: Marriott Rewards
  • Status: Gold
  • Rate: 35k first night, 190 Euro 2nd night
  • Upgrade: None

Speaking of Check-in…

We queued in the Marriott Rewards Elite line and after the guests in front of us were serviced, continued to wait without greeting as the desk attendant shuffled paperwork. And waited. Finally, with quite an irritated tone he asked us how he could help.  Without seeing our room, status, information, anything he told us our room wasn’t available and we would have to wait or store our bags. We knew we were early for check-in, but it was the overall demeanor and tone used that was inappropriate at best. After check-in and before we left to lug our bags to the porter stand, we inquired about New Year’s. Not his job as he pointed to the line at the concierge…who was a treat as well.

a group of people at a reception


My girlfriend queued up as I excused myself to the bathroom.  When I got back she had a look on her face that told it all. He was a jerk. When I began to ask him some questions he softened a bit, but was clearly irritated that we didn’t have plans arranged already. For someone whose job it is to make guests wants and needs their priority, he not only failed to deliver on that mission, but even managed to make us feel embarrassed and distressed as to our options.

Ultimately we picked a new year’s party that was at Spoon, a docked boat on the Danube. The hotel’s party at the New York Café was sold out. Fair enough. What wasn’t fair was the attitude given to us when we asked… it could be summed up as this: How stupid are you to not have hotel plans, stay at our hotel, as Elite members, and then inquire about attending the party hosted by the hotel you’re staying at.

a menu with a picture of a woman and a picture of a woman

The Room:

We ventured out into town and when we got back, early afternoon, our room was ready.  One thing that I’ve noticed when redeeming points at many Marriott’s ( especially those in partnership like this one ) is that they shaft you on the room. However, we were paying a cash rate of 190Eur for the second night…

We were put in the newer section of the hotel. While that sounds like it should be better, it isn’t. It’s the more communist feeling building vs the beauty exemplified by the older section of the hotel. Not a big deal, but it was just more reason to potentially reconsider staying at a different property on a return visit.

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New York Café

Every time we left and returned to the hotel there was a line outside waiting to enjoy the Café. It’s clearly a huge draw for tourists and when you pull up a map, you’ll see the Café listed before the hotel.

a room with ornate ceiling and chandeliers


The Spa is located near the entrance of the hotel in the basement. We didn’t utilize any of the facilities, and the pool was occupied when I popped my head in, but it’s a small single lane lap pool with mood lighting.

a door with a sign on it


I’m not in love with the location and would much rather stay nearer the Danube or Parliament. It’s roughly a 15-20 minute walk to most tourist attractions, 45 minutes to the famous thermal baths, and 15 minutes to the train station.

a person in a garment in front of a building


The hotel exterior and lobby is gorgeous, and if you were to stay in the main building, I’m sure the rooms and environment feel quite different. Our stay was negatively impacted by the human element of the hotel. Maybe we could write it off to the stress of NYE, but the porters were lovely when trying to flag down taxis during a very overwhelming influx of guests needing help.

Personally, I’d choose to stay at the Intercontinental on a return visit. At just 30k a night, you’ll be under the 40k that is a perk of the IHG Premier card from Chase and the location/view couldn’t be better.

a river with boats in it

In fact, I’d say its location is only bested by the Four Seasons. The Intercontinental seems like a damn steal when you factor in IHG Premier cardholders get a 4th night free, and you can often buy points for as little as half a cent.

If you’re looking to keep in the Marriott family, the Ritz is in a far better location and just 15k more points a night.

Personally, without an incredible rate being offered, I’d stay elsewhere on a return visit.

Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities.

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Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® is a great starter card that earns Premium Ultimate Rewards that can be transferred into over a dozen partners many of which are US based including Hyatt, Southwest, United, IHG, and Marriott.

Welcome Offer

Earn 75,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. 

*you may find an elevated offer walking into a branch – see below

Annual Fee


Points Earned

Transferrable Chase Ultimate Rewards

  • Earn 75,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
    • That’s $750 when you redeem through Chase Travel℠
    • Some people have seen Chase branches offering the following:
      • 75k Ultimate Rewards After $4k spend in 3 months + 10k Ultimate Rewards after $6k in 6 months 
  • 5x on all travel purchased through Chase Travel℠
  • 3x on dining, including eligible delivery services for takeout & dining out
  • 3x on select streaming services
  • 3x on online grocery purchases
    • (excluding Target, Walmart and wholesale clubs)
  • $50 Annual Chase Travel Hotel Credit via Chase Travel℠
    • The begins immediately for new cardmembers and after your account anniversary for existing cardmembers
  • 2x on all other travel
  • 10% Anniversary Bonus
    • Every year you keep the card, your total spend will yield a 10% points bonus. If you spend $10k in a year, you’ll get 1k bonus points
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred continues to redeem at 1.25c in the Chase Travel℠ and the slew of other benefits remain in tact including Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver ( primary ), purchase protections, etc.
  • Points are transferrable to 14 Ultimate Rewards partners
  • Redeem in Chase Travel℠ for 1.25 cents per point
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Suite of Travel and Purchase Coverage
    • Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver is my favorite
  • Get complimentary access to DashPass which unlocks $0 delivery fees and lower service fees for a minimum of one year when you activate by December 31, 2024
  • $95 Annual Fee

We keep an up to date spreadsheet that lists the best ever offers: You can find that spreadsheet here.

Historically 80k is a very, very good offer and hit in both 2022 and 2023. In 2021, we saw the offer hit an all time high of 100k. Who knows if that will ever come back.

Main Cast: 

Cards that earn flexible points and should be used on the bulk of your purchases.

Supporting Cast:

Cards that earn fixed points in the currency of the airline/hotel and can not be transferred at attractive rates. These cards yield benefits that make it worth keeping, but not necessarily worth putting a lot of your everyday spend on. 

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® is exceptional starter card and offers transferrable Ultimate Rewards, and pairs well with other Chase cards.

If you carry this card alongside Chase’s cashback cards like the Chase Freedom Flex℠and Chase Freedom Unlimited® or the business versions: Ink Business Cash® , Ink Business Unlimited® you can combine the points into Preferred account and transfer into hotel and airline partners

Annual fee is quite low at $95 a year + you get a 10% anniversary bonus on points + $50 hotel credit in Chase travel.

The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.


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  • BK February 20, 2019

    Thank you for the review. I took your advice, and booked a room at the Intercontinental.

    • Miles February 20, 2019

      Awesome! Location is fantastic! Thanks for reading 🙂

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  • vk January 16, 2019

    we had a great experience at the marriott and the views from the lounge are amazing

  • Chris January 16, 2019

    We are looking at Budapest for a stay at the end of this year. Just wondering why the Marriott wasn’t in your mix of choices? Any particular reason?

    • Miles January 16, 2019

      Chris – ahhh it was when we booked, but I forgot to include in the review. We wanted something that was more aesthetically pleasing, and they’re the same category, so we went with Palace, but the Marriott would be a better choice from a location perspective. Didn’t visit it, so couldn’t give you an accurate opinion on quality – looks nice tho and the views have to be amazing

      • Chris January 16, 2019

        Gotcha, thanks. And keep up the great work on the blog – we appreciate it!

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