Quick Update from Budapest
Budapest is an incredible city. It's unbelievably gorgeous and the nightlife has been a blast (to say the least) as well. Day 1 was spent roaming around, going to the Four Seasons Spa and of course ... the Britney Spears concert - which was an experience.
First off; the Four Seasons Gresham Palace is a stunning hotel. That being said, it's expensive and the room I booked ended up being on the first floor with an interior view so I ended up paying more to upgrade to a suite which has a small balcony and showstopping views of the Danube (I'll save the full story on that for the review post).
The Britney concert was fun and the Starwood Preferred Guest tickets were phenomenal - we were 3rd row in section 102, which was right off the stage. Considering I got both tickets for 5,000 Starwood points via SPG Concerts, I consider it a very good redemption. Lori who is clearly the bigger Britney fan also had a great time and considering this is her birthday weekend, I consider it a success.
Some notes from the concert: Britney's art of lip-syncing is as strong as ever. She has really mastered the craft and it showed. She was also extremely lethargic. Seriously, I felt like she was in slow motion - especially because her massive crew of backup dancers were amazing.
The show itself was entertaining and I found it interesting that no one was dancing or even standing up at the concert. I'm not sure if that's a Hungarian thing or whether people were dazed that the show was basically Britney's CD blasting at full volume with some slight shimmying on stage. We were seated next to a couple in their 60's - I'm betting a Starwood road warrior who took his wife - who seemed to have a good time, but sat stone-faced the whole night.
We got a late start Saturday, and had breakfast and coffee in the area around the hotel while browsing several unique stores. After grabbing Hungarian for lunch it was off to the Gellert baths in the afternoon, which was a really nice experience. The Four Seasons concierge (who has been nothing short of amazing) set up our Gellert trip and prepared us bath bags; which included towels, shampoo/soap and slippers. The weather has been fantastic here, so we spent some time at the outdoor pool area and also did the indoor co-ed thermal baths. We split up to try out the inner mens/women-only pools, which had ornate tiling. Besides a little confusion around how to get my locker to work and where we had to buy swimming caps, it was a really fun experience.
Today we have a reservation at the Marriott for their famed brunch on the terrace (thanks to TPG reader John's recommendation) and 2-hour Segway tour of the city which should be interesting as I've never been on a Segway before. The weather seriously cannot be better - sunny and mid/high 70s so I'm looking forward to zipping around the city.
More to come!