Our First Apartment in Budapest
"All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveller is unaware."
- Martin Buber
We rented our apartment in Budapest through vrbo.com, one of my favorite vacation rental sites. I was pleased to see when we arrived that our apartment was wonderful...very clean, very comfortable, great beds (we slept better than we have in a long time). I'm not going to cover a lot here about the interior because there is so much information on their site and, frankly, their interior pics are better than any of mine. I only took a couple of phone pics and they didn't do it justice.
The building itself was incredible. I've always been drawn to graphic lines in my photography and this building was fabulous for that! I also love ancient buildings with all their character and history.
Our rental experience in Budapest was fantastic. The couple we rented from were beyond amazing and really have their act together. They were kind, generous, thought of everything, and made sure we wanted for nothing.
They live part time in the U.S. and part time in Budapest. They have a full-time property manager in Budapest (also, a kind and generous person) to reach out to if we needed or we were welcome to call them. They offered to have a taxi driver they know and work with meet us at the station and take us directly to our apartment for a very reasonable flat fee. That made things so easy. When we arrived at our apartment, the property manager was waiting outside to show us everything. She gave a quick little tour explaining how all the appliances worked (which are quite different in each country), where to take our garbage and recycle during our stay, and how to enter the building and apartment, etc. This is a nice treat and not always the case in many rentals where you are left to figure out what the different wash cycles, or other things, mean when they are in a different language and using symbols that are not universal. Sure, you can eventually figure anything out through trial and error but it's nice to have a helping hand that makes everything easy.
As a backup in case we were either too excited or too tired to take everything in, the owners have detailed instructions in the apartment on running any/all appliances, lots of restaurant information, and emergency numbers for many different things...doctor, dentist, etc. (people the owners are personally familiar with themselves or through friends). On our arrival, there was enough food and drink waiting for us that we didn't have to run out to the store that first night, which was a relief. All household supplies were completely provided, even coffee for the morning.
Obviously, they go above and beyond. For example, in our emails exchanged during the rental process, I asked the owner if he knew where I might find portable hard drives in Budapest because my drives (1 + a backup) were full and the two I bought in Italy (not my usual brand) were both showing signs of failing. He took the info from me on what brand and type I wanted and he started researching it, a lot of research and time on different possible options. Since he is familiar with Budapest customs, he had very helpful knowledge on what delays would be like if I tried to ship over from my usual retailer in the U.S. He eventually found a distributor in Budapest who could order them and he took on the job of being in touch with them, ordering the hard drives, and then following up with them way more than he should have had to because the distributor kept having delays. Seriously, though, how many people who rent apartments would do something like that...with no fee charged for their time, just to help you out? Not many.
I could go on forever with great things to say about them and the way they treat their clients. Here's the link to their website, Budapest Vacation Rentals. If you find yourself heading to Budapest, I highly recommend renting one of their apartments.
We have currently moved into one of their other apartments in a different area of Budapest for the remainder of our stay which I will write about later in another post but I can say already tell you we are loving it.
Martin Buber (1878-1965), quoted above, was an Austrian-born Israeli Jewish philosopher, religious thinker, political activist and educator. He authored several books and is best known for his 1923 book, I and Thou.