A couple weekends ago, I had the wonderful opportunity to relax at a 5 star hotel and spa in Hungary. This was a part of a larger gift from my husband (which I’ll share in another post). For about a month I’d been impatiently waiting for this trip. Since we travel so much and every weekend is filled with some sort of activity, it’s nice to get away once in a while. Our destination was a small town in western Hungary called Sárvár. Sárvár is known for its medicinal thermal waters which attract a wide range of bathers – from people with ailments to people who just want to shut off from the real world and relax. One of the best hotels for this is Spirit Hotel.
Welcome to Spirit Hotel – An Amazing Spa in Hungary
Spirit Hotel is located away from the town center, hidden near a serene park to ensure guests have the utmost peace and quiet during their stay. The reception and lobby area is very grandiose, filled with lots of light and interesting architecture. When we arrived, the staff were very welcoming and accomodating and quickly make you feel at home.
The rooms were quite big. My mother-in-law (MIL) had a single bed suite, and the bed was very large. Usually when you have a single ‘twin’ bed, it’s quite narrow and small. This bed was practically 3/4 away from being a double bed. She had lots of walking space, a big bathroom, plenty of closet space, and a balcony that overlooked the main pool area.
My husband and I were two doors down from my MIL, in what’s called a superior room. The room was huge, as big or even bigger than a studio apartment. The bed was oval shaped (think romantic) with lots of space and good pillows (if you know me, I hate it when a hotel only gives you those big giant pillows, because I can’t sleep on them). We also had a balcony with chairs and a chaise lounge in the room. It was very cozy.
Each room also comes equipped with a ‘Handy’ cellphone. This phone is free to use during your stay – you can make international calls, use mobile data, even download apps (if you want to Skype someone and not eat up your roaming data on your own phone). I would find this pretty useful if I’m from outside the EU zone and didn’t have data (I know international data plans are expensive in the US). Read more about ‘Handy’ here.
Side note: the wifi was pretty accessibe everywhere in the hotel, even by the thermal pools and regular outdoor pools.
Relaxing in the Spa World
Needless to say, when we got to our rooms, we quickly changed and headed out for the spa area. There was no point in wasting time! The entrance to the spa is pretty visible as it’s right in the lobby with big ‘SPA’ letters. After walking down a long corridor with lots of doors that take you to various procedures or massages, you’ll find yourself at the main entrance. The gym is also close by, and is well-equipped with weight machines, dumbells and cardio machines, a couple yoga balls and even a couch! It’s right before the entrance to the spa world, so you can work out, shower and go straight to the pools without getting lost or having to walk back and forth between rooms.
The spa world consists of 22 pools and jacuzzis between four areas: the thermal pool area, the indoor pool area, the sport pool and the outdoor pool. Of course, as is the case with thermal waters, the thermal pool is very hot with temperatures sitting around 36 C ( 96.8 F). The other pools are cooler, but still warm so that you can sit in the water for hours on end. The only cold pool was the sport pool, which was a regular pool temperature (not sure what it was, but it was was cold).
Near the thermal pool area is a sauna world with 7 saunas, an ice chamber, a cooling pool and showers. This is a great place to sweat out some toxins and enjoy some quiet. The hotel also holds sauna ceremonies 2-3 times a day which are a bit more intense and only for those who can handle the heat.
The outdoor and indoor pool areas have a lot of lounge chairs, but if you want a good spot, it’s a good idea to go early in the morning and put your towels down – before breakfast! We were early risers, heading to breakfast every day between 7:30 and 8:00. But even by 9:00 the good lounge chair spots were taken and I quickly realized why. People would head out at opening time (7:30), claim their spots, and then head to breakfast. This was annoying, because many people wouldn’t get to their lounge chairs until noon, so they were empty but taken. At many other hotels, I’ve noticed that staff regulates this and doesn’t allow you to claim chairs early in the morning and then leave for breakfast. This is something Spirit Hotel could work on.
There are also fancy day beds that you can reserve for 5000 FT a day. They look luxurious, are pretty big and come with pillows and mattresses and cover from the sun.
The spa world also has a bar restaurant, where you can head over and grab a mohito or a quick bite to eat. They have a full drink and food menu, so you don’t have to worry about heading out of the spa area to grab lunch. There was also no problem with taking drinks into the pools from what I saw.
And finally, remember your sunscreen, drink lots of water, and put that phone away. Take it all in!
After swimming and relaxing all day (it’s exhausting doing nothing), dinner is something to look forward to. One thing I really liked about Spirit Hotel is that they have a dress code for dinner. Gentlemen aren’t allowed in shorts and should be dressed accordingly. Yes, there were a couple times I saw someone disregard the dress code and they had looked like they had rolled around on the ground before coming to dinner, but most people were very well dressed.
Dinner was buffet style with class. After finding a table and ordering wine, you can head over to grab food. There are many buffet ‘bars’: Appetizers, Salads, Cheese, Main Dishes, Grill bar and Deserts. Spirit Hotel prides itself in the fresh and organic produce it uses in its dishes. They even grow their own herbs on the rooftop!
The best thing to do in a place like this, is to grab a small bit of everything (that’s if you have a need to try everything). That way, you won’t be full and you will still have room for dessert afterwards. And leave room for dessert. It’s delicious. The little tiny squares of cake allow you to have a nice variety of dessert. They even have a small ice cream bar!
The buffets do vary a bit between dinners. It’s not the same thing every day, although some sides or desserts may be repeated. But the main courses are different each day so we definitely didn’t get bored during our three dinners.
There’s also stuff to do in the evenings at Spirit Hotel. The hotel has two evening bars, one in the lobby, and one downstairs with a bowling alley. If you feel like playing a game, reserve a time slot ahead of time, since it seemed like the whole hotel wanted to bowl when we were there.
The bars have classic drinks available, but also their own signature cocktails, many of which were fantastic. There was some sort of basil mohito, a banana coolada, and more. The lobby bar is right next to this beautiful lounge area with lots of couches and tables where people gather in the evening and listen to live music. One evening there was a piano player playing everything from classical pieces, to modern songs like Adele’s ‘Someone like you’. Another evening we had a latin style band that kept things a bit livelier. There was also a card table for four, so bring your cards, listen to music and have some old fashioned fun.
Other Things to Do
If you’re looking for something exciting to do after a couple days of just relaxing, you can head on over to the waterpark next door. Ask reception for a discount coupon, take a 5 minute walk and you’re there. This is a great place for kids or grown ups who are kids at heart. There are many slides, toboggans, pools and adventure areas. Also, right next door is an adventure park with zip lines, high ropes course, archery, climbing, and much much more. There’s definitely stuff to do for everyone in Sarvar, and I’d highly recommend it as a good location to relax and to have fun.