So, we keep our word, and next time turns out to be an 8.05am flight to far-off Australia, meaning that check-in opens at around 5.05am and we'd like to be there then at the head of the queue to try to get a good seat for the long, long journey. That would mean leaving home at 4am after getting up at 3.30am, an experience that, for us at least, has us feeling semi-suicidal for a considerable while until we start to accept our fate and a slow but sleepy recovery begins.

Instead, we head out to the ibis Styles Budapest Airport the previous afternoon, and settle in for a relaxing evening and night after booking a wake-up call for 4.45am. When the room phone rings, we take the suitcase over to the terminal and check in, then go back to the hotel for breakfast before returning to the airport with our hand baggage to go through security and on to the departure gate.

Travellers to many other capital cities who want to stay near the relevant airport have long had nearby hotels to choose from – and occasionally hotels can be found within airports themselves – but Budapest's Ferenc Liszt International has been lacking. Now, with the opening of ibis Styles Budapest Airport Hotel by the Paris-based AccorHotels group at the start of 2018, passengers not only have the same convenience, but it is a probability that few airport hotels are as near their terminals as Budapest's.

One of the ibis Styles' selling points is that it is virtually rubbing shoulders with Terminal 2B, just three minutes walk away along a covered pavement. A few small sections of the covering were missing when we visited, thanks to preparations to build a multi-storey carpark to replace the ground-level open carpark. Luckily, in November, it wasn't raining or snowing during this short journey.

We read somewhere that the design of the five-storey ibis Styles, with its sleek white exterior, was conceived to resemble a curvaceous jumbo jet, created according to the plans of architect László Szerdahelyi of Aspectus Architects. Airport management describe the hotel as having an emphasis on design, comfort and creativity. Certainly, less than a year into its lifetime, the hotel remains gleamingly attractive on the outside, and inside too – once through the revolving door with its invitation to “Escape from monotony, just come on in” – everything is still sparklingly modern and inviting.

The 145 guest rooms come in three configurations – Standard, Junior Suite and Suite – and are air-conditioned with a flat-screen TV, in-room safe, work desk and hairdryer. All rooms have microfibre pillows, soft duvet and a 7-cm thick mattress topper for greater comfort. There is free WiFi throughout and the whole hotel is smoke-free. Most importantly for a building sitting right next to jet engines and runways, the rooms are securely soundproofed, as are the six meeting rooms.

The hotel is thus useful for business and leisure travellers alike. Wizz Air had taken over two of the meeting rooms while The Budapest Times was at the hotel. On this day the three receptionists are busy with coming and going guests.

A paper-plane motif in the corridors and rooms is an amusing idea. The hotel is smoke-free and pet-friendly. Its restaurant and bar are open both to guests and casual visitors. A simple, early-bird, cold buffet breakfast (cheese, meats, fruits, cereals) is available from 4am for those people on really early flights, with a normal hot breakfast laid on from 6.30am. Complimentary coffee and tea are always available in the lobby, where there is also a desktop computer and printer for general use.

The restaurant offers three starters, namely Duck liver paté, Pickled zucchini and Aranchini on beetroot leaves; four soups, being Pumpkin cream, Traditional beef Goulash, Wild board ragout and Pheasant consommé; and the mains are Catfish stew, Whole roasted port knuckle, Venison, Beef tenderloin or Rose duck breast. Desserts are Cottage cheese dumplings, Orange mousse or Red wine cream. The menu indicates whether the courses are vegetarian, lactose-free, gluten-free or include nuts.

The AccorHotels website lists the hotel as three-star. Room rates vary from a minimum EUR 59 and surcharges apply for early check-in, late check-out, parking, pets, extra bed, etc. Mini fridges and kettles with tea and coffee set-up can be hired from reception. AccorHotels has a free loyalty program called Le Club, allowing guests to earn points and special benefits and offers for stays at the group's 700-plus hotels worldwide.

ibis Styles Budapest Airport Hotel
Tel: +36-1 296-0060

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