This morning at 10am, I was scheduled to visit the Gellert Thermals. Why 10am, I have no clue. It is open all day. After presenting my letter to the cashier, she closed her window to give me a tour of the facilities and then said I could partake of the baths if I chose.
The entire bath area including the pools have been refurbished to their original luster, which I must say is impressive. What is more intriguing is the stained glass panels view from the lobby, but you cannot have access to a view unless you pay admission, a whooping 3,800 Ft for a cabin or 3,500 Ft for a locker. Even then, photography is not allowed.
After sharing this information, she added “It is too expensive for the average Hungarian, so you will find mostly tourists here. If you live in the hotel, you can have access for free.” If you do not stay longer than 2 hours, you do get a refund of a paltry 300 Ft. Zippo, that is the only refund and certainly not an incentive to whisk in and out again.
Outdoors, the pool does look larger than I had realized from peaking through the fence. There is a wave pool every hour. On a higher level, there is a thermal pool with a view of the bridge if you sit at the correct angle. At other contortionist moves will reward you with a view of Gellert Hill and the Citadella. Still the cost has not been justified for me.
This may explain why by 10:30, when I made it to the men’s thermals, there were only seven men around in the two large pools, while one was getting a massage. By 11:15, I had reached my quota of boredom. The guest list increased by three men, but decreased by two.
Yes, the ceramics walls look lovely and crispy new. Yes, it is clean. The locker room attendants still have that “What do you want?” attitude dripping from their pores making guests feel like burglary intruders into their private domains.