Just 6 km from Eger and within two hours of Budapest, the Saliris (lit. Salt Rainbow) is in Egerszalók, "one of Hungary's most well-known (sic) places of healing power and positive vibrations. Where the Earth and Sky come together...."
Aside from the dodgy marketing blurb, the Saliris Resort is in a truly outstanding location
It sits in the middle of a 17.5 hectare site surrounded by pine forests. Connected by a glass corridor to the thermal spa, the Saliris is recommended for those who like sitting around in hot water while occasionally being pummeled by assorted large men and women.
The hotel is right next to the mineral springs, some guests have commented on the fact that the building's architecture is not in keeping with the beautiful location.
The resort consists of two parts: The Saliris Hotel and Conference Centre and the Saliris Thermal Spa.
The Saliris Hotel and Conference centre has 203 rooms, all furnished to the highest standard and with all the facilities and services one would expect from a 4 star establishment (see the right hand column for more details of the rooms).
International and Hungarian cuisine is served in the restaurant and the staff are multilingual and more than willing to assist guests in any way they can.
Obviously the biggest attraction of the Saliris is the thermal baths, it was in 1992 that the Hungarian Ministry of Health classified the water here as 'medicinal'.
It is indicated for those recovering from orthopedic/spinal surgery and those suffering from eczema, arthritis, rheumatism and degenerative musculoskeletal diseases.
The Thermal Spa with its 17 outdoor and indoor pools (these include a cave pool, jacuzzi, adventure pools and children pools) covers an area of 1900 sqm.
The source of the hot water was discovered in 1961 when prospectors were drilling for oil and gas.
Today the water, having travelled from a depth of 426 metres, reaches the surface at a temperature of 65-68º C, depositing minerals that form the limestone salt hill.
There are only two other places in the world where similar salt hills can be found, one in Pamukkale in Turkey and the other in the Yosemite Park in USA.
The limestone or travertine hill formed by the hot water depositing chemicals on its journey from 423 metres down.
Before the resort was built, there were no restrictions governing the Salt Hill. This obvously meant that people would clamber all over it and damage what is a unique phenomena.
So in one respect the resort is protecting Hungary's natural environment and so should be welcomed
However, many argued that when the hotel was built, it turned what is a natural resource and as such should belong to everyone, into one owned by a private hotel.
Now only those paying can avail of the hot waters coming from the hill (you are not allowed to climb onto the hill anymore, no matter how big your pockets).
The Saliris Thermal Spa really is state of the art stuff
The thermal Spa, has a wealth of wellness facilities:
There are also a variety of treatments available to guests:
Most guests are happy with the comfort and size of the rooms
What you find below are two columns: one outlining the positives of the Saliris and the other the negatives. This information is collated from hotel review websites such as tripadvisor.com and booking.com.
Great views from rooms (if you pay for a superior room)
The Spa facilities are generally very good
Kids love it.
Between 19.00 and 22.00 the spa is reserved for hotel guests- ("sitting in the hot water, in the dark, looking over the illuminated salt hill is an unforgettable experience")
Crowded pools during the day as spa is open to non-guests
Food is poor
Customer service is terrible
Not enough waiters in the restaurant
Glass doors on the toilets
Hotel's architecture not in keeping with the surroundings ("looks like a nuclear bunker")
There is general agreement among reviewers that the lobby is impressive, if not the service at reception
The Saliris Resort Hotel gets a score of 67% on tripadvisor.com (an average taken from 67 guest reviews) and on booking.com a score of 8.8/10 (an average taken from 558 reviews).
From my reading of the reviews, guests are generally happy with the thermal baths and the hotel`s facilities. It is, however, the human factor that lets the place down particularly when it comes to food and customer service