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Aria Hotel Budapest

The unique Aria Hotel is a lively, hip property with a music-inspired design in Budapest. Indagare reviews.

Boscolo Budapest

When seen from Erzsébet boulevard, surrounded by Communist-era buildings and nondescript storefronts, the imposing Boscolo looks like a transplant from Rome or Venice. Its Renaissance-inspired exterior incorporates Italianate spires, carved figurines and fanciful columns. Italian hotel group Boscolo took charge in 2001 and spent five years and $126 million restoring the property to its former glory. The result is a 107-room hotel that showcases design styles ranging from Baroque to contemporary minimalism with an unmistakably Italian flair (think Murano chandeliers, gold-paneled elevators and five kinds of Italian marble).

Don’t expect subtlety: everything at the New York Palace has an element of flash, from the soaring white marble lobby, which rises six floors to culminate in a huge skylight, to the spacious guest rooms, some of which have oversize gilt-framed mirrors, silk-covered walls and bathrooms clad in colored marble. While the location, a fifteen-minute walk from the Danube, is not as dramatic as that of the Four Seasons, the views from the rooms overlooking Erzsébet boulevard are lovely.

The New York Café, with a separate entrance on the ground floor, was a famous gathering spot for Budapest’s intellectual and cultural elite in the early 1900s. Naturally, it is now a classic Budapest institution.


Brody House

Founded in 2009 and housed in a 19th-century building, Brody House is a modern, and truly one-of-a-kind, boutique property in the center of Budapest. The 11-room hotel and members club promotes local and international art, and each room is individually appointed with the works of a different up-and-coming artist. The hotel also doubles as a gallery; every piece of art is for sale.

The rooms (all named for the designer whose pieces lie within) feature a hodgepodge design that is at once modern and traditional. Some of the rooms feature paint-chipped walls which, when coupled with vibrant contemporary art, are surprisingly elegant. Breakfast and lunch are served in the lobby, and guests of the hotel have access to all member events, which include recitals, wine tastings and creative workshops.

Brody House also owns and leases out a number of loft-style apartments throughout the city that are ideal for longer stays. The residences all have private roof gardens and abide by the art-centric Brody House aesthetic.

Facade at Corinthia Hotel Budapest, Budapest, Hungary

Corinthia Hotel Budapest

Upon entering, the opulent 414-room Corinthia reminds of a bygone era; the grand entryway is marked by a white marble staircase and beautiful glass atrium (and the building’s Neo-classical façade is similar to that of the fictional hotel in Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel). While the luxe property, set on the leafy Elizabeth Boulevard, does not offer Danube views, it is a wonderful option for travelers who want upscale accommodations. The rooms are spacious but simplistic, and offer all the amenities of a five-star hotel. With a  $150 million refurbishment in 2004, the largest in history for a Hungarian hotel, the hotel now features five restaurants offering everything from Spanish tapas to traditional Hungarian cuisine. For those travelers who wish to be in one of the city’s most famed properties and near the National Opera House, the Corinthia is a wonderful, albeit slightly less luxurious, alternative to the Four Seasons.

For families, the indoor pool (one of few in Budapest) is a major plus, and all love the Royal Spa, which helps give truth to Budapest’s moniker as the City of Healing Waters. The exercise facilities, despite being small, are more than sufficient for those who wish to maintain their fitness regimen while traveling.

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 Reception at Four Seasons Hotel Gresham Palace, Budapest, Hungary

Four Seasons Hotel Gresham Palace

The Four Seasons Gresham Palace, is not only the most luxurious option in Budapest, it’s one of the most glorious properties in the hotel company’s entire portfolio. Located in an Art Nouveau palace, it was built in 1906 for the British Gresham Life Assurance Company and painstakingly restored with the help of 100 artisans and craftsmen. The lobby is a folly of stained glass, lofty domes, delicate wrought iron, walls lined in handmade tiles and cream-colored mosaic floors accented with swirling black arabesques.

The 179 rooms and 19 suites are spread across five floors, and the best have Danube and Buda views. The Gresham Palace, which has a fancifully adorned white stone façade that is recognizable from miles away, sits at the foot of Chain Bridge, with unrivaled views of Castle Hill. Many of the palace’s original details were left intact, including soaring vaulted ceilings and heavy Art Deco–inspired wooden doors, but the overall design scheme has a light, modern touch, with a neutral color palette, honey-wood furniture and spacious marble-clad bathrooms. While the rooms feel slightly more generic in design than the immaculate public spaces, the Four Seasons is still the undisputed top hotel in the city.

There’s a luminous wellness facility on the top floor, including a lap pool and an exercise room that overlooks the rooftops of Budapest. The petite spa offers superb treatments for those not wishing to visit one of the city’s famous bathhouses. Meanwhile, Gresham’s bar on the ground floor, which spills into a glass-domed passage off the lobby, is a nice place to meet for afternoon tea or an aperitif. The restaurant, Kozacz, serves French- and Hungarian-inspired cuisine.

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Kempinski Hotel Corvinus

With views of the city and Erzebet Park, the Kempinski Hotel Corvinus is one of the most central places to stay in Budapest. Each of the 349 rooms offers bright, spacious accommodations, but the furnishings, including the occasional garish gold-and-navy bedspread, need updating. For those travelers who enjoy luxury shopping and fine cuisine, the Kempinski is surrounded by a plethora of chic restaurants and stores. The hotel is known to be one of the top business hotels due to its many conference rooms, event venues and meeting halls, and as a result, it feels more suited for the corporate rather than leisure traveler.

For guests who want a break from goulash, the Kempinski’s very own Nobu restaurant offers a change of pace. The multiple other dining options (a macaron bar, candy shop, and Sunday Breakfast at Tiffany’s-themed brunch), will have kids’ heads spinning. But the best restaurant is ÉS Bisztró, which has great alfresco seating and is worth eating at even if you’re not staying at the hotel.

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Superior room at Lánchíd 19, Budapest, Hungary

Lánchíd 19

The Lanchid tries hard to bring some cutting-edge chic to a city famous for old-world interiors, and mostly succeeds. The common spaces and the 48 guest rooms, feature lots of glass and sleek wood furnishings, with orange and green pops of color. Rooms are decently sized and some come with twin beds, a great touch for friends traveling together. The views of Pest and the Chain Bridge from the Danube-facing rooms are fabulous, especially at night when the waterfront is illuminated. Guests should not miss breakfast served on a serene wooden patio when the weather is warm. While the service is friendly and the spacious seventh-floor suites, featuring balconies and Danube views, are lovely, the Lanchid is more boutique design property than luxury hotel.

MaMaison Andrássy Hotel

Andrássy Út, a wide, leafy boulevard lined with neo-Renaissance and neo-Baroque buildings (and a UNESCO World Heritage site), runs from the city center past the State Opera House to Heroes’ Square in the north, where City Park begins. The Andrássy is located toward the top end of the boulevard, in a posh residential neighborhood lined with embassies and private villas. It’s a great alternative for travelers who have been to Budapest before and want to be based in a serene area removed from the busy waterfront.

The Bauhaus-style building, designed in the 1930s by Olympic swimmer and architect Alfréd Hajós, can seem severe from the outside, but the 70 spacious guest rooms feature colorful silky textiles and warm wood furnishings, and several have balconies offering views of the neighborhood.

The Andrássy may not have the most destination-specific décor, but the friendly, capable staff, makes an impression. The location near City Park—offering endless entertainments for children—is excellent for families, though the majority of guests are business travelers, couples and friends.

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Ritz-Carlton Budapest

Built at the start of World War I in 1914, the Ritz-Carlton represents a marriage of historic luxury and modern Art-Deco design. The lobby’s comfortable and chic look perfectly complements the elegant, neutrally designed  rooms. With beautiful art, marble bathrooms, separate bath and showers and heated floors, the 200 rooms and suites are extremely comfortable and homey. Many offer beautiful views of Erzsebet Square, St Stephen’s Basilica and the city center. Situated in the heart of the city and just a few blocks from the Danube, the Ritz-Carlton is popular with cruise ship travelers and often hosts conferences. The property offers guests an abundance of excellent shopping, dining and sightseeing within a close radius, so for those who don’t want to spend a lot of time in a taxi, this is a good choice.

Like many in Budapest, the property’s spa is well known for its indoor pool with natural light and amenities that include a sauna, Jacuzzi and state-of-the-art fitness room.

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