Year by year Budapest attracts more and more tourists – regardless of the season they come to explore the historic buildings and sights, noted thermal baths and the stirring nightlife of the city. After long hours walking and discovering the bustling capital who wouldn’t have yearns to have some rest and just relax. In this regard, Budapest is as well could be a great choice. We tried some of the most renowned hotels to help you decide where to stay when you come to visit Hungary.
# Aria Hotel Budapest
The whole hotel is inspired by music – every single room is dedicated to a famous artist or composer. You can find interesting details of music everywhere around, such as the piano key path which leads the guests into the lobby. The Hotel has four wings, each themed by a music genre: Classical, Opera, Contemporary and my personal favorite, the Jazz wing.
The Harmony Spa offers a fitness program, several kinds of treatments and access to the heated swimming pool, jacuzzi, Finnish and infrared sauna and as well to the aromatic steam room. My favorite routine was to get in the sauna then swim ten lengths in the pool, after that jump into the jacuzzi and lastly lay down on the ridiculously comfy beach bed for a while. The instant refreshing is warranted both for the body and the soul.
Every day from 4 pm. – 6 pm. there is a cheese & wine reception in the lobby, where you can choose among several types of cheeses and both savory and sweet accompaniments. They serve red/white/rosé wine next to the appetizer, up to your choice. Still, the best part is the fascinating music played by a pianist, whose performance guarantee a pleasant conviviality.
Tip: Have a woodland themed cocktail at the High Note SkyBar on the top of the Aria. Doesn’t matter if it’s day-or nighttime, the view is spectacular at any point of the day from there. One of the main sights of Budapest, the St. Stephen Basilica is almost within a reach.
# Prestige Hotel Budapest
My favorite place was the lobby, it literally took my breath away when I entered. The whole interior design with all the little, carefully composed details and the attentive service suggest a clear-out, classic elegance, which makes you feel like a real princess in a fairytale. Though it is not surprising, in the light of that the building is a formal palace. The black and white tiles create a great contrast with the deep orange furniture – the perfect place to take as many photos as you can. The Swarovski crystal chandelier is impressive both in size and in look and above the glass ceiling, you can amaze the noteworthy architecture of the courtyard. The only thing I was sorry about, that it is not allowed to go out on the balcony. The style of the rooms evokes the glorious time of peace and the gorgeous upper-class milieu. I have to admit, I enjoyed a lot to be surrounded by such sophisticated elegance and be treated like a lady of birth and breeding.
Tip: Have a lunch at the Costes Downtown restaurant, which is awarded a Michelin star for its excellence. Besides the exquisite dishes, it has a nature-inspired interior, which breaks the strict elegance of the Hotel what I particularly appreciated.
# Continental Hotel Budapest
Continental is the one which feels like home to me the most. I like returning back here, even if it’s just for a lunch or a few hours getaway in the spa, it has a welcoming atmosphere every time I come. The history of the building is quite interesting, it was a noted Spa from 1820. After years of decay in 2010, the hotel was built on the site – they saved and restored the facade and the main entrance to its full glory.
I have two favorite spots here, one of them is the inner garden. It’s a serene, peaceful place with all the greenery plants and wall paintings around. During spring and summer time I like to have lunch under the open sky, and the Continental offers midday menu at a reasonable price with great quality – so my vote definitely goes to it. The other one is the roof garden with the swimming pool. Nothing feels better than going up to the top floor, dip yourself in the cooling water and then lay down on the grass right above the bustling city but still in a calm environment. The inner pool, the jacuzzi, and the sauna are just the icing on the cake!
Tip: Taste the traditional Hungarian flavors and enjoy the folk dance & music within the confines of a memorable Friday night. Every week from 7 pm. you can try out Hungarian specialties at the buffet table, drink pálinka or a glass of sparkling wine while being entertained by the rhythm of Hungary.
# The Ritz-Carlton Budapest
In the heart of the city, The Ritz-Carlton blends culture and modern elegance together. And as a result, the great level of luxury is incontrovertible. I liked the idea of the mini-exhibition of Hungary related names and inventions like Puskas and the Rubik Cube in the lobby. Plus in every room, there is a special compilation of souvenirs which is a great help if you are not fond of shopping or just have no clue what to take home for your beloved ones.
The location could not be better – the Budapest Eye is right in front of us, the Great Synagogue, the Chain Bridge, and the St. Stephen’s Basilica are in walking distance and the rest of the sights are easily accessible with public transport departing right from the front door. What is more, Andrassy Avenue and Váci street – the two biggest and most famous shopping streets – are just on the corner with restaurants and coffee bars satisfying any taste.
Now here I have to mention the hotel’s restaurant, the Deák St. Kitchen. I love the calm and solid atmosphere of the place, especially when there’s live music accompanying the savory dishes. If I may suggest you something probably it would be to take the sommelier’s advice! He has great knowledge and can introduce you the best bottles to complete your dish.
My other favorite place is the Spa: a little oasis with unperturbed relaxation awaits you there.
Tip: Have a cup of coffee or artisanal tea at the Kupola Lounge right after lunch or during the afternoon till 5 pm. You can taste sweet and savory bites and spend time with observing all the Hungarian pieces of art hanging on the wall, and the iconic stained glass cupola above.