From design-led boutique hotels to classically luxurious retreats, the best hotels in Budapest offer the ideal place to relax and recharge your batteries after a day spent exploring the ‘Pearl of the Danube’.
Párisi Udvar Hotel Budapest
The Párisi Udvar Hotel is part of the Hyatt group’s Unbound Collection | Courtesy of Párisi Udvar Hotel Budapest / Hotels.com
As a building, Párisi Udvar (meaning ‘Paris Courtyard’) has seen considerable change throughout the years. First built in 1817, the structure was a fashionable shopping arcade before becoming Budapest’s Central Savings Bank in 1906 and was designated a National Monument in 1976. In 2019, having been painstakingly restored to its former glory, Párisi Udvar opened its doors as a stylish hotel. It offers 110 rooms decorated to reflect the Art Nouveau architecture of the building and work with its unique hexagonal structure while also incorporating elements from Arabic, Moorish and Gothic design. The crown jewel is the spacious Paris Residence, set on the hotel’s top floor and boasting incredible views over Budapest, while at street level, the hotel’s impressive, glass-domed atrium houses a café and patisserie.
Cool new kid on the block Hotel Rum is located in downtown Budapest, just a short stroll from the up-and-coming Ferencváros (District IX) and attractions including the Hungarian National Museum. Designed by Budapest-based architects and designers, this contemporary boutique hotel features 40 rooms, ranging from the cosy, intimate ‘Light Rum’ room to the more spacious ‘Black Rum’ room; whichever you opt for, each offers modern amenities and a fun, quirky design. Hotel Rum is also home to the popular TOPRUM rooftop restaurant and bar, which serves up panoramic views of Budapest’s skyline as well as a menu of Instagrammable brunches, tapas and cocktails.
Standing on the Pest (Eastern) side of Budapest and boasting a location on the banks of the Danube River, this luxury hotel is housed in a striking Art Nouveau building once used as a barracks by the Red Army, before acting as an apartment building under communist rule. Today, it’s home to the Four Seasons Gresham Palace, which opened its doors in 2004 after a renovation that saw the restoration of many of the building’s original features. In addition to its Art Nouveau architecture, the hotel is known for its excellent location, luxurious rooms (many of which offer stunning views) and the in-house KOLLÁZS European brasserie.
Inspired by music, the boutique Aria Hotel lies in the heart of Budapest’s District V. It’s also within easy walking distance of the Opera House, for those wishing to combine musically inspired accommodation with an operatic performance. Rooms are individually designed around a musical genre – be that opera, jazz, classical or contemporary music – with many boasting private balconies overlooking the hotel’s peaceful inner courtyard. The hotel prides itself on its wealth of complimentary amenities, including wine and cheese served every afternoon in the hotel’s glass-topped Music Garden Courtyard. Meanwhile, Aria’s rooftop SkyBar is popular for its regular musical performances and striking views of the nearby St Stephen’s Basilica.
An artistic haven in the Palace District of Budapest, Brody House is named after Hungarian writer Sándor Bródy. Before becoming a boutique hotel in 2009, the house was a bustling hub on the Hungarian art scene, and each of its 11 uniquely decorated rooms is named and designed for an artist who has worked in or with Brody House since. In keeping with the hotel’s dedication to supporting the Hungarian art scene, pieces by local artists adorn the walls, with new additions made regularly. There’s also a comfortable lounge and an honesty bar serving a selection of soft and alcoholic drinks (including local Hungarian fruit brandy , pálinka), adding to the friendly home-away-from-home vibe.
Budapest is home to an increasing number of Michelin-star restaurants, one of which can be found in the elegant Prestige Hotel Budapest, just a few hundred metres from the Danube. The hotel is set in an impressive 19th-century townhouse in the centre of the city, and the Michelin-star Costes Downtown is on its ground floor, offering breakfast for hotel guests and fine dining based on quality produce from local suppliers. The hotel’s vibrant yet stately rooms feature modern amenities, including Nespresso coffee machines, while luxurious touches throughout the building – such as teardrop chandeliers – add to the feeling of timeless elegance.
The family-run Baltazár Budapest is a quirky yet chic hotel located in Budapest’s Castle District, on the Buda side of the city. Set away from the city centre, this characterful boutique hotel remains within easy reach of the city’s top sights and attractions – the Fisherman’s Bastion, for example, is under a 10-minute walk away. Each of the 11 rooms and suites is uniquely designed and decorated, with inspirations ranging from Vivienne Westwood to Andy Warhol. A combination of vintage and contemporary furniture adds to the bohemian feel, while modern features such as LED TVs and mood lighting ensure a comfortable stay. While the hotel lacks the facilities of some larger hotels, such as a sauna or swimming pool, the Baltazár’s on-site restaurant comes highly recommended for its signature grills, classic Hungarian dishes and extensive wine list.
An opulent and grand hotel overlooking one of Budapest’s main boulevards, the New York Palace lies inside a building steeped in history. Once the headquarters of the New York Life Insurance Company, its facade features decorative features by Hungarian sculptor Károly Senyei. The hotel is also home to the famous New York Café, packed with Belle Époque charm and formerly a popular meeting place for Hungarian writers and artists. New York Palace’s 185 rooms and suites await guests, with modern design and amenities complementing the buildings classic features and old-world feel. The hotel is also located next to the city’s well connected 4 and 6 tram lines, meaning easy transport across Budapest is just steps away.
Tucked away in Budapest’s historic Castle District, this welcoming design hotel has history on its side. It first opened its doors in 1696 as an inn. Since then, things have changed somewhat – Pest-Buda is now a contemporary, family-run hotel with traditional touches, providing design-led accommodation not far from landmarks such as the Fisherman’s Bastion and Buda Castle. There are 10 rooms, including cosy doubles and larger suites, all with bathrooms clad in local limestone. A mixture of modern and vintage furnishings adds to the quirky feel of this boutique hotel, while pieces by Hungarian graphic artists adorn the walls. Pest-Buda’s in-house eponymous bistro offers a varied menu of Hungarian and international dishes.
Located on the Buda side of the Chain Bridge, with Castle Hill providing an impressive backdrop, Hotel Clark is a great base from which to explore both Buda and Pest. The Castle Hill Funicular is just a few steps away, as is the Danube River, both of which can be seen from a good number of the hotel’s 86 rooms. The hotel has a rooftop bar and a fitness centre, both of which offer spectacular panoramas. Bedrooms are bright and colourful, offering modern amenities and quirky decorative touches – lion motifs, inspired by the iconic lion head statues at either end of the Chain Bridge, are featured throughout. Meat-lovers will enjoy Hotel Clark’s restaurant – Beefbar Budapest – which specialises in steaks and works in close collaboration with local farmers.