Budapest is nicknamed the Paris of the East for good reason, and nowhere are the city’s elegance and sophistication more evident than in its best luxury hotels.
Known for its Baroque architecture and thermal baths, Budapest is becoming a prime destination for travellers looking for luxury. A whole host of Michelin-star restaurants grace the city’s streets, along with an array of upmarket wine and cocktail bars. To accompany this growing trend, an increasing number of lavish hotels are popping up across the city to cater to a new breed of high-end clientele. From music-themed spa hotels to grand Art Nouveau mansions, the best luxury hotels in Budapest are nothing short of world-class.
Four Seasons Hotel Gresham Palace Budapest
With opulent interior decor, the Four Seasons Hotel Gresham Palace Budapest is the epitome of luxury | Courtesy of Four Seasons Hotel Gresham Palace Budapest / Hotels.com
The meticulously restored Gresham Palace is among the finest examples of Art Nouveau architecture in Europe. It was built between 1904 and 1906 as the headquarters of the Gresham Life Assurance Company, and the Four Seasons turned the building into the epitome of luxury in 2004. Taking pride of place on the banks of the Danube, overlooking the Széchenyi Chain Bridge, this five-star retreat is renowned for its opulent rooms and interior decor, which combine historic grandeur and contemporary comforts. Fine dining, afternoon tea, a spa and pool also await guests at this extravagant establishment. Just a short walk from St Stephen’s Basilica, the Four Seasons Hotel Gresham Palace Budapest is ideally located for exploring the Hungarian capital’s top attractions.
Opened in 2019, the Párisi Udvar Hotel is undoubtedly one of the hottest venues in town. This five-star addition to Budapest’s luxury hotel collection is housed within a revived Art Nouveau shopping arcade, providing easy access to the nearby upmarket Astoria neighbourhood and the Elizabeth Bridge. Within walking distance of all the main tourist sites, this sophisticated jewel also provides guests with a fitness centre, spa and dining at the Párisi Passage Café and Brasserie.
The Ritz-Carlton is set within a protected building dating from 1914, when it was constructed to house an Italian insurance company. Since 2016, the building’s modern interior has been characterised by the grandness and sophistication associated with the Ritz-Carlton brand. The hotel’s spacious rooms, painted in calming greys, creams and blues, are equipped with pristine marble bathrooms and Nespresso machines. For some extra indulgence, guests can enjoy dedicated concierge service at the Club Lounge, treatments at the in-house spa or cocktails at the Kupola Bar. The bustling Deák Ferenc and Erzsébet squares are directly opposite the hotel, hosting an array of bars, food stalls and the Budapest Eye Ferris wheel. The Jewish Quarter is within walking distance, with the city’s popular ruin bars just a short amble away.
Sitting on the banks of the Danube, the Marriott Hotel cuts an imposing figure with its 1960s Communist architecture. Despite the period exterior, its 362 rooms and commons spaces offer modern luxury. What’s more, much of the hotel enjoys impressive views: wake up to Buda Castle, or take in the sights of the Liberty Statue and nearby hills while working out on the treadmill. The hotel’s rooftop terrace provides the ideal location to sip a few glasses of Hungarian wine, while the in-house spa invites guests to enjoy a range of indulgent treatments.
Positioned between Budapest’s sixth and seventh districts, the Corinthia Hotel is ideally located roughly equidistant between the Danube and the expansive Budapest Park – home to the city’s zoo, the Széchenyi Thermal Baths and the Museum of Fine Arts. With its stately rooms and suites, Neoclassical facade and varied dining options – including Hungarian-inspired tapas at Bock Bistro and pan-Asian cuisine at Rickshaw Restaurant – the Corinthia is one of Budapest’s most prestigious hotels. The five-star establishment also has an elegant subterranean spa, which features Finnish saunas, a steam room, a pool and massage treatments.
The New York Palace is renowned for its elegant 19th-century building, comprising elements of Art Nouveau, Renaissance and Baroque architecture. With 185 stylish rooms and suites, the hotel is also home to the New York Café , one of the most beautiful cafés in the world. Guests can relax after a day of sightseeing with a hot-stone massage or swim at the spa, or perhaps enjoy a cocktail at the refined Nyugat Bar.
Situated a stone’s throw from the Hungarian Parliament Building, the Danube and Liberty Square, Prestige Hotel delivers one of the finest hotel experiences in Hungary. The 85 classically designed rooms are stately yet vibrant – think crushed velvet, elaborately decorated walls and vintage-style Cavalli furniture. The hotel’s Michelin-star restaurant, Costes Downtown, offers international fine dining and signature cocktails, while guests are also welcome to unwind in the sauna or Jacuzzi.
The Kempinski Hotel takes pride of place in the heart of the fifth district, running parallel to the city’s Fashion Street, flush with high-end brands and labels. The modern C-shaped building was designed by Hungarian architect József Finta in 1992 and houses over 360 rooms and 35 suites, all decked out with smart TVs and marble bathrooms. Downstairs, guests can find Blue Fox The Bar, which offers an array of bespoke cocktails, before enjoying Japanese fusion at Nobu or informal dining at ÉS Bisztró. The lavish in-house spa has a pool, a tepidarium and numerous saunas.
Taking centre stage atop the Buda Castle district, a UNESCO World Heritage site, the Hilton Budapest is perfectly situated for sightseeing on the Buda side of the city. Combining an interesting mix of old and new, this hotel’s architecture consists of a modern structure housed beside a renovated 13th-century Dominican cloister and monastery. This five-star gem provides guests with stylish rooms, international and Hungarian cuisine at the LÁNG Bistro and Grill, and a fully equipped gym, all with exceptional views over the city. Situated just a few minutes’ walk from Matthias Church, this luxury hotel is conveniently located for exploring the Presidential Palace, Fisherman’s Bastion and Buda Castle.
Positioned directly in front of the stunning St Stephen’s Basilica, the Aria Hotel is among Hungary’s most characterful boutique hotels. Each room is inspired by music and centres on a particular famous musician or composer, with the lobby’s floor also designed to resemble piano keys. The in-house spa and pool are certainly a draw, but the hotel’s pièce de résistance is the High Note SkyBar, offering uninterrupted views across the city. Set just off Andrássy Avenue, a majestic boulevard, the Aria Hotel is a 10-minute walk from the Café Párisi in the magnificent Art Nouveau architecture of Lotz Hall, which previously housed the Paris Department Store.