Budapest is many things: party capital, foodie destination, cultural hub, architectural marvel. But whether you’re here to admire the domed St Stephen’s Basilica, party in a ruin bar or take a romantic stroll alongside the Danube, you’ll need somewhere to kick back. So splash your forints and book a luxury stay in the Hungarian capital.
For an old-world, mellow vibe, sit in the wisteria-softened, baroque courtyard behind this hotel. There are ochre-painted balustrades, an ornate doorway and white-clothed tables around which you can sip apricot brandy or sample a platter of smoked duck breast and spiced curd. At the front, facing onto the Danube, the hotel presents an energetic cliff of tinted glass and concrete that prompts you to stride out sightseeing. Don’t miss the photogenic Fisherman’s Bastion, a fabulous fortress with seven turreted lookout towers, just a 10-minute stroll up picturesque steps and cobbled lanes.
The fourth-floor Great Hall – home to Egyptian-style columns, a vaulted ceiling and a many-tiered chandelier – was once a secret masonic meeting place. Now it’s the bar and restaurant, celebrating Hungarian culinary traditions such as paprika-rich goulash soup. On the top floor, a lavender-scented roof garden has views to the distant Buda Castle across the palatial glass and brick of the Nyugati Train Station. The elegant hotel bedrooms come in three distinct architectural styles, and the spa is a magical courtyard garden.
Every room is a luxurious suite at the Queen’s Court. They range from standard bedrooms, with a bathtub and kitchenette, up to rooms with two bedrooms, a living and dining area and a wood-panelled kitchen. Decor is corporate-chic with marble bathrooms, silk cushions and button-backed headboards. The columned Chess Restaurant, with a chequered floor and striped beach-style chairs in the garden, serves award-winning sparkling wine from the Kreinbacher estate and rich golden tokaj from the Oremus vineyards, where the wine has been produced since the early 17th century.
Opened in 2019, 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 Elisabeth Bridge. Within walking distance of all the main tourist sites, this sophisticated jewel also has a fitness centre, spa and dining at the Párisi Passage Cafe 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 all the grandness and sophistication associated with the Ritz-Carlton brand. The spacious rooms, painted in calming greys, creams and blues, come with pristine marble bathrooms and Nespresso machines. For extra indulgence you 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, with bars, food stalls and the Budapest Eye Ferris wheel. The Jewish Quarter is within walking distance, and the city’s popular ruin bars just a short amble away.
Sitting on the banks of the Danube, the Marriott cuts an imposing figure with its 1960s communist architecture. Despite the period exterior, the 362 rooms and commons spaces offer modern luxury. What’s more, much of the hotel enjoys impressive views: wake up to the sight of Buda Castle, or take in the Liberty Statue and nearby hills while working out on the treadmill. The rooftop terrace provides the ideal location to sip a few glasses of Hungarian wine, while the in-house spa invites you 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 stately rooms and suites, a neoclassical facade and varied dining options – including Hungarian-inspired tapas at Bock Bistro and pan-Asian cuisine at the Rickshaw Restaurant – the Corinthia is one of the most prestigious hotels in Budapest. The five-star establishment also has an elegant subterranean spa, with 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 Cafe, where you can dine on Hungarian and international cuisine under a golden ceiling. You can also relax after a day of sightseeing with a hot-stone massage or a swim at the spa, or perhaps enjoy a cocktail at the refined Nyugat Bar.
The Kempinski Hotel takes pride of place in the heart of the fifth district, running parallel to 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 more than 360 rooms and 35 suites, all decked out with smart TVs and marble bathrooms. Downstairs, you can seek out Blue Fox the Bar, which offers an array of bespoke cocktails, or enjoy 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, the 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.
For an action-packed weekend in Budapest, check out our guide to how to spend a long weekend in Budapest, Hungary. Looking for something a little more personal? Check out our rundown of the top Airbnbs and holiday apartments in Budapest.
Phoebe Taplin contributed additional reporting to this article.
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