Budapest is an architectural treasure trove. The city showcases a variety of styles from baroque master-pieces and elegant neo-classical examples, to striking art nouveau designs. The golden ages of this city was in the late 19th century but now a lot of the buildings are a continuous reminder of its complicated history – many are pot marked with bullet holes or shrapnel marks, leftovers from WW1 and the 1956 uprising. This complex heritage though is fascinating to discover and explore. The food in the city is great too – look beyond the goulash and you will find a city with a sophisticated cooking reputation harking back to its time as a culinary capital in the early 20th century. Another iconic feature of Budapest is the amazing hot springs dotted around the city – the locals swear they are the best hangover cure! Find your perfect base from which to explore the Hungarian capital with the top luxury hotels in the city, as selected by The Luxury Editor experts…
Corinthia Hotel Budapest
Effortlessly graceful, the Corinthia’s elegance begins with a neo-classical façade that opens into a creamy marble lobby and attention-grabbing staircase. Clean and unfussy, the glass atriums and light marble gives this luxury hotel an airy feel and sense of space. Benefiting from a central location on the Great Boulevard, the Corinthia offers a convenient base from where to explore Budapest as well as pleasingly sophisticated and comfortable accommodation. Guests can enjoy the facilities of a Royal Spa with a stunning Corinthian-columned pool, Finnish saunas, whirlpool tubs, steam room and full menu of treatments along with a complementary juice bar. There’s also a 24-hour gym. Four restaurants offer an international selection of menus and there’s music and entertainment in various venues from live folk music in The Brasserie to piano music in Le Bar. The Orfeum Club has evening cabaret shows in the summer.
Kempinski Hotel Corvinus Budapest
Centrally located for the classic tourist areas of Vörösmarty tér and Váci utca, the Kempinski Corvinus is a modern hotel of straight-lined stone and glass, very different to most of Budapest’s luxury hotels that are in converted 19th-century mansions. Rooms are comfortable, light, and spacious with some art Deco touches. Leisure, pleasure, and culture are high on the list of amenities. The modern setting includes a ground floor promenade with shops, a café, a deli, and a small gallery featuring new and young artists. You can kick back in the Living Room in a comfy sofa with a book or catch one of the regular Saturday night concerts. The spa is fitted with a pool with jet streams, a Finnish sauna, steam baths, a gym, and offers a range of treatments. You can choose from various eateries in the hotel including a Nobu and the buzzy ÉS Bisztró or chill out in the Blue Fox cocktail bar.
Aria Hotel Budapest
Within 15 minutes of Váci utca and in the shadow of St. Stephen’s Basilica, the Aria is a luxury hotel with an excellent location and top-notch service. You might guess from the name that there’s a music theme to this top hotel and indeed, one of its key features is the space-age piano in the gorgeous garden courtyard. The entrance and lobby has a keyboard carpet, treble clefs and violins hang from ceilings and light fittings, and each wing is themed to a different musical genre with each room is dedicated to a different artist from Liszt to Louis Armstrong. Guests can relax in the spa with a beautiful pool, steam room, sauna, gym, and range of treatments. Dining and drinking continue the music theme with the Stradivari Restaurant, Satchmo’s Bar and Library, and the music garden. The crowning glory is undoubtedly the rooftop High Note Sky Bar with its fabulous views of Budapest.
Four Seasons Hotel Gresham Palace
One of the grande dames of Budapest’s luxury hotels, The Four Seasons Gresham is a stunning Art Nouveau masterpiece right on the banks of the Danube on the eastern end of the famed Chain Bridge. The stained glass and mosaic lobby, thick carpets, columns, chandeliers and gold all more than hint at palatial luxury and rooms are spacious and elegant with bathrooms of black and cholate marble. Guests can be pampered in the beautifully appointed wellness centre which includes an infinity edge pool, full treatment spa, sauna, steam room, and relaxation room. Afternoon tea is served in the lobby and you can choose to dine in the contemporary brasserie or the bar set in the historic Peacock Passage.
The Ritz-Carlton Budapest
A splendid blend of the elegance of bygone ages with modern service standards and hospitality mark this centrally-located luxury hotel near to Budapest’s main attractions and retail areas. Rooms are contemporary with neutral colour schemes and there’s a “Hungaricum” showcasing various interests such as the Rubik’s Cube invented in the country in 1974. The grand 19th century building houses a spa with lovely pool, 24-hour fitness centre, sauna, steam room, thermal suites, Jacuzzi and full menu of treatments. You can dine on fine Hungarian cuisines in the restaurant or less formally in the lounge, while the cocktail bar calls you in after a day sightseeing for a relaxing evening with love piano music.
New York Palace, The Dedica Anthology
Completed in 1894, the New York Palace is one of the most elegant buildings in Budapest. With a harmonious marriage of classic and modern, the interior of the hotel has expansive and opulent public spaces featuring tons of marble, ornate columns, and gilding. Accommodations are large with modern fittings and amenities. Once the centre of literary life in the city, the ground floor is now the New York Café, a veritable belle époque feast for the senses with its ornate décor of carved marble columns, frescoes, and golden statues and aromas of excellent coffee. The grandeur continues in the luxury spa which is glorified by countless Swarovski crystals and is fitted with a pool, Jacuzzi, and sauna. There’s also a separate fitness room. You can dine in the café or the more intimate surrounds of the fine dining salon or just kick back with a cocktail in the refined but welcoming bar.