PRINT PREVIEW
send to printer

Concierge.com

Hungary Hotels

$200-$299
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Art'otel
16-19 Bem Rakpart
District I
Budapest
Hungary 1011
Tel: 36 1 487 9487
aobuinfo@artotels.de
www.artotel.de/budapest/budapest.html

This Park Plaza property is installed in four linked Baroque town houses on the banks of the Danube river on the Buda side, near the Chain Bridge. The concept, as you can guess, is art, and the artist in this case is the American Donald Sultan, whose canvases of butterflies and buttons and dominoes are woven throughout the hotel in place of the corporate art-by-the-mile you'd normally see. It's great, but it doesn't exactly make the place cozy. Still, the 165 rooms, with their scarlet carpets and down comforters, are quite comfortable. In addition to Wi-Fi (for a fee), an international restaurant, a bar-café with garden terrace, and a fitness room with sauna, there's an art shop for fulfilling your sudden urge to etch.

$199 or less
Editor's Pick
Atrium Fashion Hotel
14 Csokonai Utca
Budapest
Hungary 1081
Tel: 36 1 299 0777
sales@atriumhotelbudapest.com
www.atriumhotelbudapest.com

Located off busy Blaha Lujza tér, the Atrium Fashion Hotel is one of the first design hotels in Pest, the gritty eastern half of Budapest that's home to a surprisingly hip design and fashion scene. The hotel is a popular stop for business travelers on a budget (there's free Wi-Fi) as well as for young couples and partiers in town for rock concerts and raves. Many of the hotel's 57 rooms, which were converted from former apartments and are dressed in unfussy modern decor, are on the small side (expect about 300 square feet). But rates top out at about $200 in high season, including buffet breakfast, and the architecture makes clever use of space: Toiletry shelves were set into the bathroom walls when possible; the layout of each room works with its original footprint. Downstairs, the Atrium Bar and Café has a cool vibe you might expect from a bar in Copenhagen or Amsterdam.—Evan Rail

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
Boscolo New York Palace
9–11 Erzsébet Körút
Budapest
Hungary 1073
Tel: 36 1 886 6111
reservation@newyork.boscolo.com
www.boscolohotels.com

A bastion of old-world luxury, the Boscolo New York Palace hotel is housed in a landmark building constructed for the New York Life Insurance Company in the late 19th century. A 2006 hotel conversion preserved the magnificent Belle Époque curlicues, gilt columns, and other neo-Baroque adornments, especially in the ground-floor New York Café (worth a visit even if you're staying elsewhere). The substantially less ornate guest rooms, by Italian architect and designer Maurizio Papiri, blend earth tones with tasteful gold and silver accents; bathrooms include deep freestanding baths and "rain forest" showers. (By the end of 2009, an expansion will increase the room count from 112 to 199.) Much like the stately architecture, the service here from the attentive bellhops, valets, and concierges is reminiscent of a bygone era, which has made the hotel a favorite of the Continental cognoscenti. In a way, the hotel's great location, near Blaha Lujza tér (a busy square and metro station), is the source of its only downside: Traffic noise from the bustling boulevard out front can be heard in many of the guest rooms; for a quieter stay, ask for a room facing a side street.—Evan Rail

$199 or less
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Continental Hotel Zara
42–44 Dohány Utca
Budapest
Hungary 1074
Tel: 36 1 815 1070
continentalinfo@zeinahotels.com
www.continentalhotelzara.com

Located just a few blocks from Budapest's massive Great Synagogue in Pest, this oversize hotel opened its 272 rooms and suites in mid 2010, occupying a landmark Art Nouveau building dating from 1897 that was formerly the Hungária Spa and Continental Hotel. Though today's basic rooms are small (around 215 square feet, including the bathroom and entryway), they're decorated with embroidered raw silk and other rich fabrics, Moorish light fixtures, and bathroom tile work that seems to echo the Oriental decorations of the Great Synagogue (a remarkable Moorish Revival building from 1859). Rooms also include modern touches like complimentary Wi-Fi and LCD TVs. Despite the age of the building and business-first decor, some of the public spaces can feel slightly anonymous and cold. But stop by the charming, almost hidden mezzanine cocktail bar above the lobby for a final shot of Zwack Unicum, the local liqueur, and after hearing a few Liszt sonatas banged out on the lobby grand, you'll feel like you're getting a great price on the Hungarian high life.—Evan Rail

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Corinthia Grand Hotel Royal
43-49 Erzsébet krt.
District VII
Budapest
Hungary 1073
Tel: 36 1 479 4000
royalres@corinthia.hu
royal.2ms.hu/index.php?sp=/english/

Relive the Austro-Hungarian empire in this truly palatial grand, reopened in 2003 by the Malta-based Libyan hotel group after a massive renovation. The building dates from 1896, when it was built for Hungary's millennium and proceeded to host the most prestigious of events in its banquet and concert halls and indoor tropical gardens—Bela Bartók played here frequently, and the Lumière brothers brought their magic moving pictures directly here from their inaugural showings in Paris. Nowadays, the lobby, with a six-story glass-roofed atrium, gilded statuary, polished marble, mosaic floors, arches, and columns, is magnificently stately, as are the traditional brasserie, the bistro, and an Asian restaurant. The 414 rooms, with their taupe walls and carpets, cherrywood furniture, and individual AC, are deluxe and serene and big—just a little bland. An enormous plus is the adjacent real Hungarian spa, complete with medicinal treatments; it's the only one downtown.

$199 or less
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Danubius Hotel Astoria
19–21 Kossuth Lajos utca
Budapest
Hungary 1053
Tel: 36 1 889 6000
astoria.reservation@danubiushotels.com
www.danubiushotels.com/astoria

In a city that's heating up in terms of hotel rates, the 234-room Astoria is a thrill for young couples from America and Britain longing for inexpensive lodgings in the heart of Pest. Dating back to 1914 and the return of Hungarian émigré Mihály Gellér, a former employee of the old Waldorf Astoria (thus the name), the Danubius Hotel Astoria is such a landmark that it has its own metro station. In the public spaces, heavy Greek-style columns and lots of marble blend with Art Nouveau vintage stained-glass windows to create a slightly dinged-up feast for the senses. Discreet nooks throughout the building suggest clandestine meetings of the le Carré variety, and the budget-rate rooms feel like an upstairs bedroom in a well-cared-for country house. Much like its sister hotel Gellért, the Astoria has loads of run-down Old World charm, but a top-to-bottom reconstruction in 2006 spruced up the carved moldings and wrought-iron banisters and brought in elegant period wallpapers and a new coat of paint—everything but the facade is now in better shape. Book a room overlooking tiny Magyar utca to avoid the serious traffic noise of the main roads of Múzeum or Kossuth. A buffet breakfast in the large Astoria restaurant is included.

$200-$299
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Danubius Hotel Gellért
1 Szent Gellért tér
Budapest
Hungary 1111
Tel: 36 1 889 5500
gellert.reservation@danubiushotels.com
www.danubiushotels.com/gellert

Relive the Austro-Hungarian empire in this truly palatial grand, reopened in 2003 by the Malta-based Libyan hotel group after a massive renovation. The building dates from 1896, when it was built for Hungary's millennium and proceeded to host the most prestigious of events in its banquet and concert halls and indoor tropical gardens—Bela Bartók played here frequently, and the Lumière brothers brought their magic moving pictures directly here from their inaugural showings in Paris. Nowadays, the lobby, with a six-story glass-roofed atrium, gilded statuary, polished marble, mosaic floors, arches, and columns, is magnificently stately, as are the traditional brasserie, the bistro, and an Asian restaurant. The 414 rooms, with their taupe walls and carpets, cherrywood furniture, and individual AC, are deluxe and serene and big—just a little bland. An enormous plus is the adjacent real Hungarian spa, complete with medicinal treatments; it's the only one downtown.

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Four Seasons Budapest Gresham Palace
5-6 Roosevelt tér
District V
Budapest
Hungary 1051
Tel: 36 1 268 6000
Fax: 36 1 268 5000
www.fourseasons.com/budapest/index.html

Location, location, location. Glamour, glamour, glamour. At the Pest end of the Chain Bridge, this is the 2004, 179-room Canadian contribution to the ever-posher former home of goulash communism. A 1906 Art Nouveau landmark was co-opted into service, its lobby made melodramatic by tens of thousands of mosaic tiles laid in a Frank Lloyd Wright design, and a vast, glittering glass cupola with a chandelier suspended beneath like a giant, exploded crystal artichoke heart. Rooms are generously sized (the smallest is 350 square feet) and plush in their subfusc palette and deep-pile carpets, with king beds and deep tubs in the marble bathrooms. Seeing you're already paying the city's highest rates, you might as well go all out and insist on a Danube room, maybe even one with a balcony; the Pest-view rooms are fine, but a courtyard view could be disappointing. All guests get to use the top-floor spa and gym, plus the infinity-edged indoor pool with underwater music. As usual with Four Seasons, kids are well catered for—and you can house your under-18s in your room gratis. Even if you're not staying here, stop by the cocktail lounge and soak up the grandeur.

$300-$399
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Hilton Budapest
1-3 Hess Andras tér
District I
Budapest
Hungary 1014
Tel: 36 1 889 6600
info.budapest@hilton.com
www.budapest.hilton.com

Don't let that Hilton appellation put you off—this is no cookie-cutter salaryman's bolt-hole. It's one of Buda's best hotels and the oldest of its grands, grafted, amazingly and successfully, onto a medieval church with a 17th-century Jesuit cloister. Perched high up on picturesque Castle Hill, its "plus" rooms have a Danube view to die for from their picture windows (they're expensive though—a good home for all those increasingly useless air miles?). Everything you'd expect is built into the rooms—good work space, CNN, ESPN, HBO, coffeemaker—and, no, they're not gorgeous, but they were recently fluffed.

$199 or less
Editor's Pick
Hotel Palazzo Zichy
2 Lórinc Pap Tér
Budapest
Hungary 1088
Tel: 36 1 235 4000
info@hpz.hu
www.hotel-palazzo-zichy.hu

Hotel Palazzo Zichy upset the balance of power among Budapest hoteliers when it opened in early 2009, quickly hitting number 1 on several travel Web sites for its incongruous (but harmonious) combination of historic architecture, modern interiors, and complimentary services (free coffee, tea, and soft drinks in the cool lobby bar until 5 pm daily, for example)—all at very reasonable prices. Located in the former home of a 19th-century nobleman, Count Nándor Zichy, the hotel fits 80 stylish rooms into the restored neo-Baroque mansion, blending modern design-focused minimalism—recessed lighting, unadorned monochrome walls, Scandinavian-style hardwood floors—with the site's original plasterwork curlicues and stately marble staircases. The location, in a quiet residential quarter not far from the Hungarian National Museum in Pest, might feel a bit out of the action, but the payoff is great design, great prices, and the chance to spot old-world city life from your balcony or window.—Evan Rail

$199 or less
Editor's Pick
Hotel Victoria
11 Bem Rakpart
District I
Budapest
Hungary 1011
Tel: 36 1 457 8080
victoria@victoria.hu
www.victoria.hu

This nine-story contemporary block on the Buda bank of the Danube near the Castle District may be aesthetically challenged—a setback the 27 corporately decorated rooms share—but all you'll be looking at is the fabulous view from your picture window, a view almost identical to the one from the nearby five-star joints. Try to score one of the two (slightly smaller) rooms with balconies—they cost no extra. Neither does the good buffet breakfast or an extra bed for your under-six-year-old.

$300-$399
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Kempinski Hotel Corvinus
7–8 Erzsébet tér
Budapest
Hungary 1051
Tel: 36 1 429 3777
reservations.corvinus@kempinski.com
www.kempinski-budapest.com

Overlooking Pest's most pleasant square, Erzsébet tér, the Corvinus is a significant stone in the Kempinski crown. The 366 rooms give a nod to historical styles (the TV cabinet resembles a 19th-century armoire), but while German businessmen, Austrian pilots, and Swiss doctors don't seem to mind all the black woods, the look could be a bit too heavy for American tastes. Request an upper-floor room on the north side of the building for views of St. Stephen's Basilica and grassy, tree-shaded Erzsébet tér, where office workers eat lunch, students flirt, and older folks chat on benches. András, the concierge, displays a never-say-die attitude when it comes to making reservations for guests at the city's most popular restaurants, such as Menza. The 30-euro breakfast usually isn't included in the room rate, but guests are invited to visit the spa's sauna, steam room, tepidarium, pool, and aromatherapy rooms free of charge, and there's live afternoon chamber music in the lobby, free broadband in the rooms, and Wi-Fi in the public areas. Special Internet offers that discount room rates by about $100 even in high season make a stay here something of a bargain among high-end rooms, at least occasionally.

$200-$299
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Lanchid 19
19 Lánchíd utca
Budapest
Hungary 1013
Tel: 36 1 419 1900
res@designhotels.com
www.designhotels.com/hotels/europe/hungary/budapest/lanchid_19_budapest_hungary

Perched on the banks of the Danube adjacent to the Chain Bridge, the 48-room Lanchid 19 breaks new ground with its striking modern design. The facade of the hotel is covered with louvered glass windows that change color after dark with LED lighting, and the lobby has a transparent floor that offers a glimpse of the medieval ruins discovered during construction. A seven-story central atrium floods the hotel with natural light, and is crossed on each level by two glass-floored sky bridges. Rooms offer a great mix of Mitteleuropa-style comfort—beds are made up with duvets and have checkered wall-to-wall carpeting—and hip contemporary style, including built-ins and excellent lighting (a night-light behind a glass screen in the bath; two adjustable giant lightbulb-shaped lamps by the beds). Friendly young staff and the central location make this an ideal base from which to discover the city, especially for fans of contemporary design.

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Le Méridien Budapest
9–10 Erzsébet tér
Budapest
Hungary 1051
Tel: 36 1 429 5500
info@le-meridien.hu
www.lemeridien.com/budapest

The 218 rooms at Le Méridien are less than a minute's walk from the best shopping in Pest: Rooms at the back overlook Deák Ferenc utca, the city's soi-disant "fashion street." With excellent public transportation and top-notch pedestrian connections, this hotel, opened in 2000 in a building constructed in 1911 on Erzsébet tér, certainly makes a great base. Even so, the spacious, romantic rooms (suggestive of both France and Tahiti, with hand-carved four-poster beds, plush fabrics, and palm trees) and a wellness spa practically beg guests to spend more time in-house. The hotel's Le Bourbon restaurant, arguably one of the best in the city, serves inventive haute cuisine such as pan-seared monkfish with butternut squash risotto and chlorophyll coulis, or orange-ginger-glazed breast of chicken with coriander-scented spring vegetables. Though the feel is one of money-is-no-object luxe, room prices don't include breakfast (the buffet is 25 euros per person) and Internet access is only free in deluxe rooms and above.

Information may have changed since the date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.