Hotel Palazzo Zichy $$$$
Concierge.com's insider take:
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
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