UP men’s zapping Michel Sarran: “we need this space of freedom”
Full of charm, the pearl of the Danube is full of architectural treasures around every corner. Set aside at least three days to delve into its different facets. And for on-site accommodation, take a look at our top 5 hotels in Budapest.
Photo credit – Hotel Parisi Udvar
The thing: Just a few steps from the Danube, in Ferenciek Square, this European flagship from The Unbound Collection by Hyatt portfolio is, without a doubt, one of the most beautiful hotels in Budapest. The building, which once housed shops and cafes, is inspired by the Passage des Panoramas in Paris, which also gives the establishment its name. A colossus of neo-Gothic architecture, Parisi Udvar offers 110 keys behind its splendid Zsolnay ceramic facade, including 18 suites and 2 presidential residences. The volumes are grand and the Belle Époque elements: stained glass, wrought iron… magnificently restored.
What makes the difference: On the top floor, the fabulous penthouse suites with private spa and views over the entire city. Contemporary Hungarian artist Agnes Toth designed the sumptuous decor, a subtle blend of Gothic, Moorish and Oriental styles.
Don’t miss: The hotel’s restaurant, Párisi Passage Café & Brasserie, serves excellent Hungarian specialties, including a foie gras to die for (We may not know, but Hungary is the world’s largest producer of goose liver, with a reputation for being nobler). At night, crystal clinks in the lively champagne bar.
Hotel Four Seasons Gresham Palace
Photo credit – Four Seasons Hotel Gresham Palace
The thing: On the Pest side, this Art Nouveau gem was once the headquarters of the Gresham Life Insurance Company. Built by architect Zsigmond Quittner, the building regained its splendor thanks to the meticulous work of artisans. The original elements: wrought iron peacock gates, hall decorated with two million mosaics, stained glass windows and winter gardens… have been remarkably preserved. The palace accommodates 179 rooms with views of the Danube, the Chain Bridge or the Buda Hills, a gourmet restaurant, an elegant café, an infinity pool and a spa with lavender, salt and clay from the Hungarian moor.
What makes the difference: Combining historic elegance with modern comfort, it is the ideal base for exploring the Hungarian capital. With, as always at the Four Seasons, a sense of hospitality elevated to the level of art.
Don’t miss: afternoon tea, even better than tea time in London! Tea is served on magnificent porcelain services from the Herend factory, supplier to the tsars, accompanied by Hungarian pastry specialties.
Anantara Palace in New York
Photo Credit – Anantara New York Palace
The thing: It’s hard not to be amazed when you see this splendid building from 1894, with its marble facade adorned with sculptures and a clock tower. Upon entering, you are immersed in Old World glamor mixed with modern luxury. It looks like a movie! Murano chandeliers, stucco, frescoes, bronze sculptures… opulence reigns here, even in the 185 suites decorated with silk, Italian furniture and antique chandeliers.
What makes the difference: The Palace obliges, the Anantara New York Palace comes with its share of exceptional services: a modern 500 m2 spa with indoor pool and gym, several restaurants and bars, concierge service…
Don’t miss: Emblem of the hotel, the New York Café was for a long time the haunt of the country’s intellectuals. Fun fact: legend has it that a writer once threw the key into the Danube in the hope that the restaurant would never close. The legendary place has survived through the ages, falling into disrepair after World War II before serving as a sports store. Today it is a chic brasserie where you can taste specialties such as beef goulash, paprika chicken thighs or grilled foie gras. An obligation.
Mystery Hotel Budapest
Photo credit – Mystery Hotel Budapest
The field : That 5 star hotel Opened in 2019, it is a newcomer in the race for the most beautiful hotels in Budapest. In the city center, it owes its name to the mystical aura of the former occupants. In fact, the Mystery Hotel is nothing more than the former headquarters of the Masonic Grand Lodge. Staged by architect Zoltán Varró, the decoration plays with optical illusions and ancient references, which help to create a dramatic atmosphere. There is even a library with books and films about Freemasonry.
What makes the difference : on the roof a green terrace from where you can admire the Nyugati station, designed by Eiffel, the Buda castle, the Gellért hill… The hotel also houses a surprising restaurant, located in an ancient secret room in Egyptian style and a sublime spa, set in a baroque garden.
Don’t miss : The baroque decoration of the 82 rooms and suites: Doric columns, copies of master paintings… can be divisive. Certain suites, such as the one on the 6th floor, which reproduces a painter’s studio under the ceiling, offer a unique and creative experience.
Photo credit – Mirage Medic Hotel
The field : It’s far from being the most luxurious, but the Mirage Medic enjoys an international reputation. People come from far and wide to stay in one of the 37 rooms in this 19th-century mansion built by architect Adolf Greiner. Is it because of its ideal location: in the embassy district, right in front of the city park? No. If reservations are full, it is because the hotel, owned by a Chinese doctor, houses a renowned alternative medicine center. A temple of well-being that attracts clients who love holistic therapies. Exclusive.
What makes the difference : Expertise and a range of advanced treatments: gentle therapies, nutrition, herbal medicine, acupuncture… In the rooms, the beds are equipped with a magnetic jade mattress that helps regulate body temperature and stimulates blood circulation and a selection of teas for promote relaxation and comfort.
Don’t miss : On the top floor, the Mirage suite with its immense balcony equipped with Hydromassage overlooking the majestic Place des Héros.
A desire for a Hungarian getaway? Here is our selection of the most beautiful hotels in Budapest, for a getaway between luxury and charm in the capital of Hungary…