Budapest is the capital of Hungary. It’s 19th-century Chain Bridge over the River Danube connects the hilly Buda district with flat Pest. There is loads of fun history to explore in this beautiful city like the funicular runs up Castle Hill to Buda’s Old Town, where the Budapest History Museum traces city life from Roman times onward.
Although there is a Ritz-Carlton, a Four Seasons and a Kempinski in Budapest, consider Aria Hotel. It is a less well-known luxury hotel and beats its competitors on location, service, and atmosphere.
You can fly on British Airways direct into Budapest from London Heathrow.
This wonderful, intimate boutique hotel is situated in the heart of Budapest just steps from the main street. It’s lavish interiors are hidden up a side street which means that you only find it if you know what you are looking for. That said, it tops TripAdvisor, as the readers choice “No 1 Hotel in the world”, so it is not a secret anymore.
Style & Character
The entire hotel is inspired by music and the lobby has a welcoming vibe. The scale throughout the hotel is intimate and inviting and the musician themed decorating is inspiring. A major hit with guests is the complimentary cheese and wine accompanied by live music, which flows generously each afternoon.
There are four wings in the hotel, each dedicated to one of four major genres of music: Classical, Opera, Contemporary, and Jazz. Each room and suite features caricatures by internationally acclaimed artist Joseph Blecha to celebrate the world’s greatest musical legends.
Facilities & Dining
The lobby, library and adjoining bars and restaurant areas are ultra stylish. Breakfast here is excellent and is served in the Stradivari Restaurant. At night, you can enjoy fine dining here or head up to High Note, the rooftop bar. This is an absolute highlight of the hotel and offers wonderful cocktails and bar food to the backdrop of the surrounding rooftops and the historic Basilica.
There is also a small exercise room, a hot tub, a stylish musically themed pool, a steam room, and sauna along with a spa for pampering treatments.
All the rooms have lots of fun features including iPads to use within the hotel, a free cell phone to use anywhere in the city, Nespresso coffee machine and Molton Brown amenities (one of my favourites). The rooms have been well designed with lots of useful sockets to charge devices and a large flatscreen TV with music and movies as well as standard channels.
Room Tip: Request a street facing balcony, as it is delightful to open the French doors and have the sun stream in.
There are four sections to the hotel each with its own elevator that means you are never more than a few steps from your room. Classic Wing rooms are beautifully furnished in a classic style with Neo-Baroque style furnishings which have been modernized with streamlined forms and colours. Some rooms have terraces that are delightful in summer.
Jazz Wing rooms are inspired by the ambience of a 1920’s jazz club, with spotlights and polished chrome trunk-style writing tables. The edgy roughness of hard floors mix with exposed brick ceilings and accent walls which were created using the original brick from the historic 19th-century building.
Opera Wing rooms exude elegance. Neo-Baroque furnishings have been modernized with cool shades of grey and sensuous shades of lilac and orchid. Beautiful Murano Venetian glass chandeliers, tufted velvet headboards and historical musical instrument sketches complete the look.
Finally, the Contemporary Wing is inspired by the Pop Art style of the 1970’s. Bold colors and whimsical elements that include custom-made headboards create an ambience that’s both fun and funky.
Whether you are staying here or not, the view from the Skybar is exceptional and you must spend an evening there with a cocktail.
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