This setting is inviting enough to tempt us to just lazily lounge around in the suite throughout our entire stay – and since Costes Downtown provides the hotel’s 24-hour room service, this is an alluringly feasible option.

However, we are eager to wander around the entire building, and so we head back downstairs to check out a public area that is often overlooked by Prestige Hotel guests: the ground-floor saloon, located just a few steps away from the foyer.

The Palazzo occupies an elegant palace built in 1899 by Count Nándor Zichy, a devoutly religious nobleman who was once imprisoned for writing a political article critical of Habsburg rule. Its façade has high windows embellished with carvings of seashells and garlands and other Rococo details much loved by early-20th-century aristocrats like Zichy. Inside, the overall thrust of the design is slick and modern, but the marriage of the two eras has been managed very sympathetically by the Italian owner. The 80 rooms are nicely laid out, clean-lined and contemporary, with grey laminate flooring, silver fleur-de-lis motifs. It’s around a 15-minute walk from tourist favourites like Váci utca and the Parliament building.

Feeling simultaneously reinvigorated and sleepy, we drift back to the suite; for a few minutes we indulge in a sublime early-evening nap that threatens to become a full night’s sleep, but the Prestige Hotel is far too central to waste its easy access to downtown’s attractions.

Although we are already well acquainted with all of the aforementioned Budapest landmarks lying just steps away from the hotel entrance, this location also means that many fine restaurants are sited nearby – MÁK Bistro is literally a stone’s throw away across the street, while Trattoria Pomo D’Oro is just around the block, Kollázs is a two-minute stroll from here, and Baraka is just a bit further towards Vörösmarty Square, among many other easily accessible fine-dining choices… including Costes Downtown, of course, but since we’ll be eating there for breakfast, we choose to save that for the morning.

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Returning to our suite absolutely satisfied, we relax for a little while on the couch before beginning the dreaded chore of packing; knowing that our stay here is concluding, we fancifully imagine what it would be like for this to be our apartment, and how nice it would be to begin every day with a breakfast like that… in which case, we probably would have to start using the wellness area’s fitness equipment to work off each day’s morning meal, but that would be well worth it.

Casati Budapest is a cut above the rest of the boutique hotels in Budapest.

Named after Luisa Casati — an eccentric Italian patroness of the arts during the early 20th century who wore live snakes as jewellery and took walks with a pair of cheetahs — Casati Budapest is a cut above the rest. In places, the stripped brick of the late-18th-century pokes through – most notably in the preserved well, which is the showpiece of the courtyard atrium – but the hotel is otherwise contemporary in style. Bright, primary colours characterise the breakfast area, while guest rooms are divided between four design approaches, all slick of design but comfortable too. The hotel is well situated both for the main tourist centre near the river and the café-bars of Liszt Ferenc tér.

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The décor at Hotel Parlament is airy and colourful, but with greater character than some boutique hotels. Credit: PAL

Sitting at the lower end of the boutique-lined Andrássy út, the hotel is well positioned, with St Stephen’s Basilica and the Opera House both a short walk away. The building dates to 1880, and real pride has been taken in its renovation – look up, for instance, to the frescoes in the glass-topped atrium lobby, which are faithful to the style of the period, and took several months to paint. However, alongside the 19th-century features are well-considered contemporary design features – including some pleasing quirks like downlights made from chests of drawers in the breakfast area.

As of press time, room rates at the Prestige Hotel Budapest range from approximately 150 euros per night to 600 euros per night, breakfast not included; see the hotel’s official website for current rates and discounts.

 We Love Budapest’s “Guest Experience” series profiles various Budapest hotels that invite our staff to visit at no charge, but with the understanding that we may include negative impressions in our coverage; hotel management is not allowed to review these articles before they are posted.

From Review: Outstanding elegant hotel of Prestige Hotel Budapest

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Dear Onleaveagain, How kind of you to take your valuable time to write such a detailed review on your most recent stay at our lovely Prestige Hotel Budapest! To begin with, it makes me astonished that you loved our amazing location close to the main tourist attraction and I am delighted that you could easily find restaurants in our neighborhood…. More 

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The 80 rooms at Palazzo Zichy are nicely laid out, clean-lined and contemporary.

We decide to feast at a romantic terrace table of TG Italiano, located about four minutes away from the hotel; after dinner, we conclude the night out with glasses of Hungarian wine at the nearby DiVino location directly by the Basilica’s base.

Full and tipsy, this is the point when we’d usually start debating between taxi or night bus, but fortunately the Prestige Hotel remains just a short stagger away from it all, and so we return to the comfort of our suite, and cozily slide into the gigantic bed to sleep deeply amid heavenly softness.

Hotel Moments’ building dates to 1880, and real pride has been taken in its renovation. Credit: PAL

Buda Castle Fashion’s colour scheme is neutral, typified by beiges and creams.

Rooms at Hotel Rum are unashamedly bold and modern in design

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The focus of Prestige Hotel Budapest is its atrium lobby, a glass-topped spot of whitewashed walls and black stone floor. Credit: Krisztian Bodis/Krisztian Bodis

This boutique hotel occupies a six-floor terraced townhouse and is very nicely located just off a pedestrianised square. While it has features that are characteristic of the original apartment building it occupies, including a spiral stone staircase, the rooms are unashamedly bold and modern in design. There are both industrial touches (metal framework; exposed pipes; open-faced cupboards; concrete-effect floors) and rustic ones such as stools and side tables made from polished sections of tree trunks. The colourful Urban Tiger restaurant serves imaginative takes on Southeast-Asian cuisine, such as shrimp tempura with pumpkin salad and sesame-crusted tuna.

After some more detailed exploration of the suite, we are pleased to discover wall-mounted flat-screen TVs in both rooms, complimentary Belgian chocolate and Vis Vitalis drinking water, and organic Damana soaps, lotions, and shampoo in the sleekly tiled bathroom.

Pest-Buda – a boutique hotel of just 10 rooms – is jammed full of personality, with industrial-style copper lamps, oak floors and quirky contemporary artworks. It also has a top-quality restaurant. It’s not only characterful, but warm and welcoming. Rooms come in four classes (Courtyard, Deluxe, Suite and Atelier Suite), and have real star quality. There’s Hungarian oak on the floors and limestone in the bathrooms, and an eclectic scattering of modern and historical pictures on the walls.

Architecture buffs will drool over the building, which is a rare example of the Bauhaus style in Budapest. Emerging from Germany in the years following the First World War, the Bauhaus school aimed at a harmony between design and function; this meant a lack of frills and flourishes, and the Andrassy – dating to 1937 – has the whitewashed ‘boxy’ look typical of Bauhaus buildings. The design in the bedrooms is contemporary, the floors laid with thick, dark carpets and the beds with silver-striped spreads, and the bathrooms adorned with cheerful tiles of yellow and turquoise. It’s located on Andrássy út, Budapest’s most elegant boulevard, originally modelled on Paris’s Champs Élysées.

Rich colours of gold and purple are very much at the fore at Marmara Hotel.

As the name suggests, music is the motif at Aria Hotel Budapest. Credit: ©DGy

The location is unbeatable – there are killer views of the domes of St. Stephen’s Basilica, and the hotel is within walking distance of the city’s Opera House. As the name suggests, music is the motif here. A long, black-and-white keyboard carpet unfurls through the entrance to reveal a grand, if a little gaudily decked out, “garden courtyard” and lobby. Violins and ornamental treble clefs hang from light fittings, gaze upwards and you’ll spot cartoons depicting singers ranging from James Brown to Jagger, while the centrepiece is a space-age piano designed by the Hungarian musician Gergely Bogányi. Its rooftop bar is one of the coolest places in Budapest for a cocktail.

Only after walking around the partition can we admire the full scope of the reception area’s grandeur – within what used to be the building’s courtyard, a gigantic chandelier of Murano glass is the centerpiece of a towering chamber soaring six stories high to a gigantic skylight, allowing sunshine to filter into all of the interior rooms and onto the curvaceous front desk, where a friendly clerk greets us and guides us through the check-in process.

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Of course, when we refer to a “saloon” here, we’re not talking about an Old West-style bar (as cool as that could be) – this is a refined gathering place with ivory-white walls akin more to Old World parlors for conversations or reading; indeed, this is where hotel guests will find the shelves of the Prestige book-exchange program, welcoming everyone to drop off and pick up reading material of all languages and genres.

Sitting in a plush chair at one of the small tables surrounded by classic Zsolnay vases and modern art, we enjoy relaxing amid this peaceful city-center oasis.

Awakening to complete silence, we brew cups of strong coffee with the in-room Nespresso machine, sipping while quickly taking care of the morning’s electronic correspondence thanks to the room’s speedy Wi-Fi.

But we don’t dawdle too long – in just a few minutes, we will be devouring breakfast in a Michelin-starred restaurant, a treat that is only available in Budapest here at Costes Downtown.

The hotel sits on a peaceful street in the Castle District, atop Castle Hill on the Buda side of the river. It is a satisfactory blend of the old and new, evident from the very moment you enter. Above the lobby is a barrel-vaulted brick ceiling typical of the original 15th-century building, while the archway behind reception is now filled with clear glass – very much a modern touch – to give views through to the courtyard garden. The hotel’s colour scheme is neutral, typified by beiges and creams, and this ensures the medieval character is never overpowered by the stamp of the 21st century.

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St. Stephen’s Basilica, Erzsébet Square, the Danube Promenade, and several other city-center landmarks all lie very close to the Prestige Hotel Budapest, yet its side-street location seems somewhat hidden from the metropolitan bustle.

This setting has likely been a tranquil place for most of the past century – designed to be an upscale apartment building by prominent 19th-century Hungarian architect József Hild, this neo-Classical urban palace has long been an esteemed site, and following a total refurbishment that involved reconstructing most of the interior, its original grand façade now looks as if it were newly built.

However, this historic exterior conceals the Prestige Hotel’s many modern charms, so when we were recently presented with the opportunity to stay a night here, we gladly ventured inside to experience all that the property has to offer.

From here we get a chance to peek into the hotel’s meeting facilities within the Hild Room. While the conference center is not huge, it makes up for its smallish size with elaborate style, with its sumptuous golden drapes and wallpaper complementing the parquet flooring and ornate wooden chairs with thick upholstery.

Although the Hild Room’s décor maintains the hotel’s belle-époque style, the facility’s air conditioning and audio-visual technology clearly belong to the 21st century.

Parlament is small but very pleasingly formed – indeed, it’s one of the best boutique hotels in the city, with good facilities and imaginative design. And, as the name suggests, it’s well located near the Parliament building. The décor is airy and colourful. The bar, for instance, has an eclectic collection of brightly upholstered armchairs and cow-hide stools, while the breakfast room has the feel of a rustic food market. The 65 bedrooms are impressive, with a distinctly Art Deco feel. There’s also a lovely little wellness area, including a whirlpool tub set in a relaxing, green-tiled room, and a sauna.

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After this little reconnaissance mission, we hurry back to the suite to change into our swim gear so that we can go enjoy another important amenity of the Prestige Hotel – its wellness center. Similarly to the conference room, this facility is not gigantic, but what it lacks in space it makes up for with superior quality; every guest is provided with a spa bag including slippers and a towel, which we bring with us while walking in the room’s terry cloth robes to the first-floor wellness area.

The entire hotel is adorned with handcrafted furniture designed to evoke the grace of Budapest’s belle-époque era, and the lobby is no exception – velvety sofas and beaded light fixtures provide a timelessly dignified décor while retaining a modern feel.

We admire this carefully balanced atmosphere while ascending to our fourth-floor suite in one of the glass elevators, thrilled by a moment of mild vertigo as we are launched from the ground level.

We select the eggs Benedict, and are grateful for that choice as soon as it arrives at our table – the poached eggs were perfectly light while the yolk was creamily runny, saturating the crisp-yet-tender English muffins and perfectly cooked bacon to make every bite incredible.

Perhaps we should expect such excellence from a Michelin-starred restaurant, yet we’re not used to enjoying such exquisite delights within minutes of awakening, so we sit back and relish the experience while listening to the pleasantly lively jazz music filling Costes Downtown’s sound system.

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On a quiet side street a few steps away from Budapest’s iconic Chain Bridge, one white building’s ornate façade gleams brighter than the rest – this is the Prestige Hotel Budapest, which opened in 2015 within a historic urban palace that was completely renovated to become a stylish full-service establishment for city-center hospitality. While the guest rooms, meeting facilities, spa, and other amenities of the Prestige Hotel are all impressive, the on-site restaurant is certainly a special attraction: the Michelin-starred Costes Downtown, where hotel guests savor breakfast each morning.

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The location of Aria Hotel is unbeatable – there are killer views of the domes of St. Stephen’s Basilica.

Stayed in this hotel for two nights and can’t recommend it highly enough. It’s situated very close to St Stephens Bascilica, Chain Bridge, Parliament Building, the Danube and other tourist attractions. Numerous and good quality restaurants also nearby. Rooms are positioned around an inner atrium area giving the modern and impressive reception area a light and airy feeling. Staff were… More 

The décor is nicely done, with an Asian flavour that reflects the tastes of the hotel’s Turkish owner. Rich colours of gold and purple are very much at the fore, and a vine motif makes a regular appearance on chairs, mirror frames and pendant lights. Rooms are compact but comfortable. Buffet breakfast – including hot dishes such as scrambled eggs, sausages and ratatouille – is served in the airy atrium, with its stripped-brick walls and glass roof, and an adjoining, plusher room with gold fretwork and hanging lanterns. The hotel sits on a residential road just inside the Great Boulevard, 200 metres from Nyugati Station.

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We immediately like what we see – the living-room area of the suite is appointed with sophisticated furnishings in subdued colors, contrasted by silvery long drapes and a matching shag carpet, while the bedroom has a king-size bed topped by huge pillows stuffed with Hungarian goose feathers.

Even the suite’s minor features – such as the textile wallpaper and the metal-sculpted leaf-shaped fruit bowl on the coffee table – demonstrate that the very expensive tastes of the hotelier were extended to every detail of this property.

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Stepping into the serene setting of this deluxe eatery, we are struck by how the atmosphere is remarkably down-to-earth, pretty much literally – the tables, flooring, and most of the fixtures are made of natural wood, while living plants are everywhere, including the wall and ceiling.

Receiving ample sunlight through the oversized windows, it’s easy to imagine that Costes Downtown is an open-air restaurant that just happens to have a gigantic show kitchen equipped with top-of-the-line appliances.

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While breakfast is available to the general public at Costes Downtown, guests of the Prestige Hotel are especially fortunate to have this spread awaiting them directly downstairs. First of all, a huge buffet includes fresh-baked pastries like muffins, croissants, and gluten-free banana bread, served alongside top-caliber Hungarian specialties like Grey Cattle salami and artisanal cheeses, and complemented with homemade yogurt, fresh-squeezed juices and smoothies, local and exotic fruits, and cereals (healthy and otherwise).

This would be plenty to fill us up for the day, but we also get to choose from an à la carte selection of main dishes like French toast, omelettes, waffles, and more.

Architecture buffs will drool over Mamaison Hotel Andrassy’s building.

Walking through the elegant façade’s understatedly decorated main entrance, our sense of anticipation only grows; the opulence of this hotel’s interior is not immediately evident, although we can see shimmering elements of the ornate lobby through the glass elevators at the end of the foyer.

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Baltazár is ideally placed for those who want to base themselves in the city’s historic quarter.

Upstairs we soon discover our spacious suite, which has an interesting feature – a short flight of stairs leading down from the doorway. While most of the hotel’s interior was completely built from scratch, all of the street-facing rooms are part of the original building, and thus have higher ceilings similar to most of Budapest’s older apartments; because of this, several of the suites have a few steps leading up or down from the doorway to match up with the interior hallways.

Nonetheless, this does not detract from the suite – in fact, it kind of adds to the experience to initially see our accommodations from an elevated perspective.

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Pest-Buda is jammed full of personality, with industrial-style copper lamps, oak floors and quirky contemporary artworks

Although there is a range of fitness equipment available by the spa, we naturally skip that and head directly toward the hot tub; after a quick shower, we plunge right into the bubbling water lit by illuminated crystals above.

Here we let our muscles melt for awhile as our eyes are soothed by the spa’s earth-toned décor, and then spend a few minutes in the sauna before another rinse and a bit of cozy reclining on the cushioned relaxation area.

The focus of Prestige is its atrium lobby, a glass-topped spot of whitewashed walls and black stone floor with six storeys of wrought-iron balustrades stacked around it. At the centre is a low-hanging chandelier of teardrop crystals, while opposite the reception desk are two glass-sided lifts. It’s a contemporary classic design that’s simple and airy. The 85 rooms are suitably graceful, decorated in cream and gold colours with wood-laminate flooring, and furniture that was apparently purpose-made. Hotel catering is provided through a joint venture with Costes, Hungary’s first Michelin-starred restaurant, who have rented the dining room and established Costes Downtown.

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Baltazár is ideally placed for those who want to base themselves in the city’s historic quarter on the Buda side of the river. This hotel is probably best characterised as boho-chic – funky, even quirky in places, but elegant too. The reception area sets the tone, the floor laid with bare boards, a red banquette running the length of one wall, travel trunks serving as coffee tables and a writing desk the place for check-in. The hotel aims to be relaxed and intimate, and it’s an aim achieved. The 11 rooms (including three suites) are each unique in design but share a creative, classy flavour. Its restaurant is top drawer.

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