Airbnb offers a plethora of lodging options in Budapest, and it's especially convenient for cheap, no-frills, but centrally located accommodation. For less price sensitive visitors who prefer the comforts of a hotel, options range from chic boutique hotels to high-end international chains inside historic buildings with panoramic vistas. Below is a selection of five Budapest hotels we believe are worth your money. (Use our neighborhood guide to figure out which pocket of the city suits you best.)
Hotel Rum Budapest (Királyi Pál u. 4, 1053; from €150): This 40-room boutique hotel is what happens when gifted interior designers obtain a generous budget. The 19th-century building of Hotel Rum nestles in a quaint downtown plaza next to the stately law school that breeds the Hungarian political elite. As a counterpoint to the pre-war facade, the interior comes with a stylish design. A highlight is the rooftop bar with sweeping views of Budapest.
Gresham Palace Four Seasons (Széchenyi István tér 5-6, 1051; from €450): Budapest's Four Seasons stands tall in a category of its own, not just in Hungary but also in Central Europe. Overlooking the Danube, the Chain Bridge, and the Castle Hill, the hotel is inside a grand art nouveau building that dates back to the glory days of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The glass-roofed lobby is decorated with Zsolnay glazed ceramic tiles, and the staircases feature stained-glass windows. The celebrity-studded guest list often includes A-list Hollywood actors in town for a film shoot. Kollázs, the restaurant and cocktail bar on the ground floor, is an appropriate match to the hotel.
The Ritz-Carlton, Budapest (Erzsébet tér 9, 1051; from €350): The Ritz's limestone-clad building, which bears art nouveau, art deco, and early modernist marks, graciously overlooks the city’s main square in downtown. Following a recent refurbishment, the original details inside beautifully blend with tasteful modern furnishings. The long list of amenities include an indoor rooftop swimming pool and a champagne bar on the ground floor.
Casati Budapest Hotel (Paulay Ede u. 31, 1061; from €130): It's tough to beat the location of this 25-room boutique hotel on the border between the bustling old Jewish Quarter dotted with ruin bars, and the upscale Andrássy Avenue with the Opera House, both just a stone's throw away. Hungarian contemporary artworks adorn each room of the 18th century building, which boasts a quiet, ivy-covered courtyard. For a nightcap, visit the cocktail bar on the ground floor, Tuk Tuk, which evokes the Shanghai of the 1920s.
Iberostar Grand Hotel Budapest (Október 6. u. 26, 1051; from €200): The sleek rooftop atop the 19th century building was the last project of the late Péter Reimholz, one of Hungary's influential architects. This 50-room boutique hotel comes with five-stars and the most spacious rooms you will find in the city. Halfway between the Parliament and St. Stephen's Basilica, it's right along the main tourist paths. For the best experience, ask for a room overlooking the impressive Liberty Square, and soak yourself in the mosaic-tiled hot tub in the dim spa room.