Airbnb has a plethora of lodging options in Budapest. Attractive deals abound on all end of the spectrum, but it's particularly convenient for finding relatively cheap, centrally located accommodation. To pick the neighborhood that best fits your needs, see an overview here. For less price sensitive visitors who prefer the comforts of a hotel, there're plenty, almost too many, to choose from. Historical grandiosity, contemporary design, panoramic vista, fine dining, and rooftop pool are just some of the features available. Below is a selection of hotels that offer the best value for money in their respective categories.
Gresham Palace Four Seasons (Széchenyi István tér 5-6, 1051; from 350 euros): Hands down the most glamorous hotel in the city, standing tall in a category of its own. The building, a grand art nouveau construction from the glory days of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, is a straight-line extension of the venerable Chain Bridge, which means that the front-facing rooms have sweeping views of the Castle Hill and the Danube. Inside, there're plenty of details to marvel at. The royal-looking lobby with multicolored Zsolnay tiles, a glass-roofed arcade, and elaborate stained-glass windows in stately staircases. The celebrity-studded guest list often includes A-list Hollywood actors in town for shooting. Kollázs, the brasserie and cocktail bar on the ground floor, is an appropriate match to the hotel.
Hotel Rum (Királyi Pál u. 4, 1053; from 120 euros): This 38-room chic boutique hotel is what happens when gifted interior designers obtain a generous budget. The 19th century building of Hotel Rum nestles on a surprisingly quaint downtown square next to the stately law school that breeds the Hungarian political elite. The meticulous interior is a far cry from the 19th century, showing instead an amalgamation of contemporary international styles. The moment of truth will come here when the rooftop bar with a panoramic vista opens in summer 2017. All this for little over 100 euros a night.
The Ritz-Carlton, Budapest (Erzsébet tér 9, 1051; from 300 euros): Built in 1913, the polished limestone covered building graciously looking over the city’s main square is unique even within Budapest’s rich architectural traditions by bearing art nouveau, art deco and early modernist marks. Sparing no expense, the building was meticulously refurbished inside and out in 2016. The result is a breathtaking combination of “old-world” monumentality and a luxurious, but not tacky contemporary design with grey and pale blue highlights. Inspired by the op-art works of Hungarian-French Victor Vasarely, each room is decorated with Hungarian contemporary paintings. Long list of amenities include an indoor rooftop swimming pool beneath a glittering glass roof, a bistro-type restaurants serving a range of Hungarian staples (Deák St. Kitchen), and a champagne bar.
Kempinski Hotel Corvinus Budapest (Erzsébet tér 7, 1051; from 200 euros): The sum of the parts makes this 316-room luxury hotel in the heart of downtown the right pick. The distinctive post-modern building from 1992 evokes strong feelings on both ends of the spectrum, but there's little debate about the stunning street-views from the spa and the all-around first-class service so rare in Hungary. Cherry on top is the full-blown gastro scenery on the ground floor: a Nobu (the only one in Hungary), a laid-back bistro with Hungarian staples (ÉS Bisztró), and a snug "Living Room" café await deep-pocketed guests.
Iberostar (Október 6. u. 26, 1051; from 190 euros): The 2009 reconstruction of this building was the last project of Péter Reimholz, one of Hungary's influential architects. The result is an eye-catching copper-clad extension atop the 19th century white stucco facade. Inside is a Spanish-designed 50-room boutique hotel that 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 located right along the main tourist paths. For the best experience, ask for a room overlooking the imposing Liberty Square and soak yourself in the dim-lit, mosaic-tiled hot tub in the spa room.
Casati Budapest Hotel (Paulay Ede u. 31, 1061; from 130 euros): It's tough to beat the location of this 25-room boutique hotel on the borderland between the boisterous District 7 dotted with ruin bars, and the upscale Andrássy Avenue and the Opera House, both just a stone's throw away. Inside, the carefully refurbished 18th century building with an ivy-covered courtyard mingles with contemporary design. The Hungarian artwork adorning each of the rooms is more hit than miss. For a nightcap, visit the Shanghai-themed cocktail bar, Tuk Tuk, on the ground floor.
Bohem Art Hotel (Molnár u. 35, 1056; from 140 euros): Central location and peaceful serenity rarely go hand in hand. Yet this is the case in this downtown 60-room boutique hotel, sitting on a narrow side street exactly a block away from both the bank of the Danube and the Great Market Hall. Museum-worthy contemporary paintings by local artists set the tone of the rooms, and hammer home the bohemian flair perhaps a bit too didactically. Rooms are tiny, the breakfast is royal and generous.