The indulgent spirit of Hungarian hospitality is rightfully legendary – many hotels here offer world-class accommodations and services with genuinely caring professionalism, often offered for remarkably friendly prices. In our “Checking In” series, we look around at the latest developments in Budapest’s hotel scene for the freshest news, special promotions, and unbelievable bargains of winter 2017.
Starwood acquires Sofitel Budapest Chain Bridge for €75 million
Sited on the riverfront by Budapest’s iconic Chain Bridge and providing guests with panoramic Buda Castle vistas, the five-star Sofitel hotel is a popular destination for high-class accommodations flavored with French flair, and following late-November news reports that the property is being purchased by Starwood Capital Group for €75 million, further investment is expected to boost the Sofitel’s future development. Although the European Union Merger Control Office must approve the transaction before it can be finalized, Starwood Vice President for European Hotels Keith Evans is already looking forward to building on the Sofitel’s “attractive growth and significant repositioning potential.”
Renovations under way at Budapest’s Radisson Blu Béke Hotel
Standing prominently on the corner of Budapest’s Grand Boulevard and Szondi Street since 1913, a storied hotel continuously serves city-center guests while changing with the times – and now as the Radisson Blu Béke Hotel, this historic business launched new renovations in anticipation of welcoming future generations. Formerly known as the Britannia and the Hotel Béke, this building was almost completely reconstructed in the early 1980s, and now new refurbishments are under way to present a new lobby, a modern conference center, upgraded guest rooms, and a new café with a direct entrance to the sidewalk, among other improvements; the renovations are expected for completion by April 2018.
Budapest Airport’s first on-site hotel expected to open in January
Amid a period of record-breaking growth for Budapest Ferenc Liszt International Airport, a new addition is expected to enhance its amenities and appeal beginning in January 2018: the transport hub’s first airport hotel. Construction on the soon-to-debut ibis Styles Budapest Airport is already almost complete, and the property will feature 145 guest rooms (including pet-friendly accommodations) along with six meeting rooms and high-quality banqueting services, making this a useful location for business and leisure travelers; of course, every room will have soundproofed windows. Budapest’s own WING Zrt. real-estate developers are overseeing the creatively curvaceous hotel’s establishment.
Hotel President Budapest installs ice-skating rink on its rooftop
The city’s most stunningly surprising location for ice-skating now welcomes the public for gliding while admiring far-reaching skyline views. From now through February, Budapest’s Hotel President offers an elevated ice rink amid its Intermezzo Roof Terrace, which anyone can use for only 990 forints (skate rental costs 490 forints extra), while a charming snack bar serves hot beverages and other wintry delights. Outdoor heaters provide welcoming comfort for non-skating friends or for anyone who wants to sit out a few laps – and to really warm up from some high-spirited winter sporting, visitors can buy a pass to use the Hotel President wellness area after skating, where saunas and a steamy hot tub await.
Mamaison Hotel Andrassy Budapest offers the “Winter Wonders” package
As Budapest’s grandest boulevard, Andrássy Avenue shines with seemingly endless strings of Christmas lights during this time of year, and here the Mamaison Hotel Andrassy Budapest – housed within a historic Bauhaus building – joins the sparkling celebrations by offering its “Winter Wonders” package from now through March 18th. Guests who take advantage of this offer receive a 20% discount if spending two nights and a 30% discount if spending three nights, along with a free room upgrade (depending on availability) and a voucher for hot chocolate at the Szamos Gourmet House located at Vörösmarty Square, the site of Budapest’s biggest Christmas market; visit the hotel website for more details.
Award-winning Aria Hotel transforms its High Note SkyBar into a forest
Located downtown near St. Stephen’s Basilica, the trendy Aria Hotel – winner of TripAdvisor’s 2017 Traveler’s Choice award for Best Hotel in the World – continues to earn global praise; in October, the hotel scored second place in 2017’s Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards for Top Hotels in Central Europe. A big part of this harmonious hotel’s appeal lies in its High Note SkyBar (with the Basilica dome serving as a stately backdrop for this deluxe rooftop lounge), and just in time for the Christmas season, this panoramic site is freshly transformed into a “forest” full of illuminated trees and featuring several specialty cocktails and small-plate dishes available through wintertime.
Danubius Hotel Gellért prepares for its 100th anniversary in 2018
While celebrating the holiday season with a series of popular Christmastime brunches – including a feast starring traditional Mohács-style fish soup (a classic Yuletide dish in Hungary) on December 17th and a Christmas brunch on December 24th featuring games and gifts for children – the staff at Budapest’s beautiful Danubius Hotel Gellért is preparing to honor the 100th anniversary of this historic hospitality palace during the upcoming year. This living Art Nouveau landmark opened for business in 1918, and a century later it is still a premier destination for downtown accommodations directly on the Danube – keep reading We Love Budapest for Gellért centennial news in 2018.