The indulgent spirit of Hungarian hospitality is rightfully legendary – many hotels here offer world-class accommodation and services with genuinely caring professionalism, often offered for remarkably friendly prices. In this instalment of our monthly Checking In series, we look around at the latest developments in Budapest’s hotel scene for the latest news, special promotions and unbelievable bargains this July.
Grand unveiling for the Hilton Garden Inn Budapest City Center
At a special opening this week, the rooms, restaurant, rooftop terrace and secret courtyards of the Hilton Garden Inn Budapest City Center were thrown open to the press. Designer Carmen Tanase was on hand to explain her leaf-pattern design, featured on carpets and surfaces throughout the 214-room, four-star hotel located between the Opera House and the Basilica – both in magnificent full view from the roof garden. More details here. Look out too for our upcoming interview with the people behind the project.
New Gellért owners aim for five-star refurb
Taking over Budapest’s most revered hotel, the riverside Gellért, from Danubius, US-Hungarian investment group Indotek are planning a complete reconstruction of this heritage property to raise it to five-star standards. Unable to find a strategic investor, Danubius were forced to relinquish this century-old jewel. According to Danubius vice-president Mark Hennebry, “We believe that the new owner will devote significant capital to renovating the hotel so that it can occupy a worthy place among the luxury hotels in Budapest”.
Indotek founder and CEO Dániel Jellinek said, “Paris has the Eiffel Tower, London has Big Ben. Budapest is known as a spa city and its number one spa is the Gellért. Therefore, we want to carry out the renovations so that the old, iconic Gellért shines again. We want guests to come to Budapest or Europe specifically to stay at the Gellért Hotel, just as they did in its heyday”.
During the transition process, the Danubius Group will continue to operate the Gellért Hotel, and reservations will not be affected. More details here.
New Russian hybrid hotel-hostel for the autumn
First opened in Moscow in 2015, then unveiled in St Petersburg in 2017, the successful NETIZEN mini-chain of hybrid hotels-hostels is being expanded to Budapest this autumn. As proven by global leaders such A&O and Meininger, both with a recent foothold in the Hungarian capital, the hotel-hostel hybrid is a popular model, balancing privacy and affordability. According to NETIZEN’s Julia Tselykovskaya, “Looking at markets outside Russia, Budapest was the first to show us the optimal combination of tourist demand, property values and expectations of return on our investment. We’re sure that NETIZEN Budapest will become the anchor of our brand in Europe”.
The new property will comprise around 430 beds, in private rooms for two to six guests, and dorms of up to ten. Located on Rákóczi út near Blaha Lujza tér, NETIZEN Budapest Centre will be convenient for trams 4/6, red metro M2 and Keleti station. See here for more details.
Special fish menu all month at the Radisson
Going under the piscine title of ‘Your Wish is My Fish’, a gastronomic initiative at Budapest’s historic Radisson Blu Béke hotel near Nyugati station puts seafood at the forefront. Oysters, octopus, salmon and shrimp are all being served in the hotel’s Zsolnay Café for the month of July. There’s spaghetti alle vongole and Hungarian catfish stew, too. Seafood ramen may preface your meal, Furlan prosecco may accompany it. The menu will be available until 28 July. See here for more details.
Unique cocktails at the Kempinski
‘Back to Nature’ is the theme of the latest summer cocktails currently on offer at Blue Fox The Bar, the sophisticated drinking destination at the Kempinski Hotel Corvinus Budapest. If you’re expecting a simple seasonal Daiquiri, think again. Using natural ingredients, handcrafted infusions and the mixology savvy of Attila Felhősi, five brand new cocktail concoctions should brighten the most jaded of cosmopolitan drinkers until the end of August.
These include Ocean Picnic, bartender Ádám Szabó’s mix of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc with infusions and celery tea soda, served in a bronze sea snail, and the Aloe Breeze Martini of translucent swirls cloaking a flask of vodka infused with sage, bergamot-based Italicus and aloe vera. For the booze-free, there’s a Lavender Cloud of Brazilian guava and a basil-grapefruit infusion. More details here.