If you are on the lookout for a brand new hotel with a historical touch and quirky flair for your next Budapest trip, Dorothea Hotel might just float your luxurious yacht. Opened at the end of last year, it offers a 5-star experience in a setting that's truly one-of-a-kind. And that combination is the cornerstone of the Autograph Collection, part of the Marriott Bonvoy family, which set foot in Hungary with the opening of Dorothea. So what's it like to spend a night in one of its chic suits? We decided to find out firsthand and booked a stay. Here's what we thought.

Let's face it: choosing a hotel for a holiday stay is a bit of a gamble unless you always go for the same brand. But that might get a bit predictable, right? Well, next time you travel to the Hungarian capital, and fancy going adventurous while keeping in check with the 5-star quality, book Dorothea Hotel Budapest. Opened last November, it's a history-infused and luxurious place to stay with a quirky twist. For fans of city buzz, riverside walks, shopping sprees, and wax celebrity figures, there's additional good news: the hotel is at arm's length from all those.


The location is surely unbeatable if you are craving the full-on city vibe at your doorstep, but it would fall short of the mark if the architecture and the service didn't match. Well, there's nothing to worry about on that front. Once the grand oak entrance doors open, we walk into the scented, eclectic, and sophisticated world of Duchess Maria Dorothea von Wurttemberg (namesake of the hotel).

The entrance hall gives us Pantheon vibes: it's lined with 'Doric' columns and covered with a flower-adorned cassette ceiling, but that's as far as ancient times go. On the walls around us and throughout the hotel hang the art pieces we loved the most: framed portraits of – mostly – women.

If you think they are medieval figures, look again: they are sporting the quirkiest bits of accessories or movements; piercings, contemporary make-up, oversized aviator glasses, headphones, or index fingers pointing you in directions. We were completely obsessed with these playful images, all creations of Zoltán Tombor. Contemporary art also pops up in the reception area: with thousands of deep blue Zsolay tiles and decorative elements by Hungarian designer Katti Zoób.

Dorothea Hotel is an architectural gem, and not only because of its eclectic aesthetics. It's also the merger of three heritage buildings – all built in different eras thus showcasing distinct styles. The buildings have been carefully restored for 8 years, overseen by the Italian architect, art director and designer Piero Lissoni, and we are so glad that a new function revived the historical site.

A fun fact is that the lift has two sets of buttons, depending on which building you are aiming to go. And the rooms, all 216 of them, are characterised by their location too. While 'Heritage suites', scattered around the oldest building (Weber), boast high ceilings, ornate stuccos, Neo-Renaissance style windows, four-poster beds, and green velvet sofas, the 'Contemporary suites' are decorated with soft beige and orange colours, paired with dark wooden floors and peacock blue curtains. It's entirely up to you which style suits you, but here is a piece of advice: you can't go wrong with a room facing the jungle-infused courtyard (don't worry about the noise, the restaurant closes at 10 pm).

Hungarian heritage

Whichever room type you choose, you'll be treated to a warm welcome: check-in also includes a glass of herbal spritzer, honouring the Hungarian invention, soda syphon. We thoroughly enjoyed the Hungarian cultural references woven into the fabric of the building: see the embroidered cushions with folk motifs adorning the bed or the staff's uniform evoking hussars, the Hungarian soldiers.

History enthusiasts will appreciate the fact that the hotel pays homage to historic figures; Duchess Maria Dorothea von Wurttemberg and her husband Archduke Joseph, Palatine of Hungary, who lived in the 18th and 19th centuries. While the former is honoured by her name, the latter by his passion for botanical gardens and herbs - which inspired the Pavilon Restaurant & Bar.

Services and Facilities

Several lovely touches make a stay comfortable: upon entering your room and reading the personalised welcome note on your TV screen, you can consult it for additional information. You can refill your bottle with filtered water in several spots in the corridor. And you can treat yourself to long showers with delicious macadamia and ginseng-scented toiletries – which we definitely did.

Then, don a fluffy robe and a pair of equally fluffy slippers, and head underground to the spa. It comes with a 15-meter swimming pool, a steam room, a sauna, and various treatments, you can unwind and detoxify through swimming, sweating, facials, couples massages and body scrubs. If you feel more energetic than we did, you can also hit a massive gym, equipped with cardio and weight machines.

Restaurants and bars

Our favourite bit – and also the centrepiece and showstopper – of the hotel is the Pavilon Restaurant & Bar, nestled in a covered courtyard, embraced by the three historical buildings. It's a place to live out your urban jungle dreams, as it is brimming with lush greenery. It also boasts a herbal wall – supplying the herbs for food and cocktails. Whether it's breakfast, lunch, or dinner, the restaurant will spoil you with delectable farm-to-table dishes made of local ingredients. And what to try?

We came for dinner and were blown away by the creative flavour combinations. If you listen to us, you go beyond the typical Hungarian dishes like Goulash Soup and sample the Pavilon Burata, Charred Cauliflower and Deer Tatare for a starter. Then continue with Mangalica Secreto, Slow Cooked Eggplant, and Venison Fillet – all served with exciting garnishes on the side. Pair them with top-notch Hungarian wines and signature cocktails – make sure to order a 'Cocktail from Dorothea' too.

If you don't feel like indulging in a full-on feast, choose  Anton Bar & Deli instead. First, because it's gorgeous: full of sophistication with deep blue velvet sofas and fish tiles sealing the deal. Grab a coffee and a fluffy pastry or stay for drinks.

Rates and Booking

For May, you can book a room for EUR 255 – but rates change, and you can also catch deals. Dogs are also welcome, with an additional fee of EUR 100 per stay per room. You can book your stay here.

So does Dorothea Hotel Budapest fit the bill? We say yes: rich in heritage, design, art, comfort, and flavours, it is a sophisticated yet laid-back place – where we bet even Duchess Dorothea would be happy to spend a night.


Dorothea Hotel Budapest