The first of its kind in the region, the five-star Hard Rock Hotel Budapest sits on Nagymező utca, the city’s own Broadway, a buzzy downtown street of theatres and galleries. No better setting, then, for the display of rare designer dresses worn by Lady Gaga, Katy Perry and Nicki Minaj, sparkling in the spacious lobby also centrepieced by Michael Jackson’s fedora and Elton John’s yellow shoes. Hard Rock may a global brand, underscored by music since 1971, but certain artefacts are pure Budapest. A message written by Freddie Mercury, who wowed the crowd here in ’86, decorates the lobby-level Constant Grind Café. In the adjoining Rock Shop, limited-edition T-shirts and badges carry the name of the eighth European city to host a Hard Rock Hotel. Song lyrics, original art and rare artefacts feature throughout – perhaps none more rare than a spoof diary written by John Lennon, showcased on floor 6. Accessed by lifts whose soundtrack is one of five overseen by the Vibe Manager, 136 rooms allow guests to relax in sleek yet Zen surroundings. Those keen to release their inner Hendrix can ask staff to bring them a trusty Fender, and stream strumming lessons via the TV. The Rock Star suite has its own intimate, elegant terrace with an outdoor jacuzzi, while anyone can pamper their pet thanks to Hard Rock’s Unleashed policy of providing dog bowls and toys. The Roxy events space also offers rooftop views while at street level, bistro restaurant, cocktail bar and DJ spot Sessions welcomes all visitors for classic Hungarian fare and dishes representing fellow Hard Rock destinations. Mixologists prepare drinks with a Magyar twist – think Budapest Spritz with Unicum Reserva – and mix-masters spin tunes three nights a week, plus Sunday lunchtimes. The final touch is provided by that most Hard Rock of items, a plectrum, worn by each member of staff, emblazoned with the name of their favourite band.

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