To Buda or To Pest – that is the question? And badly misquoted Shakespearean references aside, that actually is the question for most travellers planning accommodation for a first visit to Budapest (or a second one in my case). A little introduction for those of you who have never been: the composition of the city of Budapest reflects that of its name, a comfortable jigsaw pairing of two distinct sides – Pest and Buda, divided by the undulating grandeur of the majestic Danube.
Staying on the Buda side enables hilltop, panoramic vistas across the city and a more sleepy and mellow ambience by night but of course, as a staunch urban girl and a devout Londoner, my inclination naturally fell within the boundaries of Pest, the side of the city pulsating with opulent coffee houses, renowned tourist attractions, easy transportation (and no hills to climb!)
And with the decision made to base ourselves in Pest, the Prestige Hotel became our home for our long weekend.
The older I get, the more aware I become about my hotel and accommodation preferences. I always embrace variety within my travel accommodation choices, sampling everything from cosy bed and breakfasts to lavish luxury hotels. But for short European city breaks, I love nothing more than a chic, boutique hotel that marries together elegance, personalised service and individuality with convenience and comfort. And dare I use the F word but I think Prestige Hotel Budapest may actually be my favourite ever European boutique hotel.
My inbuilt compass is so malfunctioning that it barely recognises the north from the south but even I could have found this hotel if struggling given its undeniable location just a two-minute walk away from one of the most striking attractions in the city – St Stephen’s Basilica in the heart of downtown Budapest.
And its positioning right within the hub of the Budapest tourist scene is one of the primary reasons it appealed to me. Aside from the Basilica, we were within a short walk of the Hungarian Parliament, Chain bridge, the Danube riverside and we chose to head to the Buda side of the city on foot as well.
As we walked into the hotel lobby on the morning of our arrival, the squeaky clean, mosaic-adorned floors gleamed so flawlessly that we could just about see our pores in the reflection but then what else would you expect from an establishment that opened only a year ago, the newest addition to the Zara Hotel Group.
An unexpected offer of an upgrade on arrival meant that we found ourselves in a deluxe room on the 6th floor with a view of an open courtyard style setting beneath us.
The gilded and velvet-effect, soft furnishings splayed across the bed and sofa went a long way towards making us feel like royalty.
However, when we found the karaoke service on the hotel smart TV and started competing childishly with each other, we quickly realised neither one of us purport ourselves with the decorum required by royalty! And yes, I am just a smidgen embarrassed that this photograph serves as evidence of me singing along to N-Sync.
The deluxe rooms had many of those small touches that help guests to feel pampered even amongst the hustle and bustle of a city. There is a lot to be said about the de-stressing properties of a hotel lie in on a pillow of your choice, an all-encasing soft, white robe and a cup of fresh brew. And yes, for those of you who know me well, I am not a seasoned coffee-consumer but if a hotel is generous enough to provide in room Nespresso machines, then I am certainly happy to dabble in a sip for good measure.
And the finer, logistically important details are not forgotten either – the plug points are well located, the bedside night lights have a moveable and flexible reading light for those of us who feel most awake the later the day progresses.
As practical and necessary as the plug points and lighting options are, let’s be honest, these are not the parts of a hotel stay that make a stay exciting. For that, they provided us with a bar of dark chocolate and a separate selection box of three gourmet chocolates encompassing traditional Hungarian flavours.
Even if you are residing at Prestige Hotel during a winter Budapest break rather than the summer months, don’t make the same mistake I did by not bringing a swimsuit.
For one, you need it when visiting one of the many famous thermal baths in the city and for another, the hotel has a tasteful jacuzzi, which Pumpkin loved soaking in at the end of a long day of mileage and sight-seeing as well as a sauna and gym area.
Breakfast at Prestige Hotel
My definition of what constitutes a “convenient” location for a hotel usually focuses on proximity to the sights I want to see and rarely stretches to incorporate anything else but from now on, I shall start looking at proximity to dining spots. We were utterly inundated with restaurant options within just a five to ten minute walk from the hotel, avoiding the tourist traps immediately outside the Basilica and walking just a few hundred yards away on the side streets to discover gourmet Hungarian cuisine. Prestige Hotel itself though has an equally tempting dining option if you want to stay in for the night.
The Costes Downtown restaurant based at Prestige Hotel earned itself a Michelin star just the month after we left! Hotel guests are served breakfast at that very restaurant and unlike many hotel breakfasts I have experienced, even at some internationally renowned 5 star hotels, the breakfast here for all guests is a welcome and very tasteful combination of buffet offerings and table service.
The table service menu offers a selection of dishes included within the hotel bed and breakfast package, such as Eggs Benedict and waffles but also has a more expansive selection of breakfast and brunch options available at a small additional cost for those wanting to order from the Costes Downtown menu.
Even if you aren’t staying at Prestige Hotel, I would highly recommend booking in for a breakfast or brunch here (as indeed I saw a few local businessmen doing), as the food quality and casual chic vibe of the restaurant almost left me feeling like I was brunching at a swanky New York City hot spot.
When a hotel brands itself with the name, Prestige, it automatically sets itself the challenge of delivering the pinnacle of service and quality (and dare I say it, perhaps even sets itself up for a fall) but the way in which they have combined classic Hungarian elegance with modern amenities, fine food and extremely friendly service prove that it is more than living up to its title.
Disclaimer: We received a reduced media rate stay at Prestige Hotel but I was taught many moons ago that liars end up with pants on fire. All views, good or bad, are entirely my own.
40 thoughts on “Prestige Hotel Budapest”
I love the attention to detail – the bedding and lighting are superb! I would also stay in Pest if returning to Budapest as I loved the nightlife there
Yes, I loved the buzz in Pest too and Budapest is such a cool city! I think for me, it was those small little details and touches that really made this hotel so special 🙂
We stayed there for one night before our Christmas river cruise down the Danube and really loved the hotel. We didn’t have a ton of time to enjoy it beyond the room we got -an upgrade to a junior suite which I failed to take pictures of – but between how comfortable the bed was, how luxurious the bathroom was, how stylish the lobby was, I have no qualms about recommending this place wholeheartedly. Truly a great boutique hotel.
Yay, I’m so glad that you loved it as much as I did Becky! And how nice that you got upgraded to a suite! Everything about Prestige oozed all the qualities that I love most about boutique hotels and I’d happily stay there again! PS, I keep hearing from people how beautiful Danube river cruises are – that must have been a wonderful experience.Thanks so much for reading 🙂
We had an absolute blast on the Danube River cruise. I’m not sure what it would be like outside of Christmas time since the majority of our journey was centered on the Christmas markets, but I imagine they’d be equally fabulous.
Ooooh, we’re off to Budapest soon *gets Googling*
Oh yes, get Googling and if it’s available, book it Emma – it’s so chic and friendly, you won’t regret it!!
Ooh when are you there? I’m heading over next month, would be so funny if we were there at the same time! K x
Beautiful photos. This hotel looks really lovely, I absolutely love Budapest and can’t wait to go back eventually!
Me too Danielle – such a great city isn’t it?! I’d happily go back again a 3rd time 🙂 Thanks so much for the kind comment -I really adored this hotel so I’m so pleased the photos have gone some way towards doing it justice!
This place looks so swish! Which is why I literally snorted with laughter when I read the bit about the karaoke – I have never come across that in any hotel room, I’m actually a little jealous haha. Also love the pillow menu – I’m a huge fan… one time in Sydney I got a little carried away and ended up with about 12 pillows over a long weekend… oops!
Hehehe Connie, I couldn’t believe my luck when I spotted this and as much as I’d have loved to have pretended I’m far too cool to indulge in a bit of in-room karaoke, it seemed too good an opportunity to pass up! I’d never come across it in a hotel before either but I feel like any future standard hotel TV is going to seem so dull in comparison 😀
What a wonderful read! Make you want to go to just experience the luxury. I think the hotel should be grateful to you for such a complementary write up .
Awww thanks 🙂 So pleased you enjoyed the post and yes, it just oozed luxury but in a really unpretentious and classy way – absolutely love staying at places that strike that perfect balance!
Ah man, I’ve just booked an Air BnB apartment for my trip to Budapest next month and now I want to stay here – it looks and sounds brilliant! Not knowing the place at all I had no idea about where to stay and actually don’t know which is which – would you mind letting me know? If I look at a map – is the right side of the river Buda or Pest?
With my bad legs I need to keep away from hills so paranoid now! So looking forward to heading here for the first time in May – will you be writing up more about your time in Budapest over the next few weeks? K x
Oh don’t worry at all Keri – you don’t have to do much climbing there as it’s very easy to get between the two sides by public transport too and you only need a day or less on the Buda side anyway if you’ll be there for just a few days. If you look at the map, Pest is on the right side of the river. An apartment is a decent option in a city like Budapest because there’s loads of things to do and most of the things I saw on this trip were different to things I’d seen on my first visit many years ago. I will be writing more about it in due course but it’s so hard to keep up with blogging at the pace that I would like to so I’m very happy to email you some tips if you fancy it just in case I don’t get my posts up before your trip? 🙂
I totally know what you mean, I find it so hard to keep up with writing my blog posts! :s
Thanks for putting my mind at ease, and we’re staying in Pest, so all good. If you could email me over some tips that would be wonderful – we go late May and haven’t done any research yet! Must looking into afternoon tea options!
Beautiful photos. We were probably just down the block in our Airbnb apartment, Budapest is a great place for sure 🙂
It really is, isn’t it?! Such a great city – it isn’t all that often I find myself wanting to go back to the same city again and again but this is one of them that’s for sure 🙂
oooh lala! looks positively opulent!
It really was Andy but the trouble with staying at hotels like this is that you never really want to leave the hotel premises but luckily Budapest is such a cool city that I still managed to 🙂
Wow, this place looks so luxurious and treated you guys so well! I would never want to leave! Haha.
Hehe, I didn’t want to!! It was really luxurious but with such a friendly, humble service so it didn’t feel snobby or pretentious at all, which I really liked about it 🙂
I’d always be inclined to stay in Pest – and now you’ve let me know the perfect to hotel to book too! Looks divine and I love the attention to detail.
You won’t be disappointed Suzanne – they’ve managed to perfectly combine all that luxury and elegance whilst still keeping the intimacy and friendly service of a small boutique 🙂
In-room karaoke?! Okay, whenever I may visit Budapest in the future I am definitely staying here purely for the karaoke! As well as gorgeous beds and chocolate treats of course 😉
(Also, great disclaimer haha!)
Hehe thanks Ayla – trust me, no lying or exaggerating needed when you stay here, it’s such a perfect boutique hotel and SO conveniently located, which is why it was such a great find! The karaoke was hilarious – we were both literally sat there on the bed trying to out-sing each other 😀
This hotel looks so good! I am actually going to Budapest in a couple weeks so I can’t wait to read more about your trip. Such a shame you didn’t bring a swimsuit, guess you will have to go back 🙂 Also a pillow menu? YAS! Haha
Ash | Liakada
These pillow menus are proving to be rather popular it seems – I’m just too indecisive to use them, as don’t know where to start and am the sort of person that can all asleep on pretty much anything so it’s probably wasted on me 😀 Hope you’ll have a wonderful time in Budapest – can you believe I’ve been twice now and now done the baths on either occasion – must correct that next time!
Wow looks like a really stunning hotel, must get to Budapest soon!
It’s a perfect choice for a Budapest stay Becky as so well located and seriously oozing style and chic 🙂
What a luxurious and cozy ambiance. And that jacuzzi would make anyone want to jump right in!
They’ve completely mastered the art of boutique luxury in my opinion Nano but what was I thinking not bringing my swimsuit?! Was so jealous whilst my hubby was having a lovely dip in the jacuzzi and all I could do was sit on the lounger on the side!
so nice! I can see why it may be your favourite boutique hotel 🙂
Thanks so much Anna! I don’t often pick favourites but it was hard to find any fault with this one 🙂
Great photos! I’d love to visit Budapest one day! I’m right there with you, the older I get the more I truly appreciate a good hotel!
Thank you Caitlin! I hope you do get to visit Budapest one day as it’s such a great city! I’m the same with hotels & giggle when I think back to some of the dives I stayed in back in my student days because I literally didn’t care at all back then. A perfect, little well-located boutique suits me just fine nowadays 🙂
Looks lovely! I am also a big fan of a boutique hotel (although I can be persuaded to stop by a Travelodge when they’ve got their £29 a room deals on :-p). And I think that in-room karaoke is genius and should now be mandatory in all hotels…
Oh trust me, I’m all over bargain rooms as well Laura, travelodge or otherwise – sometimes those sorts of brilliant bargains end up giving the best sense of achievement! But as far as personal service & that intimate boutique feel of a hotel goes, this has to be one of the loveliest I’ve stayed in! 🙂