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Fodor's Expert Review art'otel budapest

District I, Bem rakpart 16–19, Budapest, Budapest, H-1011, Hungary

Travelers bored with bland, business-hotel decor may get more excited by this mod lodging's snazzy design. Everything—from the multimillion-dollar art collection on the walls to the whimsical red-and-white carpeting and even the cups and saucers—is the work of one man, American artist Donald Sultan. Encompassing one new glass building and a glorious 18th-century baroque wing made up of four former houses on the Buda riverfront, the art'otel adroitly blends old and new. Some rooms are on the small side, but many have splendid views of Fisherman's Bastion and the Matthias Church (for a small extra charge).

The hotel has a number of accessible rooms.

room

The majority of the rooms and suites are in the modern wing, and are nice and light (many have full-length windows). The decor varies, but all of it is bright and a bit more interesting than the standard chain. Rooms also have all of the amenities you'd expect, from blackout blinds to air-conditioning, a mini bar to coffee and tea making facilities. Beds have in-built reading lights. The baroque wing rooms have historic touches, like high ceilings, and some are more apartments than rooms at 80sqm.

For a view of the river, it's a €30 surcharge; for the castle, €20. For our money, either are worth paying depending on your preference. Also, keep an eye out for the little birds present in every room - tradition dictates that they are there to protect guests.

bathroom

Bathrooms are white and black, with Elemis toiletries. All have bathtubs (with showers over them), which is unusual, and welcome (who doesn't love a bath?). There's some nice ironwork in the windows.

lobby

The hotel lobby is large and airy, with friendly staff and a cool, modern feel, thanks no doubt to Mr Sultan.

gym

There's a fitness room and sauna downstairs, as well as meeting facilities.

YOU SHOULD KNOW The gym is not large.

dining

The hotel has two restaurants: the buzzy modern lobby bar on the right as you enter, which serves modern international food with a good view of the river, and then the atmospheric restaurant (where the hotel's delicious buffet breakfast is also served) in the baroque wing. The lovely building is Unesco-listed, and bookings are recommended.

YOU SHOULD KNOW Breakfast is not always included in the rate; check when you book as there aren't a lot of other options open early nearby.

drinking

There aren't many bars this side of the river with an outlook onto the city beyond, so the hotel's bar in the lobby is actually a pretty good option for a drink with a view. Guests can also take drinks out onto the terrace, right by one of the hotel's beautiful baroque buildings, for an alternative but still lovely aspect.

LOCATION

Getting Around

The hotel is on the Buda side, but it's only about 15-20 minutes to the heart of Pest on the other side. Public transport options are good, too, with tram stops a short walk from the hotel.

Restaurants

The hotel recommends Gundel (29-minute tram) in the City Park for authentic, formal Hungarian food complete with folk dancing and an orchestra. For a bit of a change nearer to home, Ennmann Japán Étterem (1-minute walk) dishes up well-rated Japanese food, including sushi.

Bars

The Danube Sailors' Pub (1-minute walk) is a lively local pub and restaurant with a pleasant riverside terrace. Or try Craft Beer Hunyadi (4-minute walk) by the castle to sample the best of Budapest's craft beer revolution.

WHY WE LIKE IT

The efficiency of a chain, with the individual artistic and historic touches that make it feel like a lot more, art'otel is a really decent choice for a good price on the Buda side of the river. The restaurant is pleasingly historic and we love the little touches too, like the birds 'guarding' each room.

QUICK FACTS

Hotel
Trendy
Sceney
Central
Design
$$$

HOTEL INFO

Phones: 1-487–9487

What’s Nearby


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