Taking advantage of a choice Buda-side location on the Danube riverbank, many rooms at this hotel—which has had a loyal following since it opened shortly after the Iron Curtain came down—have a small seating area in front of floor-to-ceiling windows looking across the river to the beautiful Parliament building. Don't be fooled by the name, though; while it is a cute little hotel with some cool secrets (of which more later), it feels more like a small 90s-era hotel than the image the word 'boutique' conjures up. The reception staff are faultless, though, and staying here is a very comfortable experience.
YOU SHOULD KNOW The hotel building itself is pretty much the only ugly modern building on this stretch of river, marring the view somewhat. If you can handle that, the views in the other direction - i.e., from the hotel - are lovely.
Rooms are large, light, and quiet, and all boast great views across the Danube. The decoration is not the loveliest--spotty green carpets clash a little with the orange throws on the bed--but anyone who spends time looking at the furniture when they have one of Budapest's prettiest vistas outside their window is missing the point rather.
The white and cream bathrooms are spotlessly clean and even smell pleasant when you enter. Toiletries are by Pure Herbs, and some rooms have baths, some showers.
The small lobby is home to a host of friendly and professional staff for whom nothing is too much trouble.
The hotel has a small sauna.
The hotel has no dinner offer, but its breakfast is good and varied, and it has a surprise in store...
Don't miss out on the hotel's "afternoon break", tea and biscuits served for free in the most beautiful setting - a secret 19th century concert room, the Jenő Hubay Music Hall, adjacent to the hotel, and accessed through a door on the second floor or via a gorgeous wood panelled staircase behind reception. The hotel's meeting rooms are similarly splendid, and guests can take drinks there, too.
The little hotel bar, to the side of reception, is a modern, buzzy place to have a coffee or alcoholic drink while overlooking the river. There's a 2-4-1 happy hour.
The hotel is perfectly located for sightseeing in Buda (although there is a bit of a hill to get to the top of the castle), and close enough to the famous Chain Bridge to reach Pest easily, too. Otherwise, there are tram stops close by.
Fantastic, comfortable Belgian Brasserie Henri (1-minute walk), serving great beer and tasty European specialities, is almost next door. Or Pavilion de Paris (2-minute walk) is an atmospheric French restaurant with a lovely courtyard.
For some hearty drinking and a pleasant terrace, try the Danube Sailors' Pub (2-minute walk). Or head across the river for a change in the view from your room--this time, of the rooftops of Pest and beyond--at the classy St Andrea Wine & Sky Bar (19-minute walk).
WHY WE LIKE IT
It's not pretty from the outside, but the views from your room are gorgeous, the location's good, the hotel has some cool secrets, and the staff are brilliant. If you can get past the exterior, you're onto a winner.