Fodor's Expert Review Hotel Palazzo Zichy Budapest
Lørinc Pap Tér 2, Budapest, Budapest, 1088, Hungary See on Map
For an elegant, chic hotel stay, with flavors of old and modern Budapest, it is hard to beat this stylish boutique conversion of the former palace of Hungarian Count Nándor Zichy. There is no shortage of old-world charm to be found in the renovated 19th-century building in District VIII, right down the street from some of the city's hippest cafés, but there's a cool modern feel in the common areas and the rooms as well.
While the corridors approaching the rooms can feel a little dark, the rooms themselves are light and airy. Some have lovely old high ceilings and a great neighborhood feel out of the original windows, and the color schemes are red and gold or silver. All have Nespresso machines and are non-smoking.
YOU SHOULD KNOW Some rooms are smaller than others, and some are quieter than others, too. Ask when booking if you have a preference.
Some bathrooms have tubs, others walk-in showers, but all have interesting and attractive patterned glass doors and tiles--a break from the plain style that is the norm of most hotel bathrooms.
The hotel lobby is where its slogan ('Where history meets [the] present') comes into its own, with a combo of the yellow 19th-century entrance and the modern double-height reception beyond, with a glass ceiling above the courtyard and a rock wall behind the desk. Staff are helpful and keen.
Don't miss the beautiful old staircases.
The hotel has a gym and a sauna.
The complimentary breakfast, with freshly baked bread and sparkling wine alongside hot dishes, cold cuts and fruits, gets high marks in a city where breakfast is the least fussed-over meal of the day.
The hotel bar has the same modern, black/red look of the lobby, but feels cozy and relaxing. There's free tea and coffee until 5 pm, then a snack menu afterward.
The hotel is within easy walking distance of a number of Pest's sights, and public transport can take you further afield (to Buda Castle, for example).
Costes Restaurant (8-minute walk) is a high-end treat, with Hungarian food and tasting menus. Or Lumen (3-minute walk) is one of those hip cafes we mentioned earlier.
Head for one of Budapest's cool "ruin bars"--in fact, the first of them all--Szimpla Kert (13-minute walk). Or try an example of one of its other major boozing strong points, artsy cultural bars stuffed with junkyard furniture and funky patrons, at Csendes Vintage Bar (13-minute walk).
WHY WE LIKE IT
A successful blend of what makes Budapest great, past and present, Hotel Palazzo Zichy Budapest also boasts helpful and friendly staff, a great breakfast, a cool lounge bar, and a generally cool, but comfortable, vibe. Plus, staying in an actual former palace is pretty cool, no?