The Ritz-Carlton Budapest
The luxurious, centrally located Ritz-Carlton Budapest offers some informality with its elegance. While its décor nods to the grace of a bygone age, there's a comfortable, laid-back atmosphere in its common spaces, and a warmth to the welcome from its staff, which bring it squarely into the 21st century.
- Adrian Phillips, Destination expert
The hotel is as central as they come, with Váci utca, St Stephen's Basilica and Andrássy út all a stone's throw away. The main metro hub is also on the doorstep.
Style & character
Although part of an American chain, The Ritz-Carlton feels very much tailored to its surroundings. The Danube is represented in the blue and white swirls of the carpeting, and there are reminders of yesteryear Budapest in old advertising posters, framed photos of historical street scenes, and a case displaying ‘Hungaricum’ such as the Rubik’s Cube (invented in 1974 by a Hungarian professor). Despite the imposing early-20th-century façade and stained-glass cupola, the hotel has a relaxed feel, its high style softened with vases of flowers and comfortable sofas.
Service & facilities
The staff are very friendly and attentive – I've never before witnessed a guest hugging the concierge at checkout! The spa has an atmospheric swimming pool and whirlpool, well-equipped gym, sauna, steam room and several rooms offering massages, pedicures and beauty treatments using ESPA products. Guests can use a computer terminal and printer on the ground floor. The Club Lounge (available as standard to those in Club rooms and suites, but which can also be accessed by guests in other rooms for €50–€100 [£46-£91] per person per day, depending on occupancy and season, if there is capacity) is elegant, relaxing and generally top class. There's a dedicated airport-transfer service, but it comes at a hefty €150 (£130) return.
- Room service
- Fitness centre
The 200 decent-sized rooms (including 29 suites) are contemporary in style with neutral colours of beige and cream, and the hotel’s signature watery flashes of blue and green in the carpets. While the design is generally clean-lined and understated, there’s the odd adventurous touch, such as an asymmetrical light fixture that looks like a series of floating bubbles. All bathrooms have a tub and shower.
Club rooms on the eighth floor are the same size and style as those in the Deluxe category, but offer access to the Club Lounge and have small balconies.
Food & drink
The hotel’s Deák St. Kitchen, with large windows overlooking the eponymous pedestrianised street at the rear, is a stylish grill restaurant specialising in steaks, but also serving traditional Hungarian classics and international options. Aimed at locals as well as guests, it has a laid-back atmosphere, an excellent selection of regional wines and reasonably priced dishes (around £10 a main).
The Kupola Lounge – with its centrepiece glass dome – is the place for a buffet breakfast or light lunch; on Sunday, it hosts a Gin and Jazz brunch (featuring live music, a welcome G&T, and a buffet spread for HUF 13,500/10,500 [£38/£29] with/without alcoholic drinks). The Club Lounge offers complimentary food at various points during the day (including an excellent breakfast, complete with a station where staff will prepare your choice of omelette), and wines and other beverages in the afternoon. There is a bar off the lobby.
Value for money
Double rooms from £250 in low season; and from £500 in high. Breakfast included. Free Wi-Fi.
Access for guests with disabilities?
All areas of the hotel are wheelchair-accessible, and one room has been adapted.
There are some connecting rooms, and the hotel can provide cots and high chairs. Drawing books are provided to children during meals, and there’s a kids' corner during the Sunday brunch in the Kupola Lounge.