To say that it was amazing doesn’t really cover it. I have been to a lot of hotels in my time and Aria Hotel Budapest is one of the best I’ve stayed in because they pay such great attention to the details.
For example, when you leave the hotel and it’s raining, they give you a branded umbrella to go out for the day with, and in the evening they have a cheese and wine reception that’s free of charge, and there’s so much available to be honest you could go without dinner. It’s the perfect end to the day after wandering around Budapest.
The whole hotel is about music, and that’s evident through the whole design. When you walk in the floor is designed like piano keys that travel all the way up the wall. Then there’s a grand piano in the reception area and during the aforementioned cheese and wine there’s always someone playing and a lady singing.
I was upgraded to a suite and once again it’s all about the details – everything is seamless; it was raining out and the TV was in the fireplace and one channel was a fire which it made it feel wonderfully cosy. You can borrow DVDs and music albums of choice from the concierge, and the Smart TV plays through the whole suite including the bathroom, so naturally I listened to Whitney Houston and had a little dance.
My room overlooked the atrium and you could look out and see everything, a joy as I sat with my cup of coffee from the in-room machine in the large mug provided – it was idyllic. Another nice touch is that to get the lift to move you use your room key so the whole hotel is extremely secure. It’s all a sensor so its super smooth.
Dining is definitely a wonderful experience at Aria Hotel Budapest. Breakfast had all the cold stuff in a buffet and all the hot stuff was made fresh. Coffees were beautiful and everything was done with care and attention. I am particularly fussy when it comes to food but I thoroughly enjoyed my lunch which was a traditional goulash.
One of the real highlights of the hotel however is The Sky Bar with a rooftop terrace surveying the city that people come to from far and wide because the vista is phenomenal and the cocktails are amazing. I felt like I wanted for nothing – everything was perfect.
The spa is small but stunning. There’s a music theme and a light pink vibe with facilities including a sauna, steam room, day bed cabanas and a massive Jacuzzi. For a small group of six or a couple it’s amazing – and it’s open until 10pm so if you’ve been out for the day it’s the ideal way to spend the evening. You can request to have your massage outside if you wish – they will really try to do anything to look after you – so I had mine on the rooftop overlooking the city, which was wonderful. Afterwards I went to sit in a cabana and I could have slept for the rest of the day.
The location is fabulous, next to the hotel there was a chocolate market the day I got there but there’s always something going on as it’s right in the basilica in the square where they also have Christmas markets. It’s on a private road and you phone en route to get authorisation to enter. Right by the hotel you will find the Budapest Eye, shopping is five minutes away and it’s 45 minutes in a taxi from the airport.
While the hotel is very romantic I would definitely recommend it for someone travelling alone because it’s also got a very sociable atmosphere. It’s small so you feel part of the whole experience, but then again it’s also ideal for a group of six to eight girls travelling together. It’s classy and contemporary, everything is done beautifully right down to the quality of the robes.
Ultimately the team at the hotel can’t do enough for you – every time you walk out there’s someone to open the door and it’s a real reminder of some of the old school things that you can so easily take for granted. It feels as though they want you to be there and you feel special staying. It isn’t a cheap hotel, but you get so much for your money, and every time I walked in I had a smile on my face and I thought to myself: “Wow, I’m staying here!”
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