The Aria Hotel Budapest is a luxury boutique hotel with an exquisite music-inspired design throughout. Our first trip to Budapest was anchored by this incredible hotel, a welcome encore after our river cruise.
The Aria Hotel Budapest sits next to the majestic Saint Stephen’s Basilica in Budapest’s city center. Specifically, it is in Pest (Did I mention that Budapest is really two cites, Buda and Pest, separated by river?). It offers the ideal spot to explore Budapest on foot, by tram or bus. The location of this hotel is perfect; it’s surrounded by major sights, high-end restaurants, and diverse shops. This little hidden gem can be found on a side street that is mostly pedestrian and an easy walk to most attractions.
As we entered the Aria Hotel Budapest, we were mesmerized by the piano keys snaking across the lobby floor. We made a beeline past the check-in desk which is immediately on the right, and directed our attention to the lobby area with its bright green furniture, grand skylight, and an otherworldly-looking piano. One of three in world, it’s the work of Hungarian pianist Gergely Boganyi. This centerpiece transformed the space into something far less pedestrian than a lobby.
Aria’s neoclassical building dates back to the 1880s and its original spiral staircase is intact, yet the decor throughout is bright and playfully postmodern.
We relaxed in one of the cosy green chairs with some refreshments until our room was ready. One could easily spent lots of time in this gorgeous lobby.
Staying at the boutique property is an exquisite experience, whether you’re a music fanatic like ourselves or simply a connoisseur of unique hotels. A member of the Library Hotel Collection, the rooms are dedicated to famous musicians and composers. There are 44 guest rooms plus 5 guest suites.
Each of Aria’s four wings represents a different musical genre—jazz, classical, contemporary, opera—and bedrooms are dedicated to different artists. Our room was an Aria Signature King Room located in The Classical Music Wing, the Sergey Rachmaninov room. Flipping through the books propped up on my coffee table, we took a seat in the plush chairs and enjoyed the fresh fruit provided in our room.
The rooms are beautiful, comfortable, and stylishly decorated with lots of character. I LOVE that the Aria included bottles of water and Nespresso coffee. Our room had a wide set of windows that look onto the street. All windows had automatic shades at the push of a button which darken the room so much that it made it hard to wake up in the morning. In the evening the turn down service would leave us delicious chocolate treats which we devoured quickly.
The bathroom was equipped with a soaking tub, a glass shower enclosure and Molten Brown toiletries.
FOOD AND DRINKS
The hotel offers four dining options, three which are located on the ground level. Upon entering the hotel, you will find the Satchmo’s Bar & Library on either side. Satchmo’s Bar is just the spot to unwind after a busy day of sightseeing, or sitting down for a casual meal. The walls are covered in real-silk turquoise velvet, and surrounded by mirror and picture frames of Hollywood film and musical stars from the forties.
On one side of the mirror walls, you’ll find autographs of recent celebrities that have stayed at the hotel.
The Library is filled with comfortable armchairs – a wonderful place to relax with a cocktail, browse through the book collection (guests of the hotel can enjoy free of charge), or just soak up the warmth of the fireplace on a cold day. We decided to sit here and enjoy a drink before heading up to the High Note Skybar for dinner on our first night in the city.
The Stradivari Restaurant is located off the main lobby of the hotel and offers an elegant setting with a menu showcasing classic Hungarian cuisine. The restaurant is intimate and makes a great venue for lunch meetings or a one-on-one rendezvous, purely due to its small and private setting.
The High Note SkyBar is rooftop bar/restaurant on the top floor where you can see a panorama view from the top of St. Stephens spires to St. Matthias and the Fishermens Bastion in Buda. It’s surrounded with comfortable outdoor seating and even blankets for the colder seasons.
In the evening, they offer a tapas menu at the High Note SkyBar. The view of the Basilica is even more striking at night. We came here for a drink and dinner in the evening and enjoyed the amazing panorama on both the Pest and Buda side.
In the morning, we headed down to The Music Garden Courtyard area, and enjoyed our complimentary breakfast. They offered a good selection with excellent made-to-order egg dishes, fresh fruit, meats, breads, yogurts, and endless coffee and juices.
One of the nice features about The Music Garden Courtyard is its glass enclosure which allows guest to look upwards towards the hotel rooms and sky. You can also look down from your room balcony if you have one facing the inside of the hotel.
Another nice touch is the wine and cheese offered in the evenings from 4 -6 p.m in The Music Garden. The selection contains international cheeses, fruits, nuts, and a choice of Hungarian red, white, or sparking wine.
The High Note SkyBar is a large roof terrace with 360 views of the city that is decorated like an outdoor garden with indoor and outside sitting. It’s open year round for lunch, dinner and or simply cocktails.
Even on a cloudy day, the High Note Skybar is one of the best places for a fun photoshoot, and even have a rainbow in your backdrop.
THE HARMONY SPA
The Harmony Spa is located in the basement and offers a large range of massages, detox, and anti-aging treatments. It was one of the most beautiful hotel facilities I have ever encountered. We could have easily spent a whole day there, just relaxing and enjoying the pool and whirlpool. We were both treated to a massage, which was very relaxing. The only downside: The Spa level can only be accessed from one of the four hotel wings; from all other wings, it is necessary to cross the hotel lobby, which can be awkward in a bathrobe and slippers.
FITNESS CENTER / ROOFTOP YOGA
The fitness center is equipped with all the state of the art equipment. They also offer private and group yoga lessons on the High Note Skybar. We did yoga right after breakfast one morning. At the end of our hour-long session we drank one of the natural juices they provided us.
It is easily one of the best hotels I have had the pleasure of staying in; the Aria Hotel Budapest is a true luxury hotel experience!
Disclaimer: We were guest of the Aria Hotel Budapest and as you can tell we love it!