On our radar right now – the five star luxury Boscolo Budapest, which offers a regal and historic experience that combines art, history, luxury and sophistication
Hungary’s capital city has a rich history dating back at least 10 centuries. The country had numerous leaders and was often involved in tempestuous wars, resulting in numerous fortifications and palaces. The grand New York Palace, which was built in the late 19th Century as the headquarters of the New York Life Insurance Company, is a remnant of those times, although it was since been magically transformed into a contemporary retreat with every possible luxury. Renovations went on for five years. The result is an Art Nouveau fairy tale, a combination of Baroque and Renaissance, Latin and Greek styles.
Part of the Autograph Collection of hotels and resorts, this exquisite establishment features quality marble, Murano chandeliers and silk wallpaper, which gives you an idea of the extravagant interiors.
The heart of the hotel is the legendary New York Café, built in a colourful, eclectic Italian Renaissance style. It originally opened to much acclaim in October, 1894, and was a popular haunt of writers, intellectuals and artists at the start of the 20th Century. Once lauded as ‘the most beautiful café in the world’, the New York Café is intrinsically part of Hungary as well as the hotel, and with a history dating back 120 years, it’s one of the oldest and grandest cafes in Budapest. With its sculptures, ornate lighting, extraordinary ceiling frescoes and paintings, there’s no doubt that a visit to this turn of the Century café is a royal affair.
Of course, the café is not the only dining option in this magnificent hotel; there’s also the Salon Restaurant, recently voted the best in Budapest, the Deepwater Restaurant, where breakfast is a feast, not a meal, and the plush, velvet-encased Nyugat Bar which begs images of clandestine meetings and intimate conversations.
Continuing the royal theme, the lobby is massive, with inlaid marble floors and a five-storey atrium with a glass-paneled ceiling. Behind the reception desk is a gold-leaf inlaid wall, and everywhere you look one finds Romanesque archways.
One level below the lobby is a grotto-like thermal pool designed by architect Simone Micheli, inspired by the natural elements of water, rock and wind. Just outside the pool is a spa with a wide range of treatments plus a hair salon featuring Paul Mitchell products. There is also a well-equipped fitness area.
The accommodation is equally regal. Each of the 185 lavish guest rooms and suites feature over-sized Carrera marble bathrooms, precious antique furniture, plush bedding and every facility. Those lucky enough to have a balcony enjoy a view of the busy side street below.
The hotel’s location is ideal for visitors, with numerous sightseeing options within walking distance and an excellent transportation system close by, although walking and exploring should be the order of your days.