What an experience for The Grey Traveller ………as the taxi drew up to the grand entrance of this fabulous hotel, the doors of the Aria swiftly opened and magically our suitcases were in the foyer before I could say köszönöm to either the taxi driver or doorman!
The hotel is just over two years old and voted the number one hotel in Hungary on trip advisor. It was previously a 19th century residence and originally apartments opening up onto an interior courtyard. Uniquely the German glass roof fitted over the music room does not incase the higher floors which then allows for outside balconies providing fresh air for visitors. With just 49 rooms, this hotel is very much boutique style with a strong authentic musical theme. A concierge can organise a musical heritage tour if you would like to see Budapest with this interest. This musically themed hotel has four towers, opera, contemporary, jazz and classical with a range of rooms to suit the budget. The Grey Traveller was lucky to find herself ensconced in the Beatles Signature room and being an avid fan I could not have asked for a better choice in the contemporary wing.
A sumptuous and comfortable king sized bed was watched over by an arty representation of the fab four, a screen divides the room to hide the wardrobe and vanity basin whilst the most distinctive feature for me was the beautiful stand alone bath. Of course there was a very nice rain shower and toilet and all this enhanced by Molton Brown toiletries.
At the foot of the bed was a velvet settee, plenty of super fat cushions, a neat table and desk with Beatle books and embellishments. There are many extras such as a coffee pod machine, iPad and a Handy Phone, all this to make your stay very comfortable.
The price for the night includes breakfast and cheese and wine in the afternoon, both expertly provided for in the music room. The music room is the main feature of the ground floor, superbly decorated in rich lime velvet, shiny black furnishings and enhanced by decorative piano notes which glide across the floor. There is quiet music playing and during the cheese and wine session usually live singers, all very civilised. Breakfast offers a choice of hot meals, cold meats and cheeses, in fact the full continental spread. Whilst in the afternoon there is an array of cheeses and waitresses on hand to top your glass with a choice of wines. The staff are extremely helpful but not intrusive, a concierge will help with sightseeing, reservations or in our case a potted history of the 1956 Uprising.
The glamorous Satchmo’s Bar has crystal blue lighting, screens showing Singing in the Rain clips and offers a range of Hungarian foods, the walls are signed by visiting musicians and I spotted Sting’s monika on one of the mirrored tiles.
And if all that is not enough, buried on the lower floor is the beautifully serene Harmony Spa offering a range of treatments, a swimming pool, jacuzzi and a relaxation area. I particularly enjoyed the steam room and saunas and the relaxing subdued lighting.
The location is ideal, conveniently located right next to St Stephen’s Basilica on the Pest side. As a keen walker I was able to reach all major landmarks on foot such as The Parliament Buildings, Buda Castle, Chain Bridge and the Central Market. Would I return? oh yes in a music beat I would if only to climb to the stars and sit on the roof top terrace of the High Note Sky Bar and gaze at the Basilica dome under the Hungarian moon. The views from the open terrace are this hotel’s jewel in the crown, you can almost touch the dome or so it seems, it truly is a view to die for.
Viszlát Budapestre! until the next time!