Top 10: the most romantic hotels in Budapest

Adrian Phillips
The Continental's highlight is a rooftop swimming pool complete with poolside sun loungers and splendid views to Buda Castle Palace and other city landmarks.

An insider's guide to the most romantic hotels in Budapest, including the best for rooftop bars and pools, rooms with views, sumptuous spas and characterful restaurants, in central locations near to Buda Castle Palace, the opera house and Széchenyi Chain Bridge.

Four Seasons Hotel Gresham Palace Budapest, Budapest, Hungary

Four Seasons Hotel Gresham Palace

Budapest, Hungary

8Telegraph expert rating

The Four Seasons sets the benchmark for luxury hotels in Budapest. It oozes quality from every pore – whether you’re approaching its grand exterior from the city’s landmark bridge, entering the lobby with its stained glass and marble, or padding the thick carpets of the corridors. Danube category rooms have balconies and face the Buda Castle Palace on the opposite side of the river. Bathrooms are laid with black and chocolate marble, and have bath and shower. There’s a pool, wellness centre (offering massages and treatments), steam room, fitness room and relaxation room. A small shop offers Herend porcelain and the like, and there’s a limo service. Read expert review From £358per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com

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Aria Hotel, Budapest, Hungary

Aria Hotel Budapest

Budapest, Hungary

8Telegraph expert rating

A music-themed hotel in the shadow of St Stephen’s Basilica, whose rooftop bar could become the coolest place in Budapest for a cocktail. Other highlights include the soaring garden courtyard, complete with kitsch sofas and a space-age piano, and a seductive underground spa and swimming pool. The Stradivari restaurant has a soothing wall of water, violins hanging from the ceiling and a menu of excellent, well-presented international and Hungarian dishes. It is within walking distance of the city’s opera house, parliament building and Széchenyi Chain Bridge. Read expert review From £225per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com

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Corinthia Hotel Budapest, Budapest, Hungary

Corinthia Hotel Budapest

Budapest, Hungary

8Telegraph expert rating

The Corinthia carries itself with an effortless grace that no other five-star in Budapest quite matches. It is a genuine beauty, its neo-classical façade opening onto a lobby of creamy marble and a centrepiece staircase that sweeps up to a vast ballroom. The building is divided between two glass-covered atriums that suck in light. The service is impeccable. Facilities include the Spa Royale, which offers a range of massages and treatments, and has not only two Finnish saunas, three whirlpool tubs, a steam room and complimentary juice bar, but a truly stunning pool surrounded by Corinthian columns and topped with a stained-glass ceiling. Read expert review From £174per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com

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Continental Hotel Budapest

Continental Hotel Budapest

Budapest, Hungary

8Telegraph expert rating

Today, the Continental’s lobby has leather armchairs and an arching glass roof, but an open-air pool once filled this space – this building was previously home to public baths. Since 2010, however, it has operated as arguably the city’s classiest four-star hotel, with top-quality service and facilities. The pick of the bunch is a rooftop swimming pool complete with poolside sun loungers and splendid views to Buda Castle Palace and other city landmarks. There’s also a small indoor infinity pool on the seventh floor, together with a whirlpool, saunas Read expert review From £74per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com

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Prestige Hotel Budapest

Prestige Hotel Budapest

Budapest, Hungary

8Telegraph expert rating

From its classical façade to the sleek glass lifts, this is a hotel with confidence and class. The hotel has a small fitness room plus whirlpool and sauna on the first floor, while just off the lobby is an elegant salon with wood floors and a mock fireplace that makes a relaxing spot to read the newspaper. Hotel catering is provided through a joint venture with Costes, Hungary’s first Michelin-starred restaurant, who have rented the dining room and established Costes Downtown. As you’d expect, this is a fine-dining restaurant that comes with a healthy reputation. Read expert review From £96per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com

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baltazar budapest, hungary

Baltazár Budapest

Budapest, Hungary

7Telegraph expert rating

This small hotel is owned by the Zsidai family, who have been leading restaurateurs in the city for more than 30 years. As you’d expect, its restaurant is top drawer, and the hotel has a colour, character and attention to design detail that makes it very special. The 11 rooms (including three suites) are each unique in design but share a creative, classy flavour. One has a feature wall showing Vermeer’s ‘Girl with a Pearl Earring’, another an unusual open bathroom with a shower cubicle overlooking the bedroom; some have parquet flooring while others are carpeted. Grilled dishes at the restaurant are the speciality, as well as variations of Hungarian classics. Read expert review From £78per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com

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Hotel Moments Budapest

Hotel Moments Budapest

Budapest, Hungary

8Telegraph expert rating

Marrying contemporary design with the original spirit of its 19th-century building, Moments is a place with character and elegance. The building dates to 1880, and real pride has been taken in its renovation – look up, for instance, to the frescoes in the glass-topped atrium lobby, which are faithful to the style of the period, and took several months to paint. Bistro Fine, the hotel’s low-lit restaurant, is a real corker. Hungarian and international dishes are creative, beautifully presented and very reasonably priced. The hotel sits at the lower end of the boutique-lined Andrássy út. Read expert review From £68per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com

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Kempinsk Hotel Corvinus Budapest, Hungary

Kempinski Hotel Corvinus Budapest

Budapest, Hungary

9Telegraph expert rating

Unlike some of Budapest’s other luxury hotels housed in 19th-century mansion buildings, the Kempinski is a modern construction of glass and straight-lined stone. The ground floor has been modelled on a promenade and genuinely brings a flavour of the outside in, sweeping in an arc past little ‘streetside’ establishments like a takeaway deli, a café and a sweetshop. The spa has steam baths, a Finnish sauna, a solarium and an intriguingly named aroma sauna ice well, as well as a solarium and pool with jet stream. There are several restaurants, including Nobu, part of the chain of high-end Japanese fusion restaurants under the direction of Nobuyuki Matsuhisa. Read expert review From £178per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com

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Gerloczy hotel, Budapest, Hungary

Gerlóczy

Budapest, Hungary

8Telegraph expert rating

Gerlóczy lacks bells and whistles – indeed, it’s officially categorised a private lodging rather than a hotel – but it oozes a character you’ll find nowhere else in the city. The building itself was constructed in the 1890s, and is believed originally to have housed skilled artisans – stone-carvers and the like – working on the adjacent City Hall. The bustling café-brasserie opened a decade ago with a deliberately last-century Parisian slant to its look and feel. There are 19 rooms, each with polished parquet flooring and the grace of an early-20th-century Parisian apartment. Five rooms have freestanding bathtubs and the rest showers. Read expert review From £68per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com

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hotel parlament, budapest, hungary

Hotel Parlament

Budapest, Hungary

7Telegraph expert rating

Parlament is small but very pleasingly formed – indeed, it’s one of the best boutique hotels in the city, with more facilities and more imaginative design features than others in this category. The bar has an eclectic collection of brightly upholstered armchairs and cow-hide stools, while the breakfast room has the feel of a rustic food market. It also has a lovely little wellness area, including a whirlpool tub set in a relaxing, green-tiled room, and a sauna. The 65 bedrooms, which have a distinct Art Deco feel, are impressive. Read expert review From £60per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com

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Pest-Buda Hotel and Bistro, Budapest

Pest-Buda

Budapest, Hungary

8Telegraph expert rating

Pest-Buda blends the modern and the historical with genuine class. And there is history here, for the building housed an inn as early as 1696 (you can still see original brickwork and marble seating around the central stairway). Rooms come in four classes (Courtyard, Deluxe, Suite and Atelier Suite), and have real star quality. There’s Hungarian oak on the floors and limestone in the bathrooms, and an eclectic scattering of modern and historical pictures on the walls. All rooms have a walk-in rain shower rather than bathtub, with the exception of the two atelier suites, which have both. Pest-Buda is owned by the Zsidai Group, which operates a dozen restaurants around the city, and as such its bistro is worth a visit in its own right. Read expert review From £60per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com

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The Ritz-Carlton Budapest, Hungary

The Ritz-Carlton Budapest

Budapest, Hungary

8Telegraph expert rating

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 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. The 200 decent-sized rooms (including 30 suites) are contemporary in style with neutral colours of beige and cream. 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. Read expert review From £358per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com

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St George Residence Budapest

St. George Residence

Budapest, Hungary

8Telegraph expert rating

You can feel this Baroque building’s rich history in its very stones. It once housed an inn called Goddess of Fortune, which had a famous café frequented by noblemen and Jacobin plotters alike. Austrian commanders stayed here during the 1848 Independence War, and there’s a cannon from that period in the courtyard. From the stone floors to the terracotta-painted walls, this is classically elegant accommodation. The 25 elegant suites are divided between four categories (from Bronze to Diamond), and vary in size. There are golden drapes and bedspreads, chandeliers and romantic oil paintings. Most suites have baths, although a couple have showers, and three have hot tubs. Read expert review From £114per night Check availability Rates provided by Booking.com