Junior Suite / 65sqm
Price per night: 280.000 HUF (about AUD$1023)
Review by: Belinda Luksic
Why stay here?
One look at the Anantara New York Palace Budapest Hotel and it’s easy to see why Budapest is called the Paris of the East. This lavish Belle Epoque hotel in the lively Jewish District exudes old-world glamour and charm. Behind the ornate Neo-Renaissance facade is a peaceful sanctuary and stunning atrium lobby with inlaid marble floors and a glass pyramid roof, a cosy leather-bound bar, a modern gym and rejuvenating spa, a steam room and a pool.
The New York Café is its showpiece, a gilded beauty dripping with chandeliers, twirled columns, and frescoes. A new wing and revamped rooms were unveiled this year. The Junior Suite is a soothing space with rich brown walls, decorative gold embellishments and a classic, but contemporary, look. There’s a king-size bed and lounge, and a decadent marble bathroom with a luxuriously deep tub and a private entryway.
Sustainability and design notes
The hotel is doing its bit to ease the environmental footprint of travel with complimentary glass-bottled water, local wine and spirits in the minibar and a room service menu that favours locally sourced produce. Soap and bottled amenities are recycled. Anantara shines by supporting local communities with regular art workshops. Here it’s Matyó, a small ethnic community in the UNESCO town of Tard, known for its vibrant textiles and crafts.
Venetian chandeliers, lavish frescoes and gold stucco walls are the backdrop to a meal at the New York Palace Café. Guests can take in the action from a private mezzanine terrace or enjoy a burger or coffee in the hotel atrium. The daily buffet breakfast is held amid the café’s gilt walls and columns – a gourmet feast of house-baked bread and pastries, antipasto, fresh-squeezed juice, fruit, pancakes, French toast, and eggs made to order.
Once a meeting place for Budapest’s great writers and journalists, today the Poet Bar is a convivial spot often frequented by Hollywood film crews, with signature pálinka cocktails and tasty bar snacks. In-room dining favours Hungarian and European dishes (the veal schnitzel is superb). There is also a button on guest phones to connect directly with the New York Café to order its famous 24-karat gold cappuccino and Valrhona chocolate desserts.
Spa and wellness
Traditional thermal skincare and mud therapy are a highlight at the newly rejuvenated spa, a blissful spot with private treatment rooms, a sauna, a steam room and a softly lit heated pool. The 24/7 gym on the ground level is compact but well-equipped with cardio machines, weights and resistance equipment.
The special touches
The atrium quickly becomes the place to plot adventures, pause for a burger or tea or just relax and watch clouds scurry across the sky. Service is impeccable, with hotel staff on hand to cater to every request, be it a dinner reservation or exploring the city.
Anantara has built a reputation on unique, local experiences. Guests can set out on a city tour in a vintage Kombi van; savour a farm-to-table lunch and pálinka tasting at a small batch distillery, or pop a bottle of Veuve Clicquot on a sunset cruise of the Danube in a sleek ’50s-inspired wooden speedboat.
If you want to upgrade
The Executive Suite (80 square metres) boasts a separate living area and a marble bathroom with an oversized tub. Or splurge on the first-floor Presidential Suite (135 square metres), lavishly decorated with bespoke furniture and handcrafted Murano chandeliers.