Indulge me while I gush and coo a little over this hotel. I stayed at the Aria Hotel Budapest by Library Collection on a recent visit to Budapest and it was bliss.
From the moment you step inside this lush, luxury cocoon you are swaddled in the embrace of decadence. The staff is so amiable and nothing is too much trouble. Look around and take in the oasis of calm that is the orchid lounge. Relax as the dulcet tones of Pavarotti wash over you and the stress of your day ebbs away. Voted the No.1 hotel in the world by Trip Advisor Travellers Choice Awards 2017 and I can see exactly why.
This exquisite hotel is uniquely music themed with each wing dedicated to a different genre of music; jazz, opera, contemporary and classical. While it is an exclusive, boutique hotel it has a cozy residential feel. I stayed in the jazz wing during my visit and the room was lavish and elegantly in homage to Duke Ellington. Subtle treats like the saxophone rug, chrome coloured trunk side tables and Art Nouveau furnishings remind you that you are no longer in Kansas, Dorothy.
- Make sure to get back to the hotel between 4-6pm as Aria Hotel offers a complimentary wine and cheese reception for guests ( €25 pp for non guests) and the quality of the food and attentiveness of the staff make you feel spoiled. The grand piano is in full swing and accompanied by jazzy renditions of your favourite tunes. It has a very Jamie Cullum feel and boy does the wine go down easy in such a chilled out atmosphere! Need a refill, don’t mind if I do. I have nowhere else to be this evening!
- It’s almost dinner and you MUST head upstairs to the High Note rooftop bar to indulge in some pre dinner cocktails. We opted for the Budapest mule and while they were a tad heavy on the ice, they were nonetheless delish. The city lights shine brightly and your view from up there is almost parallel to the dome of St Stephen’s Basilica. Right. Next. Door! In the summer this rooftop bar must be a treat and another reason why I want to go back!
- After a long day of wandering about this beautiful city I can totally recommend curling up on the large oversized bed and watching a movie on demand from your enormous tv, or avail of the media library downstairs in the lobby. There are plenty of cds and dvds to keep you entertained on your cosy night in.
- I rarely order room service when I visit hotels but this room was so elegant that we wanted to soak it up for as long as we could. Plus with your own balcony complete with breakfast sized table, it’d be rude not to. The in room IPad links to the hotel website with a full menu for you to choose from. Their selection of fresh fruits, artisan breads, cheeses, cooked eggs and granola yoghurt pots ensured you were set up for another day of exploring. Is there nothing more indulgent than sitting on the balcony in your fluffy robe sipping tea and listening to the church bells chorus around the city beyond? No. No there isn’t!
- Last but not least do visit the Harmony Spa on the lower level of the hotel. We were so lucky when we went and had the spa to ourselves. I love sauna time and an empty sauna to stretch out in is one of my favourite things! I’m sure Julie Andrews, in the Sound of Music, would have said the exact same thing. If her priorities had been very, very different! The steam room and jacuzzi will help to release those tense muscles and remind you that you are on holiday! This spa has adorable canopied, day beds to chill in between dips and the music theme is continued on the tiled walls with a depiction of a jazz band in full swing. What is not to love about this place?!
This hotel is indeed stunning but it was the little touches by the staff that made all the difference. The fruit platter placed in our room while we were out for the afternoon, the turn down service before bed. The ever-helpful room service team when I ordered breakfast. The Beauty and the Beast tune, ‘Be Our Guest’ was my go to hum on more than one occasion. You really do feel like a guest at this hotel and not just another faceless tourist. I cannot tell you how much I am going to be dreaming about this hotel in the future and if I am very lucky I may treat myself to another visit in the future.
With thanks to Aria Hotel Budapest for welcoming me.
As usual all opinions are my own and I doubt anything could change my mind about this luxurious end to my Budapest visit.