A few days ago I spent some time in Budapest and after having been away for a longer period of time I was very excited to see what has changed since in the Hungarian capital. I was so happy to experience that many areas have undergone some serious renovation and I just could not stop staring. All those gorgeous buildings seem to be “reanimated” compared to what I had remembered. It was truly amazing – architecture is shockingly beautiful.
During my visit I spent some time in the Palace District (Palotanegyed). This is a quiet but very central district, in the middle of the city (8th district) and is within walking distance to all major attractions as well as to public transportation. Renovated buildings shine bright – they are simply impressive and I love their majestic colors. One can really feel history just by looking at these palaces that used to belong to Hungarian upper class families during the Austrian-Hungarian Monarchy. There are at least 40 of these former palaces concentrated in one area.
Amidst all these gorgeous establishments surrounded by friendly streets sometimes even with trees on both sides and just opposite a small square (Lorinc pap ter) we find the Zichy Palace that now functions as the best boutique hotel in Budapest: Hotel Palazzo Zichy. The building was beautifully renovated two years ago (in 2010), preserving its pomp and architecture where it was possible, while finding a fine balance and merging classical elements with modern details.
I admit I read a lot of positive guest feedbacks about the Hotel Palazzo Zichy on Tripadvisor and I was very curious. Well, the only way to find out is to see it in person. Oh My Godness, this hotel is even more beautiful than on the pictures! It is just unbelievable. In my opinion mixing modern elements with original classical architecture gives the entire palace a very unique, warm and aristocratic atmosphere. Upon entering the hotel guests and visitors are welcome with an honest warm smile by the hotel staff, instantly giving you the feeling that you are in the right place.
Personally, I loved everything about this hotel. Service is on an exceptionally high level, too – from the very first contact being a personal reservation confirmation to the last as a follow up ‘thank you note’ by the reservation manager and in between a lot of small details that make your stay wonderful. I have stayed at many hotels worldwide, but this was a very unique experience to me.
On top of everything what is also amazing is their pricing policy – ‘value for money’ in this Budapest downtown hotel is second to none, when compared to other local hotels and on a worldwide scale, too. I very much hope that current owners, management and personnel will stay on board for a long time. It is probably obvious that shortly after opening its doors, Hotel Palazzo Zichy was voted as #1 hotel in Budapest by guests on TripAdvisor in 2011 and it currently ranks #2, after the Four Seasons Grasham Palace. Hotel Palazzo Zichy is definitely a ‘must-see’ and a ‘must-book’ hotel.
As a side note I would like to mention that I’m extremely picky and ‘not-easy-to-please’ when it comes to hotels. However, when I personally experienced this hotel and its services, I thought it is clearly a recent Hungarian Success Story and it is definitely ‘a must’ to mention here.
For more information please visit the website and for guest feedbacks please have a look at TripAdvisor. (Although, it is very rare that I give written feedback publicly, I did write a short comment on TripAdvisor, which you can find here.)
Also, if you would like to find out more about the Palace District there is a good summary on Wikipedia.
Source of images: courtesy of Hotel Palazzo Zichy.