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Pest-Buda hotel review: an intimate, homely hillside retreat overlooking Budapest, Hungary

• Rating: 8/10
Rooms at Pest-Buda start from 
$141 (£111) per night
Check current rates and availability

Looking for cool things to do in Budapest, I stumbled across Pest-Buda Hotel, over on the quieter Buda side of town, right up on a hill that overlooks the city. Before I booked a trip to Budapest I had no idea the city was split into two parts, Buda and Pest, divided by the winding River Danube. Buda sounded more up my street, with cute cobbled streets and houses that looked like they came straight out of a fairy-tale book. It's also on this side of the river I found the stunning Matthias Church, famed for its intricate roof tiling and pretty turrets.

pest-buda hotel facade in Budapest
Pest-Buda Hotel from the outside

What’s the vibe?

Just like London's The Lost Poet hotel and Mexico's incredible Casa Etérea, Pest-Buda is like walking into a beautiful historical home. Once past the tiny reception area, the ten bedrooms jut out from a central circular iron staircase, spread over three floors. Built in 1696, the building features ancient brickwork and original wooden beams but has been decorated to perfection bringing it right up to date without losing its mansion-esque charm. 

staircase at pest-buda hotel
The central staircase

It’s cozy and romantic and almost feels like you’ve stumbled upon a secret world, I loved every minute of my stay. 

How are the rooms?

There are four types of room at the hotel, from cozy courtyard rooms on the ground floor to deluxe rooms featuring cool artwork and finally, impressive suites. I stayed in one of the two Atelier Suites and was wowed by the size and decor. 

bathtub at pest-buda hotel in Budapest
My suite at Pest-Buda Hotel

My room had a freestanding bath right next to the bed, a big living room area with huge floor-to-ceiling windows onto the terrace, two(!) flat-screen TVs, a tiny Smeg fridge mini-bar and a walk-in rainfall shower, complete with gorgeous L’Occitane products. The other Atelier Suite right next to mine had its own private outdoor terrace, and is available for an extra 25€ ($26) per day. 

What is there to eat and drink?

A ‘Frenchy’ breakfast with croissants, coffee, juice and the most amazing homemade jam is included in the room price and is served in the hotel's café right by the entrance. It was so good it even beat breakfast in actual France and the offering I had while staying at The Hoxton Paris hotel.

croissants and jam at pest-buda hotel
The 'Frenchy' breakfast with homemade jam

I also ate traditional Hungarian goulash at the hotel for lunch one day and would recommend a visit even if you’re not staying at the hotel. They also serve up delights like Wiener schnitzel and paprikash, very similar to the traditional Bulgarian food I found in Sofia. On the ground floor, there’s a bar with a huge choice of wine that you can order by the glass—perfect for enjoying in the huge bathtub.

Any highlights?

The hotel really is wonderful, I loved the Atelier Suite and would without a doubt book it again. The freestanding roll-top bath was such a treat, I ran a huge bubble bath every evening after a day of exploring and it was pure bliss. The breakfast was super tasty and the whole vibe of the place made for a really relaxing stay. The Buda side of the city is perfect for escaping the bustle of Pest and is quiet in the evenings—you also get to see Matthias Church early before all of the tourists start to arrive and there’s a great little restaurant called 21 just down the road too. 

Anything they could improve on?

Nothing at all.

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