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Historical Hotels in Budapest, Hungary

By Fionn Downhill

What emanates from the heart of the city of Budapest is a deliberate steadfastness despite its momentous past. There is substantial authenticity in a city that houses an array of historical hotels that acknowledge past cultural influences, exhibit classical elegance, and demonstrate collaborative innovation. This verity can be witnessed in how these hotels have transformed themselves throughout the centuries.

Historical Hotels - Relics Become Habitable

When Romans occupied the area where the city of Budapest now lies, around the 1st and 2nd Centuries, invigorating bathhouses or spas were built. Many of these ancient spas are still being enjoyed today. One Roman spa in particular is housed within the Corinthia Aquincum Hotel. While the hotel itself would not be considered historical, the spa that it espouses certainly is. In this way, modern conveniences are adorned with legendary luxury.

Another modern hotel, the Hilton Budapest, absorbed within its own framework a 13th Century Dominican Church and the baroque-style facade of a 17th Century Jesuit College. This hotel has brought the past into the present by combining what seems to be differing architectural styles and solidifying them into a present day facility. This is truly representative of how Budapest as a whole acknowledges its past, but keeps its eye on the future.

Interestingly enough, a true blast from the past comes in the form of the Hotel Citadella. This hotel is located within the confines of a 19th Century garrison. During Habsburg rule, this garrison would have sheltered soldiers and ammunition, but currently this same structure caters to the needs of 21st Century guests. The past is celebrated while a rebirth is taking place.

Historical Hotels of the 19th Century

Architectural styles of these exquisite hotels range from awe-inspiring Gothic to regal Art Nouveau. Built during a time of prosperity in the region, these hotels emit an ambiance of eloquence. Much of the splendor of the 19th Century can still be seen in these newly renovated accommodations.

Many of the great hotels from this era fell into disrepair during the 20th Century's Soviet-enforced Iron Curtain. Currently, these hotels have reclaimed past grandeur. Their beauty and old-world style remain, but they are affixed with updated furnishings.

Historical Hotels - Classic Innovations

Function often gives way to form. With this in mind, a number of Budapest's hotels blatantly reveal its colorful history. The elusive Hotel Romai was once a haven for Communist Party officials and The Hotel MEDOSZ is a former trade union hotel for agriculture workers. While these hotels may not be as ornate as an 18th or 19th Century baroque style structure, authenticity is unearthed.

Form, at times, gives way to function. Examples are guesthouses for two of Budapest's public institutions. The Radio Inn is the official guesthouse of Hungarian National Radio. In a similar fashion, guests of Pest's ELTE University lodge at the Peregrines ELTE Hotel. These guesthouses are quaint destinations that stem out of practical need.

Historical Budapest, Today and Tomorrow

Around the 8th Century, two cities, Buda and Pest resided on opposite sides of the Danube River. Buda and Pest remained separate cities until they were united in 1873. Between the time of the original Hungarians to the 21st Century, Budapest has stayed loyal to its Hungarian culture despite the strong influence of its invaders.

Much culture does prevail in modern day Budapest. The city can boast about its fascinating museums, its fine concert halls and its educational institutions. Its hotels also radiate Budapest culture. Whether historical relic, magnificent structure, or of practical design, these hotels remain adaptable but rooted in legacy.

About The Author

Fionn Downhill is President of Four Corners Hotels offering hotels in cities around the world. To find out more about hotels in Budapest visit


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