“Fun, fiendishly cool music-themed hotel that takes luxury accommodation to a whole new level”
Dine in style at the classy Stradivari restaurant, drink cocktails in the spectacular rooftop High Note Sky Bar, or luxuriate in the subterranean spa, with its arresting neon-blue lightscape and mural of jazz musicians. Back above ground, there’s the groovy Satchmo Bar, whose mirrors bear signatures of celebrated guests like Plácido Domingo, and the distinctly more restrained Satchmo Library, perfect for a spot of reading. When not enjoying that little lot, kick back in your room and slip on another superb soundtrack. Everyone, music lover or not, will adore Aria.
- A plum, central location; walk to all the main sights
- Fantastically original decor throughout, plus hi-tech gadgetry in the colourful rooms: iPads, music systems, electric blinds
- Staff are unfailingly helpful; you’ll not want for anything
- Imaginative fine dining in Stradivari, and a complimentary cheese and wine reception every afternoon
- Unbeatable citywide views from the High Note Sky Bar
- Big, for a boutique city hotel (49 rooms)
- Expensive for Budapest (and rates don't include tax), but utterly unique
- In some rooms, bathtubs are located in the bedroom - not to everyone's liking - and the Opera Suites only have showers
- Breakfast tables are small, so get easily cluttered
Best time to go
Our top tips
- Boutique Hotel
- Restaurant and bars open daily
- All ages welcome
- Open all year
- Indoor Pool
- Pet Friendly
- Disabled Access
- Beach Nearby
- Off-street Parking
- Restaurants Nearby
- Air Conditioning
- Guest Lounge
Rooms are split into 4 musical genres, each grouped together in a different wing and coloured accordingly: jade for jazz, turquoise for classical, pink for opera, and punchy bolds for contemporary. Within this genre are various room categories (Sun Room, Luxury, Signature or Opera Suite), and each individual room is dedicated to a different artist/group. You'll find brilliant, Blecha-inspired caricatures of them on one wall, alongside books about their lives and works - John, Paul, George and Ringo saw me off to sleep. There's also the stunning Liszt Suite; a snazzy homage to the Hungarian composer.
Art Nouveau, neo-Baroque and pop-art furnishings are complemented by custom-made etched carpets and musically themed ornaments. Amazing hi-tech gadgetry includes electric blinds and automatic light dimmers, iPads, docking stations, and large flatscreen televisions discreetly recessed within a marble fireplace mantle. On screen, pick from 40 or so albums to listen to through your surround-sound system (or choose from hundreds of CDs in the library downstairs).
Bathrooms, with generous showers, are more soberly designed, though in some rooms, the bathtub and sink are located in the bedroom. Molton Brown toiletries round things off nicely. For added drama, most rooms have a balcony overlooking the internal Music Garden.
- Air conditioning
- CD player
- Coffee / tea making
- DVD player
- Ipod dock
- Safe box
- Satellite TV
Breakfast is one to linger over: seasonal fruit and creamy yoghurts, a selection of beautifully cured meats, smoked salmon, grilled sausages, and eggs cooked to order. There are also artisan honeys, homemade jams and freshly baked pastries and breads.
At 4pm each day, the Music Garden plays host to a complimentary cheese and wine reception, with accompanying live music. It's a perfect introduction to Hungary’s unheralded but spectacularly good wines.
Dinner is served in the first-rate Stradivari restaurant, where violins and treble clefs hang from the ceiling. The creditable farm-to-table concept gives rise to imaginative dishes like pumpkin cappuccino soup, and Mangalica poached pork belly with smoked ham pickles; both delicious.
More casual dining is available in the High Note Sky Bar – perhaps a pulled pork sandwich or some pan-seared chicken wings – though really this is the place to come and savour a sundowner G&T whilst taking in the marvellous 360-degree views.
- Children's meals
- Coffee / tea making
- Restaurants nearby
- Room service
- Relax in the basement Harmony Spa, with its sauna, steam room and heated pool. Musically inspired treatments - 'Fortissimo' massages, a 'Hungarian Rhapsody' treatment - are accompanied by your choice of classical, jazz, operatic or contemporary playlists
- Join a rooftop yoga session
- St Stephen’s Basilica is a few paces away; visit on Thursday evenings to hear an organ recital
- Just wander, admiring the city's historic architecture. Budapest is bisected by the Danube river; one side is Buda, the other Pest. Take a night cruise to admire the embankments fully; both are Heritage sites
- Swim in thermal waters at one of the city’s elegant 16th-century baths, such as Gellert or Szechenyi
- Go flipping crazy at The Pinball Museum, Budapest’s coolest attraction – there are 130 to try
- Back at Aria, check out the vast multi-media library with the help of super-knowledgeable in-house curator, Kornel Magyar. He also organises nightly video performances in the little Teatro Aria: ballets, concerts, opera and musicals
Activities on site or nearby include:
- Boat trips
- Historical sites
- Museums / galleries
- Private guided tours
- Shopping / markets
- Theatre and live music
- Well being
- Wine tasting
Although the hotel has a very grown-up feel, and facilities are not particularly geared up for children, families are very welcome.
Family friendly accommodation:
Families stay in the hotel's jazz and opera wings. All rooms can fit a baby cot; Aria Signature Rooms with City View and the Opera Suites can fit 2 baby cots or have their pull-out sofas converted into a bed for 2 children aged 2-12 (free of charge). The Two Bedroom Opera Suite is ideal as it has a living room. A Family Duet can be created by booking a Luxury Room with an Aria Signature Music Garden View Room. Note, all rooms except the Opera Suites have a bath.
- Baby cots
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking
We would suggest families eat in the High Note Sky Bar, although they are made welcome throughout. The chefs can prepare specific dishes and cater for preferences on request
Kids Activities nearby:
- Matinees at the Opera House
- Children's Railway in Buda (a 7km railway operated by children aged 10-14)
- Minipolis (large interactive toy and game store)
- Explore the Castle District
- Buda Hill Funicular
- Airport: 30 minutes (by car)
- Hospital: 12 minutes (by car)
- Shops: 3 minutes
Aria is discreetly tucked away in the smart 5th district on the Pest side of the Danube, a few steps from St Stephen’s Basilica.
Fly into Ferenc Liszt airport (aka Ferihegy), which is 20km away. Click on the links below for a list of airlines. From here it's a 20-minute drive to the hotel; best to ask for a transfer or jump in a taxi as you won't need a car in Budapest. But see our car rental recommendations if you do want one.
More on getting to Hungary and getting around
- Budapest Ferenc Liszt (aka Ferihegy) 20.0 km BDP
- Beach 500.0 km
- Shops 0.2 km
- Restaurant 0.2 km