Brody House

Pest, Budapest, Hungary Book from Book from £98 per night

Grand old ministerial residence then art studios, brilliantly refashioned into the city’s most original and inspiring hotel
Set within the well-heeled Palace District, a stone’s throw from the stately National Museum, Brody House sports quite some pedigree. Once a doctor’s residence, then prime ministerial domicile and finally an artists' colony, owners Peter and Will opened the place up as a hotel in 2009, naming it after the famed Hungarian author. The result is a veritable emporium of cool.

Beyond the chunky main door, crumbling stuccoed plaster walls precede a stately iron-balustraded staircase and a pleasantly ramshackle courtyard. Spread over 2 floors, each of the 7 rooms is named after - and displays the artwork of - a former artist in residence. Breakfast is taken in the Club, a bright and airy space embracing 3 warming lounges that are lovely to relax in throughout the day, with board games and honesty bars. A 15-minute walk away, the Brody Studios is yet another string to the Brody bow: a hipster arts hub where you can eat, meet and drink, as well as enjoy whatever’s on the cultural programme, be it live jazz, a magician, a comedian or a literary dinner. Popular with actors, artists and creative sorts, Brody House will appeal to any couple looking for a romantic, yet slightly unorthodox, refuge.

Highs

  • Bespoke rooms with startlingly original furnishings and amazing art
  • There’s an aura about the place that makes you feel just that little bit extra special
  • Fantastic value, especially considering the spaciousness of your room and the hipster vibe
  • It’s all very discreet and you’ll hear barely a sound from anyone or anything; ideal for independent types
  • A great location in central Pest, a walk away from all the sights

Lows

  • Children are welcome but there's nothing for them here
  • No lift and steep stairs, so not suited to those with limited mobility
  • Some rooms lack much natural light, though given the myriad distractions, you’ll hardly notice
  • No formal restaurant, though light lunches are available and the area teems with eateries
  • A few little extras, like bathrobes, wouldn’t go amiss

Best time to go

Budapest is beautiful all year round, but at its best in spring, early summer and early autumn. In spring, the natives emerge from their post-winter slumber and the city’s premier annual event, the Budapest Spring Festival, swings into action. In September, the searing summer heat has dissipated, yet the days remain long and pleasantly balmy. Crowds are thinner too, and you’ll have the city’s attractions almost all to yourself.

Our top tips

Budapest’s Jewish history looms large, so go and explore the nearby Jewish quarter, the highlight of which is the magnificent Dohany utca Synagogue. Afterwards, retire to Central Kavehaz for coffee and cake; a throwback to the early 20th century, when it was the focal point of intellectual life in Budapest, this lovely old coffee house has retained much of its charisma.

Great for...

Cheap & Chic
City Style
  • Boutique Hotel
  • 7
  • Breakfast + snack menu (restaurants nearby)
  • Welcome but not ideal
  • Open all year
  • Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Board games
  • Musical instruments
Room:

Rooms

Rooms are mostly square, with lofty ceilings, tall windows and polished parquet flooring. Throughout, there’s bare brick aplenty, though any rawness is softened by layers of ageing paint and the odd splash of colour. Beautifully upholstered furnishings and oodles of artwork (all of which is for sale) add warmth.

There’s a subtle playfulness about the decor, too, from paper-pasted walls (culled from newspapers, comics and music scores) in the bathrooms, to stripped wooden doors horizontally positioned above the beds in Agi. A radiator is fashioned from a tangle of gas pipes in the hallway, and there's a chandelier chair wackily suspended from the ceiling in Etienne. Many of the rooms have featured in fashion mags; Tinei was the backdrop for a Playboy centrefold!

My room, Droga, was ornamented with boldly coloured abstract pieces - an old wine bottle functioning as a bathroom mirror-light, and a champagne box as a loo-roll holder. Satisfyingly, there’s not a television in sight throughout.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Central heating
  • Hairdryer
  • Toiletries

Eating

Breakfast is worth the extra cost. A large table is laden with all manner of goodies: juices, exotic fruits and yoghurt, along with warm bread and croissants, homemade jams, local cheeses and cured meats. You can also order hot items: eggs Benedict, French toast with cinnamon, that sort of thing.

There's no restaurant for other meals, but light lunches are available (Club sandwiches, an intriguing aubergine caviar), and you can help yourself to tea, coffee or a cooling glass of cucumber-infused mineral water throughout the day. Honesty bars feature all the usual spirits, plus Brody House's own wines.

Pest teems with great restaurants (staff can advise), and there's decent food to be had at Brody Studios, a 15-minute walk away. Its focal point is the courtyard bar, which looks like a stage backdrop for a Renaissance drama; closed in winter, the roof opens up in warmer months. The food is 'seasonal bistro fare' - a creamy beetroot risotto, venison leg or a simple roasted tomato and spinach quiche. The drinks menu is more prodigious, with showstoppers like rhubarb and ginger gin liqueur, and a Japanese Ume fruit wine.

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Breakfast
  • Restaurants nearby
  • Room service
Eating: Breakfast room
Activity:

Activities

  • Just wander, admiring the city's beautiful architecture. Budapest is bisected by the Danube river; one side is Buda, the other Pest. Stroll one then the other
  • Dip in thermal waters at one of the city’s elegant 16th-century baths, such as Gellert or Szechenyi
  • As well as being an architectural gem, the late 19th-century Great Market Hall is a terrific place to buy souvenirs
  • Falk Miksa Utca is the street to buy art and antiques
  • Go flipping crazy at The Pinball Museum, Budapest’s coolest attraction – and you can try all 130 of them
  • Memento Park displays relics from Budapest's Communist period: oversized statues of Lenin and Marx that once stood forbodingly throughout the city, along with other remnants of Socialist realist architecture
  • Budapest Zoo is one of the world’s oldest, with stunning Art Nouveau pavilions
  • Take a boat trip up to Visegrad and the Danube Bend, one of the most glorious stretches of this iconic river
  • Spend an evening at the Brody Studios, whose innovative arts programme includes film and literary events, dress-up and dance parties, and alchemist nights. It's members only, but staying at Brody House lets you join the club

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Art classes
  • Boat trips
  • Historical sites
  • Museums / galleries
  • Nightlife
  • Private guided tours
  • Shopping / markets
  • Theatre and music
  • Well being

Kids

Although families are welcome, there's nothing for them here.

Family friendly accommodation:

All rooms can fit a baby cot on request.

Kid Friendly:

Our guests' ratings...

Based on 1 independent review from i-escape guests

8/10
Room
9/10
Food
10/10
Service
9/10
Value
9/10
Overall

Very friendly accessible and personal service! Excellent breakfast - even if strong coffee should be included. Slightly complicated access to lounge - lots of stairs but great exercise

9/10,

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Rates for Brody House