The oldest hotel in Hungary is a must. Pest Buda

“Gastronomy is our profession, but it is also our life’s passion. For decades we have made it our goal to resuscitate Hungarian cuisine and restore its glorious, pre-war reputation - a thrilling era when Károly Gundel and Auguste Escoffier were colleagues.”
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We got into our car at one of the hotels and let the driver take us to our destination. I had no idea where the hotel was located. The only thing or two I knew was that it was in the old part of Budapest and that it was beautiful and cozy (award-winning, too). So, I just let life, in the shape of the yellow electric taxi, take us where we need to be. Slowly, we drove up to the Old Town hill to the Buda Castle district, stopping right there in front of the oldest hotel in Hungary that began in 1696 and was fully renovated by the Zsidai family in 2016. Small and cozy with only ten rooms, the Pest Buda hotel is a combination of a country house feeling in the city.

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We walked up the stairs to our Atelier Suit, 3rd floor room 31, which was located next to a rooftop terrace. Three little stairs led to the room with a red SMEG fridge straight ahead, the roof garden on the right, and a romantic bath next to the bed on the left. It also had an art book, vintage radio, two TV sets, and a grand shower (with my favorite shower gel from Loccitane). We stayed there longer than usual, soaking up the beauty around and wondering how the hotel looked in 1696. I sat in the chair working on my photos and drinking freshly made coffee from the espresso machine in the corner. I was genuinely amazed by the grandness of the room, the story of the house, and the warmth of the staff.

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Inspired by travels to France, Pest Buda offer a “Frenchie breakfast” (as they call it): A cup of freshly made coffee of your choice (not one watery drink for all), two croissants, butter, and jam. For those who are looking for something heartier, like eggs, you have to ask for them.

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Leaving made me realize that I haven't had enough of this place. I would love to take one more bath, have one more coffee in the room, and a few more walks up and down the beautiful stairs before I leave.

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PS. There's a classic, yet modern, Hungarian bistro downstairs if you wish to have the full Hungarian experience.


Text & photo by Signe Meirāne

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