Hotel Nemzeti Budapest Mgallery by Sofitel
What We Love
- Close to the old Jewish quarter and the palace district and within walking distance of many top sights
- Plenty of original features; the fabulous stained glass ceiling is a highlight
- Rotating exhibitions of contemporary Hungarian art in the lobby
What To Know
- The building is built around a central courtyard. Most rooms face the courtyard; the front rooms face the busy street
- Free use of the sauna is available at the hotel and a public gym and running path are accessible nearby.
- It's located on one of the city's busiest boulevards; expect some noise
- Free WiFi
- Handicap Accessible
- Parking On Site
Built in 1896 during Budapest’s architectural golden age, and restored in 2012, Hotel Nemzeti flaunts an impressive array of original features, including intricate stained glass ceilings, arched corridors and fancy stucco details. Its centerpiece is a grand Carrara marble staircase with wrought iron railings under a vaulted ceiling. A modern revamp introduced an ever-changing display of local contemporary art in the lobby, and the guestrooms feature bathroom doors designed by various artists.
Bed and Bath
While the public areas are all about preserving the building’s classic features, the guestrooms take a more modern approach. They come in two basic styles: a sultry mauve and indigo color scheme with flower print feature walls, and a soothing cream-taupe-lilac palette. The sparkling bathrooms come with wooden countertops, modern walk-in showers, Keiji products and designs etched onto glass doors by a number of local artists.
The lobby bar serves light snacks and sweet treats, as well as a selection of local wines and spirits. The hotel is particularly proud of its interpretation of the Rigó Jancsi, a chocolate confection named for a gypsy violinist who ran away with a Belgian princess. It was here in 1896 that the romance began and the cake, which is still popular throughout Hungary, was invented. A copious breakfast buffet is served in the dining room under an impressive stained glass roof. After a day exploring Budapest, relax in the small mosaic-tiled sauna.
In the Area
Bustling Blaha Lujza Square and the körút (“ring road”) are just outside the hotel. On the other side are two of Budapest’s hippest neighborhoods: the seventh district’s old Jewish quarter and the eighth district’s palace district. The neighboring streets are lined with cool cafés, tiny art galleries, local design shops and quirky ruin bars, derelict industrial spaces that have been converted into hip drinking dens. Nearby restaurants worth seeking out are Bock Bisztró, for its contemporary Hungarian dishes, and Fülemüle, for its Jewish-Hungarian specialties. The Rákóczi tér food market is well worth a browse, and the Hungarian National Museum, a short walk away, is a must-see.
How to Get There
We checked into this hotel as part of a cruise extension so we really did not have a choice. The hotel prides itself in being "modern" but our room was painted a very dark grey color which made the room very drab. I realize European bathrooms are small, but this one was ridiculous. The toilet was situated so that one could barely do business comfortably.
We really enjoyed the modern twist of the rooms in an older gracious building. The room was very clean and comfortable. The air condition worked great except when the fan was on high it would drown out the TV. The shower in the bathroom was standard size but the shower in bath area was very tight and water from the shower would wash the bathroom floor at the same time - not meant for a tall person.
The hotel is situated close to both the subway/metro stations and is a 10-minute walk to the Train station. You could get to most attractions by subway in 5 minutes. There is plenty of restaurants in the immediate area for dinning. The street the hotel is located on is very busy street with both people and cars which could intimidate a lot of folks and can contribute to the noise levels in the rooms. No outdoor patio space. The breakfast was very good with lots of selections.
Service and room was very well during our weekend stay. Breakfast ok as well, but maybe that is the place where a little improvement is possible. Nice location as well. We recommend this hotel, easily.