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 stayed at the Nemzeti Hotel at the start of our river cruise, and it was fabulous! The location was ideal, with metro, tram and bus stations right across the road. We experienced some noise from the trains going under the hotel, but it wasn’t intrusive.
The hotel itself is in an historic building, and the construction of modern hotel rooms within the building’s fabric was cleverly done, while maintaining many historical features such as the stairway (very grand) and the stained glass ceiling in the breakfast room (absolutely stunning!). Our Superior room was spacious and had everything we needed for our 2 night stay.
The included breakfast was very good. However, the chef’s interpretation of “porridge” was different to mine. Expecting oat porridge, I was startled to receive rice porridge. Not the same thing at all. Breakfast was presented as as a buffet, with the option to order eggs and so forth.
We enjoyed our stay at the Nemzeti and would return any time we visit Budapest again. Highly recommended.
I would highly recommend this hotel. It is well located and offers good value for money.
The breakfast buffet offers a wide range of hot and cold food and is open from very early til 10:so am. We didn’t try the other dining options.
From the moment we arrived in this hotel, at 10:30am, we felt welcome and well cared for. It is a fabulous building, far removed from the characterless hotels of many chains. Our bedroom was large, with the biggest bed we ever saw in a hotel. The remainder of the hotel, from the stairway to the dining area, to the bar oozed character.
The hotel is on three transport routes; bus, tram and underground metro, meaning that all the main tourist attractions were only minutes away. (The public transport in Budapest is clean, punctual, frequent and easy to use.) An English language app is available for your phone and reception staff are happy to help, too.
The staff was very professional and polite - from the receptionists, the bartenders to the GM. Flawless! Admirations! Otherwise - the hotel needs renovation and becoming a slightly more contemporary place. Yes, it's a historic building, but we are sitting in 2019 and being eclectic is a trend.