Indulgence on the Danube: The 8 Best Spa Hotels in Budapest

Budapest

by Adrian Phillips, The Telegraph, December 5, 2019

Budapest has genuine claims to being the spa capital of the world. No other capital sits on so many natural thermal springs, and there have been public baths here since Roman times. Today there are around 40 bathing complexes, ranging from smaller Ottoman baths like the Rudas to the huge Baroque Széchenyi Baths in City Park. Hotels like Danubius Margitsziget are also fed by natural springs, and have on-site specialists who can tailor treatment programmes to tackle a range of medical conditions. Many of the city’s most luxurious properties have pools and a good selection of massages and other treatments for those wanting to relax and rejuvenate during their stay. Here's our pick of the best spa hotels in Budapest.

New York Palace Budapest

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9Telegraph expert rating

You couldn’t accuse the New York Palace of being shy and retiring. From the columns and turrets of its façade to the frescoed ceilings of the opulent New York Café, this is a hotel of dramatic flourishes. There’s a spa with steam room, sauna and tea lounge, an atmospheric relaxation pool in an area designed to feel like the inside of a cave, and two well-equipped fitness suites. Other facilities include a hair salon and 24-hour gym. Treatments range from Hawaiian massages to Hungarian mud remedials and anti-ageing plant-stem-cell masks. During the evening, a pianist tickles the ivories in the Nyugat Bar, which has the air of a gentleman's hub.

From £133per night

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Corinthia Hotel Budapest

9Telegraph expert rating

The Corinthia carries itself with an effortless grace that no other five-star in Budapest quite matches. Its wide spaces, light marble, and glass-covered atriums conjure a lovely airy feel, and there’s nothing frilly or overly fussy in the design. Facilities include the Spa Royale, which has not only two Finnish saunas, three whirlpool tubs, a steam room and complimentary juice bar, but a truly striking pool surrounded by Corinthian columns and topped with a stained-glass ceiling. Therapies available include ESPA body rituals and skin-purifying facials. There’s a beauty salon and a 24-hour gym too.

From £111per night

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Four Seasons Hotel Gresham Palace

8Telegraph expert rating

The Four Seasons sets the benchmark for luxury hotels in Budapest. It oozes quality from every pore – whether you’re approaching its grand exterior from the city’s landmark bridge, entering the lobby with its stained-glass and marble, or padding the thick carpets of the corridors. A highly Instagrammable infinity-edge lap pool is the major draw in the spa, but there is also a steam room, fitness room and relaxation area. Among the treatments are mineral-rich Hungarian Moor mud wraps and gold-plumping facials. Fifteen-minute eye treatments with Vitamin K, and express neck and décolleté massages priced at €30 (£27) will suit busy city-breakers with limited down time.

From £333per night

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Kempinski Hotel Corvinus Budapest

9Telegraph expert rating

You will struggle to find a hotel with a better location, and the high-quality service and facilities take some beating at this modern five-star at one side of Erzsébet tér. The spa has steam baths, a Finnish sauna, a solarium and an intriguingly named aroma sauna ice well, along with a decent gym, solarium and pool with jet stream and whirlpool tub functions. You can book a variety of massages, while spa treatments are based on the cycle of the seasons, with different options available depending on the time of year you visit. The 90-minute signature 'Hungarymud' treatment with mini facial or scalp massage is available year-round.

From £146per night

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Aria Hotel Budapest

9Telegraph expert rating

A black-and-white keyboard carpet unfurls through the entrance to music-themed Aria to reveal a grand, rather 'jazzy' atrium and lobby. Violins and ornamental treble clefs hang from light fittings, while the centrepiece is a space-age piano designed by Hungarian musician Gergely Bogányi. The subterranean spa – dimly-lit and with a sauna and steam room as well as indoor pool and hot tub – is a more seductive alternative to the city's famous public baths. Music-inspired spa packages comprise massages, scrubs and wraps. The Mezzo-forte foot massages are a good antidote to soothe tired feet after a long day of sightseeing. Afterwards guests can unwind in the High Note Skybar – a sprawling, split-level roof terrace with stiking views over the Basilica.

From £237per night

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Thermal Margaret Island Health Spa Hotel

8Telegraph expert rating

If you’re after wellness, this specialist spa hotel is just the ticket. The dizzying array of facilities include two thermal pools drawing on the island’s natural springs, a whirlpool tub, Kneipp cave, separate saunas for men and women, a steam bath, aroma cabin and well-equipped fitness room. Furthermore, there’s a bewildering list of relaxing and medicinal spa treatments from 60-minute oxygen inhalation sessions to electric neuro simulation and magnetic therapy. Go for a refurbished room, as these are lovely: decent-sized, with sleek silver-toned surfaces, and bathrooms with frosted glass walls and walk-in showers.

From £65per night

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The Ritz-Carlton Budapest

8Telegraph expert rating

The luxurious, centrally located Ritz Carlton offers some informality with its classical elegance – and an excellent spa. There's a glass-roofed swimming pool, sauna and steam room, as well as an array of treatments from hot stone and aromatic oil massages to 'radiance' facials. All bathrooms have a tub and shower, ideal for prolonging indulgence post-spa. Other hotel bonuses include a laid-back grill restaurant aimed at locals as well as guests and the Kupola Lounge – with its centrepiece glass dome. The hotel is ideally located too, with Váci utca, St Stephen’s Basilica and Andrássy út all a stone’s throw away.

From £251per night

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Danubius Hotel Helia

7Telegraph expert rating

While its décor isn’t the most characterful, the four-star Helia makes up for it with some of the best spa and leisure facilities of any hotel in the city. In addition to a medium-sized swimming pool and a sauna, its wellness area has a pair of thermal pools fed with water piped direct from the springs on Margaret Island. As well as being hot, this water is medicinal, and reputed to help alleviate a range of conditions. The gym is superbly well equipped, with a range of state-of-the-art machines, and there are fitness classes. Massages are available. There is also a hairdresser and beauty salon.

From £55per night

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This article was written by Adrian Phillips from The Telegraph and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to [email protected].

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