Awash with eye-grabbing interiors by some of Budapest’s hottest homegrown talent, Rum Hotel Budapest packs a lot of design dazzle into its boutique proportions. Vestiges of the building’s Twenties-era origins also still impress, especially its supremely ‘grammable spiral staircase. In fact, every corner of this majestic Pest townhouse will have you reaching for your phone. A Michelin-gong restaurant sits at the heart of the hotel, too, and crowning it all, a rooftop breakfast-and-wine bar provides the perfect spot for admiring the city’s glorious skyline, in style.
11am, but flexible, subject to availability. Earliest check-in, 3pm.
Double rooms from £102.30 (€119), including tax at 5 per cent. Please note the hotel charges an additional local city tax of 4% per booking on check-in.
Some rates include breakfast, a main dish (Hungarian frittata, eggs Benny, croque monsieur…), hot drink and juice.
Housekeeping leaves homemade welcome cookies in the rooms, made using a recipe by the owner’s confectioner daughter.
At the hotel
Rooftop bar, free WiFi, 24-hour front desk, charged laundry service. In rooms: TV, minibar, Nespresso machine, kettle, bespoke toiletries, air-conditioning.
Our favourite rooms
No two of the Hotel Rum’s 40 rooms are the same, though they do all share a common thread of quirky-hip meets industrial-chic. While rooms between the second and fourth floors have floor-to-ceiling windows, we plumped for one of the smaller rooms, which you’ll find from the fifth level and up, for a cosier mood and more elevated city views.
There’s no spa, however the hotel is happy to arrange visits to and treatments in Budapest’s wonderful Széchenyi and Gellért thermal baths.
Don’t forget your bathing togs and flip-flops if you’re planning a visit to one of the city’s spas.
Due to its heritage building status, the hotel cannot offer wheelchair access or adapted rooms.
Little Smiths of all ages are welcome, though don’t expect anything particularly child-friendly. They don’t have interconnecting rooms either, but some can sleep a family of four.
You'll be seated by staff here so it isn't a matter of choice, but it's a small and intimate space and everyone is centred near or around the chef's table.
Smart but stretchy – you’ll have a lot to put away.
With award-winning chef and co-owner Szilárd Tóth at the helm, it didn't take long for Michelin to slap a star on the hotel’s ground-floor Salt restaurant, for which you'll need to book in advance. Drawing deeply from traditional Hungarian cooking, herbs and other wild edibles are mostly foraged by Szilárd himself. The rest is produced by local farmers and much of the meat comes from his family business. The dining concept is rather more left-field, with a secret 15-course menu – you can choose to have it revealed before you begin or let yourself be surprised by each dish. True to the restaurant’s Hungarian roots, freshly baked bread plays a central role in the experience. You can also choose to pair each course with a Hungarian wine, and non-drinkers have the option of their booze-free tipples whizzed up by a professional juicer. The tasting menu is also available in vegetarian and vegan versions.
Up on the seventh floor of Hotel Rum, mornings and evenings are equally well catered for. With its tall wraparound windows, their Solid rooftop bar provides glorious cityscape panoramas while you tuck into an outstanding à la carte breakfast menu. Off-the-beaten-track options such as cottage-cheese dumplings and cauliflower with miso yoghurt sit beside cooked-to-perfection eggs Benedict and buckwheat pancakes. A Champagne-based eye-opener is also an option. Come evening, the gears shift to a glam wine bar where you can choose from a long list of vinos dominated by natural and biodynamic varieties. As you’d expect, there’s a selection of international rums too, including Peruvian and Filipino varieties. For warmer nights, the roof can be opened so you can drink – and dine – under the stars.
Hotel Rum Budapest is set on a quiet cobbled lane just off Egyetem square in the city’s Pest-side Belváros district. This buzzy, central neighbourhood is full of restaurants, bars and boutiques, and skirts the mighty Danube.
Budapest Ferenc Liszt International Airport is the nearest, at 25 to 35 minutes away by road. Flights connect directly here from hubs throughout Europe. You can arrange an airport pick-up service through the hotel (from €40 one-way for a maximum of four passengers).
If you’re entering Budapest by rail, you’ll arrive at either Nyugati or Keleti station, both of which are about two kilometres from the hotel. Metro lines from either connect to Kálvin square, a few minutes’ stroll from the hotel.
With its decent metro and tram systems, you certainly won’t need your own set of wheels to get around Budapest. Besides, hands down the best way to explore the city is on foot. If you are planning on exploring beyond the city, there’s no shortage of car rental agencies close by.
If you plan to arrive or leave the city by water, there are several cruise terminals dotted along the banks of the Danube, a few blocks from Hotel Rum.
Worth getting out of bed for
The Hungarian capital is a city forged from the forces of history, and most of its glorious and tumultuous past remains perfectly preserved and very much on display. Most evident is its collection of flamboyant architecture ranging from the baroque to art nouveau. Turn right out of the hotel and you’re just steps from Egyetem Square, with its grand 17th-century Eötvös Loránd University building and dramatically spired University Church. The nearby Palace District with its scattering of 19th-century architectural jewels among an artsy neighbourhood makes for a rewarding stroll, as well as being home to the Hungarian National Museum. Head back towards the river along the stately Vámház boulevard, and you’ll pass the turn-of-the-century Central Market Hall. It’s a huge bustling space bursting with colourful stalls piled high with regional produce and Hungarian delicacies. From here you’re just across the river from one of the city’s finest hot-spring spas, Gellért Spa. Extravagant Moorish-influenced architecture combines with mineral-rich waters and budget-friendly massages. Feeling revitalised, climb neighbouring Gellért Hill up to the Citadella fort and Liberty Statue for spectacular views of Gothic icon Buda Castle and city-wide panoramas.
The reputation of Budapest’s dining scene has been making leaps and bounds in recent years, and deservedly so. You can still tuck into a hearty bowl of steaming goulash throughout the city, but a new generation of restaurateurs have brought traditional cooking into the 21st century. One such is Kiosk Budapest, positioned just steps from Elisabeth Bridge. Expect a mix of heritage cuisine with lighter and international fare set in a huge warehouse-style space. Another hip addition to the city is Beerstro14, which bucks the veggie-trend with a meat-forward menu and Hungarian craft-beer pairings. Temperate weather permitting, plump for a fountain-side table in the dazzling neoclassical courtyard. There are loads of options for plant-based dining, too, including Vegan Garden – an open-air food court with street-food trucks, a bar and a buzzy evening crowd.
Café Gerbeaud’s story started over 160 years ago and it remains one the most splendidly old-school coffee houses in town. Settle down with one of their exquisitely handcrafted pastries – and a hot-chocolate your spoon could stand up in – and drink in the historic grandeur of it all. Turn left out of Hotel Rum and the briefest of strolls takes you to Gentry Coffee&Brunch. Local-roast coffee, skilled baristas and an outstanding all-day brunch menu puts this intimate cafe among the best in Pest.
You can’t say you’ve had a night out in Budapest unless you’ve sunk a drink or two in one of its numerous ‘ruin bars’, often set in crumbling derelict buildings. Head to Kazinczy street for the highest concentration of these distinctly Magyar drinkeries, and the highly renowned Szimpla Kert. If all that sounds a little too grungy for your tastes, the rather more sophisticated GoodSpirit Bar whips up award-winning, creatively presented cocktails alongside a menu of over three-hundred whiskies.
Every hotel featured is visited personally by members of our team, given the Smith seal of approval, and then anonymously reviewed. As soon as our reviewers have returned from this eye-catching hotel in central Pest and unpacked their hand-painted eggs and bottle of Tokaji wine, a full account of their city getaway will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside the Rum Hotel in Budapest.
Glitzy bulb-studded lightboxes and grand wooden doors, which part before you at the touch of a button, set the tone on arrival at this boldly design-led hotel. Its owners voyaged the globe for years, and on returning poured inspiration from their travels into the interiors – with the help of some of Budapest’s top designers. And they had an impressive canvas to work with: this handsome 1920s townhouse (which rumours say a brothel counts among its former incarnations).
Linking street level Michelin-star dining and a swish rooftop wine bar, a stone staircase spirals gracefully through the hotel’s seven floors. Many guests choose to take the lift up and the stairs down to admire its swirling elegance. Individually styled rooms pop with bold decor and quirky touches, geared to appeal to those with an eye for the edgy. Add a central-Pest location, and you have the perfectly pizzazzy base from which explore the Hungarian capital’s many highlights.