Brody House is a loved and iconic home in the heart of Budapest. An artistic centre and boutique hotel, this is a cultural, artistic, spiritual and – dare I say – somewhat hedonistic abode, where one can retire to from the busy Budapest streets to find an oasis of inspiration and comfort.
Founded in 2009 by a team of inspiring entrepreneurs, it boasts 11 unique and boutique rooms that are all individually decorated by separate artists that have either stayed in the hotel or collaborated with the Brody House Group. Though it is a hotel by nature, I would argue it is less of a typical hotel or guest house, than a home-away-from-home. With its open plan living room, dining room and bar, populated with open fires (that you can light yourself: get the logs, light the fire, and make yourself at home), armchairs, sofas, tables to work from, tea, coffee and an ever brilliant ‘Honesty’ bar to help yourself from – this is probably the most comfortable hotel that I have ever had the pleasure of staying in.
The founders, WIliam Clothier and Peter Grundberg, used to live in this property and renovated it into a guest house / boutique hotel with their artist friends (who designed the rooms) and named it after the famous Hungarian writer Sandor Brody – an artist whom the street that the hotel resides on, is named after. The building dates from 1896, and was built for a medical practitioner – Dr. Vilmos Tauffer – who practiced there in what was then, the ‘Palace Quarter’.
Walking into the building is impressive in and of itself: the heavy set, historic doors open onto a seemingly barren hallway – cacophonous with its tall ceilings and sweeping stone staircase that traverses around the hallway, leading up to the first and second floors where the Brody House entrance is located. Though sparse, the hallway offers hints of artistic intimacy – with a stunning black and white painting hung above a comfortable sofa at the hall way rear, a lamp made of a 2000 vintage Dom Perignon bottle, and a small door opening onto a courtyard caressed in ivy, with small tables and more wine bottles cum candle holders. Artistic, romantic and mysterious indeed, this is quite the entrance to a hotel.
Up the swirling staircase, we arrived to the second floor where the reception is located, to enter the hotel. Aside from the wonderfully friendly and kind staff – perfect in their English, gracious in their approach, and kind in their manner – the guest house offers various rooms in the reception area that guests can use at their will. As noted above, the dining room is open for all with a help-yourself-service to the tea and coffee (with excellent wholegrain croissants that I could not get enough of), served in high quality china, whilst the adjacent rooms offer comfortable seating, tables and amenities that one would find in their own homely living room. From board games to newspapers, art books and of course – a fast wifi connection – one really can feel completely at home.
One of my favourite features of the Brody House boutique home was all the tongue in cheek humorous elements – from the comic notes on retaining an eco-friendly agenda whilst staying there, to the newspaper cuttings, notes to guests – the home evokes a down-to-earth relaxed vibe that is both postmodern yet light. It was tremendously enjoyable uncovering the various nuances of comedy that littered the various rooms.
The Honesty Bar is a fantastic concept. The idea is that there are two bars, fully stocked with all of the wines, beers, spirits and mixers that one would want, and guests can help themselves to their own cocktails or drinks. One simply has to sign in their name and room number into the log-book accordingly. This bestows the hotel with such a wonderful, friendly atmosphere that really lends it to the homely feel.
The rooms are each uniquely designed and exceptional in their architectural and artistic nuances. We stayed in the Etienne room and later the Shoebox room. The attention to detail is extraordinary, and the pictures, sadly, really wont do it justice. These are rooms you must see for yourself. I was pleased to see the various art books in the room (Edward Hopper amongst others), as well as the artistic wall paper (strips from The Onion line the bathroom wallpaper, offering humorous toilet reading – a nice touch), that enabled me to tap back into my creative side. There was plenty of storage including a huge walk in wardrobe, separate toilet and bathroom, two huge trunks to store clothing and a table to enjoy. I was itching to see the other rooms, but at full occupancy, this is a treat I will have to wait for when I return next time.
We slept well that night – the air con was necessary with the Budapest heat and worked well – whilst the beds were firm yet comfortable, the pillows varied (there were two to choose from) and the room very quiet.
The bathroom had all that we needed, including Aloe Vera amenities that smelt delightful and served us well. The shower pressure was strong and all was to a 5 star standard.
Breakfast was excellent, and offered a neat array of continental delights – from various meats and salamis, cheeses, and breads, to croissants (whole grain and non whole grain), jams, yogurts, nuts and seeds, dried fruits, fresh fruits and pastries. There are cooked options also available at a very reasonable price (2 euros for the Eggs Benedict, for example). Delicious.
The rest of the Brody House Group complex offers the Brody House Apartments, the Brody House Writers Villa (recently hired by two very famous Hollywood stars and a renowned luxury retreat in the Budapest countryside – very much well worth visiting), Gallery, and the Brody House Studio – which is where they offer three separate bars, a cinema room, an events space, and their well acclaimed restaurant.
Bródy Sándor u. 10