Hotel Rum is a one-off boutique hotel in Budapest. Aiming to attract a crowd of “modern urban explorers”, this place is contemporary, chic and super-fun. So, when I headed back to my old hometown, I joined the trendsters to discover exactly what Hotel Rum has to offer…
Hotel Rum is in District Five, slap bang in Budapest city centre. It’s close to anything and everything you could want to see on a visit to the city.
It sits in a pedestrianised zone halfway between two Line 3 metro stations – Kálvin tér and Ferenciek tere – both about five minutes’ walk from Rum. And taxis can drop you off right outside – it only takes about 20 minutes to get from the airport.
But if you’re travelling by car it gets a little tricky. There’s no hotel parking so you’ll need to take your chances finding a spot on a nearby street. Be patient and be prepared to circle a couple of times.
You then have to drag your luggage over to the hotel. No porters so it’s up to you to do the grunt work. Not a huge deal but it could be an issue if you’re not the type to travel light.
From the moment you walk into Hotel Rum’s small reception / lounge area you get a sense of its unique and original style. A little bit vintage. A little bit trendy. And a little bit Budapest.
A team of Budapest-based designers and architects created the hotel. And you get the feeling that they were a young-at-heart bunch. The design is playful and quirky and I love it!
Hotel Rum’s 40 rooms come in four flavours. Light Rum – small rooms with queen size doubles. Spiced Rum and Gold Rum, which get a little bigger. And then Black Rum – “large plus” rooms kitted out with a double bed and a sofa bed.
All rooms come with a minibar (bet you can’t guess which spirit tops the menu), Wi-Fi and a flat screen TV as well as a bathroom rocking all the usual.
During my multiple stays at Hotel Rum, I’ve always chosen a Gold Rum room. But the rooms I’ve ended up in have been pretty different in style, size and layout. Partly through design choice and partly down to the fact that Hotel Rum is located in an old, historical building, identikit is definitely not the word you’d use.
The first room I stayed in had that cool, chic industrial vibe you get throughout the hotel. And a striking red floor. Then I tried Room 101 and never looked back.
Hotel Rum’s Room 101 is my fave. It’s a little bigger than the red-floored room and has this slightly weird triangular shape. It’s light, airy and high-ceilinged – causing none of the claustrophobia I sometimes experience in so-called “cosy” hotel rooms.
And whilst the design is edgy and contemporary it didn’t feel like I was sleeping in the middle of an art installation. It was cool but homely with quirky little decorative pieces throughout and a modern, bistro-tiled bathroom that did the job.
Hotel Rum’s location means you can easily hotfoot it to the banks of the Danube and the Elisabeth Bridge. And – if it’s your kind of thing – to the main tourist drag, Váci Street.
You’re 20 minutes’ walk from the New York Residence (another of my favourite Budapest accommodation haunts) and the splendiferous New York Café. 15 minutes from the Gellért Thermal Bath. And close to a whole range of Budapest bars and restaurants.
But you can see one of the loveliest and most beautiful sights in Budapest without even leaving the hotel. An ancient, green-spired church sits pretty much next door and can be viewed in all its glory from the hotel dining room.
Another stop on the Budapest hit list sits within easy walking distance of Hotel Rum. It’s the city’s spectacular indoor market situ’d by the Freedom Bridge and filled with traditional food stalls and a few touristy souvenir stands.
Designed and built by Eiffel (he also built some tower in Paris apparently) it’s a seriously impressive steel structure. Queen Elizabeth II herself has graced these market stalls – as a shopper not a hawker, of course. And is said to have bought some Hungarian paprika – good shout, Maj.
A breakfast buffet is served at TOPRUM Sky&Bar. Guests can partake of healthy juices, pastries and acai bowls. The food is great. But the real reason to head up here is the view.
Up on the 7th floor, you feel as if you’re eating brekkie amongst the blue sky and the Budapest rooftops. Especially on warm, sunny days when side windows are opened and the concertina roof is pulled back.
If you don’t make breakfast, head up later in the day for a drink and tapas-type sharing plates with inventive Hungarian flaves. There’s sometimes live jazz in the evenings. And sipping on a sundowner as you soak up that view is an experience not to be missed.
A contemporary, stylish base for Budapest exploring. A strong 8/10.
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