A timeless palace in the heart of the Jozsefvaros district was once the central telephone exchange for this part of Budapest. Today, one refers to such a building as the headquarters of a telecommunication company. The building was constructed between 1913 and 1916 in a neo-baroque style. After acquiring new owners, the palace was renovated and transformed into a timeless luxury hotel. The hotel is in the heart of the quarter that is becoming an increasingly popular residential area. Only a decade ago, however, Jozsefvaros was considered one of the most troublesome parts of town or even a ghetto, as the locals named it. Numerous investments made the district change its appearance and character. Several universities in this part of Budapest and hipster bars on the rise today give Jozsefvaros a distinctly youthful look. You can head to the city centre on foot if you yearn to be in tourist crowds.
You can stroll to the city centre or opt for the well-developed and cheap public transport, encompassing trams, metro lines and electric trolleybuses. Everything is close at hand, enabling guests to purchase tickets effortlessly. The nearest metro station to the hotel is Rákóczi with the M4 line, from where you will have no issues getting around Budapest. Taking the historical line 1 of the metro, in particular, is a mesmerising experience. Kozmo Luxury Hotel Budapest has its shuttle service for the journey from the airport or other locations around town. The Ferihegy Airport can be reached by train from the west train station Nyugati or bus from the city centre. One can also discover Budapest on the Danube, given the commendable public transport managed by BKV that includes boats that will take you around town swiftly and effectively.
COLD STARTER - Architecture and aesthetics
The renovation of the building took three years, given the building is architecturally protected. The architects, therefore, had to pay attention to every detail. In 2017, Catalan architects from GCA Architects studio became infatuated with this unusual building. They excelled in their task, revamping the iconic palace and making it a monument of extraordinary historical architecture. One of its trump cards is the marvellous staircase leading to the upper floors. It almost yearns to host glamorous events. Understanding and presenting the history of a building whilst modernising it is no easy feat and requires an abundance of patience and know-how. We were enthralled to see the renovated hotel, as it is historical, ultramodern and aesthetic all at once. In our opinion, Kozmo Luxury Hotel Budapest is one of the most Instagrammable hotels in Budapest. Art lovers will revel in the visual art of Spanish photographer Carlos Cánovas and frescos by Lluis Lléo.
WARM ENTRÉE - The staff and the culinary experience
The rich gastronomical offer comprises the decadently-furnished Oyster Bar and Bistro, where guests can indulge in the hotel breakfast. Both spaces pay attention to every detail, and we could not get enough of the excellent lighting. Oyster Bar sits atop an imposing staircase and thrills guests with its minimalist offer. Nomen est omen is accurate for the Bistro as the oysters accompanied with champagne are a sought-after speciality. The offer is tailored to vegetarians and modern explorers. Regardless, guests can still indulge in the iconic goulash or taste a classic dish of Central Europe, the Wiener Schnitzel. The offer is tasty and top-level. Room service offers a part of the restaurant’s culinary offer.
Breakfast served in the Bistro is select and well-thought-out. For starters, all dishes are labelled, local products are plentiful, and elegant service makes for a superb experience. Perhaps the added value of the hotel lies in the staff. We had not come across such professional and friendly personnel in a long while.
MAIN COURSE – The meetings offering at the hotel
The hotel rooms embody the timeless classic at the core of the hotel. White walls with elegant stucco are elevated in every room with outstanding artistic photos of Carlos Canovas. You can marvel at his works in the exhibition catalogue. As suitable, parquet dominates the floor, while the furniture in darker shades appears elegantly. The heart of the room is the mini bar that opens up into a proper tiny self-service store. Everything is tip-top in the bathroom that features bright marble and anthracite details. The bed is above-average size and ensures a good night sleep. As expected, the hotel boasts designer furniture, such as the Sits armchairs and aesthetic lighting. The fascinating view of the interior courtyard that transports the guest back in time at the turn of the 20th century is most impressive. The height of the ceilings gives the overall feeling of spaciousness.
The conference centre comprises two multifunctional areas that can be transformed into four conference halls. Two smaller conference rooms on the first and second floors complete the meetings offer. All halls offer plenty of daylight. The largest one can capacitate up to 120 attendees as the space is limited due to supporting pillars spread throughout the length of the conference centre. The conference centre and interior courtyard intertwine brilliantly. Meeting planners should be on the lookout for the iconic staircase with the bar on top. The remarkable space belongs to the category of special venues in Budapest.
DESSERT – The extras
The Library greets guests upon entering the conference centre. It is always open, functions as a meeting hub of the hotel, and can be transformed into a meeting space. The Library oozes a very cosy mood.
FLOP – NEGATIVE SURPRISES
There is a fee to enter the spa & wellness centre, which is unusual considering the hotel is not the largest in Budapest. Additionally, we would have appreciated a refreshing beverage in the sauna area.
TOP – POSITIVE SURPRISES
The hotel could be easily considered a design hotel. Its rooms are like galleries out of a catalogue, raising the experience of staying here substantially.
FINAL IMPRESSION AND CREDIBILITY
Kozmo Luxury Hotel Budapest is enticing and charming for several reasons. Art lovers, for starters, will be inspired by artwork by Carlos Cánovas and Lluis Lléo. Culinary gurus will revel in the hotel breakfast and the refined offer of the Oyster Bar. More importantly, event organisers will be inspired by a professional team with rich experience. Not least, architecture lovers will be enthralled by the meticulously renovated building reminiscent of a chateau or palace.
It is known that clothes make the man; however, Kozmo Luxury Hotel Budapest has shown that thought-out architectural renovation creates an unmissable experience. The hotel is aware that its personnel is responsible for unforgettable experiences. That recipe makes it among the best in Budapest.
FINAL GRADE: 4.94 GOLD City Meeting Hotel
GOLD final score from 4.81 to 5.00
SILVER final score from 4.61 to 4.80
BRONZE final score from 4.41 to 4.60