Photo Credit: W Budapest



The grandeur of the legendary Hungarian State Opera House had always eclipsed the beauty of the Drechsler Palace, constructed in 1886. Yet, the locals and visitors of Budapest never overlooked the elegant palace when passing by. When strolling the exclusive Andrássy Avenue, the palace was an unavoidable point to stop and admire its beauty for tourists and locals alike. The imposing building also hosted countless ballet plays, and its stage floor was often damp from the sweat and tears of tireless ballet dancers. It was famed among locals as the Hungarian State Ballet Academy. Still, the imposing palace remained desolate for fifteen years before a thorough renovation. The neo-Renaissance building proved the ideal home for Budapest’s latest hotel heavyweight, and not just any. The former palace acquired a luxurious new front with the revamp, led by design studio Bowler James Brindley (BJB). Budapest thus gained a superb hotel and a lively social hub. The location is fantastic for lovers of high-end designer brands and those who wish to explore the Budapest city centre. Most city sights are within spitting distance of the hotel. Guests can go on foot, cycle or choose reliable public transport.

Photo Credit: W Budapest


Andrássy Avenue is one of the city’s oldest and grandiose streets. Accessing the avenue by car is simple, although reaching the main entrance to the hotel, tucked away in a side street, poses a challenge. Even the most advanced navigation systems are baffled by the confusing one-way streets. With some luck and patience, you will make it to the entrance. In any case, we recommend that you arrange valet parking upon reservation. Guests arriving by alternative means of transport are in luck, as bus stops are a minute away, and a metro station awaits right next to the hotel. If you hop on the metro, you will reach the city’s main rail crossroads in minutes. Hungary is, otherwise, interwoven with great railway lines, and we warmly recommend embarking on one of the trains running through the country. Budapest’s air accessibility relies on low-budget airlines, yet the airport is perpetually increasing the number of overseas connections with destinations in the Middle East and China. The hotel’s location allows guests to walk or cycle to all landmarks in Pešta. Getting around the city is straightforward, even though traffic jams are unavoidable, as in any other global metropolis. With some planning beforehand, you will traverse the city’s crevices and streets without an issue. W Budapest boasts a truly convenient location.

Photo Credit: W Budapest

COLD STARTER - Architecture and aesthetics

Drechsler Palace is protected as a historical building and is part of UNESCO’s heritage. The UNESCO-protected building was designed by Ödön Lechner and Gyula Pártos, who took inspiration from the French Renaissance and Neogothic style, popular at the turn of the century. The construction ended in 1886, but the building gloomily lay abandoned for the past fifteen years before the recent renovation. Its look today uncannily mirrors the original design, courtesy of the meticulous renovation led by Hungarian architectural studio Bánáti+Hartvig.

Of course, the renovation could not have happened without the generous investments of Qatari investors. London-based Bowler James Brindley studio designed the interior. W Budapest is a storyboard of the city’s eclectic past and the building itself. Guests will stumble upon symbolic connections to Budapest and stirring stories at every step. Figures of chess players who frequent the Szechenyi Baths were brought to life through black-and-white details in the bathrooms and public spaces. The story of ballerinas is pervasive – told by the crinoline chandeliers, lounge areas and lobby. Brass elements in a perforated design embellish the ornate historical details. The dramatic pastel colours appear both wondrous and surprising but are always pleasant to the eye. They match the designer furniture pieces perfectly. W Budapest is a hotel that will appeal to all aesthetic souls who adore inspiring stories, quality materials, and original design. In this light, the hotel is head and shoulders above the competition in the city. The design was elevated to the level of art. We do not doubt W Budapest has brought a breath of fresh air that will lure countless vociferous hotel explorers and art enthusiasts to visit.

Photo Credit: W Budapest

WARM ENTRÉE - The staff and the culinary experience

Make no mistake; the sheer number of staff is astonishing. It seems the hotel has no problems finding employees. The brand’s image undoubtedly plays a decisive role. Yet, the personnel resembles a football team that has just met for their first training of the season. A few solo players score the goals, some stand on the sidelines, while others play almost unnoticed in defence. The hotel manager thus has to go the extra mile to ensure the team performs at their best. Still, we were positively surprised by exceptional individuals from the staff, including the enthusiastic, energetic and professional Ms. Kinga at reception and Ms. Victoria, who shared the hotel story with evident ardour. Given the hotel has only been operating for less than a month, we believe the staff will start working as a world-class team in no time.

We tasted the gastronomy at the à la carte breakfast, where chef Fabio Polidori led the show cooking. His mastery is unquestioned, as the cuisine was impeccable. Notwithstanding, the hotel should improve its service to match the brilliant ideas of the excellent chef. Nightingale by Beefbar became the hottest culinary spot in Budapest the moment it opened. Cocktails prepared by some of the finest bartenders in town are just as great in the W Lounge. We believe the hotel’s team has immense potential to be the best in Budapest.

Photo Credit: W Budapest

MAIN COURSE – The meetings offering at the hotel

Hotel rooms

The cosy cool corner is among the largest hotel rooms in W Budapest. Stretching 58 square metres, the room is as spacious as it is lavish. Massive oakwood dominates the floor and walls in the room, exuding a pleasant smell that reminds us of the odours in Alpine hideouts. A giant bed is the centrepiece, adorned by a perforated brass-coloured headboard. Coupled with the original lamp above the bed, the elegant bed frame and other details, the bed really crowns the room. The wood pairs seamlessly with the pink hues of the furniture, carpet and the swanky designer lounger. The bathroom in a classic black-and-white tile combination is a wonderful addition. The walk-in shower, heated floor, exceptional cosmetics and quality materials ooze prestige. Guests can choose between two sinks. We can describe the bathroom as dreamy, precisely what guests expect in a hotel of this calibre. We had not slept so well in a five-star hotel in some time. W Budapest easily houses the most original rooms in the city. Moreover, electronic devices are intuitive and work flawlessly, just like air conditioning. The excellent room is an experience in its own right.

Meetings centre

The heart of the conference centre is the Great Room, which can host up to 150 attendees in a theatre setting. Set on the ground floor, the room delights attendees with plentiful daylight. One of the noticeable advantages of the hall is its interconnectedness to the hotel lobby, which functions as the hotel’s living room. W Budapest offers eight conference halls alongside smaller meeting rooms that can host boutique events.

Photo Credit: W Budapest
Photo Credit: W Budapest

DESSERT – The extras

Away Spa is a small boutique spa that is hard to compare with city giants in size. Yet, its design is splendid, inspired by the master of illusion, Harry Houdini and the famed actress Zsa Zsa Gabor. With the help of mirrors and light elements, the spa seems much larger, and its colours and energy transport guests into the world of Hungary’s greatest Holywood export. The spa is inviting, pleasant and made for pampering.

Photo Credit: W Budapest


The prices can be high for an average business event delegate, even compared to similar luxurious hotels in Budapest. Also, when a high-profile politician from an exotic country stays at a hotel, the staff should not forget about other guests. Most importantly, the secret service James Bonds need not scare guests in the picturesque hotel lobby but can retreat to the conference centre.


The hotel features gilded details, breathtaking staircases, an originally preserved terrace and windows that look as if they date to 1886. In addition, the stucco embellishments, paintings and arches serve as neverending sources of inspiration that can be explored for days. The building underwent a remarkable renovation.


W Budapest acquired the Green Key sustainability certificate. Some of the hotel’s sustainable endeavours are on display across the hotel – from sustainable cosmetics to the à la carte that is essentially ecological. Still, there is always room for improvement in terms of sustainability.

Photo Credit: W Budapest


W Budapest incited our hidden guest assessors to write a concise summary: “Entirely different and grand.” The hotel is different thanks to its innovative and meticulous renovation that aims to attract a specific focus group of guests. We can say it is grand because of its unmatched offer and services that rekindle the idea of grand hotels in a modern and youthful way. Hence, we believe W Budapest heralds a new era for luxury hotels, bringing back glamour and transforming similar hotels into the epicentres of urban social life. W Budapest has excelled in connecting the local community, with its instantly recognisable lobby protruding onto Andrássy Avenue. Although the radical colour combinations seem bombastic and overwhelming, everything is perfectly measured, apart from the high price. Yet, even the prices will eventually adapt to the market prices. The top of the hotel pyramid in Budapest is dynamic, ever-changing and exciting. At present, the glamorous newcomer has taken the crown. Thumbs up!

FINAL GRADE: 4.99 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

MEETINGS STAR City Meeting Hotel
STANDARD Hotel with conference facilities
NUMBER OF ROOMS 151 rooms (including 45 suites)
INTERNET PRICE566 – 893 EUR (single use) / Booking, June 2023
ADDRESS:W Budapest
Andrassy ut 25
Budapest, Hungary

T: +36 1 253 3100
W: www.marriott.com/en-us/hotels/budwh-w-budapest/

  • Nightingale by Beefbar
  • W Lounge
  • Seasonal Terrace
  • Society24
  • Away Spa
  • Mixbar
  • Fitness
  • Conference centre
SPECIALS Society25 is an amalgam of a club, bar and meeting venue. It is reminiscent of clubs from the Roaring Twenties. Event attendees will find it the perfect fit for an after-party. Society25 is indeed an instantly likeable venue.
Photo Credit: W Budapest
1. LOCATION 5.00
4. LOBBY5.00
6.  RECEPTION 5.00
7.  HOTEL ROOM 5.00
8.  HOTEL BED 5.00
TOTAL:   4.99

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