Budapest is a grand old European capital the way grand old European capitals should be. It has beautiful, stately architecture (including some of the most beautiful Secessionist buildings on the continent), a rich, impossibly complex history, and a huge river—the Danube—snaking through the middle of it. The Danube once actually separated Budapest into two distinct cities: Buda to the west, with it's beautiful, rolling hills, and Pest to the east, and though unification came in 1873, the regions retain distinct characters.
Brody House, an extremely affordable hotel, private club, restaurant, and printing studio (Brody ArtYard) in Central Pest, is one of those hotels with an influence that pervades not just a neighborhood, but an entire city (during a recent stay in the spring, it felt like every young creative in Budapest was mingling in the art-covered bar area).
Now, the founders of Brody House Group, Peter Grundberg and William Clothier, have opened a new bolthole in the Buda Hills. The Brody Villa is a 19th century writer's house that was once home to Dutch author Jaap Scholten, with 360-degree views of the city, its very own winter garden (that's a conservatory, to most people), and romantic outbuildings in the Transylvanian style.
"It's a maze of love stories; from its initial conception to the craftsmanship of the building and its recent restoration," says Clothier. We haven't read any of Scholten's novels, and Clothier recommends starting with Comrade Baron: "It's little-told stories from the turbulence of Transylvania," he says. "It's captivating. Be warned, it will make you want to tour the region!"
Clothier also provided a very quick checklist of things to do if you find yourself with only a weekend in Budapest. Take it or leave it, folks: