Where to stay in Budapest

A converted art nouveau palace just across the river from the Buda Palace, or a budget 'boho' townhouse in the Palace district.

The Four Seasons Gresham Palace

This converted art nouveau palace is not only beautiful to look at, but also very well located. It's on the east bank of the Danube just across the river from the Buda Palace, so it's an ideal base for sightseeing.

How they rate it

"The faade says it all: a fantastic art deco melange of stone carvings, wrought iron and stained glass," says Edward Bishop in The Daily Telegraph. The rooms are all "comfortable and well appointed, but it's worth trying for a room with a river view". The location is "perfect" and the food, wine and service is all "first-class". However, "the real star is the building itself; worth a reel of film even if you aren't staying in it".

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The menu

The hotel boasts two restaurants, the upmarket Italian Peva and the brasserie-style Kavehaz. The latter is "just as good" and offers a selection of local food. The local wines in particular are "a surprising treat".

The cost

A double room costs from £275 per person per night, room only. If you are pushing the boat out, try the Park Suite, which costs from £1,000 a night and has a terrace overlooking the Danube. For more information, visit www.fourseasons.com/budapest, or call 00 800 6488 6488.

Brody House


Budapest is an excellent city for cheap accommodation. One of the best options is Brody House, a town house situated in the 'Palace District', an area of grand houses that have held onto their distinctly palatial architecture despite the ravishes of wars. They may be crumbling around the edges, but that only adds to the effect.

How they rate it

Brody House is a "special place to stay", says Nick Redman in The Sunday Times Travel Magazine. It is "a smart boho members' club", owned and run by a British duo. The local art on the walls is for sale and vintage accessories (including a family heirloom piano) "evoke a sense of trustafarian inheritance being spent late and lazily". The bathrooms are "Ritz-Carlton-worthy". In short, you get "high ceilings, parquet floors, great art, cool customers, fabulous bedrooms, all for a good price", says Fiona Duncan in The Sunday Telegraph.

The menu

Breakfast is "decadent pastries" served communally at a "long, long table with a view of stark trees in the grounds of the National Museum", says Redman.

The cost

Doubles cost from £65 B&B. To find out more, visit www.chicretreats.com, or call 020-3397 0085.

What the travel writers are saying

If you are looking for something to do with the children this summer, how about taking them to stay on a working farm? Julia Brookes has rounded up the best ones in The Times.

West Steart Farm in Tiverton, Devon, is ideal for horsey kids as it is home to Ryeland sheep, rare-breed ponies, the Dales pony and thoroughbreds. Children will love playing with the farm dog Alf or the tame lambs. And older children can have a pony to look after and ride for the length of their stay. Those who don't want a pony of their own can still enjoy watching the racehorses being trained every morning and help feed any foals. A weekend break starts from £360 perperson full board or a week is from £850 (www.devonridingholidays.co.uk).

Springhill Farm in Northumberland is a working organic farm with cottages, a bunkhouse and wigwams "that look like upturned boats". The wigwams sleepfive and are fully insulated with electric heating. Your children can feed the cattle, sheep and lambs and help collect eggs. A night costs £19 per adult and £11 per child (www.springhill-farm.co.uk).

Rescue animals of all shapes and sizes are looked after at Airhouses on the Scottish Borders. Visitors can help feed ponies, alpacas and pigs. The 633-acre estate is also a haven for deer, foxes, badgers, stoats, squirrels, kestrels and barn owls. There are four lodges and an outdoor hot tub and you get "stunning views across the Lammermuirs". Prices start from £350 for a week. The farm is part of Farm Stay UK (www.farmstay.co.uk).