Hotel Mystre Budapest: the hotel is designed to impress

(CNN) – One of the first things you’ll notice when you enter the Hotel Mystre Budapest is the Aladdin-style magic carpet “floating” above the reception desk.

This is the first indication that this boutique hotel is much more than meets the eye.

Then there are the countless light boxes on the walls that display moving images that change several times a day and the elevator partially hidden by velvet curtains.

Depending on which room you’ll be staying in, you might find yourself lying at the headboard with a version of “Girl with a Pearl Earring” by Johannes Vermeer, in which “girl” has an iPhone in her hand, or “party girl” a translation of da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa” complete with tickets VIP for the Sziget Festival in Budapest.

And if you happen to have a reservation to visit the “secret” Pythagorean meeting room, you’ll have to figure out how to open it yourself (hint – there’s a modest chest included).

Located in the Terézváros district of Budapest, the Mystery is arguably one of the most exciting hotels in the city thanks to the plots that lie within its walls.

It is located within what was once the headquarters of the great symbolic inn of the Hungarian Freemasons, providing inspiration for its mystical theme, along with films such as “The Da Vinci Code”.

Instagram friendly

The Mystery is located within the former residence of the Symbolic Grand Lodge of Hungarian Freemasons.

Courtesy Hotel Mystre Budapest

While it lacks exciting city views and the central location of some of Budapest’s most popular hotels, the property, which opened in May 2019, is fast becoming one of the most Instagram-friendly places to stay in Budapest.

This is certainly no accident. In fact, hotel designer Zoltán Varró admits he has “likes” in mind when conceptualizing the property.

“Instagram has really changed the hotel industry,” Farrow told CNN Travel. “About 20 years ago, people wanted to go to the big names because they felt safe with them.

“Now the most important thing is to stand out. Everyone is looking for something special. Social media is vital.

“When a guest sees something cool and takes a picture, it can be shared with the rest of the world in seconds.”

Viktória Berényi, director of business development for the Mystery Hotel, says social media has helped bring in a large number of bookings.

“First impressions are everything,” Perini says. “There is a lot of competition in Budapest. We had some difficulties getting people in at the beginning.

“But we’ve had a lot of guests coming here because they saw the pictures on Instagram.”

One of the many areas of interest in the hotel is the Great Hall, which serves as a dining and bar area as well as a lobby.

Varró decided to make it the main focus of the building after seeing photographs showing the room’s importance during the 1890s, when Hungarian Freemasons congregated here regularly.

Masonic past

Courtesy Hotel Mystre Budapest

The grand staircase is among the preserved elements of the old building.

Courtesy Hotel Mystre Budapest

Freemasonry is one of the most famous and influential secret societies, it was founded in the United Kingdom, but soon spread to Europe and the rest of the world.

The secular movement forms itself on the basis of the Fraternities of Stones in the Middle Ages, who used secret words and symbols to recognize each other’s legitimacy.

After the former Republic of the Councils of Hungary and later the Hungarian Minister of the Interior, Mihaly Domotor, banned the activities of Freemasons in 1920, the building went on to serve as a military hospital.

It was also used by the Hungarian National Guard Society, before returning to Freemasonry use after World War II. But during the communist era, it continued at the headquarters of the Ministry of the Interior until the fall of the regime in 1989.

Needless to say, the building changed dramatically during its various incarnations and Masonic elements were hidden.

“After communism, I destroyed the room,” says Farrow. “Aspects of Freemasonry were completely covered, as no one wanted to talk about this.

“I didn’t want to. [the Great Hall] to be hidden away. This is the heart of the building.”

Its vaulted ceiling, which has been completely renovated, is decorated with beautiful ornaments, while the walls are decorated with sparkling columns and luminous boxes.

Although the entire hotel is filled with chandeliers, the largest of them hangs directly above a floor area of ​​marble chessboards in the Great Hall.

At the far end of the room are two iron spiral staircases that lead to the gallery, where there is a private dining area aimed at larger groups.

The grand staircase is lit by candles, one of the various preserved elements of the original 1896 building, along with the main doors.

You can see the facade elements of the old building and the new building side by side from the sixth floor.

Varró has retained many of the decorations used in Masonic symbolism around the buildings, along with carvings of a sphinx, square, and compass.

Even the paintings in the aisles are related to Freemasonry, some by Freemasons, others by artists from countries with strong ties to the secular movement.

However, Perini asserts that Hotel Mystre represents much more than just Freemasonry, noting that the organization, spoiled by conspiracy theories, may have negative connotations for some.

“As much as we are proud of history, we can’t make up everything about Freemasons, because they represent different things to different people,” she says.

Unique wings

Courtesy Hotel Mystre Budapest

Some suites feature a modern version of Leonardo da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa” headboards.

Courtesy Hotel Mystre Budapest

There are three different styles of wings, Doric, Ion, and Corinthian. Doric rooms, which overlook the hotel’s courtyard and Secret Garden Spa, have features of Victorian English style and are decorated in various shades of green.

The Ion rooms are located on the upper floors of the hotel and feature a French slope style, while the Corinthian rooms have Baroque furnishings, such as burgundy velvet curtains.

Located on the sixth floor, the Atelier Suite is the most unique suite in the building. Designed to resemble a painter’s studio, it has a marble staircase, brick walls, huge paintings, and dozens of carpets. Even the TV stand takes the form of an art stand.

“The original plan was to make this room a storage area, because it only has two small windows,” Farrow explains.

“When I decided to make it one of the bigger suites, the owner thought I was crazy. But it was very popular.”

The suite is often requested for private gatherings, with the likes of luxury Italian fashion house Dolce & Gabbana hiring it for special occasions.

Impressive spa

Courtesy Hotel Mystre Budapest

Located in the courtyard, Secret Garden Day Spa is one of the hotel’s highlights.

Courtesy Hotel Mystre Budapest

While the Great Hall is a tricky business to follow, not to mention the rooftop Sky Garden bar, which offers views of the Royal Palace, the hotel’s spa is another highlight.

There are plenty of beautiful thermal baths to choose from in Budapest, which means any hotel spa here has to be impressive in order to attract visitors.

However, Secret Garden Day Spa certainly does not disappoint.

Located in the hotel’s enclosed courtyard, it has a Baroque theme in the garden with gorgeous palm trees and a beautiful fountain.

Guests have the option of relaxing on the daybeds, accessing the sauna and steam room, or choosing some of the cosmetics, body treatments and massages available.

The lighting in the spa is also great given its location in the courtyard, along with an array of crystal chandeliers.

“This was an empty place,” says Farrow. “I wanted to make something different. I think so [the courtyard] It is the perfect place for a spa. Budapest is not a very sunny city, but it’s always summer here.”

The centerpiece is undoubtedly the magnificent whirlpool bathtub, which offers a wonderful view of the facade of the building.

“We don’t have thermal water here, but we do,” Perini says. “This Jacuzzi is very popular on Instagram.”

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.