A Stay at the World’s Top-Ranked Hotel: Aria Budapest

It’s completely possible to be in love with cities you’ve never been to before and people you have yet to meet. It’s exactly how it felt while flipping through countless photos of “The Pearl of the Danube,” the “Heart of Europe,” — the pristine city of Budapest. Widely framed as one of the most historic and intricately constructed cities in the world, Budapest’s charming cobble streets and grand medieval monuments put it at the top of our must-see travel list of 2017.

Traditional at its finest with a touch of new world flair, Budapest is a merger of all things new and old, but gorgeous just the same.  Hopping straight off the train from a 36-hour tour in Vienna, Austria the short 3-hour venture into the Keleti railway station was a breeze. Nine minutes later via taxi led to the final destination – Aria Hotel Budapest.

Budapest doesn’t offer Uber service, so a taxi was the only option. While some taxi drivers are known to scam unsuspecting tourists, negotiating a one-way price of 6,000 HUFs in cash (or $17 US dollars) with the driver before hopping in the car is recommended.

Aria Hotel Budapest is situated in the heart of city center Budapest, steps from St. Stephen’s Basilica and a short walk to the Danube River and the Hungarian Parliament.

Included in a family of luxury hotels owned and operated by the New York-based Library Hotel Collection and created by Hungarian designer Zoltán Varró, Aria Hotel Budapest opened its doors in July 2015. A historic haven of vibrant style and stunning sophistication, there’s more to Aria than meets the eye.

Divided into four wings – classical, opera, jazz, and contemporary – each pays homage to popular musical eras and musicians throughout the centuries. Accessed through a private, card-only elevator, every hallway features calming musical creations of artists from each genre.

The “Signature King with Music Garden Balcony View” suite, located in the Contemporary Wing, was 425 sq feet of absolute luxury and tranquility. Featuring a love seat, a writing table, a marble bistro table with chairs facing an electric fireplace, and a 55-inch flatscreen TV, the star of the show was the balcony looking down into the glass encased Music Garden below – the first of its kind in Europe.


Venturing down to the main courtyard, follow the piano key tiles out of the elevator past the grand Bogányi piano. There, both guests and non-residents can enjoy cocktails and refreshments while listening to musical entertainment, pick a movie or soundtrack from the music library, or sit down for a meal at Stradervi Restaurant.

Every morning, guests of the Aria can enjoy a complimentary buffet breakfast featuring Hungarian ham and sausages, a selection of Hungarian and international cheeses, fruits, fresh vegetables, and assorted hand made breads.

In the same location starting at 4-6pm, guests can also indulge in a complimentary afternoon wine and cheese reception accompanied with live music. Don’t feel like mixing and mingling? Guests are welcome to take their plates to the comfort of their own room (and still come back for seconds and thirds).

Up above our heads, the rooftop boasting the famous High Note Sky Bar seemed to be in perfect alignment with Budapest’s glowing sunset.

We were directed back to our private elevator, and were informed that the rooftop would be expecting us for rounds of drinks on the house crafted by some of the world’s leading mixologists. Little did we know we would be served while lounging on plush canopy day beds while overlooking St. Stephens Basilica.

 

 

The Aria rooftop allowed for a complete 360 view of Budapest for as far as the eye could see. Rolling hillsides in the distance, steeples from iconic monuments churches, and the busy streets below were all for the visual taking.

It is recommended that guests of the hotel wait until the sun goes down to witness the glow of the city below while sipping on signature cocktails and a decadent slice of “Sphere” (cheesecake) with assorted berries, edible flowers, and raspberry glacé.

Bedsheets are turned down and topped with handmade chocolates every night, and one might just find a bottle of chilled champagne on the marble nightstand for a brief “nightcap”. All of this can be enjoyed while the electric fireplace flickers in sync with the classical tunes playing in the background.

For travelers seeking to experience a lavish but laid back atmosphere inside a historic Hungarian palace without sacrificing the comfort of a private residence, the Aria Hotel Budapest is the perfect oasis in the heart of the city.

For reservations, and more information about the amenities and pricing for available suites, visit www.ariahotelbudapest.com or call internationally at +36-1-44-54-05-5.

To read more about the charming city, keep an eye out for the “72 Hours in the Heart of Europe” blog post for more information about tourist hotspots, hidden gems, and the Budapest food scene.

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𝟏𝟎 𝐩𝐡𝐨𝐭𝐨𝐬 + 𝟏𝟎 𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐬𝐨𝐧𝐬 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐧𝐞𝐞𝐝 𝐭𝐨 𝐯𝐢𝐬𝐢𝐭 𝐭𝐡𝐞 @dominicanrepublic 𝐚𝐬𝐚𝐩!

There are way more than 10 reasons why you should book a flight to the stunning island of the Dominican Republic, but here’s what convinced me:

1. The beaches. The Dominican is known for having some of the most beautiful white sand beaches in the world! 
2. The hospitality. This goes without explanation, but the locals are so welcoming and truly want you to enjoy their country!
3. The cuisine. Think flavorful dishes like soups, thick stews, desserts, fried chicken, and plenty of fresh fruit 🥭🍍🍌
4. Saona Island Reserve. Waist-deep turquoise waters, gorgeous oceans and beaches, and stunning scenery provide peace and tranquility. 
5. Breathtaking landscapes and national parks.
6. Luxury hotels + resorts. The DR is known for having some of the most luxurious all-inclusive resorts in the world, especially in and around Punta Cana. I recommend staying at @sunscapecoco which is a @sunscaperesorts property by @hyatt! 
7. Amazing Nightlife + entertainment. The DR is the birthplace of the merengue and bachata after all!
8. The rums. Dominican rums are known for their high quality. They are aged in American oak barrels and then distilled in column stills. The tropical climate also is a huge factor in the maturing process and taste! 
9. The wildlife. Flamingos, cushion starfish, whales, dolphins, lizards, crocodiles, and more than 300 species of birds!
10. Tropical surroundings. The DR is home to the most northern rainforest in the world! 

What would you want to experience first? 🇩🇴

***View my Dominican highlight to see everything I did during my time there with @sunscapecoco and @amstardmc! #UnlimitedFun #SunscapeResorts #WorldofHyatt #AmstarWelcomesYou #DominicanRepublic #puntacana #caribbeantravel
𝐓𝐡𝐢𝐬 𝐢𝐬 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐭𝐲𝐩𝐞 𝐨𝐟 𝐩𝐥𝐚𝐜𝐞 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐤𝐞𝐞𝐩 𝐲𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐩𝐡𝐨𝐧𝐞 𝐨𝐧 𝐀𝐢𝐫𝐩𝐥𝐚𝐧𝐞 𝐌𝐨𝐝𝐞 𝐨𝐧 𝐩𝐮𝐫𝐩𝐨𝐬𝐞 👌🏻😮‍💨

The 5-star luxury @sunscapecoco resort in Punta Cana @dominicanrepublic is nothing short of a dream stay. The @hyatt property offers 24 different on-site restaurants and bars My favorites were DaMario’s for Italian cuisine and Blue Water Grill steakhouse!

It also provides 24-hour room service (late night pizza + fries yes please!), a full service spa, daily activities and family-friendly entertainment on-property, six pools, access to a stunning white sand beach, beach lounge chairs and cabanas (for rent), gift shops, a casino (if that’s your thing), and an on-site medical clinic. 

For those visiting with kids, a section of the property contains the Explorer's Club for kids ages 3-12 which offers a large playground, pool, arts and crafts, and movie nights. A kid approved snack + food truck is also nearby.

Want to explore beyond the resort? You can easily book private transport or a tour at the @amstardmc desk in the front lobby or before your arrival.

It really has everything you could want or need! 

What’s a place you keep your phone on airplane mode to truly enjoy the experience? Let me know below!
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#UnlmitedFun #SunscapeResorts #SunscapeCoco #DominicanRepublic #Caribbeantraveler #Caribbeantravels
𝐇𝐨𝐰 𝐭𝐨 𝐬𝐩𝐞𝐧𝐝 𝟒 𝐚𝐦𝐚𝐳𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐝𝐚𝐲𝐬 𝐢𝐧 @charleston.travel ::

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𝐃𝐚𝐲 𝟏:
- Check into the @hvicharleston. Here you can enjoy a complimentary wine and cheese reception, milk + cookies at night, and a made to order breakfast in the mornings!
- Grab a sweet pick me up at @tintoycrema next door 
- Stop for pics at Rainbow Row
- Walk to White Point Garden + The Battery
- Visit Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon
- Have a late seafood lunch at @fleetlanding 

𝐃𝐚𝐲 𝟐:
- enjoy complimentary breakfast at @hvicharleston (order the ham + cheese quiche or croissant!)
- take the free DASH bus from the hotel to Liberty Square to visit the @southcarolinaaquarium. They have an amazing Sea Turtle Rescue Center! 
- eat lunch at @browndogdeli (I recommend ordering The Folly Beach Turkey Crunch Wrap or the Fried Green Tomato BLT) 
- tour the Nathaniel Russell House and/or the Edmondston-Alston House (it survived hurricanes, the earthquake of 1888, and the Civil W*r!)
- eat dinner at @magnoliaschs. Order the fried green tomatoes and southern egg roll!

𝐃𝐚𝐲 𝟑:
- enjoy another breakfast at @hvicharleston! You can order it as early as 6am.
- Board a boat to @ftsumternps. This historic Fort is marked as the spot where the first battle of the Civil W*r was fought. Reservations required. 
- take an Uber to @fireflydistillery to try their Sweet Tea Vodka, Banana Pudding Moonshine, and their Chocolate Pecan Whiskey. Dont pass up a boozy moonshine milkshake (for 21+) and a Rocket Burger from @rocket_burger_chs food truck!

𝐃𝐚𝐲 𝟒:
- enjoy an iced coffee and a breakfast sandwich at @carmellasdessertbar (just a few blocks from @hvicharleston)
- stroll through the @charlestoncitymarket. It’s been around since the mid 1800’s!
- eat late lunch at @hymans_seafood. Don’t pass up their hush puppies and crab cakes. They were voted Best in Charleston for a reason! 

Click on the link in my bio to read my full “4 Days in Charleston” guide (yes, there’s more!) on my blog to help you plan the ultimate Charleston vacation.
𝐌𝐢𝐧𝐢 𝐆𝐮𝐢𝐝𝐞 𝐭𝐨 @puntacana 𝐃𝐨𝐦𝐢𝐧𝐢𝐜𝐚𝐧 𝐑𝐞𝐩𝐮𝐛𝐥𝐢𝐜 ✨

I had 4 full days to spend in the eastern region of the @dominicanrepublic (which was definitely not enough time to see everything!) but made for a great intro to the DR. 

Here are just a few must-do activities to check out when you visit!

✨ Stay at the newly updated @sunscapecoco by @hyatt. This 5-star all inclusive @sunscaperesorts property offers *24*on-site restaurants, bars, and cafes for unlimited food + drinks. It also has a spa, multiple pools, and beach access.
✨ Visit the Basilica Nuestra Señora De La Altagracia in Higuey. It’s one of the most important religious sites in the country!
✨ Spend a few hours at Playa Macao. It’s a beautiful white sand beach with bright turquoise waters!
✨ Try traditional food such as Dominican fried chicken, Bandera Dominicana (rice, beans, and stewed chicken), and Sancocho (a hearty stew).
✨ Spend a day exploring the islands of Cotubanamá National Park with @amstardmc 🌴 

Do you have plans to visit the @dominicanrepublic soon? You can see more from my time there in my IG stories and my “Dominican” highlight! 
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#DominicanRepublic #puntacana #puntacanaexcursions #dominicana #UnlimitedFun #sunscaperesorts #SunscapeCoCo #caribbeantravel #caribbeanvibes #amstarwelcomesyou #dominicanrepublic🇩🇴
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