Mystery Hotel Budapest: A hotel designed for those who like it

(CNN)- The first thing you notice when you enter Mystery Hotel Budapest is the “floating” Aladdin-style magic carpet above the reception.

This is the first sign that this boutique hotel has more than just visible.

Next, the walls have a myriad of lightboxes that display animated images that change several times a day, and an elevator that is partially hidden by velvet curtains.

Depending on the room you are staying in, you may find yourself lying on the headboard in the version of Johannes Vermeer’s “Girl with a Pearl Earring”. A “girl” is either holding an iPhone or a “party girl”. Interpretation of Da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa” with a VIP pass to the Sziget Festival in Budapest.

Also, if you’re booking a “secret” Pythagoras meeting room, you’ll need to understand how to open it yourself (hint-includes an unpretentious box).

Located in the Terézváros district of Budapest, the Mystery Hotel is arguably one of the city’s most thrilling hotels, thanks to the conspiracy inside the walls.

Formerly the headquarters of the iconic Grand Lodge of Freemasonry in Hungary, it inspires its mysterious themes, along with films such as The Da Vinci Code.

Instagram friendly

The Mystery Hotel is located within the former headquarters of the iconic Grand Lodge of Freemasonry, Hungary.

Courtesy Mystery Hotel Budapest

Despite the dramatic city views and central location of Budapest’s famous hotels, opening in May 2019, the hotel is becoming one of Budapest’s most Instagram-friendly locations.

This is certainly not a coincidence. In fact, hotel designer Zoltán Varró admits that he had “likes” in mind when conceptualizing properties.

“Instagram has really changed the hotel industry,” Varró tells CNN Travel. “About 20 years ago, people wanted to go to celebrities because they felt they were safe.

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

“Guests can see and take pictures of great things and share them with people around the world in seconds.”

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

“First impressions are everything,” says Berényi. “There is a lot of competition in Budapest. At first there were some difficulties in getting people involved.

“But there were a lot of guests coming here because I saw the pictures on Instagram.”

One of the many fascinating areas of the hotel is the large hall, which acts as a dining area, bar and lobby.

Valo decided to focus on the building’s main focus after seeing photographs showing the importance of the room in the 1890s when Hungarian Freemasons gathered here on a regular basis.

Past Freemasons

Courtesy Mystery Hotel Budapest

The grand staircase is one of the elements preserved from the old building.

Courtesy Mystery Hotel Budapest

One of the most influential and well-known secret societies, Freemasonry was founded in the United Kingdom, but soon spread to Europe and other countries.

The secular movement is modeled on the fraternity of medieval masons, who used secret words and symbols to recognize each other’s legitimacy.

The building continued to function as a military hospital after the former Hungarian Soviet Republic and later Hungarian Minister of Interior Mihály Dömötör banned Freemasonry activities in 1920.

It was also used by the Hungarian National Guard Association before returning to the use of Freemasonry after World War II. However, during the Communist era, it continued to contain the Home Office until the collapse of the government in 1989.

Needless to say, the building changed considerably between its many different incarnations, and its Masonic elements were hidden.

“After communism, the room was destroyed,” says Varró. “No one wanted to talk about this, so the Freemasonry side was completely covered.

“I didn’t want it [the Great Hall] Hidden. This is the heart of the building. “

The fully restored vaulted ceiling is decorated with beautiful motifs and the walls are adorned with bright columns and lightboxes.

The entire hotel is full of chandeliers, but the largest one hangs directly on the floor area of ​​the marble chess board in the large hall.

At the far end of the room are two iron spiral staircases leading to the gallery, which has a private dining area for large groups.

The candle-lit grand staircase is one of many elements preserved along with the front door from the original building built in 1896.

From the 6th floor, the elements of the façade of the old building and the new building are lined up.

Valo preserves the various motifs used in Masonic symbols around the building, along with sculptures of sphinxes, squares and compasses.

Even the paintings in the corridors are linked to Freemasons, some of which are in the background of Freemasons, while others are by national artists who have a strong connection to secular movements.

However, Berennie emphasizes that mystery hotels represent more than just Freemasons, and organizations that have been plagued by conspiracy theories may have negative implications for some. I point out that.

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

Unique suite

Courtesy Mystery Hotel Budapest

Some suites have a headboard with the latest version of Leonardo da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa”.

Courtesy Mystery Hotel Budapest

There are three different sweet styles: Doric, Ion, and Corinthian. Overlooking the hotel’s courtyard and Secret Garden Spa, the Drick Room features British Victorian style and is decorated in a variety of green shades.

The AEON Room is located on the upper floors of the hotel and features a French mansard style. Corinthian rooms feature Baroque furniture such as burgundy velvet curtains.

The Atelier Suite on the 6th floor is the most unique suite in the building. Designed to resemble a painter’s studio, it has marble stairs, brick walls, huge paintings and dozens of floor coverings. Even the TV stand is in the shape of an art easel.

“The original plan was to use this room as a storage location because it has only two small windows,” explains Varró.

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

This suite is often requested for private gatherings, such as by Italian luxury fashion houses such as Dolce & Gabbana for private events.

Impressive spa

Courtesy Mystery Hotel Budapest

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

Courtesy Mystery Hotel Budapest

The hall is a difficult task to follow, but the hotel’s spa is another outstanding spot, not to mention the rooftop bar Sky Garden, which offers views of the royal palace.

There are many beautiful hot springs in Budapest. In short, the hotel’s spa here must be quite impressive to attract visitors.

But Secret Garden Day Spa is definitely not disappointing.

Located in the hotel’s enclosed courtyard, with dramatic palm trees and beautiful fountains, it has the atmosphere of a Baroque garden.

Relax in the daybed, step into the sauna or steam room, and choose from the many cosmetology, body treatments and massages offered.

The lighting in the spa is also great as it is in the courtyard and lined with crystal chandeliers.

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

Its centerpiece is undoubtedly a magnificent whirlpool with stunning views of the façade of the building.

“There is no hot spring water here, but it is,” says Berényi. “This jacuzzi is very popular on Instagram.”

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