Lobby of Mamaison Andrassy ideally located in the heart of the Embassy district of Budapest
To the traveller, it's a boutique hotel at one of Budapest's swankiest addresses. But during World War II the Bauhaus building at Andrassy ut 111 meant life over death for dozens of Jewish orphans.
Mamaison Andrassy, a two-minute stroll from Heroes' Square, was built as a Jewish boarding house in 1937, and after the outbreak of war became an orphanage. It was one of the precious "safe houses" in which Raoul Wallenberg and other diplomats were able to protect up to 10 per cent of the city's Jews from deportation.
Perhaps this is why the building and its leafy street have a cheerier feel than the rest of rundown Pest city centre. Another advantage to the location, in the heart of the embassy district, is proximity to the historic Metro line, the famous Gundel restaurant co-owned by Ronald Lauder, modern art museum and the famed Széch-eny thermal baths, an afternoon in whose magnificent art nouveau pools is a must.
The hotel itself has an understated contemporary elegance, and rooms are comfortable and bright, albeit a tad sparce in decor. It would be worth upgrading to a superior room to enjoy a balcony and view; these rooms have bathrooms large enough for a tub. All guests get free wi-fi.
The Andrassy serves a gourmet breakfast awash with salady delights, albeit pricey at 20€ (£17.50)and served in dim subterranean light.
Pre-paid entry to the baths to avoid queuing is a useful service from the front desk, and free access to the spa at a nearby sister hotel is also on offer.
RATES: From £62 r/o TEL: 00 800 7747 7477