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Balatonfüred and Fonyód are known around the lake for their abundance of charming villas, but it’s a little known fact that Balatonalmádi has its own set of lovely summer residences built at the turn of the century. One of these century-old beauties was purchase by a Budapest businessman and his wife Ágnes Juhász, and we couldn't help but notice what an awesome job they did renovating the historic edifice in a trendsetting style.
The owner told We Love Balaton that she’s spent every summer by Lake Balaton ever since she was a child, and a few years ago she realized she could put her experience and knowledge to good use by opening a guesthouse. She felt like the accommodation market had nothing to offer that fell between “zimmer frei” spots and four-star luxury hotels, and she devised a plan to fill this niche with a brand new boutique hotel. She wanted an old villa, which had “visible signs of age”; she found the prefect one three or four years ago, and it was love at first sight. Strangely enough it’s not a listed building, nor does it have landmark status.
Built originally as a vacation property, the house operated as a pension in the 1920s and 1930s. After the war it was used as the summer residence of the textile company of the town of Pápa, and following the regime change, it was turned back into a guesthouse. The owners worked together with architecture and interior design firm Wagner Studio and interior designer Szilvia Vajta to create the clean spaces you can see in the photos. During the conversion, a ninth room was added to the existing eight, the terrace and the ancient trees were kept as they are, the garden was nicely revamped, and it now features a playground as well as a decorative boat, which reflects the owner’s love for rowing. This passion is also present in the form of subtle details inside the house. “We went down to the boathouse, cut one of the boats in half, and it looked fantastic as a bookshelf,” she told us with a laugh.
The sports theme doesn’t end there: they also have a water polo ball signed by every member of the Hungarian team that was triumphant at the 2008 Olympic Games, and the national fencing team, including Áron Szilágyi, who won Olympic gold in 2012 in London, was among the first to stay at the beautified location.
Due to the small number of rooms, they aren’t planning on providing much in terms of gastronomy in the near future, but we were big fans of the filling, splendid breakfast they currently serve:
All the food and drinks – the wine is no exception – are supplied by local producers. The house is not open all year, but the next big project is carrying out the necessary improvements to make it inhabitable in wintertime as well. They kicked off the season on April 15, and right now it looks like they’ll stay open until September 30. A double room costs 21,900 forints per night, and you can tack on their legendary breakfast for an additional 1,600 forints.