Accommodations around Lake Balaton have surpassed the sad state they were a long time ago, with neat guest houses taking over the market today. We already rounded up the best contestants in the two previous installments of this series, but we happened to stumble upon exactly a dozen of stylishly refurbished spots that are perfect for an off-season retreat or a summer holiday. Hello to the rustic places of Somogy villages and to the decadently pretty guesthouses of the north shore!

The classic Zimmer Frei system, where you could just simply walk in from the street, is already in the past at Lake Balaton. Of course there’re still plenty of guest houses, and fortunately, we can find more and more of them that represent quite a great quality. We were already amazed by the rustic and modern accommodations that we rounded up in two previous articles, and the process is still going on: starting from the south to be finished in up north, here we give you 12 places that weren’t in the previous articles.

Páskom Cottage, Lajoskomárom

We attacked the tiny Swabian village at the border of Somogy and Tolna counties during our spring campaign. Out from nowhere, Mihály Mosberger, a true local patriot, built a guesthouse complex of multiple buildings opposite the scenic row of cellars in Lajoskomárom. The furnishing is incredibly high quality; every room has different floor tiles, while light floods into the common dining room through the gigantic windows. The food is also flawless, and there’s even a small wellness-hut, an outdoor pool, a fishpond, and a spice garden. The rooms cost 20,400 forints for a night, apartments are around 34,200-45,600 forints, while the whole guesthouse can be rented for 204,000 forints, breakfast included. One of the buildings has four apartments, while the other has four rooms.

Villa Bogart, Alsóbogát

Located in a hidden village of Somogy County, VillaBogart was created for modern-day counts. It’s managed by a couple with an obsession, who have an enormous plan: they are going to renovate not only the neglected Festetics-Inkey Castle, but also the buildings and the park/forest that belong to the estate. Tamás Blaskovich and Orsolya Szelényi are on track; when we visited them, one of the guesthouses was already finished, another was under construction, while statically the castle was already finished, not to mention that the roof was no longer leaking. They have huge plans for the castle, plans that are also very expensive (transforming it into a hotel, having a metal and glass roof, adding a new level), but the seven rooms in the steward’s house are already finished, they are welcoming guests there. The guest house has nine double rooms with rustic furniture (24,000 forints per night), they have an apartment for four people (26,000 forints per night), and there’re three tiny cottages at the nearby fishpond that cost around 8,000-12,000 forints for a night. There’s also a granary (event venue) and an oblong building (a garage for vintage cars that can be rented, and also an event venue) on the estate, but the best part is the neat castle garden, where we can segway on romantic little roads.

Tarka rét Guest House, Gölle

The birthplace of writer István Fekete is the absolutely sleepy village of Gölle, where this beautiful and friendly rustic guest house is located. Katinka Kutyik collected family heirlooms and pictures, and placed them in the rooms of the refurbished house. We can stay in a classic but modernized farmhouse, including the old barn, which was also transformed. The aim was to create spacious interior areas, but they also tried to satisfy the needs outside: they have their own fruit orchard and a heated tub, so we can relax there even in winter, when we are surrounded by snowflakes. A room costs 11,000 forints, and the area has endless possibilities: Kaposvár is only a stone’s throw away, or you can go for a tour, and even rent a bike. If required, they also make meals using locally sourced ingredients; for example, regular visitors always ask for their classic doughnuts. You can even camp in the garden for 2,000 forints per nights.

Kristinus Wine Estate, Kéthely

Kristinus is the most modern wine estate of the south shore, and maybe even in the entire Transdanubia region. They even established a so called Vinotel on the estate, where the guests can rest after the tiring act of wine drinking. To harmonize the building, the inner space of the ten double rooms is futuristic yet friendly. Beside wine-making demonstrations and tastings, Kristinus also hosts weddings, so newlyweds can stay here for their wedding night. They have a la carte breakfasts, rentable sports equipment, and we can even spend time in their wine-cinema. All of this is available for 26,600 forints per rooms for a night.

Hedon Brewery, Balatonvilágos

Hedon, one of the country’s coolest craft beer brands established their brewery in the building of a former children’s holiday resort. But the brewery wasn’t enough, so they made apartments for visitors, in case they get tired after drinking beers. Named after their products, the living quarters are equipped with bathrooms and kitchens, and we can gaze over Lake Balaton from the spacious terraces. When we visited them, the garden and the restaurant weren’t ready yet, but they’ll surely operate on high capacity this year. They have two apartments that can house four people each, and one six-person one, priced between 16,000 and 21,000 forints for a night. And to advertise a place like this is quite unique: “The noise is minimal; the plant only operates during the day.”

MANOR House Inn, Csopak

Csopak also has it good when it comes to guest houses, and we couldn’t leave MANOR House Inn out from the third installment of our guest house roundup. It’s not a cliché to say that the furnishing is sophisticated, as they paid attention even to the color of the furniture. The kitchen is spacious and shared, the living room is super-comfortable, plus there’s a beach and many wine cellars nearby. The rooms are in the large villa and in a guesthouse, each of them was named after its color, and they are priced around 20,000-30,000 forints for a night. They also get a plus point for greeting guests with a welcome fröccs, whom they encourage to an unlimited consumption of coffee and tea.

Fészek Restaurant and Hotel, Zánka

We visited Fészek at the beginning of last summer – although the name means “nest”, there weren’t any nestlings there, but we did see refurbished rooms. One of the founders of Hilltop Winery from Neszmély started working on a building that’s very close to the beach in Zánka; local legend has it that it used to be an ice house here. Their restaurant is located on the ground floor, where, among others, they serve their unique two-handed sandwiches, while the rest of the building hides the double and four-bed rooms.

Kő and Kavics Guest Houses, Köveskál

Kővirág restaurant in Köveskál (the heart of the iconic Káli Basin) saw a little development when Kata Zakar decided to buy the two houses opposite the street - after all, who could be a better neighbor than you yourself? They turned them into winterized apartment houses that tick every box, and have well-equipped kitchens. One of them can house four people (29,960 HUF for a night), the other one is for two people (24,990 HUF/night), both of them have a terrace, and a shared lawn. If we want to have breakfast, we can order food from Kővirág instead of cooking for ourselves. Due to the profile of the apartments, you can’t stay here with children younger than 10 years old, and/or with dogs.

Mi a Kő, Köveskál

What happens when you can eat, drink, and sleep at an artist’s place? This was the question we asked ourselves when we visited Tamás Trombitás in Köveskál. The owners of one of the most essential, unmissable restaurant in the gastro-village finally got hold of the neighboring house, and they refurbished it very neatly. Three charmant rooms, plus a common room were the results of this transformation. The rooms cost around 12,000-16,000 forints for a night, and this is definitely the place for those who want to enjoy undisturbed peace. Which is also the reason why this is not an accommodation that was established for families with small children – but of course, this doesn’t mean that they can’t come here. Besides the lavish restaurant that’s connected to the accommodation, we must also mention that you can buy almost all wines of the Káli Basin here.

Borbarátok, Badacsonytomaj

Borbarátok in Badacsonytomaj is such a complex and cozy place that it’s hard to describe it. The story, which started in 1920, has countless far-reaching branches, the family winery was replaced by family hospitality, and, what’s more – and relevant to our subject here – they even established a guesthouse. They created a modern yet intimate interior, with a comfortable room – named after various grape varieties – behind each colorful door. Their single room costs 12,500 forints for a night, while the double room is 16,500 forints; guests can request full or half board as well.

Válibor, Badacsonytomaj-Badacsonyörs

Péter and Bogi Váli bought their first vineyard on the hill near Badacsonyörs in 2000, and by today their little empire has grown into three buildings – they furnished accommodations in two of these. The upper guesthouse is the newer one; 8-10 people can stay here (and even a baby, as there’s a crib). The environment is sensational; the garden is neat and nice, with a fire pit, and a belfry lookout on the top of the hill with a magnificent view. They provide breakfast, but they also have winter and summer kitchens, where the guests aren’t prohibited from cooking. The lower house has two rooms, and since the guests of the wine terrace also eat here, these chambers are better for those who don’t mind a little buzzing. The various funny street signs are a bonus (like “Disgraceful Vineyard” or “Gyalázatos dűlő” in Hungarian) that we can spot around the estate, due to the funny friends of Péter Váli.

Villa Kamonkő, Szigliget

If we climb up the hill in Szigliget to reach Villa Kamonkő, we will experience a wonderful luxury. Inspired by the ’20s and ‘30s, the furnishing is deliberately evoking the positive side of decadency that was a ruling element between the two world wars – all that’s missing are the flappers with cigarettes in hand. The view is amazing, and we can enjoy it from the two single rooms (13,000 HUF per night), the two double rooms (22,000-28,000 HUF per night), and from the two four-person family luxury suites (44,000-52,000 HUF per night), with breakfast included. The view is the only thing that’s priceless.

Translated by Emma Póli