Many believe that Balaton has as much appeal in the fall as during the summer: there’s no more fighting on the beach for towel space, you don’t have to elbow you way to get breakfast at your local convenience store, and you can stroll peacefully among the wonderful, yellowing trees. Balaton is the perfect fall destination if you are looking for some precious alone time, or want to spend a laid-back weekend with your partner or a group of friends. We’ve explored seven trendy, not to mention warm guesthouses that would make a great base for hikes in the morning and a grill party in the evening.
Set at the top of Balatongyörök, amid grapevines and weekend houses, this interior magazine-worthy dream cottage was created by a young couple for all-year accommodation. As reflected by the name, the color palette of the vacation rental is dominated by gray and Balaton blue pastels. The two double rooms and the living room are very spacious, which make this an ideal abode for peace-seeking couples and families. Wi-Fi is available, but the well equipped kitchen, the heaps of magazines and books, the garden grill set and the fantastic panorama you can see from the top of the hill will make you forget all about work emails. The house is rented out for 45,000 HUF in high season, and for 30,000 HUF in pre- and postseason. Booking in advance is recommended, especially out of season.
Bencze Family Estate
Hegymagas is worth a visit any time of year, not only because of the wine cellars and the amazing view, but also because of the otherworldly tranquility that overcomes everyone in just half a day on Szent György Hill. We first discovered the region’s beneficial properties when we stayed at Szászi Guesthouse, but we can assure you that the Mediterranean-style Bencze Guesthouses exude the same calming vibes. Each of the four guesthouses is furnished in a different way: the old press house as well as the “Fig”, “Almond” and “Chestnut” guesthouses incorporate characteristically Hungarian furniture and decor elements from Balaton and the Mediterranean. The end result is four, stylishly modern and comfortable houses surrounded by vegetable gardens and rows of grapevines. Built in 1807, the intimate press house is more suitable for couples, while the other three apartments are a better fit for families due to their bigger size. Booking a guesthouse in time is a wise move, especially in cold weather, so that the owners can make the apartment nice and toasty before you arrive.
Kővirág Pension and Restaurant
Hit two birds with one stone by picking Kővirág Pension as your temporary home for exploring the Káli Basin: the guestrooms are only a courtyard away from Kővirág Restaurant, which serves edible flowers, one of a kind meat dishes and even special breakfast creations for those with food allergies. Furnished in typical Káli style, the rooms are continually updated to meet modern standards, but the true charm of the two-bedroom apartments that can accommodate four lies in the pieces of furniture familiar from your great-grandma’s cottage. The pension is open all year, with rooms available at a rate of 7,500 HUF/person/night; breakfast is included in the price.
Skrabski Tulipán House
If you love Skrabski wines, you’ll probably adore their Tulipán House by the vineyard above Balatonudvari where guests are greeted with a bottle of wine upon arrival. The six-person apartment with a Balaton panorama is another great getaway for a weekend with friends, and if you want something more lively, bustling Füred, a mere 10 km away, offers lots of day- and night-time entertainment. But back to Tulipán House! Antiques and modern pieces of furniture add an eclectic style to all three rooms, and the terrace has all the equipment for a grill party. A night costs 30,000 HUF, but guests are required to book a minimum of three nights.
The name choice Levendula (lavender in Hungarian) is not another unimaginative attempt at giving a guesthouse a trendy moniker – it refers to the lavender field in the back of the holiday cottage’s own garden. What is more, one of the owners is a licensed small-scale producer, so chances are you’ll find a bottle of homemade lavender syrup in the kitchen cabinet. Created by a Hungarian-French couple, the guesthouse has thematic rooms with names like “Bretagne” and “Balaton”. Their tiny and precious personal objects can be found all over the apartments, but not in a way that is in your face. The owners reside in the house, downstairs, completely separately from the guests, who can stay in any of the four guestrooms: one downstairs and three upstairs. The upstairs area has a common kitchen, so it’s a more ideal choice for bigger groups. In summer you can cool down in the pool, and in the wintertime the cozy sauna awaits.
Villa Szent Jakab
Vászoly is one of those Balaton villages that are worth driving down narrow country roads for in the fall and wintertime as well: escape the business of the city, and recharge amid a beautiful natural environment. The new building, which was opened this year, stands out from the old, loam-walled houses of the area, but its architecture is very much in line with the traditions of the Balaton Uplands. The villa comprises six guestrooms with bathroom, and ingredients for breakfast are supplied by Vászolyi Cheese Manufactury. Dinner is provided on demand, served with the best wines of the region. Depending on size, the price of the rooms can vary between 8,000 HUF and 12,000 HUF. The villa welcomes guests all year round.
We heard about Pastel Guesthouse not too long ago, and we were told it’s one of those charming countryside lodgings you simply can't miss. While we haven’t yet been able to check the place out for ourselves, we can tell it looks promising from the pictures we’ve found on their website. Located in Eötvös köz, just 700 m from the promenade of Füred, the guesthouse has six rooms with en-suite bathrooms, with the interiors ranging from classic to romantic. Every room has Wi-Fi and air-conditioning with a separate control panel. The rooms currently cost about 12,000 HUF.