Life doesn’t stop at Lake Balaton just because the summer rush is over. We already rounded up the places where we can grab a bite, and now we collected 25 guesthouses that remain open on fall. There are reborn press houses, romantic hideouts, child friendly accommodations, small rooms, huts, chateaus, and even a count’s mansion.
We can see a quiet forest from the terrace, a stream runs at the back of the garden, the house has a beehive oven and we get homemade ham and freshly baked bread for breakfast – this is an abundance of the rustic charm. The family lives its everyday life in this Badacsony idyll, and they are happy to share their home (and endless love for rural life) with us.
The Kreinbachers believe in silence-tourism, and we really can find everything here that we might need for a peaceful, grown-up holiday. It would be worth spending a few days at one of the 15 rooms of this boutique hotel even just for the award-winning design, not to mention their bistro with its seasonal courses, and the renowned Kreinbacher champagnes.
There are more and more exciting, innovative wineries at Szent György-hegy. One of these is the estate of IT expert turned winemaker, István Bencze, where we can not only find old Hungarian varieties, but also four cozy guesthouses – we can even disappear in the old press house for a weekend.
Endre Szászi is also among the iconic figures of Szent György-hegy: he started organic winemaking at the beginning of the 2000s almost as a ground-breaker. Since then he opened a restaurant and two guesthouses: the Natura Press House, that can fit four people, and the Diófás Press House, which is suitable for six people – we can hide from the world here amid endless fields and rows of vineyards.
Even with a Badacsony-scale, we can taste incredibly good wines at the terrace or in the cellar of the friendly guesthouse hidden in the middle of Borbély Wine Estate. We can choose from four rooms, each named after one of the buttes of the region; besides the cellar and the vineyards, we can enjoy the community life in the living room adjacent to the kitchen, where the huge, green tiled stove is the showstopper. The meals are homely, and don’t be surprised if Tamás Borbély, the son of the host and one of the most talented winemakers of the country shows up every now and then.
Rohini Berry and Gábor Kovács, the Indian-Hungarian couple originally planned to live in a tropic country, until they found Sárga Ház (“Yellow House”) in Káptalantóti. They felt like faith wanted it this way, so they opened their guesthouse that contains three apartments of rustic and elegant atmosphere. The kitchen is equipped with Indian spices, vegetables and fruits grow in the garden, and the so called Le Shop has handmade clothes and jewelry for sale.
The former owner of the house in Mindszentkálla wouldn’t recognize her house, but she would probably have a great time there. The furnishing of Ablak a hegyre is familiarly Hungarian yet clean and elegant. The house has an apartment with a double room, and one with three beds; the two-story stable was turned into a family apartment, while the former barn is now a community area.
Two couples fell in love with Káli-medence and they bought a house in Mindszentkálla. They brought new life to the grey building – the former home of a party secretary now has spacious community spaces decorated with fresh colors and joyful details. The four can comfortably fit larger groups and families as well, plus those who arrive with small children will find everything they might need for a carefree time.
Káli Art Inn is basically the four-star version of a grandmother's house. The former casino for army officers is an ideal location for romantic getaways: there’s a rose arbor in the garden, the wellness section includes outdoor pools and saunas in the nature, while the kitchen prepares a fresh menu every night.
Kővirág is the place to go if you want to soak in the essence of Káli-medence in one place. They opened the Kő and Kavics Guesthouses last summer in addition to their already established pension. The style of the houses is bohemian and clean, rustic and modern, well thought out and honest, all at once. And they have one more positive quality: the guesthouses are only separated from Kővirág restaurant by the street, while the pension is only a garden away from the eatery and the continuously changing culinary masterpieces of Kata Zakar.
Mi a kő is a restaurant that is also a wine shop and a guesthouse, with an owner who is a fine artist and also a winemaker. A chef who capitulated from Budapest creates the meals, because his predecessor got enough of cooking and went to work in the vineyards, but he still comes back to bake something for the guests. It has a peaceful atmosphere, the rooms are nice, and we can taste the flavors of Káli-medence in the wine bar – what else could we ask for?
Laura Takács and her family opened a guesthouse to give a holiday home to those who don’t have one. They wanted a place that people are happy to visit again and again, where they can feel like it’s their own home. This attitude, the personal ties are reflected in every detail of the Scandinavian-style house, so it’s no wonder that sometimes they are booked for whole months.
Klári Tüdős and Moreno Contin turned an old vintner’s house into a guesthouse at the foot of Fülöp-hegy. Antiques and family heirlooms make the rustic atmosphere of the double rooms and four-person apartments, while the main attraction is Moreno himself, who, after working in the Michelin-starred kitchens of Italy, Brazil, Taiwan, and Budapest, now cooks courses fit for fine dining restaurants for the guests of this Révfülöp guesthouse.
Staying at the Liszkay Borkúria feels like being in the set of a South American soap opera. They have double rooms here for those who like to enjoy tranquility in luxury. While we’re relaxing in the wellness section and sipping on local red wines, the silence is only broken by the chirping of birds or the piano playing of Mihály Liszkay.
Miki Havas, the former bassist of Irie Maffia, a Hungarian pop band, has been regularly visiting Zánka for years when he had the idea to open a guesthouse in the place of an old pub. He didn’t want to open a restaurant, but he hired chef Attila Tóth known from Zománc to create personalized breakfasts for the guests, breakfasts that can even pass as lunch.
There are actually two separate buildings here: an old watermill and the miller’s house. The empire of Tamás Beretvás, also known as Tamás bátyó (“Uncle Tamás”) can fit up to 28 people. There’s no television or Wi-Fi, there’s just endless nature – in return we won’t be bothered by the neighbor’s knock to complain about the noise. And if you are looking for a peaceful getaway, the only thing that will disturb you is the party of dormice in the attic.
András Dobai’s name is often mentioned around here for many reasons and that’s because he likes to experiment. His fixed (and seemingly most successful) business is Kredenc Wine Bar, that is also a restaurant now, not to mention Kredenc Inn that opened upstairs – here we can stay in simple and practical little rooms if we don’t feel like leaving the popular Blaha Lujza Street behind.
Built in 1929, this elegant and now refurbished mansion is hidden among the trees and vineyards of Csopak. We might think it’s the home of a noble family, but it feels like the set of Annie Hall once we step inside. Every room of the Manor is great, but the best is the living room: a comfortable sofa, a cabinet heavy with books, and the huge windows will make it hard to leave.
The elegant building of Villa Millennium hides a youthful interior; its spacious and bright rooms have colorful details. Most rooms come with a balcony and a view of Lake Balaton – and ideal location for having a glass of wine with friends, but we can also pass time on the sofas of the common room, or in the sunshiny breakfast area.
Babérliget is a slice of Provence in Somogy County. The guesthouse was originally the mansion of the noble Békeffy-family, and the ancient, yet elegant furniture still reflects the old, aristocratic atmosphere. The idyll is complete with a quite large garden, the lavender bushes around the building, the fruit trees, vineyards, lines of chestnut trees, herbs, and flowerbeds.
Talking about aristocratic atmospheres, there’s another place to mention. Besides a population of 300 people, the village of Alsóbogát also has two chateaus, one from the 18th century, and one from the 19th. The former was nicely refurbished by the state, while the latter remained in ruins until Tamás Blaskovich and Orsolya Szelényi stumbled upon the group of seven buildings. The refurbishment of the castle will happen in the future, but estate manager’s house now has seven, wonderfully renovated rooms. The granary functions as an event venue, there’s a charming chapel, and 42 acres of forest – maybe we don’t even have to mention that it’s a popular wedding venue.
Located on Kishegy in Balatonlelle, this guesthouse melts Mediterranean vibes with the furniture of the past. It can be found in the middle of an incredibly peaceful nature reserve, and it’s almost impossible to reach it in winter. They are open until the end of October: three rooms, two community areas, a quiet terrace, fruit trees, and vineyards await guests.
“My guests are not afraid of putting on rubber boots and making fire in an old stove” – Géza Légli told us about the most important rule that applies to his guest houses in Szőlőskislak. Don’t worry, relaxation is still the primary goal, but on the basis of the “back to nature” philosophy, rather than in a traditional wellness area. One of the houses can fit four, while the other can give home to six people, while those who choose the rooms next to Kislaki Wine Manufacture in the village can enjoy meals made by Géza Légli if they want to.
Count József Hunyady and Countess Katalin Almásy relocated to the ancient estate of the Hunyady-family from Italy and Belgium. Here they turned the granary from 1900 into a charmingly rustic, three-story guesthouse. Hens run around in the garden where there’re vegetables and fruits growing, and the hosts use organic winemaking methods. We can rent rooms in the guesthouse, or we can rent the whole building that can fit 10 people.
Located on the southern slopes of Lake Balaton, Kristinus Estate is mainly known for their winemaking, but they actually have more to offer. We can taste special courses at their restaurant, the Gastro Workshop (in harmony with the wines, of course), we can watch a movie in Hungary’s first wine-cinema, and we can rent a modern and friendly room to spend the night.
Translated by Emma Póli