Bu­dapest, Scot­land, New York and Mon­treal are four des­ti­na­tions we’re cur­rently lov­ing for ro­man­tic travel.

Wedding Bells (East) - - Contents -

Bu­dapest, Scot­land, New York and Mon­treal are four des­ti­na­tions we’re cur­rently lov­ing for ro­man­tic travel.

An av­er­age sum­mer af­ter­noon might in­clude a trip to the Széchenyi Ther­mal Bath, one of the largest bath houses in Europe with 21 pools and 11 saunas, fol­lowed by lunch at a Miche­lin-starred restau­rant (there are sev­eral to choose from) serv­ing mod­ern takes on Hun­gar­ian clas­sics like goose liver and goulash, and lo­cal wine spritzers on a sun-speck­led ter­race on the shores of the Danube.

The ro­mance of Bu­dapest is un­de­ni­able, and at the heart of this is the city’s con­nec­tion to its mu­si­cal her­itage. Hand­some, cap­ti­vat­ing piano vir­tu­oso and com­poser Franz Liszt is a na­tional hero (even the in­ter­na­tional air­port bears his name) and, in some ways, Liszt has be­come a muse for the city, which shares his fa­mous char­ac­ter­is­tics. Nowhere is this more ev­i­dent than at the Aria Ho­tel, a lux­ury prop­erty in the city cen­tre in­spired by mu­sic. De­signed to re­sem­ble a lav­ish Hun­gar­ian palace, the prop­erty fea­tures four wings, each ded­i­cated to one of four ma­jor gen­res of mu­sic: clas­si­cal, opera, con­tem­po­rary and jazz. The Aria is also si­t­u­ated di­rectly be­side the fa­mous St. Stephen’s Basil­ica and of­fers un­par­al­leled views of the iconic church’s dome and bell tower from its rooftop bar. High Note SkyBar is the only year-round full-ser­vice rooftop gar­den ter­race in Bu­dapest and boasts cre­ative cock­tails and a menu of light bites con­cep­tu­al­ized by Ger­beaud, one of Hun­gary’s most fa­mous culi­nary brands. The ho­tel even em­ploys a mu­sic direc­tor to pro­vide guests with ad­vice on cur­rent cul­tural and mu­si­cal ac­tiv­i­ties in the area.

Whether wan­der­ing Bu­dapest’s cob­ble­stone streets, tour­ing the bustling mar­ket halls or en­joy­ing an evening at the iconic 19th-cen­tury opera house, it’s easy to lose your­self in the quiet rhythm of this place and al­most im­pos­si­ble not to fall in love with what you dis­cover.—Jen O’Brien

Get a bird’s-eye view of the city from High Note SkyBar.

Soak in lo­cal cul­ture with a heal­ing dip in the pools at Széchenyi Bath.

A mas­sage at Har­mony spa is the per­fect an­ti­dote to jet lag.

Shack up with Mick Jag­ger in the Aria Ho­tel’s comtem­po­rary wing.

Un­wind with a glass of wine in the Aria’s lav­ish Mu­sic Gar­den.

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