Budapest, Hungary: Doing everything right
In spite of its schmancy lineage, Budapest's Hotel Palazzo Zichy, once home to Hungarian nobleman Count Nándor Zichy, does a number of neat contemporary, real-world tricks.
First, it honors its past by preserving many architectural features of the lovely building in which it finds itself.
Then it countervails with contemporary rooms and touches, placing the vibe firmly in Boutique Hotel-land 2011.
Next, it wins you over with superb service from your first entrance to your regretful check-out.
And finally, it astounds with modest—very modest—room rates.
Right now, you can grab a room for as little as €69, but even at peak times such as midsummer, a Junior Suite will run you about €116.
Other boutique hotels could learn a lot from how they do things at the Zichy.