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Apt. Sarah-Belle: Cozy Luxury in the City Center - PRE/POST CRUISE SPECIALS

Bedrooms 3
Property type apartment
Minimum Stay 3 nights

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Minimum Stay
3 nights

About the property

Apartment, 1-3 Bedrooms, up to 3 beds + 3 sofa beds, 1-3 Baths, (Sleeps 1-12)

[please inquire about availability and pricing; because of the unique multiple configuration of this flat, we cannot make the calendar here work accurately and VRBO's pricing is based on assumptions: for instance, the pricing for up to four guests assumes that you are seeking only 1/2 of the apartment: either Sarah or Belle]

A lovely and romantic hideaway in the absolute center of the city. Quiet and bright, totally remodeled recently for use by our own family, Apartment Sarah is a rooftop apartment overlooking a Bauhaus courtyard:

A few steps off the lift, pass through your small gated patio and enter 50 square meters of homelike comfort: full American kitchen, cable TV, wi-fi high speed internet, en suite separate water closet and bath with custom-built shower. Apartment Sarah is actually two adjoining, air conditioned, rooftop apartments on the south side of the building (Sarah on the east, Belle on the west). Overlooking a lovely and bright courtyard and away from the bustle of the city center just outside (two 5-star hotels are within 2 blocks of the front door; Budapest's oldest and most extensive music and record shop is on the ground floor of the building), Apartment Sarah/Belle has a cathedral ceiling more than 4 meters high, with nooks and crannies and skylights that render it romantic and unique.

The apartment is reached by either of the building’s two lifts (one at the Sarah end, one at Belle), and has its own locked entry gate. Each half has its own bathroom with luxury shower and a small but well-stocked American kitchen (convection oven, fridge, full sink, clothes washer and dryer; all staples are there when you arrive from coffee or tea to eggs and cheese, salt, sugar, everything you need to prepare a first snack; and we welcome you with pastry and wine). Dishware, cutlery, pots, and pans are all there when you arrive.

Each half has a small library of guidebooks and maps, and cable TV and high speed open-access wi-fi Internet, as well as a small stock of games and light fiction. Each half has a sleeping loft (up a set of stairs) with a comfortable bed sleeping two (larger-than-full 140cm in Sarah, larger-than-queen 160cm in Belle), and has a large convertible sofa that can sleep two in the livingroom (120 cm). A pair of locking doors can separate each half from the other, but when the doors are opened the two join for a large and luxurious apartment with two bedrooms, two convertible sofas, two baths and two kitchens (sleeping a total of 8 in comfort). Use of a mobile phone with Hungarian telephone number is included (airtime for the phone is the guest’s responsibility). A VOIP telephone in the apartment provides unlimited calling to the US/Canada and landlines in most of the world.

In addition, a third optional bedroom (on the same level as the living area) - Liesel - adjoins Belle on the opposite side from Sarah, making it possible to book up to 12 guests with three bedrooms, three baths and three convertible sofas. Liesel is a bit smaller than Sarah or Belle but has all of their amenities, save a dryer and a convection oven. The apartment is arranged in such a way that it is possible to add the both the bedroom and an additional bathroom and living area with additional queen convertible, or to add only the bedroom to provide one more sleeping option.

The apartment is in the very center of District V, or the Belvaros (City Center). District V is the heart around which the City of Budapest was built. The Building, a landmark marking the transition to Bauhaus from Art Nouveau, is at #5 Szervita Square, and Szervita Square is at the very center of District 5. One block away from the Deak Square Metro hub, where all three of the city’s Metro lines intersect. Take the historic Yellow line (the first subway in continental Europe) to Andrassy Street, the Opera, the Liszt Music Academy, Heroes’ Square and Gundel’s Restaurant. Take the Red line into Buda and explore the Castle, the Citadel, and the hills. Take the Blue line to Raday street’s bohemian bars and cafes.

Or walk two blocks to the Danube and take the #2 Tram, north to Parliament and the antique shops of Falk Miksa Street, or south to the Central Market Hall or the stunning new Palace of the Arts (the landscaping is not yet totally finished, but the acoustics are remarkable).

Or just walk a block to the historic pedestrian mall on Vaci Street, a boulevard lined with shops and restaurants. Several blocks to the south and you are at the Great Synagogue (second largest in the world) or go a similar distance north and you are at St. Stephen’s Basilica. Go half a dozen blocks to the northeast and you are at the foot of Andrassy Street, the grand boulevard leading to the Opera, Operetta Theatre, and Liszt Music Academy.

Free concerts abound within walking distance in the summers and, at Christmas and other celebrations, Vorosmarty Square a block away lights up with decorations and outdoor crafts and food vendors.

We are not the typical apartment rental business. We are a pair of midlife American academics who love to travel. John's father was born in Hungary and left in the mid-1930s. John grew up hearing tales of Budapest, but we first visited it in 2001, decades after John's father' had died. We fell in love with the city and its vibrant yet relaxed lifestyle and culture, and we purchased and renovated this place in 2005 for family use as well as rental. It is furnished and equipped to provide everything we would want to find in an apartment when we travel ourselves, and more. We want you to be as enthusiastic about this city as we are, and will be available to answer any questions or to assist in any way we can.

[Please read the NOTES section under pricing ... the many configurations of this apartment make VRBO unable to anticipate which will be the best for your party.]

Keywords: Apartment

More Details

John Farago
Member since: 2007
Speaks: english
Response time:
Within an hour
Response rate:
Calendar last updated:
January 13, 2017

About John Farago

John's father grew up in Budapest, and John grew up hearing about it, filtered through the oddly appealing love/hate lens of nazism and communism and Central European nostalgia. His father left in the mid-30s, and never went back until a 1975 week-long visit. But Hungary lived within him throughout his colorful career as a journalist, popular historian (author of the books that the films Patton and Tora, Tora, Tora were based on), propagandist and operative for Radio Free Europe. He died in 1980.

John Farago purchased this apartment in 2005

Why John Farago chose Budapest

Jeanne and John visited in 2001 with John's father's younger brother, spent a weekend and fell in love with it. We purchased and renovated these apartments for our own use (Belle and Sarah are our daughters, Max is our son; Olive and Andrei our grandchildren) and only rent them when we are not using them ourselves for friends and family (we have another apartment where we stay ourselves, not very far away).

What makes this apartment unique

We are passionate about Budapest and want to share that enthusiasm with our guests. We would be happy to assist in any way we can to help you have a wonderful trip whether you stay with us or elsewhere. Unless you speak Hungarian, booking tickets to concerts or events can be daunting, and are best handled in advance because so much sells out so swiftly...we are happy to take care of this kind of thing, advise about the city, or book a reservation in a restaurant for the day you arrive (though you may be weary by then).

Guestbook comments from the owner

We are ending ten days in Budapest exhausted from the cold and excitement

that surrounds this world class city. John and Jeanne are unparalleled hosts -

as hosts they almost provide the service of a B & B based on the first

welcoming call from them in Paris! We recommend you thoroughly read

John's website - there is no greater guide to Budapest. Each traveller has

their own objectives - but on a museum note: Applied Arts - beautiful but

sparse collection; the Ludwig equals the Tate in London. Food - go with

John's recommendations. he knows food. Around the corner is the Amstel

River Cafe - good for late arrivals. Food is cooked fresh and wine/beer on

tap is pretty good. Read the tour books here. We plan on returning soon

with friends, confident our stay will exceed the comfort and welcome this one

provided. There is no one like John. He is a true New Yorker. We are always

available for questions.
Jan 2008
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Exceptional! 5/5 -
(64 traveler reviews)

Apt. Sarah-Belle: Cozy Luxury in the City Center - PRE/POST CRUISE SPECIALS
average rating of 4.953125 based on 124 reviews
London, England


  • 5 of 5

Put your faith in the descriptions of John and Jeanne's apartments, and the 5 star reviews that others have written - John, the owner, is truly helpful, as is his local apartment manager. The apartments are so well set up that it's hard to see what local help you might need, but you would certainly get their help if you need it. I had a great time here and would be delighted to return.

  • Submitted: Sep 2, 2016
  • Stayed: Feb 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Great Luxury Apartment in Budapest

  • 5 of 5

My husband and I stayed in this apartment for a week. Comfortable, well-lit, well-located with everything we needed for our better-than -expected-stay. All the logistics worked perfectly, thanks to help from the owner, who guided us through how to get a taxi and what were the best restaurants. (He was right; take his advice.) I recommend this apartment with one caveat: if you don't want to sleep in a loft, you need to rent the adjacent space (Liesel) which has a bed on the same floor.

  • Submitted: Jul 27, 2016
  • Stayed: Jun 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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The Perfect Budapest rental

  • 5 of 5

Our family of four (children ages 10 and 11) recently stayed in the Sarah, Belle, and Liesel apartments with another family of five and were beyond impressed. Having all three apartment gave us all plenty of private space for the nine of us but nice areas to mingle and enjoy each other's company. The space could even be big enough for 3 families to fit. The amenities provided were way above what we expected and every detail was taken care of. We had wine, cheese, eggs, fruit, bread and desserts upon arrival. Internet, calls back to the US, comfortable beds and linens, plush towels, bath towels for the spa, umbrellas, games for the children, books of all kinds...the list goes on! The apartments are all welcoming and comfortable and make you feel at home and John, the owner, was available when we had any questions or needs. Location is right by a pleasant shopping and eating area and 5 mins to a metro but very quiet. We easily walked to most of the main sites. Long term parking is right across the street and places for money exchange around the corner. These properties are well worth every penny you will spend. John, thank you so much for making our stay perfect!!!

  • Submitted: Jan 4, 2016
  • Stayed: Dec 2015
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Seattle, WA

Perfect spot in the heart of Pest (Budapest)

  • 5 of 5

These three connectable one bedroom/one bath units are perfect for 3 couples or 3 singles. Each unit can also be rented individually. Every amenity that you have at home, you have in these apartments, from high speed internet, wifi, cable tv, and even free phone calls to the US.

The best part is that the day you come in, you have a bottle of wine, cheese, eggs, bread ready for you. Not a huge expense, but a really nice touch.

John, the owner, is reachable almost immediately if you have a question and there are two local contacts that help with checkin check out and even transfers to the airport if you need it.

  • Submitted: Sep 7, 2015
  • Stayed: Sep 2015
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Tampa, Florida, USA

Beautiful apartments with all details covered so that you feel like you are at home in Budapest

  • 5 of 5

My husband and I stayed in Sarah, and my sister in Belle, for 4 nights. We wished that we had planned to stay longer. Everything exceeded our expectations – location, cleanliness, kitchen supplies and food/wine treats provided, electronics, etc. The reason that this is such a great place to stay is directly related to the hosts John Farrago and his wife Jeanne and the support network they have in place to manage the apartments and guests’ transportation in Budapest. They provide worry-free, beautiful accommodations that allow you to feel like a local.

I will not try to elaborate on all of the many amenities provided, as I am sure that John has included most of them in his published descriptions. If you have any questions, he is quick to provide a response. He will treat you like a friend staying in his vacation house, and as an added bonus, he will try to educate you about the history and culture of Hungary. I only say “try” because I did not finish all of my “assigned” reading before the trip. (Once you make your reservation, John will forward you all kinds of relevant information including reading lists, viewing lists, upcoming events, recommended restaurants, local entertainment, etc.)

I hope that we will be able to return to Budapest within in the next few years, and we already know that we want to stay in Sarah/Belle at that time.

  • Submitted: Jul 7, 2015
  • Stayed: Aug 2014
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Excellent location, Excellent Value

  • 5 of 5

May 28th to 31st, 2015 - Belle and Liesel Apartments

My wife and I plus two young adult daughters stayed in the adjoining and connecting Belle and Liesel Apartments three nights in late May 2015. The owner, John, is wonderful to work and will provide you with all the information you need about the apartments and Budapest. The accuracy and security of our transaction was superb – no worries about not getting what you paid for. We arrived at the apartment and were warmly greeted and by the manager, Ilona – a lovely woman. Ilona showed us how everything worked and where everything was. The apartment represents a good value. Part of the value is the amenities you get – in each apartment - a bottle of excellent Hungarian wine, in the small refrigerator you find sliced pepperoni, a big hunk of cheese, butter, eggs, some milk. There is a fully stocked Nespresso machine in each apartment – excellent. There are plenty of electrical outlets (Euro C &F type) and even two power strips with the USA type plugs for those who forgot their adaptors. There is a fully functional Apple computer, decent flat screen TV and DVD as well as WiFi. Staying here, one does not lack anything.

You can read the details of the apartment on the website and look at the photos. As a guest, I can certify that you get all you paid for and then some. The apartments are secure, the area is safe and it is an excellent location. One block from Vorosmarty Ter (with Metro Line 1 station) and the Vaca U shopping/dining street. 5-10 minute walk to St. Stephens and all the good restaurants in that area. 10 minute walk to the Chain Bridge.

John is passionate about Budapest and he goes to great lengths to ensure you have a memorable and fulfilling experience; that kind of full and personal service is hard to put a price on. We would certainly stay here again the next time we visit Budapest and I recommend the apartment to everyone.

  • Submitted: Jun 15, 2015
  • Stayed: May 2015
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Car: not necessary

Concert/Theatre ticket bureau in building; 24 hour indoor parking garage across the street (approximately €20/24 hours).


Rates & Availability

Inner City Apartment Rental Rates

Rental Basis:
per property
Owner accepts payment in:
Convert Currency
Rate Period Nightly Weekend Night Weekly Monthly Event
Winter 2017
Jan 5 2017 - Mar 16 2017
3 night minimum stay
Notes: Rates are based on 1 guests; add $27 per night, per additional guest
Spring 2017
Mar 17 2017 - Apr 13 2017
3 night minimum stay
Notes: Rates are based on 1 guests; add $27 per night, per additional guest
My Standard Rate
3 night minimum stay
Notes: Rates are based on 1 guests; add $27 per night, per additional guest

Additional information about rental rates

Cleaning, wkly, 2 guests $43


We do not require a deposit but, like a hotel, do ask for credit card information to hold a booking. Payment is due in cash on arrival, but can also be made by bank transfer to our Euro account in Hungary or by credit card (for an additional processing and conversion fee of 8%) or by check in US $ (for an additional conversion and transfer fee of 5%). Other payment options may be possible, email us if there is one that works best for you.

Note that there is an additional 25 euro nightly charge for a fourth guest in a one-bedroom booking (either the Sarah or the Belle half of the apartment); that brings the total additional cost beyond the 1-guest cost to 100 euros nightly, and it is generally a better deal to book the second apartment for almost the same cost.

PLEASE CONFIRM PRICING VIA INQUIRY: The VRBO pricing is at best approximate because they cannot calculate all of the different possible configurations of the apartment.

Owner's Cancellation Policy

Please ask the owner or check their rental agreement when booking the property.
Enter dates for accurate pricing
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Available arrival
Available stay (no arrival)


Inner City Apartment Accommodation and Amenities

Property Type:
  • apartment
  • Guests provide their own meals
  • Family
  • Historic
  • Romantic
  • Tourist Attractions
  • Air Conditioning
  • Broadband Access ...
  • Clothes Dryer
  • Computer Available ...
  • Elevator
  • Free Long Distance ...
  • Linens Provided
  • Mobile Phone ...
  • Telephone
  • Washing Machine
  • Wireless Internet ...
  • Coffee Maker
  • Cooking Utensils
  • Dishes & Utensils
  • Kitchen ...
  • Microwave
  • Oven
  • Pantry Items
  • Refrigerator
  • Stove
  • Toaster
  • Dining Area
  • 3 Bathrooms
  • Bathroom 1 -
    Bathroom 2 -
    Bathroom 3 -
  • 3 Bedrooms, Sleeps 12
  • Queen size Beds (1) Second queen bed in optional adjacent apartment (Apt. Belle), Double Beds (2), Sleep Sofa or Futons (3) Second convertible available in optional adjacent apartment (Belle).
  • Books
  • CD Player
  • DVD Player
  • Games
  • Satellite / Cable ...
  • Toys
  • Video Library ...
  • Balcony ...
  • children welcome ...
  • non smoking only
  • pets not allowed
Onsite Services:
  • Staff
  • cinemas
  • live theater
  • museums
  • restaurants
Leisure Activities:
  • antiquing
  • shopping
  • sight seeing
Local Services & Businesses:
  • ATM/bank
  • groceries

Learn more about this vacation rental at the owner's website:

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