The five-star Andrássy Mansion & Spa has brought fresh blood to the Tokaj wine region—on the occasion of its reopening, we had a look at how the former aristocratic palace was fitted out in 21st-century attire.
At last, one of the most famous Hungarian wine regions, Tokaj, is on its way to becoming a genuine and lovable destination. Over the last twenty years, it has lagged behind Villány and Lake Balaton in terms of tourism, both in its level of development and its infrastructure. The renovation and opening of the Andrássy Mansion & Spa was therefore a very important investment in the future of Tokaj-Hegyalja.
The five-star hotel has not a trace of pretentiousness, the rooms exude luxury and well-being with the same natural ease as it might have during the era of the former aristocratic family. The building, as its name suggests, belonged to the Andrássy family for a long time before opening as a hotel in 2008. In 2019 it was taken over by the BDPST Group, also the owners of BOTANIQ Tura Castle, who used the pandemic shutdown to renovate every last inch of the building and restore it to its former glory.
The most exciting feature of the design is that the historical aspect of the building has been fully embraced, making the interior lovable, memorable, and mansion-like—while, of course, also meeting all modern requirements. The hotel lobby is arranged around a fireplace, with comfortable armchairs, soft textiles, and a cozy atmosphere. The rooms are inspired by old photographs of the Andrássy family, most of which were taken during hunting, riding, or garden picnics. Pampering is provided by the wellness area, featuring the usual combination of a swimming pool and sauna, as well as a cave bath.
Mákos guba reloaded
Bobajka, the restaurant of the Andrássy Mansion & Spa—the origin of the name is a provincialism for mákos guba (a poppy seed-bread pudding—the Transl.) from the Zemplén region—, offers the same cozy luxury. Chef Imre Varjú arrived to Tarcal from prestigious restaurants to develop the new concept and take command of the kitchen. As the historic wine region of Tokaj-Hegyalja is a UNESCO declared World Heritage Site, the Bobajka restaurant and the Andrássy Mansion & Spa itself focus on local and regional products and the preservation of traditions. As a popular regional tourist destination, the hotel feels obliged to play its part in supporting local farmers. Under the management of Varjú, they focus on local and seasonal ingredients, with most of the ingredients for their dishes coming from the surrounding villages. At the same time, they pot and bottle their own produce in the kitchen, to ensure the highest quality and the most perfect flavors sustainably, even in the autumn and winter seasons.
A Michelin-worthy wine list
It is almost by definition that the wine list accompanying the dishes is also made up of the region’s finest wines. The 120-item wine list includes well-known Tokaj wineries, but also smaller, up-and-coming vineyards. The restaurant’s wine list is compiled by Tamás Langó, the only person in Hungary to have won the Michelin Guide Sommelier Award. He was recognized by Michelin for his work at the Clarisse restaurant in Tura, which was also recommended this year in the first Michelin Guide Selection Hungary. Langó is the Executive Sommelier of the BDPST Group, so his name is a guarantee that the wines served in the group’s hotels and restaurants will be the perfect match for their dishes.
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Photos: BDPST Group