Home / Travel / johannes torpe reimagines a derelict hilton hotel into a luxury spa resort in hungary

johannes torpe reimagines a derelict hilton hotel into a luxury spa resort in hungary

johannes torpe studios reveals the first visuals for a new luxury wellness resort situated in the visegrad hills of hungary. the concept proposes to breathe new life into an old hilton hotel built on top of a former granite stone quarry, which has lain empty since the early 2000s. with its impressive location amid lush green forests, and an extensive program of spa facilities, the project aims to connect guests with the therapeutic qualities of nature.

entrance view of the buda resort

images by johannes torpe studios – nor3d.com



the program comprises a grand lobby area, two restaurants, a café and deli, indoor and outdoor cocktail lounges, a ballroom, and ten conference rooms with private gardens and outdoor areas. an overview of the spa facilities includes family spa areas on the first floor, a partially underground adult-only spa building, aromatherapy and finnish saunas, steam baths, salt water pools, fire and ice dipping pools, and light and sound sensory baths. six outdoor areas include yoga facilities in various settings, seven outdoor pools, two of which are thermic, and a green rooftop plaza; perfect for hosting intimate to large gatherings.

upper level view of the resort



the concept behind the buda resort draws inspiration from its unique and sacred setting of dobogó-kő, which in hungarian means ‘beating stone’, referring to the heart chakra of the earth. based on the idea of a blossoming lotus flower, which is the universal symbol for the heart chakra, as well as references to the floral motifs found in traditional hungarian craftsmanship, the design explores the progression of ‘opening up’ – from earth to sky.

food deli



the concept of ‘opening out’ is expressed in both the changing spatial experiences and materiality. the building itself unfolds and opens up like a flower from the heart of the building, to its extremities. just like the chakra ladder of the body, the interiors graduate from warm, intimate spaces near the ‘beating stone’ of the lobby, until more a more open, exposed, and lighter atmosphere as they move further up and out.

interior of the earth restaurant



the variation in atmospheres is also emphasized through a progression in materialities, from warmer and enclosed spaces, to lighter and open concept layouts. the areas near the heart of the concept are upholstered in darker shades of textiles and warmer wooden surfaces, creating a more intimate atmosphere.

view over the danube river from the earth restaurant



as guests move away from the center of the hotel; the materiality, details and spatial atmospheres transition from intimate and enclosed spaces to open layouts with lighter textiles, metals, brighter wood, and even perforated stone in the sky restaurant on the top floor. suites located on the higher floors feature lighter materials to convey a airier feel, as well as private pools and terraces.

sky restaurant situated on the top floor the resort



located on the lower levels are the revitalizing spa areas that provide guests with an array of facilities for either privacy or collective enjoyment. in addition to the plethora of spa functions, the landscape is also designed to include seven outdoor pools and areas. overall, the 210-room buda resort is a carefully curated series of experiences that aim to inspire guests to feel uplifted and rejuvenated.

panoramic view over the hills of visegrad from the sky restaurant

outdoor thermal pool offering a close view over the surrounding nature

indoor thermal pool separated merely by a glass wall from the outdoor panorama pool

overview of the indoor and outdoor thermal pools in the spa complex

presidential suite

deluxe bathroom adjacent to the presidential suite

stair connecting the new and existing part of the spa building



project info:


project name: the buda resort

location: visegrad, hungary

year: 2020

architecture firm: johannes torpe studios

creative director: johannes torpe

senior architects/project leaders: kit sand ottsen, suguru kobayashi

design team: karolina julia pajnowska, alice phillips, marshall blecher, derya arpac, beatrice dinoia, seina teramae, josefine carstad, mantas vilkelis, allan sejer

visuals: johannes torpe studios – nor3d.com

services: architectural concept design, landscape design, interior design, lighting design, furniture design

brief: luxury spa hotel concept designed to breathe new life into a former hilton hotel building built on top of a former granite stone quarry

exterior materials: local stone, grigio caldo stone, granite, hardwood, perforated aluminum, wire mesh

interior materials: natural stones from stonecon(grigio caldo, silver quartz, granite), kvadrat textiles, dinesen floors, ALPI oak wall panels, moroso furniture, leucos decorative lighting, XAL architectual and exterior lighting, copenhagen bath tubs and sinks, vola tapware, sensaONE control systems

size: hotel, 210 rooms and suites, lobby and public areas: 220,660 ft2 (20,500 m2)

family spa: 12,917 ft2 (1200 m2) / adult spa: 43,056 ft2 (4000 m2)

restaurants and bars: 19,375 ft2 (1800 m2) / conference facilities: 21,528 ft2 (2000 m2)


designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.


edited by: lynne myers | designboom