Neptun has opened to the general public on the 27th of June 1897 as one of the first hotels in the area.
The restaurant was then run by the celebrated Gusztáv Trattner, who gained fame at The National Millennium Exhibition in Budapest. It was a widely known fact at the time, that even Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II has tasted his cooking.
The imposing, monarchical-looking building has retained its name and original form to this day. From the very beginning, the hotel welcomed guests who liked Lake Balaton and the wines of Badacsony. With its 15 elegantly furnished rooms, it catered to both Hungarian and foreign visitors. The building at that time had a park on the south side and was surrounded by vineyards on the other three sides.
At the beginning of the 20th century, the tourism of Lake Balaton, including Badacsony, flourished, and consequently, the demand for quality holidays increased. Hotel Neptun, with its exquisite surroundings and refined furnishing, became more and more popular in the upper circles.
During World War I, the hotel’s first happy and carefree decades were over. Home to the Hungarian Red Cross Auxiliary Hospitalm the hotel was converted for war purposes and was used to accommodate the recovered patients of the military hospital during rehabilitation.
Hotel Neptun was also where one of the greatest scandals of the early twentieth century took place,
as this is where a young man by the name of József Egry fell deeply in love both with Lake Balaton, and his nurse. The painter in question later become known worldwide, and is often named the Painter of Lake Balaton. The volunteer nurse who captured his heart, however, was already taken. She was no other than Juliska Pauler, wife of Colonel Ferenc Vizkelety. 9 years older than the very ill Egry, her vivacious nature, sharp wit, and excellent humor brought the painter back to life.
In 1916, this resulted in an unusual scandal when an assistant nurse found flirtatious pencil drawings in Egry's bedside table depicting the colonel’s wife in artistic nudes.
Society buzzed with the news of the illicit affair, though everyone tried to act as if nothing has happened. But Pauler remained true to her love, and chose the destitute painter instead of the rather wealthy Colonel Vizkelety. The scandal lasted for two years until 1918 when Pauler was finally able to obtain a divorced and was able to marry the painter.
Nevertheless, Neptune was such a defining, happy experience for them that they settled not far from the hotel, in a building that now functions as a museum of József Egry.
After the Second World War, the sad fate of the hotel industry reached Hotel Neptun as well.
For a while, it operated as a corporate resort, then it was taken over by a hotel chain up until 1999, when Miklós Nagy, a long-time admirer of the building was finally able to purchase it.
From then on, the goal was to slowly restore the old splendor of the building, and to do by incorporating modern amenities.
Today, it has 18 rooms, a cozy restaurant, and wellness facilities.
Many renowned artists have rested and created here for the past 125 years. The imprint and spirit of this can be traced in the interiors of the hotel, in the works of the designers and artists who have made the spaces truly special, keeping up the long tradition of Hotel Neptun.