Kempinski Hotel Corvinus Budapest, Hungary

From its architectural marvels and complex history to its world-famous thermal baths, lavish opera houses and flourishing foodie scene, Budapest weaves a rich tapestryThursday, 3 November 2016

By National Geographic Traveller The Collection

From its architectural marvels and complex history to its world-famous thermal baths, lavish opera houses and flourishing foodie scene, Budapest weaves a rich tapestry. A city of two halves, each beating with its own heart, combining to give the river-threaded Hungarian capital its trademark effervescence.

Few other cities in Europe can rival Budapest for architectural and cultural grandeur. The Hungarian capital has witnessed upheavals over the centuries, with royals and radicals all leaving their mark and great minds theorising over coffee beneath the chandeliers of grand salons.

Bisected by the Danube, Budapest is a city of two halves: the Buda hills to the west and Pest to the east, each beating with its own heart but together giving the Hungarian capital its trademark flair. From the wafting steam of its thermal baths to the sonorous crotchets and quavers of the opera house (not to mention the mouth-watering slices of dobos torta sponge cake), Budapest is alive with character.

Hotel
And it’s this character that Kempinski Hotel Corvinus Budapest embodies. Unmistakably modern, yet sympathetic to the history all around, it reflects the pulse coursing through Budapest’s veins. Bordered by the distinctive fin-de-siècle townhouses that typify Budapest, Kempinski Hotel Corvinus Budapest’s sinuous glass facade is testament to the forward-thinking mentality of the city.

Rooms & suites
Flooded with natural light, the hotel’s 316 rooms and 33 suites overlook the boutique-lined Fashion Street and the city centre. Many are fitted with the latest tech, including flatscreen TVs and Nespresso machines. The room to book is the top-floor Royal Suite Corvinus, which offers sweeping views across the city and comes with a private butler, limousine service and 24-hour, in-room dining featuring Nobu signature dishes.

Food & drink
Alternatively, guests can head downstairs to sample Nobuyuki Matsuhisa’s world-famous new-style Japanese cuisine, infused with South American flavours: Alaskan black cod with miso or yellowtail sashimi with jalapeno are among the specialities on offer at the trailblazing restaurant.

A more casual affair, Hungarian-Viennese bistro ÉS Bisztró revives the classical cookery of Hungary and its former empire with a fresh, modern twist. Hungarians take immense pride in their rich culinary heritage, and rightly so — it’s been the steadfast pillar of society throughout the nation’s stormy past. The flavours and stories of Hungary find their way onto the bistro’s menu, from wiener schnitzel and Viennese potato to roasted trout with spinach mash, washed down with artisan beers and wine.

Diners can also indulge in The Living Room’s afternoon tea, inspired by Hungary’s cafe-culture but given a contemporary makeover: think finger sandwiches filled with cucumber and Gouda cheese or Mangalica ham with chive butter, followed by homemade apple and curd strudel and sacher torta (chocolate cake). Come dusk, the glittering lights and signature cocktails of Blue Fox The Bar beckon, drawing a discerning crowd to one of the city’s hottest postcodes for an intimate, chilled evening.

Spa
Escaping the stresses of life couldn’t be simpler at Kempinski The Spa, a 525sq metre space that’s home to Finnish and aroma saunas, a steam room, Kneipp bench and an indoor pool, complete with whirlpool bath. On the menu is an array of Elemental Herbology treatments and massages. Budapest’s iconic Belle Epoque bathhouses have inspired the signature Hungary Holistic Treatment, featuring the therapeutic properties of hungarymud, a thermal, mineral-rich mud from south east Hungary.

Local attractions
Within seconds of walking out of Kempinski Corvinus’s doors, guests find themselves on the exclusive Fashion Street, walking to a soundtrack of clinking coffee cups and the low thrum of cafe chatter. Just beyond, Vörösmarty Square is the nucleus of the city’s vibrant street culture, where the patisseries of Café Gerbeaud tantalise from behind glass counters. Dominating the area is the towering St Stephen’s Basilica, its Neoclassical facade, crowning dome and lavish interior a fitting tribute to its royal namesake.

A little further away flows the mighty Danube, where river cruises offer an unforgettable way to experience the city. On foot, walkers can cross from Pest to Buda on the Chain Bridge — its illuminated grandeur, come nightfall, a national symbol of unity and pride. Perched high above the river, the rambling Citadella fortress seems to whisper with history and legend, as well as providing sightseers with magnificent views of the Hungarian Parliament Building below. Scattered throughout the city are the unique ‘ruin bars’ — formerly abandoned buildings and courtyards that have been transformed into vibrant, stylish watering holes. These are worth a visit to soak up not just a range of locally brewed beers, but also the vibrant atmosphere.

A city vying to welcome the 2024 Olympics, with its stature on both the European and world stages only growing, there’s never been a better time to sample Budapest’s effervescence. And there’s no better base than Kempinski Hotel Corvinus.

Don’t miss

The spa’s signature Hungary Holistic Treatment, featuring the therapeutic properties of a thermal, mineral-rich mud

Need to know

Key Facilities

• 316 rooms and 33 suites
• Concierge and limousine service
• Kids’ programme
• Pet-friendly hotel
• Kempinski The Spa, with pool, Finnish and aroma saunas, steam room, Kneipp bench and massages
• Gym
• 5 restaurants and bars: ÉS Bisztró, Nobu, The Living Room, Blue Fox The Bar, ÉS Deli
• The Grand Room for up to 450
• 2 boardrooms

Contact Information

kempinski.com/budapest
T: +361 429 3777
E: hotel.corvinus@kempinski.com

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