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Hotel Review: Kempinski Hotel Corvinus Budapest in Hungary

Royal-Suite-Corvinus-Bedroom

Words by William Bruton

Budapest is a city in possession of rare architectural diversity that’s best embraced from the very centre. Celebrating twenty-five years hosting guests in the capital, the Kempinski’s unmistakably 1980’s construction sits surprisingly comfortably at the heart of it all. Leaving our bags with the front desk, our first stroll took in the neo-gothic parliament building, eclectic Jewish quarter and the Electrical Engineering museum- a wonderful Art Deco homage to its subject. At street level an abundance of beautiful and individual wrought ironwork is to be found adorning the front of most older buildings. The Kempinski is perfectly located to ponder all of it on foot, eyes turned skyward. In short, it’s a place not short of aimless ambling potential.

Kempinski Hotel Corvinus Budapest in Hungary
The Presidential Suite “Deák” of Kempinski Hotel Corvinus in Budapest offers elegance, space and comfort, featuring lavish furnishing, including Hungarian artwork from the Corvinus Collection

In business since 1897, the Kempinski group knows the rules of hospitality better than most. Old fashioned discretion, I quickly found out, remains as sacrosanct as ever. Despite my efforts to determine the identity of the mystery VIP causing roads to close and tight security in the area, the hotel remained, very politely, unmoved by a journalist’s persuasion. As it turned out, the President of Israel was landing in the lobby in our wake as we headed to the airport.

Our superior room had a wonderful view over the city’s Ferris wheel, from which a great overview of the city can be seen. Voluminous and with a substantial desk, one I sadly had too much use for, the all-helpful details for business and leisure travel have been carefully thought through. The usual five-star extras are in place as well, including an abundance of the now obligatory Nespresso to fuel work or pleasure. The bathroom qualifies too, with a deep tub, high quality lighting, and a powerful shower.

Pool
Kempinski The Spa in downtown Budapest offers on 525 sqm a huge variety of Elemental Herbology treatments and massages, a fitness centre, Finnish and aroma saunas, a steam room, a Kneipp-bench, a tepidarium, an indoor pool as well as a health bar

‘Since opening, the hotel has born witness to big changes across the city socially and politically, with this, the customer base has altered significantly too’ explains Ildiko Dudas, who has been working at the hotel since its opening. ‘Whilst we opened as a high-end business orientated enterprise, 40% of the operation is now leisure guests coming to explore the sights of Budapest, which is great!’

There’s no shortage of international events going on either, the high drama of the Red Bull Air Race was in full swing whilst we were visiting- its aerobatic machines diving heart-stoppingly under bridges spanning the river Danube before cascading back down through their own smoke trails high above. Catering for the weekend visitor has also been a catalyst to significant improvements to the hotel’s facilities. A compact but state of the art gym overlooking the city’s main shopping street got a thoroughly exhaustive testing, along with the well-equipped, if compact, spa which overlooks a beautiful square. Despite the pool being perhaps a little on the small side, a current machine means infinite scope to work on your crawl without ever running out of space should you wish.

Kempinski-Hotel-Corvinus-Budapest
Located in Downtown Budapest, the luxurious Kempinski Hotel Corvinus is just a short walk away from the Danube River and all of the city’s main attractions

One of the hotel’s most recent additions to its already luxurious facilities, perhaps the jewel in the crown, is its main restaurant. Choosing to pass the responsibility over to none other than Nobayuki Matsuhisa’s Nobu group, the Kempinski avoids that age old challenge of five-star hotels- how to deliver a culinary standard to match the hotel. The result, to me, appeared three fold. The hotel concentrates on what it does best, attracts a clientele beyond visiting guests, and brings in a restaurateur already in possession of the necessary vision of what it is. How many other establishments could learn from this instead of compromising?

The Kempinski is a thoroughly modern operation that fundamentally understands hospitality and its place within a fast-changing city. Established and knowledgeable about the city, I can’t imagine a better luxurious base to explore from and retreat back to at the end of the day.

Nobu-restaurant
Nobu Budapest is the first Central-European member of Nobu’s worldwide dining empire

Address: Budapest, Erzsébet tér 7, 1051 Hungary
Phone: +36 1 429 3777