Review: The Kempinski Hotel Corvinus Budapest Redefines Excellence
2017 is an important year for Kempinski Hotels, as Europe’s oldest luxury hotel group celebrates 120 years of unforgettable experiences, beautiful memories and nothing but the best services. Currently operating 75 high-end hotels and residences, Kempinski started its story in Berlin, Germany, back in 1897, and slowly expanded its portofolio to other parts of Europe, Middle East, Asia, Africa, and Latin America.
The mesmerizing Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi, the San Clemente Palace in Venice or the Çırağan Palace in Istanbul are just a few of the most renowned Kempinski hotels, but one of our favorites has to be the gorgeous Kempinski Hotel Corvinus Budapest – a real gem nestled right in the heart of this magical Danube-side metropolis, where we’ve had the privilege to stay for a few days last month.
Opened back in 1992 as a bold statement of elegance and modernity in downtown Budapest, this spectacular hotel reached its 25th anniversary this year, and it’s just getting better and better with every year that goes by.
It was built on one of the most sought after lots in Budapest, and even though it’s surrounded by historical Pest buildings, the Kempinski Hotel Corvinus complements its surroundings and stands out in the best of ways, with four facades that seem to re-interpret the fabric of the city.
The fantastic Budapest Eye in front of it also contributes to this modern vision of Budapest, but the entire picture gets even more incredible as you step inside this luxurious hotel.
Redesigned just a few years ago, the hotel’s massive lobby looks like a real spaceship, taking your breath away with soaring nine-metre high ceilings and two imposing columns that glimmer during the day and light up at night. Up front, the classic grand staircase has received a modern look as well, with a perforated metal balustrade that reminds us of Art Nouveau styling.
The entire lobby is a wonderful design statement, imagined by the acclaimed London-based MKV Group, and it’s the right start of an awesome experience at Kempinski Hotel Corvinus.
You just know you’re in good hands when the lady in red will greet you with a warm welcome, assuring you that the hotel’s staff will do their best to make your stay here special and pointing out the most important parts of this high-end hotel. She’s always there to help, and so is the 24/7 concierge or the excellent staff at the reception.
From this incredible lobby, the hotel’s ground floor is basically a harmoniously flowing space, focused on beauty, culture and savoir-vivre, with plenty of options that will probably make you want to stay in as much as possible. But since you’re in Budapest and there are so many wonderful sights to discover, it might be really hard to split your time.
Either way, Kempinski Hotel Corvinus offers a concept called Gastronomic Quarter Downtown Budapest, which includes two restaurants, ÉS Bisztró and Nobu, and lounges like the Living Room and Blue Fox, with lovely terraces expanding onto the city’s popular Fashion Street, so.. you will surely appreciate coming back to the hotel after a busy day in town.
In terms of accommodations, there are 316 Superior, Deluxe and Grand Deluxe rooms, plus 33 extraordinary suites to choose from, all of them decorated in a charming New Empire style, with lovely hues of beige and turquiose, exquisite fabrics, and the perfect mix of modern amenities and luxurious details.
You will also find contemporary Hungarian artworks in every single room, while the large en-suite bathrooms feature marble fittings and even glass mosaics from Italy. Nothing but the best, right?
We’ve seen photos of probably every single room before we decided to stay here, and even though the suites are absolutely incredible, we totally recommend getting a superior room on the hotel’s upper floors. The views you might get of the Budapest Eye and St. Stephen’s Basilica are absolutely amazing, especially at night. This is exactly what we’re talking about.
Amenities in all rooms include air conditioning, 32″ LCD TVs with satellite channels, tea and coffee making facilities, a nice desk, high tech infotainment system, a personal safe and a refrigerated private bar, plus complimentary internet access of up to 1 Mbps. That free WiFi was pretty slow for our needs, but if you’re willing to pay a little bit extra you will surely get a good boost.
Various bedding options are available (king, double or twin), and if you want, you could also get complimentary daily newspapers and many other goodies delivered straight to your room, plus a wide range of in-room dining options.
Kempinski The Spa
Found on the second floor of this ravishing hotel, Kempinski The Spa has been also completely revamped and re-designed in these last couple of years, together with Resense Spa S.A. It’s ready to impress you with a gorgeous heated swimming pool, featuring counter current jets, neck massage stream and bubble bath effect, plus wonderful aroma and Finnish saunas, a steam bath and a cool fitness room.
If you’re a big fan of holistic treatments and massages, you should know that Kempinski The Spa is actually the only spa in all Hungary to offer Elemental Herbology treatments. They even developed their own signature treatment called “The Hungary Holistic”, which is basically a 90-minutes bliss that includes a dry body brush, a body wrap, mini facial or scalp massage and a full body massage. Talk about rejuvenation!
The saunas and steam bath are equally appealing, while a tepidarium allows you to relax here in the best of ways, as pleasant radiation warmth surrounds you from the wall, floor and reclining surfaces.
If you’re the more active type, jumping in the pool sounds like the best thing to do, while enjoying lovely views of the park or the Budapest Eye, but the hotel’s fitness club is also worth a visit. It’s probably not as big as your favorite gym, but it still comes packed with all the exercise equipment you might need for a good workout.
Eating & Drinking
Moving on to a part that I totally enjoy: the dining experience! If I had to summarize it in just one word it would simply be “wow”, but I have to share with you some details, right? As we’ve said earlier, Kempinski Hotel Corvinus offers a unique culinary hub, with two fantastic restaurants named ÉS Bisztró and Nobu, a contemporary café called The Living Room, plus Blue Fox The Bar, which is probably the best place to chill out and relax with a few cocktails, after the sun sets.
But our favorite was definitely ÉS, a casual bistro that looks like the perfect mix between a restaurant, a French brasserie, a wine bar, pub and a cozy outdoor terrace. Serving contemporary and authentic Hungarian cuisine, matched by Viennese delights and grilled dishes, plus a fine selection of wines, ÉS is totally different than the traditional dining concepts, combining opposities in an incredible setting.
The design of the entire place is almost too good for words, with lovely little details wherever you turn your head and a special ambiance that contributes to a unique dining experience. ÉS is a great place to socialize, meet new people, enjoy a coffee or a drink, and best of all, to try out new combinations, as sharing food is highly recommended here.
Starting the day with a signature Kempinski breakfast here might prove to be one of the highlights of your vacation in Budapest, as over 100 items will compete for your attention, with freshly baked pastries, hot chocolate and local delicacies making your day ten times better. We’ve been to a few restaurants in Budapest already, but ÉS Bisztró is definitely one of the best.
The Living Room should be the next stop on your list, especially if you want to try out some robust coffees, fine teas and a cool selection of cakes, matched by a glass of exquisite champagne. Inspired by Budapest’s coffee house culture, this charming cafe looks just like an urban oasis where you can relax in style and it’s conveniently located right next to the central atrium of the hotel.
The Promenade connects everything on the ground floor, and it’s definitely one of the best places to see and be seen, with cozy seating areas and tables, columns and mosaic rugs, graced by natural light that forms a super chic atmosphere. Unfortunately we didn’t get to enjoy Nobu or Blue Fox the Bar as well, but next time we’re in town, they’re definitely on our list.
All in all, the experience at Kempinski Hotel Corvinus was absolutely fabulous, from the wonderful room we got to stay in, to the hotel’s luxurious amenities, culinary hub, and the excellent staff that made our short trip to Budapest even more exciting. That’s why we totally recommend this extaordinary hotel to anyone who wants to visit Budapest.
You have everything you can possibly imagine just a few minutes away, from the Budapest Eye, St. Stephen’s Basilica and the Parliament building, to the popular shopping streets of Pest and the mesmerizing Buda Hill with all its unique attractions. Kempinski Hotels have never disappointed us, and this hotel is a real gem.
Where: Kempinski Hotel Corvinus, Budapest
Erzsébet tér 7, 1051 Hungary
Phone: +36 1 429 3777