Review: The Mesmerizing Corinthia Hotel Budapest
There are so many reasons why you might want to visit Budapest. It’s one of Europe’s most inviting and intriguing cities – a town that’s filled with so many extraordinary buildings, ranging from baroque to contemporary, and a plethora of must-see World Heritage sites where you might want to spend days. But we’re pretty sure most of you didn’t know that Budapest also has an intricate network of thermal caves, and there are many other interesting surprises in town, just waiting to be discovered.
Split in half by the Danube River, with the historical Buda on one side and the buzzing Pest on the other, Budapest is a fantastic city for exploration, business, relaxation, and nightlife. And the best place to start discovering it all? Have you seen that movie The Grand Budapest Hotel?
Well, that place was just fictional, but it was apparently inspired by the incredible Corinthia Hotel Budapest, a luxurious retreat where we’ve had the privilege to stay for a few days. We totally enjoyed it, that’s why we’ve decided to write a review of this dazzling hotel.
Proudly sitting just a few steps away from the Andrássy Avenue, the State Opera and many other important sights in Budapest, this place is without doubt one of the grandest luxury hotels in the entire world – an impressive landmark building dominating its street with a charming Neo-classical façade, that lights up at night in the most beautiful way possible.
If you don’t believe in love at first sight yet, you will be surely mesmerized by the Corinthia Hotel Budapest. After you get past its beautiful façade, a sweeping staircase welcomes you in the heart of the hotel, where a massive lobby and an open reception area await, boasting a palatial-like atmosphere, that will make you wonder how huge this place really is. Trust us, it’s even bigger than you can imagine.
The historic Grand Royal Hotel, which was opened in 1896, has been beautifully restored to its former glory a few years ago, and transformed into the lavish Corinthia Budapest, after the largest hotel refurbishment in Hungarian history.
This spectacular five-story structure has 439 rooms to choose from, including 31 sophisticated suites and 26 luxury residences, with two glass enclosed atriums, six elegant eateries and bars, and a mind blowing spa that you might never want to leave.
Checking-in within this unique setting is just the start of a new awesome Corinthia experience.
We’ve booked an executive double room here and we already knew what to expect, judging by the photos we’ve seen on their website. But to our surprise we found out that we’ve been upgraded to one of the incredible Executive Suites when we arrived here, and that’s a completely different story. After being blown away by the hotel’s grand lobby, I’ve thought nothing could be better, but this lavish suite exceeded all our expectations, and then some.
Boasting an edgy interior, with modern, eclectic furniture and stunning decor elements, this suite contrasts beautifully with the old world charm of the hotel. It looks like a relaxing oasis, especially after a busy day in town, with an inviting bedroom, an expansive living room, two separate bathrooms and a huge walk-in wardrobe. It also comes with all the amenities you might need, from LCD TVs and complimentary WiFi, to coffee and tea making facilities and a state-of-the-art Bose audio system.
And the view.. was simply the best! Our room overlooked the main street in front of the hotel and, even though it was a bit noisy at night, since there’s a lot of action around the hotel, it felt so great to wake up with that view every morning. You could say we’ve had front row tickets to an important show.
But part of being in the Executive Suite also means that you will get access to the hotel’s gorgeous Executive Lounge, and that’s obviously a welcomed bonus. You could serve breakfast there, read the latest news in your native language, or enjoy a few snacks and drinks throughout the day – that will surely come in handy after spending a lot of time out and about.
The Magical Royal Spa
Moving on to the spa, oh my! To be honest, I really don’t know if I can find the right words to describe the hotel’s luxurious Royal Spa. Magnificent, charming or alluring don’t seem like enough to describe the sheer beauty and splendor of this stunning place, that could easily take your breath away in more ways than one.
First opened in 1886, 10 years before the Royal Hotel has been opened, this extraordinary spa has been beautifully restored to its original charm, and today it’s not only the best spa in Budapest, but also one of the world’s most incredible spas – that’s no exaggeration.
Wrapped in grandeur and filled with lovely little details, the ornate Royal Spa offers a picture-perfect 15-metre swimming pool, with superb stained glass windows above and cozy relaxation areas on its sides, while a few different saunas, two jacuzzis, a steam bath, a fitness room and seven treatment rooms (six single and one specially designed for couples) contribute to an unforgettable spa experience.
Speaking of treatments, the Royal Spa has teamed up with ESPA to give a new meaning to the word relaxation, with the purest levels of the most potent natural ingredients, used for an intensive menu of spa treatments that can soothe body and soul. Unfortunately we didn’t have time to try out any of the treatments, but whenever you hear about ESPA, you just know you’re in for a total treat.
If you come here very early in the morning or just before the spa closes, you can have the entire place for yourselves, and that’s an experience that will be surely stuck in your head forever.
Eating and Drinking
Corinthia Hotel Budapest offers a unique “6 in 1” dining experience, that they call Gastro Boulevard Budapest, with four elegant restaurants and two destination bars that would easily please even the pickiest of customers. Fine dining lovers will surely fall in love with the gorgeous Rickshaw restaurant, offering Far Eastern delights in a very intimate setting, while the Brasserie & Atrium restaurant is equally appealing, with a wide array of international and Hungarian dishes always on the menu for you.
There’s also the Michelin-recommended Bock Bistro, with a super friendly atmosphere and an intensive wine list, while the Caviar & Bull restaurant offers a cool take on Maltese gastronomy. Le Bar acts as a perfect completion for an awesome day at Corinthia Budapest, with top-notch cocktails, for those of you who want to take a sip of luxury life. And if you’d like some music and fun, the hotel’s Orfeum Club offers some cabaret nights, evoking the good old glamour and excitement of the 19th century.
Of course, we didn’t get to try all of them. You probably need to stay here for at least a week, just to be able to do that. But still, we’ve started every morning here with a tasty breakfast at Brasserie & Atrium, and the options were too many to mention. The food was great, the service was impeccable and that view from the atrium was absolutely amazing. I would have loved to stay there all day long.
But if you want a truly unique dining experience, we wholeheartedly recommend booking a table at Rickshaw. The minute you arrive here you will feel like you’re entering another world, with a magical atmosphere, complementing the traditional arts of the Far East, and a menu to match. I’ve decided to try one of the chef’s specialties here, and I ate crocodile for the very first time. It’s apparently extremely hard to cook, and it was so delicious that I now worry that I might have a thing for crocodiles. I will surely try it again if I’m ever back at Rickshaw.
In the end, we have to say that from the numerous hotels where we’ve stayed, the Corinthia Hotel in Budapest is easily one of our favorites. The entire experience here has been a string of wows, and the hotel’s excellent staff also deserves a mention, because they made sure all our needs were met, with a big smile.
If you’re planning to visit Budapest in the near future, especially the Pest side, there’s no place better to relax and ‘recharge your batteries’ after a busy day in town than this extraordinary hotel. The pictures below will give you a glimpse of what to expect, but trust us, it’s even more incredible when you get to see it with your own eyes!
Where: Corinthia Hotel, Budapest
Erzsébet krt. 43-49, 1073 Hungary
Phone: +36 1 479 4000