Blessed with 120 thermal water springs, Budapest is one of the greatest spa capitals of the world. The Hungarian capital, which is made up of the Buda and Pest districts and split by the Danube river, is famous for its hot water baths. So if you're feeling wedding-weary and need a break from planning, a trip to Budapest could be the tonic you need.
With incredible nightlife, shopping, food and sights and a flight time of just 2.5 hours from London, it’s the perfect short break destination.
Whether you plan to party past dawn, eat your (combined) weight in traditional cakes and pastries or simply marvel at the city’s resplendent buildings, there’s a Budapest for everyone.
The best place to stay is on the Pest side of the Danube, in downtown Budapest. Here’s where you’ll find designer boutiques, gourmet restaurants and 5-star hotels, including the luxurious Kempinski Hotel Corvinus Budapest.
What’s it like?
Elegantly old school. The reception is spectacular, a soaring expanse of glass and marble. But while the aesthetic may be grand, the service is intimate. Friendly staff greet you in warm Hungarian style, and the concierge is on hand to help with your every need, whether that’s finding concert tickets, making dinner bookings or simply hailing a cab. The personal touch is golden; you’ll never feel like an anonymous guest at Kempinski Budapest.
There are two bars, a café and deli and two restaurants. One of these is Nobu, one of the best Japanese restaurants on the planet (hello romantic dinner for two!).
What are the rooms like?
Light, spacious and comfortable, there are 349 rooms including 33 suites at the Kempinski Budapest.
No matter which you pick, you’ll spend your nights luxuriating on deeply relaxing beds or planning your sightseeing route on the plush sofas.
An in-room Nespresso machine allows you to sip your morning cup of coffee from the comfort of your king bed.
How can we relax?
In a city famous for its natural springs, there’s no way you can miss time out in a spa, and the Kempinski Budapest has one of the best in town.
The cosy facility offers world-class treatments alongside signature therapies. We tried the Hungary Holistic treatment (EUR150 for 90min). It involves wrapping body brushed limbs in Hungarymud, rich in minerals and harvested from a reserve in the south east of the country. A blissful 45min massage follows, along with a scalp massage. It was so good, we fell asleep on the massage table, and afterwards skin felt smoother and deeply hydrated.
As mentioned, Kempinski Budapest offers the city’s only branch of Nobu. The world-famous restaurant offers the very best in Japanese/ South American fusion dining (the signature Yellowtail Sashimi with Jalapeno is nothing short of addictive).
If you’re in the mood for traditional Hungarian with a gourmet twist, head to ÉS Bisztró. The décor is distinctly hipster; think floor-to-ceiling chalkboards announcing daily specials and wine pairings, light wood and well lit open-plan spaces.
The food is utterly superb. We left our meal in the hands of our capable waiter and were rewarded with lavender and herbinfused steak, succulent and perfectly seared, alongside garlic butter tossed king prawns, truffled mash potatoes and a medley of grilled seasonal vegetables.
For cocktails, Kempinski Budapest offers a number of bars including our favourite, Blue Fox The Bar, widely regarded as the ultimate starting point for a night out in Budapest. Low lit and covered with wood paneling, the bar oozes class and style.What's the best way to see the city?
Both Buda and Pest are easy to explore on foot, with most of the city's attractions within walking distance of each other and the hotel. Local transport is easy enough to use (especially if you're used to the London Underground), but to see the sights in style, why not hire a chauffered driver?
Ma Voiture is a private hire car company specialising in luxury transport (their fleet includes Mercedes, Range Rovers and Bentley's), and can help transfer you to and from the airport or hired by the day. Chauffeurs are multi-lingual, professional and full of helpful tips for the city only insiders would know.
THE KHUSH VERDICT
Faultless service, superb food and drink and a spa that you could lose all afternoon in (and we did), the Kempinski Hotel Corvinus Budapest has it all.
The hotel upholds the luxe hallmarks you’d expect to find under the Kempinski banner. We were most impressed with the staff, who go the extra mile to ensure you get the best of your Budapest break.