Recently, I was able to indulge my inner princess when my husband whisked me away for a romantic weekend to Hungary staying at The Corinthia Hotel Budapest. The hotel is so spectacular, I kept feeling like I was staying in a royal palace, playing the part of a princess in a fairytale.
Disclaimer: We received an upgraded room in exchange for an honest review of our stay.
I had vowed to myself that I would explore more of Eastern Europe after visiting last year. I fell in love with the architecture, food, and the people so I was anxious to share the experience with the one I love. Did I mention they have good wine too? This trip, we decided on Budapest, which was on the bucket list for both of us. We also decided to treat ourselves to the ultimate luxury hotel – The Corinthia Hotel Budapest which was formerly The Grand Hotel Royal Budapest.
The Grand Hotel Royal was opened in 1896 and was the largest and grandest hotel in Europe. Not only was it built with the highest levels of luxury in mind, but the latest technology that was available. The architectural style of the hotel is French Renaissance and it lived up to its style by hosting notable artists, celebrities, politicians, journalists, and royalty. It even held one of Budapest’s first cinemas.
After two world wars, fire damage, and financial problems the hotel was closed in 1959 and again in 1991. It was purchased and brought back to its former glory by the Corinthia group which reopened its doors and renamed it to Corinthia Budapest in 2004.
Today the hotel is simply stunning. It is composed of what seems like three buildings with atrium glass roofs joining them together and letting in natural light. Marble floors, grand staircases, architectural details, beautiful fabrics, and furnishings with a modern slant set the stage for a luxury experience everywhere you look. This isn’t a hotel where it is just the lobby that has a sense of glamor and grandeur. There is no space that would make me think I was in a bland hotel that could be located anywhere in the world.
Our room was spacious and lovely. Probably the largest (and one of the most comfortable) beds I have had in any European hotel, with lots of pillows, a feather duvet, and luxury linens. There was a living room area off to the side, as well as a desk, mini bar/drink station and his and hers closets.
In the bathroom, we had a separate tub and shower, a nice big sink, along with two bathrobes, slippers and plenty of towels. I liked the variety of amenities and comfort items they provided.
The hotel features several restaurants, cafes, and bars. I have to admit that one of the first things we did was enjoy a drink and snack from the Le Bar which is located at the back of the lobby.
We enjoyed glasses of Hungarian sparkling wine with a plate of cheese and crackers. We were blown away by the quality of the Hungarian wine. What a lovely way to start off our trip! Reading the menu in the Le Bar we noticed that they actually have a tea sommelier (how fancy is that) and offer all kinds of tea.
We did indulge on our Sunday at the hotel in their Brassiere for a long, lazy, brunch. This included a buffet-style meal with eggs and omelets cooked to order, freshly baked bread, pastries, and unlimited Mimosas, champagne, coffee, or juice to drink.
All that surrounded by luxury as we ate and relaxed. Oh, I want to go back now!
The hotel has several other restaurants to choose from. Aside from the Atrium Brassiere, there is the Bock Bistro (which serves traditional Hungarian dishes and Spanish Tapas), The Rickshaw Restaurant (which serves Far Eastern cuisine), and the most exciting is the Caviar and Bull fine dining restaurant.
We had the opportunity to dine at the Bock Bistro during our stay. It is an upscale but casual restaurant with a fantastic wine list and good food. I ordered their goulash and it was wonderful. I will warn you, it is on the pricey side, but worth the little extra for the great service.
During our stay, we had the opportunity to tour the property and see some of the exclusive and behind the scenes areas. We were both amazed by the enchanting Grand Ball Room. I could imagine hosting an elegant event in the space. It was a WOW! The history of the ballroom was fascinating, during the war they used it as a cinema.
David comments: Around the walls of the ballroom are portraits of great Hungarians, including Franz Liszt and Béla Bartók. The latter conducted music in the ballroom. There is one picture of a non-Hungarian, Alfred Pisani, the founder and Chairman of the Corinthia group.
We also had the chance to take a peek into their ultra-luxurious Presidential Suite which is named after the famous composer Franz Liszt. We couldn’t quite push the boat out for that one, but it sure was amazing to see.
It is comprised of two bedrooms (each with their own master bath), a living room, a dining room for 10, an office, and two kitchens. Its warm, rich decor make it the perfect home away from home. I’ll have to pick that accommodation for our next stay…
But my favorite thing about the hotel wasn’t the rooms, the food, or even the service. It was the Royal Spa. I felt like I died and went to heaven as I relaxed by the amazing indoor pool area and enjoyed its waters. We didn’t have time for any of the treatments, but they sure looked tempting.
David comments: I would like to thank Mónica who was our charming and knowledgeable guide for the tour of this stunning property. Budapest is a city worth visiting and the Budapest Corinthia is a perfect place to stay whilst you enjoy the city.
I didn’t want to leave! The Corinthia Budapest has it all! Luxury, comfort, service, every amenity you can think of and a fantastic location. It was a wow, and total bucket list place to visit. I hope I have the opportunity to visit more of the Corinthia Hotels in the future.