Checking in: Budapest hotel news and deals – February 2019
The indulgent spirit of Hungarian hospitality is rightfully legendary – many hotels here offer world-class accommodation and services with genuinely caring professionalism, often at remarkably friendly prices. In this instalment of our monthly Checking In series, we scan the latest developments in Budapest’s hotel scene for news, special events and unbelievable bargains slated for February 2019.
Top hotels offer Valentine’s Day treats
As the city blooms with love for Valentine’s Day, couples can indulge in precious pampering at many of Budapest’s stellar hotels. KOLLÁZS Brasserie & Bar at the Four Seasons Hotel Gresham Palace offers what it calls “love potions”, a culinary experience inspired by cocktails. On 14 and 15 February, InterContinental’s panoramic Corso restaurant treats guests to a four-course meal, meaty or vegetarian. For Valentine’s with a view, there’s the Paris Budapest restaurant of the Danube-facing Sofitel Budapest Chain Bridge, where a heart-shaped, berry-topped chocolate ganache should even better the bouillabaisse starter.
Latin tunes add an intimate touch to dinner on Valentine’s Day at the Brasserie & Atrium, part of Budapest’s Corinthia hotel. Then on 17 February, the same restaurant awaits guests with a Valentine’s brunch. ÉS Bistro under the umbrella of the local Kempinski branch, serves goose-liver terrine, mangalica pork ham and seared scallops to celebrate love on the 14th. For oyster and rib-eye steak on this most intimate day of the year, go to Araz, where live background music, handmade bonbons fashioned by Lilla Juhász and a Love Potion Martini also feature.
New hotel by Keleti station
Many who have travelled around Germany will have noticed the bright red logo of an IntercityHotel by a main rail station – even taken advantage of this convenient mid-range chain before an early train in the morning. From Augsburg to Wuppertal, nearly 50 branches stretch across central Europe, including one a short walk from Westbahnhof in Vienna.
Now the Hungarian DVM group has announced that it is developing an IntercityHotel for Keleti station, right opposite the iconic façade on Baross tér. This superior three-star will consist of 312 rooms and 45 apartments, its gleaming frontage a welcome contrast to the row of tired shops and businesses which currently greet arrivals to the Hungarian capital. According to Joachim Marusczyk, MD of this Hamburg-based, family-run chain: “Budapest is a city with a great past and lots of potential. We are delighted that our brand will soon be able to offer a centrally positioned and modern hotel in such an attractive metropolis”. Completion is expected in 2020.
Indoor Beer Festival at the Gellért
For the fourth time of asking, the legendary Gellért Hotel overlooking the Buda waterfront is hosting its annual Indoor Beer Festival, during the weekend of 15-17 February. Transforming this venerable Art-Nouveau landmark into a lively beer hall, this three-day event showcases some 100 kinds of bottled and craft brews from Hungary and abroad. On the Friday and Saturday, a delicious beer dinner will be prepared, while on the Sunday, a beer brunch will fill the ample bellies of the assembled ale aficionados. Admission allows the visitor unlimited beer tasting. More details
Gresham chef showcases at main culinary event
Opened by the world’s most celebrated chef, Spain’s Ferran Adrià, the three-day gastronomic congress Reale Seguros Madrid Fusión has just taken place, with Árpád Győrffy of Budapest’s KOLLÁZS Brasserie & Bar showcasing his foie gras Gerbeaud specially fashioned for the occasion. In charge of the in-house eatery of the landmark Four Seasons Hotel Gresham Palace, head chef Győrffy fused two iconic Hungarian culinary creations, foie gras and the signature layered cake of Budapest’s most famous café/confectionery, the Gerbeaud. Also combined with honey dough, Tokaji wine and pálinka, the result can be served as an appetiser or dessert depending on the quantity of sugar involved.
Helping Győrffy present this unique Hungarian invention were sommelier Sarolta Bárdos and Zoltán Nagy of top Budapest cocktail destination, Boutiqu’ Bar. A record 2,000 delegates, 13,000 visitors and nearly 850 journalists attended the event in the Spanish capital. The foie gras Gerbeaud will be available at the Gresham’s Lobby Bar at some point in the near future.
New look for Health Spa Resort Margitsziget
Forty years after its opening to partner the fin-de-siècle Grand Hotel Margitsziget nearby, the Danubius Health Spa Resort Margitsziget is continuing its step-by-step renovation. Set at the northern end of Margaret Island near the Japanese garden, this 267-room spa getaway, surrounded by greenery in the heart of the city, has everything needed for a relaxing, healthy stay. A thermal bath, pools indoor and out, an aroma cabin and traction bath facilitate the spa, massage and pampering services available. From December 2018 until early May 2019, Hungarian group DVM will be continuing its complete renovation programme by transforming a quarter of the guestrooms on two upper floors, the Platán restaurant, the medical lounge and the Star Auditorium lecture hall.
As part of the new design, a blue cornflower pattern will feature on the glass walls separating sleeping area from bathroom in the sixth- and seventh-floor guestrooms. The DVM group was also responsible for previous work on the first five floors, lobby and conference rooms. During the current rebuild, the hotel is offering guests vouchers for free treatments, including salt-cave therapy, as compensation for any disturbance.