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A tasteful debut for Prestige Hotel Budapest and Costes Downtown


  • Nick Robertson

21/05/2015 2.00am

A pair of Budapest’s premier hospitality providers joined forces to create an appealing destination for visitors and locals alike: the newly opened Prestige Hotel Budapest (founded by the same hotelier of the sumptuous Continental Hotel Budapest), which houses Costes Downtown – a new sister restaurant of Hungary’s first eatery to earn a Michelin star, Costes. Both of these eminent establishments are now open within a freshly refurbished building found just steps away from the Chain Bridge and St. Stephen’s Basilica – let’s go inside and take a look around.

We’ve been following this story for several months now, first with December’s announcement that the new Prestige Hotel Budapest would host a second location of Costes, and then in February when we took a sneak peek at the project while it was under development – a major task, considering that this neo-Classical building (designed by prominent 19th-century Magyar architect József Hild) needed complete modernization before it could provide accommodations that meet present-day standards. We are pleased to announce that this work is now completed, and that both the Prestige Hotel and Costes Downtown are open to the public on Vigyázó Ferenc Street in the heart of Pest’s District V.

Photo: Prestige Hotel Budapest

While the Prestige Hotel’s historic façade is primarily restored to highlight the original architectural beauty of this urban palace, the interior design is an elegant marriage between classic elegance and contemporary flair – the central courtyard now serves as a humongous lobby with velvet-upholstered sofas beneath a Swarovski-crystal chandelier and a giant skylight to allow sunshine into the central section of the facility’s 85 guest rooms, each decorated with modern amenities and panache. State-of-the-art glass elevators and elegantly appointed meeting facilities equipped with crucial contemporary technology all ensure that this 19th-century building now satisfies guests at 21st-century standards.

In addition to enjoying these facilities, Prestige Hotel guests delight in gourmet-quality continental breakfasts every morning thanks to the partnership with Costes Downtown. While this new location is decorated with sleek furnishings like the original Costes, an increased use of earth tones, natural wood, and an incredible network or live plants on the walls and ceiling give the eatery a warm atmosphere. Using seasonal regionally sourced ingredients, the restaurant team (led by Michelin-star winning Portuguese chef Miguel Vieira) serves the morning meal here to hotel guests seven days a week, featuring Hungarian specialties like Grey Cattle sausage and artisanal cheese from a dairy in the Bükk Mountains, along with top-quality fruit salads, and pastries and breads baked onsite.

As tasty as these treats are (along with several à la carte breakfast offers), they’re just a sample of the locally sourced epicurean delicacies served for lunch and dinner at Costes Downtown. While the chef is aiming to keep the menu selection simple according to choice ingredients that are currently available in local markets, the same uncompromising dedication to top-caliber cuisine and presentation that made Costes famous will still rule in the new show kitchen at its sister restaurant, but Costes Downtown will have a more welcoming air than its sibling eatery on Ráday Street.

Photo: Costes Downtown

“Everybody should feel well here and have a good time,” said Vieira, stressing that Costes Downtown will be serious about its pledge to highlight local gastronomy, as Hungary’s culinary scene is now cosmopolitan enough to sustain this philosophy. “Now it’s possible to have a restaurant sourced locally, and that is our goal. … You’re not going to find lobster here.”

Photo: Costes Downtown

Some highlights of the current Costes Downtown lunch and dinner menu include cured rainbow trout with cucumber and horseradish, honey-glazed duck breast with orange and carrots, and smoked pork shank with spring vegetables and mustard yogurt – but the menu will change frequently, so repeat diners can rest assured to find something new with every visit, whether they are arriving from a few blocks away or another continent. All in all, the Prestige Hotel Budapest and Costes Downtown make an excellent duo of tasteful hospitality, and we are certain that this will be a very popular pairing for many years to come.

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