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After jetting to Budapest on new non-stop service on American Airlines from New York’s JFK last month, I checked into the Kempinski Hotel Corvinus on the city’s trendier Pest side.  A five-star property and member of the Leading Hotels of the World, the Kempinski is located within walking distance to the legendary Gerbeaud café, the Great Synagogue (the second-largest synagogue in the world), and the eastern bank of the Danube.

The hotel has 335 rooms and 31 suites; standard accommodations are roomy but not remarkable, though bathrooms feature glass-enclosed showers and separate soaking tubs, and high-tech perks include free Wi-Fi – a rarity at luxury brands.

Among the Kempinski’s four restaurants, Bistro Jardin is known for the “best breakfast in Budapest,” with an omelet station, a couple dozen bread choices, and do-it-yourself mimosas; while an outpost of Nobu – the first in Central Europe – celebrated a star-studded opening in October 2010.

One unique feature is the Kempinski Gallery, a mix of temporary exhibits and permanent artwork, mostly from contemporary Hungarian artists. An Asian-themed spa incorporates a tiny swimming pool, sauna, and gym.

Currently, summer rates at the Kempinski fall below $300/night (with Early Booker rates under $200/night), a testament to Budapest’s overall affordability, even at the top luxury hotels. www.kempinski.com/budapest

For general trip-planning information, see our Budapest Travel Guide.

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