After jetting to Budapest on new non-stop service on American Airlines from New Yorks JFK last month, I checked into the Kempinski Hotel Corvinus on the citys 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 Kempinskis 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 Budapests overall affordability, even at the top luxury hotels. www.kempinski.com/budapest
For general trip-planning information, see our Budapest Travel Guide.