Hannah Routledge, our Wedding Planner takes a trip……..
At the end of November I was delighted to take the trip over to Corinthia Hotel Budapest to catch up with our wonderful Hungarian team and visit what is a truly stunning property.
The story behind the original Grand Hotel Royal is full of history and a record of Hungarian society, which I was only too happy to learn about when exploring this beautiful piece of architecture.
The Grand Hotel Royal opened for visitors in 1896 and by this time the Grand Boulevard had become the main artery of the Hungarian capital and many of the hotel’s rooms enjoyed superb views of this most attractive part of Budapest. The architectural style was French renaissance and the latest technology of the era was used throughout. The aim was to create a building equipped for the highest levels of luxury, with high quality services and professionally organised operations.
From the Second World War period until 1953, the Grand Hotel Royal served not only as a hotel, but also as an office building. In 1953 the building was restored to back to being an hotel, but just three years later the roof was destroyed by fire.
Then like a phoenix rising from the ashes, the Grand Hotel Royal has been reinvented and rebranded under the careful eye of Corinthia International and Corinthia Hotel Budapest was born. Since opening its doors in 2004, Corinthia Budapest has entertained the great and the good whilst sharing its fascinating and complex history as the Grand Hotel Royal.
My tour started in the beautiful lobby area which has the most fabulously grand staircase, it is understandable how this has become such an iconic feature, and one which brides love to incorporate into their bridal photos. With such an elegant and classic entrance to this grand hotel it would be impossible not to be impressed.
We then moved to the Ballroom and event spaces which I was, of course, desperate to see! The breathtaking, baroque-style Grand Ballroom is the perfect location for a fairytale wedding, with high ceilings, stunning cornicing and a sense of living history all adding to the opulence and magic of this beautiful room.
I found it interesting to learn that in 1896, the year of its opening, the Lumiére brothers held the first screening of a motion picture in Budapest at the hotel, an event which would later become a regular exhibition. While also housing a ‘cinema’ of sorts, several classical concerts were held in the Royal Ballroom, and Béla Bartók, the world-famous Hungarian composer, frequently conducted music there.
It was such a pleasure to talk to an experienced team as to how they run their weddings in this lovely space, and how they ensure that all their Corinthia Couples’ needs are catered for. They have a wide range of local suppliers who they work with to create the desired look for the special day, and their knowledge of weddings and events is clear when discussing options for that fantastically decadent space.
From the event spaces, we found time to squeeze in a delicious breakfast in the Brasserie and Atrium. During my time at Corinthia Budapest the Atrium was definitely one of my favourite, delicately restored, feature of the hotel. The team informed me that this space was once open-air and not used in this capacity, but it is now covered and a great location for breakfast or just a light and bright area for coffee and cake.
It was then time to retreat to one of the newly renovated Executive Suites at the hotel, which was simply stunning. The edgy interior is perfectly complimented by modern, eclectic furniture and effortlessly juxtaposed against the classic warmth of plush draperies and beautiful wooden floors. I particularly loved the neutral shades of taupe and light grey which adorn the walls and are carefully contrasted by highlighted flashes of jewel-like colours from the soft furnishings. It was so spacious, airy and a relaxing oasis of modern interior design.
Then it was time to relax in the Royal Spa which, quite simply, is the best spa in Budapest. The crowning centrepiece of this elegant Art Deco building is the recently-refurbished 15-metre swimming pool, originally opened in 1886 which, combined with the extensive menu of 21st century treatments, saunas, steam bath and Jacuzzi is quite exquisite.
It cannot be denied that this hotel is completely and utterly stunning – I also should comment that I adored my time in this interesting and diverse city, travel tips will be saved for another article…!
If you are interested in hosting your wedding at Corinthia Hotel Budapest or would enjoy a fascinating stay in this unique city, please do not hesitate to get in touch with the Corinthia Budapest team and let them to make your stay a memorable one!
With love from Corinthia London,