My first time in Budapest (pronounced Budda-pesh)! The first things I notice is the incredible friendliness of the people, the cleanliness of the streets and the wonderful sunny day - 31 degrees! It is summer in the Northern Hemisphere, after all. Budapest is located in central East Europe within the Carpathian Basin and with a population of close to two million is the largest city in Hungary.
A dash of modern boldness welcomes guests to the Kempinski Hotel - Images: Elaine de Wet
The Kempinski Hotel Corvinus Budapest opened in 1992, adding a dash of modern boldness to downtown Budapest. The four facades of this extremely welcoming hotel, mirror the fabric of this vibrant city. The ground floor was recently refurbished with the focus on four pillars of its ethos - beauty, gourmet, culture and savoir-vivre (knowledge of life). The Kempinski Hotel boasts its own Gastronomic Quarter in downtown Budepest with comfortable lounges and terraces extending onto the pedestrianised Fashion Street, with all the brand names one can enjoy in other large cities in the world.
Spacious bathrooms with all the necessary luxuries - Image: Elaine de Wet
With our luggage firmly ensconced in a beautifully appointed suite and feeling somewhat exhausted after a thirty hour journey to reach this, our first destination, our first priority was to commence exploring the beautiful city of Budapest and…of course, to stay awake for as long as we feasibly could.
Admire the city from a-high on the Ferris Wheel - Image: Elaine de Wet
The Kempinski Hotel is a short stroll from the Danube River and comprises 349 rooms with spacious bathrooms and the all-important free wi-fi. Hubby and I took a stroll around the hotel and enjoyed the liveliness of the city - people on Segways (a quick mode of transport?), the Ferris Wheel just outside the hotel and the Eat Street Markets, with locals and tourists alike, loving the long hot summer days.
Locals and tourists enjoying the long hot summer day - Image: Elaine de Wet
For starters, my better half enjoyed a goose-liver pate made with Tokaji wine and served with stewed fruits and brioche. Our steaks were cooked to perfection and I had mine accompanied with a Hungarian watermelon salad.
In summer the És Bisztró grow their own herbs on the rooftop of the Kempinski Hotel Corvinus, which ensures the freshest basil, mint, thyme, rosemary and sage.
Balance your day with a good brekkie - Images: Elaine de Wet
This generally mediocre meal in my life proved to be a tantalising feast sensation of everything that one could imagine on offer in a buffet. From basic continental fare of croissants and home-baked breads to the more luxurious delights of an English Breakfast. Want to stay healthy whilst on holiday? Then try the daily special energy shot created from a fruit, a vegetable and a herb. The breakfast buffet offers homemade jams and chocolate, certified artisan cold cuts and cheeses. The Hungarian speciality 'lecsó' is made from egg, tomatoes and bell pepper and with vegetarian, gluten-free and lactose-free choices available ensures that all tastes are catered to. Speciality coffees, signature teas and a juice bar round off this fabulously abundant breakfast feast.
Needless to say, this was the start of my seemingly never-ending intake of delectable food. No wonder I've come home three kilograms heavier.
Hubby and I loved the friendliness and vibrancy of the city of Budapest and came away with the feeling of 'wanting more', so perhaps a return trip one day in the future could be on the cards and a return reservation at the Kempinski Hotel Corvinus with its friendly and hospitable staff, would definitely not go amiss!
We loved the vibrancy and friendliness of this wonderful city - Images: Elaine de Wet