After visiting the newest Spa hotel on the Budapest block, the five star Aria I was keen to find out what some of other best and leading hotels in the city had to offer for the wellness traveller. I chose to stay one night at the Buddha Bar Hotel, the Continental and the Kempinski, all four and five star Budapest Spa Hotels hotels.
I absolutely loved the style of the Buddha Bar Hotel housed in a former grand Klotild palace in downtown Budapest, the location is fabulous just opposite the river Danube and on the trendy Fashion St. I was familiar with the chain of hotels after visiting their sister hotel in Paris. It is the epitome of opulent zen. Dim lighting contrasts against the passionate fire red, gold and black decor with dragon motifs, chinese lanterns, Buddha statues and luxurious fabrics inspired by the world of Japanese culture.
The deluxe room I stayed in is a peaceful haven with views across the Danube, bursting with Asian-inspired furnishings with plenty of light shining in through the huge windows. The bathroom is amazing, a Spa in itself with a huge bath tub and rainfall shower good enough for cleopatra to bathe in! A deeply relaxing and luxurious experience.
The aptly named Buddhattitude Spa is as you would expect equally as luxurious and zen. I stayed there for hours lying in the aromatic steam bath, sauna and Japanese bath before indulging in an excellent healing touch signature massage.
A special mention has to be made about the organic vegan breakfast served which was exceptional and even included a green juice! This was the only hotel that I chose to have dinner in since it came highly recommended with great reviews, hats off to the chef who made a delicious vegan curry for me! The restaurant and bar sits of two floors and they do killer cocktails in the bar and have a DJ playing.
In Hungary, the Kempinski Corvinus remains the first and only member of the Leading Hotels of the World. Located in the heart of Budapest, the hotel is named after the beloved fifteenth-century Hungarian King Matthias (“The Just”) Corvinus who brought Renaissance humanism to Hungary. The funky ground floor of the hotel is more like a shopping promenade with an inside cafe culture where you will find a takeaway deli, a café, a sweetshop and a gallery area that showcasing the work of young artists. The atmospheric lobby lounge know as the ‘Living Room’ is the perfect place to relax in on one of the comfortable sofas and drink afternoon tea with a slice of Hungarian cake. And there are two restaurants and two cafes to choose from depending on your culinary preference including the famous Nobu.
My room is blessed with a great view room overlooking Erzsébet tér and the magical ferris wheel looming over.
Kempinski The Spa features an indoor heated pool, Finnish and aroma saunas, steam bath, fitness centre and a tepidarium. It’s the first spa in Hungary and Budapest to introduce holistic Elemental Herbology by Resense Spa – the massages and treatments are inspired by the four seasons, working with the elements of nature and tailored to the individual after an initial consultation. The philosophy is based on the principle of balance and the importance of harmonising the elements to achieve a perfect state of equilibrium.
I was given the state of the art signature treatment ‘The Hungary Holistic’, a 90-minute treatment that covered me in a rich healing mineral mud (which comes from a natural reserve of South East Hungary), and then wrapped up in tin foil to detoxify and get rid of those impurities. The best part was the deeply soothing full body and facial massage that followed leaving my skin silky and smooth.
The weather was lovely during my stay and the Kempimski serves a top notch breakfast where I dined al fresco on the terrace and enjoyed the organic a vegan breakfast they had specially prepared for for me.
The Kepimski has a beautiful secret herb and vegetable garden on the roof terrace that I was privately shown. I can see why they flourish here as they have the best view of the city!
As soon as you walk through the front doors of The Continental Hotel Budapest, that look like the entrance of an ancient temple, you’re met with a giant lobby which used to be home to the former ‘Hungaria Bath’. The location is near to the Jewish Quarters of the city where you can find many lovely bars and restaurants all with a lovely atmosphere and full of interesting architectural gems.
The hotel has art-deco décor and my deluxe room is chic but a little on the small side and with no natural light. I’m a bit disappointed being a big fan of natural light and having lots of space to practice yoga and chill out in! The roof gardens and outdoor pool on the top floor make up for this with plenty of hang out space and breathtaking panorama of the city. This is my favourite part of the hotel, there’s also an indoor pool, jacuzzi and sauna. The roof top provides a great spot to watch the sunset from at night too!
The Spa is located on the second floor and I had a very good aromatherapy massage using precious and essential oils. It would be nice to have the Spa and wellness centre on the same floor so that you can use the sauna and pool before or after your massage!
Unfortunately the breakfast is proper buffet style and I didn’t find anything organic and there are little vegetarian and vegan options.
I left Budapest feeling totally zen, relaxed and charmed and would definitely recommend it as a Wellness in the City destination! The Wellness in the City journey continues, next stop Berlin! You can read my reviews of Spa hotels in Paris and London here.