The gal knows a Kempinski from the competition by the Lady In Red. This is such a simple idea, devised by an impresario from the entertainment world, Bruce Tallon, early this century. Mr T has moved on, to creative pastures elsewhere, but his idea remains, and, honestly, is one of the few ‘arrival features’ that really stand out. Come to think of it what else IS there? Doubletree by Hilton offers cookies to say hello. Swissôtel has a four-sided clock and, possibly, a bowl of help-yourself Swiss chocolates. The list seems to stop there. Kempinski’s corporate scarlet clothing for its Lady In Red hosts also provides a burst of colour in what otherwise sometimes seems, particularly in a corporate luxury hotel, a rather grey-suited businesslike environment.
This particular Kempinski is, indeed, a business base, running at 50-50 business-leisure for most of the year, although during high summer, and when the Danube is awash with river cruises, the leisure percentage soars to 95%. Everyone, whether on business or not, enjoys this hotel’s super ES Biztro. Commuters come in for breakfast from 7 a.m. – there is an outside entrance on Déak Street (‘fashion street’) behind the hotel, and when the weather allows the bistro extends out into that street. I breakfasted there with hotel GM Stephan Interthal and I loved quaint pointers, things like a server coming round with doughnuts, and an old-fashioned bread cutter, above, just in case you need one. Interestingly, this is a luxury hotel which in fact is only nine years old but it oozes tradition as well as today. This is the Budapest base for co-working, as I have said before. All day and evening long outsiders make maximum use of the good seating, lighting, electric sockets and free WiFi along both sides of the curved corridor that leads from the main lobby to Déak Street. And yes, in case you wondered, the hotel DOES make money from all this because the to-go kiosk, along that corridor, makes a mint from coffees and snacks. This is a very clever, and viable, luxury hotel. SEE ROOM 714, AND THE BREAKFAST BUFFET