World Travel Awards represents the highest accolade for Kempinski Hotel Corvinus Budapest. Founded in 1993, the WTA brand is recognised globally as the ultimate hallmark of quality, with winners setting the benchmark to which all others aspire.

The Budapest Kempinski has been the winner several times in different categories by World Travel Awards over the years. Besides receiving the title of Hungary's Leading Business Hotel in 2007, 2009 and 2016, Kempinski Hotel Corvinus was named Hungary's Leading Hotel in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2017.

The Kempinski's General Manager, Stephan Interthal, said: "The awards are a great recognition from our partners and guests of our excellent performance. We are honoured and proud. I'm especially pleased that we received this prestigious award as we have just completed the second phase of our redesign project, releasing two more guest floors of refreshed and fully redesigned rooms and suites in April."

"This brings the total tally to five floors of 33 fully redesigned rooms and 23 suites, and 228 softly refurbished units. The new Kempinski Corvinus redefines luxury and residential styling, and provides the latest technological requirements for the design-savvy, discerning traveller."

The renovation project is aimed at creating an organic contemporary aesthetic experience throughout the hotel, complete with all the conveniences and indulgences that travellers, leisure or business, need and expect. The new design executes noted British designer Alex Kravetz's vision of a soft colour palette of elegant gold, reserved platinum and muted grey, as well as warm, dark brown wood.

To enhance the new decor of the redesigned rooms and suites, the hotel bought 31 contemporary Hungarian artworks, as part of its extensive corporate Corvinus Art Collection. The renovation of these units is part of a total EUR 12-million investment.

One idea that is helping to keep the hotel at the forefront is the "Ignite the Night" event held since February this year at the fall of each day in the ground-floor The Living Room. This new tradition starting at 6pm celebrates the end of the hustle and bustle of daytime – the fireplace comes on, the lights dim, candles are lit and the passage of time is toasted with champagne by cracking open the first bottle by the virtuoso technique of sabrage.

sabrage involves opening a champagne bottle with a sabre, a curved sword used for ceremonial occasions. The wielder slides the sabre along the body of the bottle to break the top of the neck away, leaving the neck open and ready to pour.

This technique caught on at the beginning of the 19th century at the time of the Napoleonic wars, in the circles of French light infantry. sabrage suggests strength and nobility. The story involves the Frenchwoman Barbe-Nicole Ponsardin, who became Madame Clicquot on marriage and was known as the "Grande Dame of Champagne" after she took on her husband's wine business when widowed at 27, whereupon she became Veuve Clicquot (Widow Clicquot). Under her ownership and skill with wine, the company developed early champagne using a novel technique, and the brand and company of Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin still bears her name.


Napoleon's soldiers wanted to impress the young widow by performing sabrage but they also celebrated their war victories with this opening technique. "Champagne! In victory one deserves it; in defeat one needs it," Napoleon Bonaparte said.

To quote another French classic, the fox in "The Little Prince", Kempinski Hotel Corvinus Budapest aspires to having guests also adorn their heart in expectation and look forward to this evening ritual.

"It would have been better if you'd come back at the same hour," said the fox. "If, for example, you come at four o'clock in the afternoon, then at three o'clock I would start feeling happy. As the minutes pass, I feel happier and happier. At four o'clock, I'm already full of excitement and worry, and understand what treasure it is to be happy. But if you just show up any time, I will never know when to get my heart adorned and ready to see you... You must observe the right rituals..."

– Antoine de Saint-Exupéry: "The Little Prince"

The "Ignite the Night" ceremony takes place in The Living Room each evening at 6pm. It is the Kempinski way of creating the kind of cosy intimacy that guests will appreciate and remember, separating the active day and transitioning the guests to a relaxing evening time.

The partner of the hotel for the event is Moët Hennessy, the distributor of Veuve Clicquot champagne. Three varieties are served: Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin Brut, Rosé and Extra Brut Extra Old.


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