Matild Palace, a Luxury Collection Hotel, set for city centre
Top chef Wolfgang Puck on board as five-star awaits green light
Luxury Collection is one of the brands of prominent global hotel group Marriott International, an American multinational company that already operates the Danube-side Budapest Marriott Hotel in District V and the Courtyard By Marriott Budapest on the Grand Boulevard next to Blaha Lujza tér in District VIII.
The Ritz-Carlton, Budapest also comes under the Marriott umbrella, and the Bethesda, Maryland, based multinational is behind the W Hotel, another luxury brand, scheduled for completion next year in the Dreschler Palace, the former baller institute on upscale Andrassy út. In all, Marriott International now operates 30 brands and 7000-plus properties across 131 countries and territories since its founding in 1927.
The Matild Palace, which is a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) World Heritage Site, was built between 1899-1902 and has been an epicenter of the elite and a Budapest landmark since the pre-World War One Belle Époque era. Its rich history has seen many renovations and refurbishments over the decades but the neo-baroque building still holds its elegance.
Now, after long disuse, years of restoration will see it reopen as the first Luxury Collection hotel in Budapest. The palace hotel is in the heart of the city, and shares its address with the touristy shopping street Váci utca. The bank of the Danube River is a couple of minutes away on foot.
The Matild Palace was developed under the patronage of Her Imperial and Royal Highness Maria Klotild of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha to serve as the social hub of the city. It sits opposite its twin, the Klotild Palace, with one building on each side of Rákóczi út and forming a symbolic gateway to Erzsébet híd, the Elizabeth Bridge, over the river.
Her Highness dreamed of the sibling palaces as a graceful lady to greet those who enter the bridge. Renowned architects Flóris Korb and Kálmán Giergl were commissioned to design the buildings. They are under monumental protection. Until 2018 the Klotild Palace housed the Mellow Mood Group’s five-star Buddha-Bar Hotel.
The ready-to-go Matild Palace Luxury Collection hotel features 130 guest rooms, including 19 suites, on five floors. There are five meeting rooms, a 24-hour fitness centre and a Swan Spa, featuring “a Turkish-influenced bath experience with traditional thermal therapy and Hammam rituals designed to awaken the senses and purify the mind, body, and soul. The salt and steam room provide the ultimate in overall rejuvenation”.
Marriott International says its offer combines luxurious amenities with authenticity. The upmarket accommodation includes:
Maria Klotild Royal Suite: The 150-square-metre suite has a view over the Danube. It features a spacious bedroom, a living room, a table for eight people, a study room and a master bathroom with hand-made ceramics and gold touches. The suite can be extended with two connected rooms to create a three-bedroom apartment.
Crown Tower Suite: This 76-square-metre suite on the fifth floor is the first suite in Hungary partly within a 48-metre-high tower, providing a spectacular 360-degree view of the city and the Duna.
Deluxe Rooms: These are said to offer the finest luxuries and modern technologies. Smart TV comes as a basic element and the spa-styled bathrooms, inspired by Hungary’s traditional thermal baths, and Italian bathtubs designed for Matild Palace are some of the features to make the rooms special.
Loft Rooms: As the name implies, these are on the top floor under the roof, giving a fine view over the city. The 38- to 51-square-metre rooms feature modern furniture mixed with vintage style.
Wolfgang Johannes Puck was born in a small town in Austria in 1949 and moved to the United States at the age of 24. In 1973 he located to Los Angeles, opening his first restaurant, Spago, in 1982. Puck has worked his way up from nowhere to become one of the wealthiest celebrity chefs in the world. Casual fine dining is one of his hallmarks.
Although he is much better known as a chef and restaurateur, he is a part-time actor who has appeared on television and in some films – like his friend, fellow Austrian and now Californian Arnold Schwarzenegger.
After many years working around the globe, the chef arrives at his new home in Budapest with three attractive concepts at Matild Palace, together with a culinary team that includes leading local talent. He will oversee the entire dining operations at the restored palace, including the latest Spago.
Marriott says his legendary name carries an undeniable cachet, synonymous with a bold, innovative school of cooking that has redefined fine dining and around the world. Guests will find:
Matild Cafe and Cabaret
A “dramatic reimagination” of a historical cafe originally opened in 1901, and reopened as the first cafe in Budapest after World War Two, drawing on the nostalgia and heritage of Budapest. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Dress code: smart casual. Phone: (+36-1) 550-5100.
Spago by Wolfgang Puck
Marriott says: “Worldwide-renowned industry leader and trendsetter Master Chef Wolfgang Puck brings the Beverly Hills culinary and social phenomenon Spago to Budapest, igniting the city’s dining scene into a gastronomic epicenter.” Reservations required. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Dress code: smart casual. Phone: (+36-1) 550-5050.
“A secret liquor library and rooftop garden inspired by the Arch Duchess Maria Klotild, who commissioned the palace to include a secret, hidden rooftop bar as a rendezvous for the Decadence Movement.” Open for dinner. Dress code: smart casual. Phone: (+36-1) 550-5151
Matild Palace, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Budapest
Vaci Utca 36
Phone: (+36-1) 550-5000
The historical passage in Matild Palace
The lobby of the hotel
The royal suite
The Duchess rooftop terrace