Upon learning my husband’s work conference in Poland was cancelled due to the war in Ukraine, we instead decided to spend a couple of nights in Budapest, Hungary prior to travelling onwards to Germany as part of our recent Europe trip.
We booked two nights at Matild Palace, a relatively new addition to the Marriott Bonvoy portfolio, and thoroughly enjoyed our stay here.
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Matild Palace Budapest – Booking
I booked this hotel on the Marriott website on a travel agent rate of €150 ($197 CAD). I originally booked a base-level Deluxe Guest King Bed room, which was an absolute steal, as it normally goes for around €500 ($658 CAD) at the standard rate.
If booking on points, the rate fluctuates between 50,000–70,000 Bonvoy points a night, with the cheapest rates generally during the winter and the most expensive ones during the summer.
I also submitted a Suite Night Award request to see if I could upgrade to a better room. The hotel appears to allow upgrades even up to their top-tier One Bedroom Suite, but interestingly, not their Loft Suite, which is one room category lower.
Four days prior to arrival, the hotel emailed me about my arrival and asked if I had any special requests. Since we were celebrating our anniversary during our stay, I figured I’d mention it.
Two days prior to arrival, I was delighted to receive another email, this time from Marriott, stating that my Suite Night Award had cleared. I was upgraded into the Elisabeth Bridge Suite – an entry-level suite – which made me very happy!
Matild Palace Budapest – Location
The Matild Palace is housed in a triangular-shaped standalone building located on the Pest side of Budapest, on the east side of the Danube.
It’s located less than 300 meters from the Elisabeth Bridge, one of the main bridges that connects Buda to Pest.
While Buda is known for its unique architecture, underground caves, and its castle, Pest is known for its thermal baths, ruin bars, and the site of Hungary’s iconic parliament building.
The city’s main junction, Deák Ferenc tér, is a short tram ride or walk from the hotel. Hence, the hotel is situated perfectly to explore both sides of Budapest.
Getting to the hotel is easy. From the airport, it’s only 30 minutes by car or 40 minutes by transit.
If you arrive by train at any of the city’s train station, including Budapest-Keleti, Budapest-Kelenföld, and Budapest-Déli, you’ll easily find your way to the hotel by tram, bus, metro, or car.
Matild Palace Budapest – History
There’s a bit of history to the building which now houses the Matild Palace, which is actually a restored UNESCO landmark. It explains a lot about the different features of the hotel, and I believe it’s worth a mention.
Even though the hotel is only a year old, the building itself is 120 years old. It used to be a residential palace owned by Archduchess Marie Adelaide Clotilde, and was lived in by people of higher social status.
The fourth floor, which was the top floor at the time, however, was inhabited by local artists and you’ll find that it features a lower ceiling.
In 2013, the building was bought by a Turkish family. A fifth floor was added as a tribute to the artists who once lived there, and hence the loft rooms and suites on this floor are quite different in décor from the rest of the hotel, featuring an artistic twist.
The hotel is quite happy to share its history with guests, and actually offers free tours of the building by its staff that can be booked at the front desk.
Matild Palace Budapest – Check-in
After our flight, we took a taxi from Budapest Airport. As we pulled up to the hotel, it looked very unassuming from the exterior, as it was decorated much like the buildings around it.
Once you step inside, you’re in for a real treat. Through the entry is a white hallway with vaulted ceilings adorned with classical trimmings and moldings paired with contemporary décor.
You’ll find a similar theme throughout the hotel — a blend of traditional and contemporary, preserving the history behind the building but also keeping up with the times.
A bellboy came out to help us with our luggage, and he directed us into the check-in lobby. This area was a separate room with a couple of concierge desks manned by two staff members, and a front desk where another staff member checked us in.
Another staff member appeared and offered us a welcome drink of water, champagne, or lemonade, along with a moist towelette. I had the lemonade, and I must say that it’s one of the best I’ve had. It was light, fizzy, and not overly sweet.
Staff were dressed in immaculate suit jackets and dresses, and were well-trained in their professional etiquette.
Our passports were scanned, and since I booked a travel agent rate, she asked for my identification to ensure I qualified for the rate. Next, she confirmed and our Marriott Platinum benefits, and even proactively asked if we needed a 4pm late checkout.
At this time, I did some “suite-talking” to see if we could be upgraded into their Loft Suite. The agent checked her computer, and then said she had to go into the back to check something.
At this point, we were led into the lobby to wait, so I decided to have a quick look around.
Arranged around the lobby were some comfortable sofas and chairs, as well as some coffee tables. In the spotlight of it all was a central wall that paid tribute to the Archduchess who once owned the building. The setting was posh, yet classy.
Behind this tribute were the main elevators, as well as another casual sitting area with a work station.
When our check-in staff returned, she happily advised that they could accommodate my request, and in fact that this was the best suite they had at the hotel. She mentioned that she found it to be even nicer than the One Bedroom Suites.
After we had checked-in, a staff member escorted us to the elevators and then to our room, and identified all the unique features of it, which we will shortly get into.
Matild Palace Budapest – Loft Suite
Our Loft Suite was located on the 5th floor of building. It was very spacious and offered floor to ceiling windows on two sides of the room, with one side facing the Danube and Elisabeth Bridge.
The décor is contemporary and chic, with a mix of different colours, furnishings, and accent items that somehow matched quite well, much like a work of art.
Although this is designated as a suite, there is no physical separation between the living area and sleeping area. Rather, it is more like one very large studio condo with different areas.
The sleeping area is host to a king bed with a leather-upholstered bed frame. The wall behind the bed is in fact one gigantic mirror.
The lighting is soft, with lights hanging on either side of the bed and track lighting to illuminate the rest of the suite.
The living area features a crescent-shaped couch with an oval coffee table. A bookshelf wraps around the corner, featuring some books and accent décor pieces.
A flat-screen TV seemed a little small for the room, but is positioned above, which you can enjoy from your bed or the couch.
Books and magazines are scattered throughout on a variety of subjects, including Budapest, fashion, history, food, hotels, artwork and more.
In the middle of the room is small table with two seats, and in the other corner, a desk with a lamp.
Everything, from the lights to the blackout blinds, was electronically controlled.
The control panels were conveniently both above the night table by the bed and by the washroom entrance.
The marble bathroom had gold accents for the handles and faucets. A robe was also hung here ready for use, with another in the closet.
The bath amenities were supplied by Acqua di Parma, a brand often seen in higher end hotels.
The toilet is a Grohe smart toilet, which is a feature not always seen. The controls for the toilet are mounted on the wall.
When you enter the suite, there is a closet to the left of the entrance, with a safe for any valuables, slippers, and an extra bath robe.
Next to this closet is the minibar with quite an extensive selection. There were the usual suspects of tea and Nespresso pods.
In a drawer, there were small jars of nuts, gummies, and chocolates.
A small fridge was stocked with chocolate, soda, juice, beer, and wine.
On top of the counter were two bottles of Hungarian wine, small bottles of vodka and whiskey, and a bottle of Sárgabarack pálinka (a traditional Hungarian fruit brandy).
The best part was that all of this was complimentary! All rooms include free use of the minibar, which is replenished once daily. Only suites include the complimentary alcohol.
If you are staying in a suite, this essentially means you can get the above selection on a daily basis, if your liver can handle it.
As if that weren’t enough, they also had a bottle of prosecco, fresh fruit, and some chocolate treats for us in light of our anniversary.
The hotel also offers turndown service. Every night, we would return with slippers laid out and an extra bottle of water on the night table.
There would also be a little gift each night as well, like a small bookmark or a container of night pillow mist.
One last thing to note about the Matild Palace’s soft services is that there’s also complimentary shoe-shining available on request.
Matild Palace Budapest – Breakfast
Breakfast was served in the Matild Café and Cabaret, located on the other side of the building. There is a small corridor from the entrance hallway where we arrived that leads you there.
As you pass through the corridor, there’s a window into the kitchen, which was neat.
The café actually just opened, and the renovation took five years to return it to its former glory. It was previously a famous and popular café, so you’ll find the décor much like a traditional European café.
The breakfast features a continental buffet, with à la carte dishes that can be ordered separately. The normal cost is €39 ($51 CAD), but it was included as an elite benefit with my Marriott Platinum status.
The buffet featured a nice selection of dishes, which were beautifully presented.
- 1 of 5
- 2 of 5
- 3 of 5
- 4 of 5
- 5 of 5
Over the course of our stay, we were able to try a few dishes. The pancakes were a bit dry, but the frittata and omelette were good. Juice is freshly squeezed and made to order, so sometimes there is a wait before the drink comes.
The café serves lunch and dinner as well. It will features evening performances.
Matild Palace Budapest – Dining
For dining, there are a couple of options in addition to the Matild Café and Cabaret. There is a Michelin guide restaurant on site, Spago by Wolfgang Puck, where we enjoyed a meal.
The food was good, but wasn’t cheap. At a Michelin restaurant in a posh hotel, I wouldn’t expect anything less.
If you prefer, you can just enjoy a drink at the bar.
If enjoying a drink is your thing, then I would definitely suggest paying a visit to their rooftop bar, The Duchess.
Not only is it a liquor library with the largest selection of alcoholic drinks I have seen, but located on the top of the building, you can also enjoy a stunning view of Buda.
The chic venue features exotic decorations and various options for seating. There are indoor and outdoor areas, as well as a space with a retractable roof. Seating varies from bar stools to leather seats to velvet couches.
Once again, the bar pays tribute to the past, as the Archduchess had commissioned the original palace to include a clandestine rooftop section as a rendezvous retreat during the Decadent Movement of the late 19th century.
If you would like to see the view during the day, the hotel staff are more than happy to take you up as well.
Going during the day also allowed me to capture better photos of the bar itself with the natural lighting.
Matild Palace Budapest – Other Facilities
The hotel is quite fun to explore on your own. If you’re into architecture, you’re in for a treat, as you’ll find both unique and traditional designs in the floors, staircases, and lighting fixtures throughout the building.
On the lower levels of the hotel are a spa and a 24-hour fitness centre.
Although we didn’t make use of the spa, the treatment rooms look nice.
One minor inconvenience of the Loft Suite is that you can’t access the sixth floor directly to get to The Duchess, fitness centre, or spa. You’ll have to take the elevator down to a lower floor and make your way across the building to another set of elevators that will take you to them.
We truly enjoyed our stay at the Matild Palace in Budapest.
This is a very chic property with unique rooms and suites. It has an interesting history and has enough to see to be a tourist attraction in itself.
The staff are friendly, professional, and aim to please. Aside from being generous with their elite benefits, the hotel also offers the nicest complimentary amenities I have seen outside of an all-inclusive property.
The only issue I ran into was that they did not yet know how to process Marriott gift cards as payment at checkout. Management is aware now, and hopefully they have now rectified this minor issue.
If your travels bring you to Budapest, do try and pay a visit to this otherwise fabulous Marriott property.
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