Matild Palace Celebrates 1st Anniversary with Special Gastronomic Offers

Tourism

Matild Palace, an iconic Budapest building from the Belle Époque era, has celebrated its first anniversary as a luxury hotel, having won numerous local and international awards since opening.

After a five-year renovation, the reborn palace reopened as the Matild Palace, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Budapest, part of The Luxury Collection portfolio of Marriott International. From the start, it has featured novel culinary concepts. The first European setting for famed the Spago restaurant brand, The Duchess rooftop bar, and Matild Café & Cabaret, a reimagination of the renowned “Belvárosi Kávéház,” were opened under the culinary supervision of world-famous chef Wolfgang Puck.

The Matild Palace, part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site, celebrated its first anniversary with special gastronomic offers on June 28. Guests could spend the entire day at the luxurious building and take a gastronomic journey to discover classic Spago dishes, refreshing cocktails at The Duchess rooftop bar, and a unique selection of cakes at the recently opened Matild Café. The culinary team consists of Hungarian and international chefs, and the varied menus also feature both local and foreign dishes.

“It is a great honor for us, the team of Matild Palace, to be able to enrich the Hungarian capital not only with a reborn historical building in the past year but also to further enhance the gastronomic offer of Budapest through the three outstanding venues of the palace,” said Selim Ölmez, the newly appointed general manager at Matild Palace.

The palace has been reborn as a social and cultural epicenter of Downtown and will introduce new forms of entertainment after the summer.

“We look to the future with great excitement, as the first cabaret performances on the hydraulic stage of the café will also start in the autumn. We look forward to introducing many new experiences in the coming months,” Ölmez added.

The renovated palace, originally built between 1899 and 1902, reflects its Dual-Monarchy heritage, while the interior design pays homage to the rich history of the famous building. Architects Péter Dajka and Antal Puhl reimagined the plans of the building, with the breathtaking interiors created by the award-winning Greek-born designer Maria Vafiadis, founder of the London-based MKV Design.

Luxury by Design

The luxury and gastronomic features of the hotel have been recognized since its opening. In 2021, Matild Palace was awarded “Best Hotel Luxury” and “Best Guestroom Luxury” in the prestigious “Gold Key Awards for Excellence in Hospitality Design” competition. It won “Hungary’s Leading Hotel 2021” in the global travel industry’s prestigious World Travel Awards. Furthermore, it has been selected among the best new hotels in the world on the international travel lists.

Wolfgang Puck’s Spago Budapest restaurant was added to the list of the Michelin guide’s Budapest restaurant selection. Head chef István Szántó had the opportunity to present Hungarian classics, such as Chicken paprikash, Somlói dumplings, and Eszterházy cake, for Hollywood stars at the Oscar gala, the first Hungarian chef in Oscar history to do so.

Spago, maintaining its leading position as one of the pioneers of the gastronomy world, caters to a brand-new gastronomic culture in Budapest by blending founder Puck’s iconic Californian cuisine with local chefs’ culinary skills, Hungarian traditions, and choice local products. Spago Budapest offers specialties from the chef, like the special lemon cake, smoked salmon pizza with osetra caviar, or the classic wiener schnitzel with fingerling potatoes.

Puck’s cuisine offers a variety of experiences recalling Hungarian history, tradition, and culture throughout the hotel. The gastronomic offer of the Matild Café & Cabaret, often visited by the famous Hungarian writer Gyula Krúdy in the past, includes Hungarian beef stew with homemade spaetzle (noodles), homemade Krúdy-style sausages, a variety of salads, and starters such as a house-smoked salmon plate.

The café’s cake repertoire features the famous sweets of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, including Eszterházy and Dobos cakes. Guests can also discover the iconic Matild cake, created in honor of the great ancestors of the long-established venue. This signature cake is made with peanut liqueur, recalling a drink that was fashionable in the past in local coffee house culture. In addition to coffee, visitors can also taste unique lemonades and cocktails on-site; the Szindbád and Krúdy úr cocktails evoke the world of the bohemian Belle Époque era.

For lovers of Budapest’s splendid panorama, the “secret” rooftop setting of The Duchess offers lasting experiences. The renewed “liquor library,” inspired by the Archduchess Maria Klotild, which once served as a rendezvous retreat for Budapest’s Decadence Movement, offers a year-round covered rooftop terrace. It provides breathtaking views, special drinks, and bar food dreamed up by Wolfgang Puck.

This article was first published in the Budapest Business Journal print issue of July 1, 2022.

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