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Mihaela Lica Butler

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Mihaela Lica-Butler is travel writer and travel public relations consultant by profession, lover of cultures and cuisine. She has built a fun career while chiming in on many topics, from relating the trials and tribulations of the people of Kosovo, to experiencing, first hand, the heroics of the Romanian soldiers serving for the UN. But she thrives in conveying her love for travel and places in written word, and she is happy to be a constant contributor for some of the world's best travel sites.

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Buda Castle in Budapest© Artur Bogacki

Staring down at the ebony ribbon of water, seemingly endless to the horizon, two lovers stand entranced by ten thousand dancing lights. Transfixed as statues, looking out over the ever present Danube, the sight of couples on the Chain Bridge in the evening reveals just why Budapest is for lovers, and for falling in love.

széchenyi bridge

Understanding just why Budapest is so attractive for romance is not really difficult. This is a dual city, after all, with “Buda” on the west bank of the Danube, and “Pest” to the east. The two opposing styles an essential symbol of the masculine and the feminine, linked inextricably by the Széchenyi Lánchíd suspension bridge. At once ancient and modern, refined and earthy as well, the distinct cultural and architectural differences here can really be taken to heart. If Andrássy Avenue is the symbol of “Pest’s” modernity, then Castle Hill rises to symbolize “Buda’s” medieval character. For our visiting couples though, Mamaison Hotel Andrassy and Mamaison Residence Izabella, being set in the midst of this grandiose affair, perfect any fantasy interlude. But beyond spectacular boudoirs and stunning dinners for two, Budapest is entreating otherwise.

Hand in hand, strolling in and out of time

Walking along in this UNESCO wonder, the historic and natural beauty of Budapest stirs the spirit, conjures emotions, titillates the imagination, and calms simultaneously for the twain that can be one. Strolling down the sidewalks and alleyways of Budapest, no thing or place could be more illusory, or more real. Day or night, this city stirs with excitement, and solitude too.

From the cafes and bars along the promenade, to out of the way nooks and crannies, and finally amidst the rollicking nightlife of the notorious 7th District, couples are entreated to love this city, and each other’s company. Be alone and one with nature amid the greenery and floral majesty of Margaret Island, window shop along the northern part of the pedestrian avenue Váci utca, or like those two lovers you saw in your mind’s eye, stare together into the handsome rivlet of dancing lights on the Danube. Wherever you want to go, or whatever you want to do in Budapest, you’ll never forget the moments.

Wrapped up together, in the arms of the Danube

No mental image with your significant other in Budapest could ever be without the panorama of Buda Castle passing in the night, astern of a river barge or boat, beneath you. The city from the water, declares the real romantic heart of Hungary, and the essence of what we all dream in togetherness. For a dinner cruise, sightseeing, a floating wine tasting event, or even an opera afloat, the river is a quintessential part of all that the city has to offer.

Whether you envision a party boat all night extravaganza, or a private charter with immutable personal niceties, the Danube is the center of everything. The August fireworks display above the Parliament leads into numerous fall festivities, and culminates at New Year’s Eve, where old acquaintances may be forgotten and tossed into the river. But you feel the idea, we know. Share being in the midst, for once in both your lives, and cruise this magical waterway. Share it wrapped in one another’s arms too.

Savour Budapest, at a table for two

What could be more perfect, than two hands touching meaningfully across a crisp, white-linen tablecloth? Only the deep red of the rose completes and accentuates this vision. Well, and the lights, smells, and sounds of the “Pearl of the Danube” in the background. Romantic dining here are the rule.

Whether your getaway is the first visit to the city, an anniversary, or a special occasion such as Valentine’s Day, there’s a culinary adventure around every corner. You can dine where Hollywood stars Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie do, at Arany Kaviár, if Russian and caviar are your taste.

Or maybe the upstairs gallery at cozy and intimate Borssó, and French-Hungarian flavors seem more appealing?

And what about our own La Perle Noire Restaurant, with the most beautiful urban terrace in Budapest, for traditional local favorites?

La Perle Noire Restaurant and Lounge

Breakfast, brunch, or lunch at the world famous New York Cafe, or at any of two dozen coffee houses like the Book Cafe, appeal just as nicely for locals and visitors in love. You see, morning in Budapest is as enchanting as the evening, when the city stirs back to life, after a long day’s night.

All the way from the Castle District to the City park and District XIV, romance is awakened with those same two hands knitted together lovingly across paired classics like Kávé tejszínhabbal (Espresso with whipped cream). Dining in daylight-like mated bookends, this is part of the novella of the city too.

A warm, romantic ending

Sightseeing in a city like Budapest is a foregone conclusion. Dining? The city is all but made out of gastronomical wonders like some fairy tale children’s fantasy. Cliché, or unique and awe inspiring, everyone who comes here falls in love, one way or another. But what really powers the “Heart of Europe” is the water flowing through, in, and around this ancient city. And the warmth affairs of the heart always thrive on, this can be felt literally at Budapest’s much celebrated thermal spas.

If you’ve never shared the healing properties of a Turkish bath, the regenerative powers mineral waters, then you and your mate have a sensual inundation to experience. Being initially sapped of energy, then elevated to a higher plane of acute sensitivity, this is how some describe the transitive effects of places like the Gellert Baths, so embellished in the Art Nouveau style of the turn of the last century.

Gellért bath

Gellért Bath (Image © Horváth Botond – Fotolia.com)

Then there’s the collective immensity of world famous Széchenyi Baths, the largest in all Europe. Imagine sharing beneath the octagon roof of Király fürdő, a more intimate submerging in eternal waters. Remarkable architecturally, Rudas Baths and some of the more obscure ones, they offer visual and soul cleansing qualities. Dating back to Roman times, the thermal spas of this part of Hungary are perhaps the area’s most famous attractions overall. And for loving couples, a foremost romantic possibility.

With so much to experience, it is easy to see how Budapest has earned its nickname, “Paris of the east,” and has earned it romantically.

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Cherry blossoms in Budapest

March 15th is a national holiday in Hungary, commemorating the Hungarian Revolution of 1848. The holiday is celebrated all over the country, with the profession of the Hussars from the Hungarian National Museum to the Buda Castle, dance and music programs, and other interesting events. This is the date when you can visit free of charge the Budapest History Museum, the National Gallery, the National Archive and the Military History Museum, and, if you want to see the Hungarian Holy Crown and the Crown Jewels, they will be on display, for everyone to see (yes, free of charge) at the Hungarian Parliament.

Budapest fountain

Although not a Hungarian tradition per se, the Hungarian Macaron Day has been received with a lot of interest by the residents of Budapest. The festival was inspired by the French Jour du Macaron, which will also be held March 20, in Paris. The Macaron Day this year takes place at the Akvárium Klub (Erzsébet tér 12). Entrance is free, but you will have to pay to sample the delicious treats. The programme includes plenty activities for kids, a Macaron Fare, competitions, and even cooking classes.

macaron

Another tradition borrowed from abroad is the annual St Patrick’s Day Parade. Budapest celebrates this event only since 2011, but the parade attracts more and more enthusiasts every year. Some of the venues where you can celebrate St. Patrick’s Day on March 17 with the locals include the Guinness House, Caledonia, and the Irish Cat Pub. The parade, organized by the Irish Hungarian Business Circle, will he held March 22, at 14:00. The parade starts at Szabadság tér and it will finish at Instant.

Don’t miss Kézműves Magyar Ízek Vására on March 27, the Flavors of Hungary Gastro Fair, for good cuisine, typical foods, homegrown Hungarian produce, and traditional Hungarian recipes. Over 150 different vendors from all historic regions of Hungary will exhibit at Erzsébet tér, offering the best of Hungarian food and flavors. There will also be a kid’s corner, arts and crafts workshops, and other entertaining events.

gastro fair

Another important event of the spring is the Budapest Spring Festival (Budapesti Tavaszi Fesztivál), which begins April 10, and will last till April 26, 2015. It is a cultural festival, featuring musical performances, theater, and art exhibitions. Several venues across Budapest will participate, with more than 50 events to choose from, including the premier of Aida at the Budapest Opera. Don’t miss the Hungarian Wedding Feast at the Papp László Sport Arena on April 24.

Budapest Spring Festival

Another interesting celebration is Budapest 100, which celebrates and highlights the 100-year old buildings in the city. Residential houses, schools, museums, and other landmarks, which are usually closed to the public, open their doors this year, to mark their centenary. The Hungarian Contemporary Architecture Centre offers free, guided tours in every district that’s part of the event: book in advance on the official website of the event.

Finally, the Cherry Blossom Festival (Sakura Festival) in Budapest promises to be as spectacular this year, as always. The Fűvészkert Botanical Garden, Hungary’s oldest botanical garden, marks the event the second weekend of April. Guests of the festival will enjoy authentic Japanese teas, origami and calligraphy exhibitions, programs for kids, and more.

Hungary's oldest botanical garden

There will be many other interesting things to do and see in Budapest this year. Follow us on Facebook, and we will keep you up to date.

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The Garage Museum of Contemporary Art

Moscow is one of the most exciting destinations in the world, especially if you love art. There are hundreds of galleries, art studios and shops to explore. Plus, local artisans love to showcase their crafts at festivals and other events. Here are some of the most popular galleries, recommended for our guests at Mamaison All-Suites Spa Hotel Pokrovka Moscow, and for city visitors.

Moscow’s State Tretyakov Gallery is not only one of the biggest museums of art in the country, but also one of the most interesting. It boasts over 100,000 art works, including icons, graphics, paintings and sculptures. The museum, which opened its doors boasts many masterpieces, some 1000 years old.

The State Tretyakov Gallery

The Multimedia Art Museum (MAMM) at Ostozhenka St. 16 is a branch of the Moscow House of Photography. The museum features new media arts, multimedia set ups and interesting lectures, as well as educational programmes for children.

Another interesting venue for contemporary arts is CCIFabrika (ЦТИ ПRОЕКТ_FАБRИКА). Housed in a beautiful old paper factory, this venue boasts several exhibition spaces, and stages dance and theater shows, concerts, events, and art exhibitions.

CCIFabrika

Galerie Iragui came to Moscow from Paris, and it was received with great interest. Besides hosting works by French contemporary artists, the gallery also showcases art by emerging European talent, and works by famous Russian creators. This is an interesting, unique space, and can be found at 7/7-5, Malaya Polyanka Moscow.

For lovers of photographic art, Pobeda offers an interesting mix of the works from upcoming artists and established international talent. On display, there are photographs by both Russian and international photographers. You simply cannot miss this outstanding gallery, which is located at the Red Square.

Pobeda

RuArts is a young, experimental art venue, created to encourage the development of the young art scene in Moscow. It celebrated 10 years in 2014, and is focused on video art, photography and experimental media. It is a very interesting venue, and it can be found at 1-y Zachatyevskiy Pereulok.

Finally, one of the most interesting venues for contemporary arts is the Garage Center for Contemporary Culture at 9/45 Krymsky Val St.. The gallery showcases contemporary art from upcoming and established Russian artists, as well as occasional internationals.

The Garage Museum of Contemporary Art

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Moscow

February is still gray and grim in Moscow, but not for lovers. There are so many wonderful destinations in this cosmopolitan city, that choosing it to re-declare your love is as good as you can imagine. From your Mamaison All-Suites Spa Hotel Pokrovka Moscow, which will spoil you from arrival till the moment you leave, this is truly a city to celebrate romance.

Shop at Lillies, to have that perfect fashionista outfit for Valentine’s dinner, or, if you want to splurge, choose the Chanel Boutique for clothing, accessories, jewelry, cosmetics, watches and footwear. Another excellent destination to buy luxury fashion is Moscow’s celebrated Novinsky Passage selling the most fashionable clothes, sports gears, footwear, underwear, mobile phones, gadgets, and much more.

Moscow

Perfect Valentine’s Day gift and outfit sorted, plan a romantic day out, doing something not many tourists do on this occasion. Take a ride in the metro, for example, and see the most beautiful metro station in the city (and probably in the world), Komsomolskaya, or stop along the way to admire other artistic and architectural gems like Mayakovskaya, Taganskaya, Novoslobodskaya, and Arbatskaya, to mention but a few.

Izmailovo, part of the State Historical Museum, was once home to several rich and famous Russian families, whose legacy can still be seen here. A museum of rare beauty, this can make for a romantic date if you are into art and history.

If nature is your thing, enjoy the beautiful landscapes of Bitsevskii Wood, between the residential areas of Chertanovo, Yasenevo and Ziuzino. This protected area is the green lungs of Balaklavskii Prospect, a romantic destination all year round. During the winter season, the woods are also favored as a cross-country skiing destination.

Ultimate Pampering in Moscow: Spa by Algotherm

Before you end your romantic day out, let yourself pampered at the exclusive Spa by Algotherm, which takes up two floors of your Mamaison All-Suites Spa Hotel Pokrovka. The most luxurious medical spa in Moscow, Spa by Algotherm at Pokrovka was created to restore the harmony in between body and spirit, offering an oasis of relaxation and calm set in an atmosphere of luxury and lavish comfort. Even if you don’t stay at Mamaison Pokrovka, when your trips bring you to Moscow, check out the gem in our crown, for an experience that has the stuff of period-drama, and romance film illusion.

Wedding Bliss at Mamaison Pokrovka Moscow

Finally, seal the day with dinner at Meat & More the perfect setting for a date, for a wedding, and, why not, even for a psychedelic evening. Just look around you: the interior is so fresh, innovative, and unexpected, that it can transfigure into any theme you may choose. A wedding? We are a favorite partner of the Wedding Magazine, and many couples pick MEAT & MORE for a lively party, after they tie the knot.

The cuisine is refined and sophisticated, just like the interior decor by Anton Gorlanov. This is the only restaurant in the Mamaison collection to welcome you 24 hours a day, every day. When hunger strikes, just step inside the restaurant, and the staff will make you feel like a VIP, every time.

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Crytstal Ball

If you visit Prague in February, to celebrate love with that someone special in your life, stay at a Mamaison hotel, as now rooms are available at promotional prices. And if you love beauty and art, as much as you love culture and discovering new places, Prague is a true destination for the soul. Fall in love with this beautiful city, and visit some of its cherished landmarks, but also add to your itinerary the following recommendations.

Amade

Many restaurants in Prague will offer outstanding menus for Valentine’s Day, and our own Restaurant Amade at Mamaison Suite Hotel Pachtuv Palace is no exception. Romantic and elegant, with a contemporary vibe, and unique interior design defined by exciting and uplifting elements, such as comfy cushions, and crystal chandeliers, Amade offers a sophisticated urban experience that inspires unforgettable moments and romance. Just like the decor, the cuisine, rooted in Czech traditions, but recreated with flair and gusto, refines your Valentine’s Day dining experience with sophisticated flavors, and dishes fit for royalty.

Amade

How else would you want to experience the City of a Hundred Spires? For romantic couples, Mater Urbium is the city break of choice, for its lush, palatial charm, for medieval, fairy-tale like atmosphere, for cuisine, and yes, for everything that makes your heart beat faster, in amazement.

Imagine getting lost on the cobbled streets that once witnessed secrete romance stories between blue-blooded Czech royalty, and their Austro-Hungarian rulers. This is when you will understand why Prague is revisited like an urban art gallery, over and over again: its vast arteries are lined up with outstanding landmarks of diverse architectural styles.

Galerie Rudolfinum is a celebration of love and art, an ideal spot to bring a date for special moments that touch the soul in mysterious ways. If art is not on your list of priorities, an enchanted trip on the Vlatva River, aboard the Hamburg will certainly leave an unforgettable mark: the boat takes you on a romantic cruise, with music, dancing, and fine dining.

Or try Lázně na Lodi, the spa on the ship, on the river at Rašínovo nábřeží. Enjoy some great views on Prague while relaxing in a classic Finnish sauna or in an open-air pool with hot water on the deck. The spa will be open on Valentine’s Day, so give it a try.

carnevale

February is also the season of the Prague Carnevale, which, this year, is held from February 6th till February 17th. Don’t miss its colorful festivities, which take place at various venues around the city. Bohemian costume parades will take place in front of Old Town Hall, but the most exciting event takes place February 14, at 19:30 at the Clam-Gallas Palace: the Crystal Ball, “A Barocco Grandioso.” Keep in mind that you can only attend if you were appropriate period costumes.

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Valentine's Day

One of the most anticipated holidays follows in February: St. Valentine’s Day, a day for lovers and couples, but also a day to celebrate love in all its forms. Traditionally an occasion for lovers to declare their feelings, this is also a celebration of friendship for many people in the world, and, in different countries, it is a celebration with roots in pagan agricultural rituals related to plants, and the beginning of the work in vineyards and fields.

At Mamaison Hotels & Residences, St. Valentine’s Day is what you want it to be: a day like any other day, when you are welcomed in style in any Mamaison Hotel; an occasion to visit a new and exciting European destination; a day to escape the world with your beloved better half, finding sanctuary in one of our most sophisticated rooms, specially decorated for the occasion, and priced to give you a bit extra to spend on gifts… Book now your romantic stay in a Mamaison hotel, and make this Valentine’s Day truly special.

Valentine's Day

More than special Valentine’s Day hotel deals, Mamaison Hotels & Residences mark this day with a variety of romantic dinner menus in their most stellar restaurants. At Mamaison Hotel Le Regina Warsaw, Chef Paweł Oszczyk prepared this menu for couples who celebrate romance at La Rotisserie:

La Rotisserie Valentine's Day menu

Another restaurant that will spoil couples this Valentine’s Day is Mamaison All-Suites Spa Hotel Pokrovka’s Meat & More in Moscow, where the dinner will be held in the spacious living room of one of the best hotel rooms in the Russian capital.

Dinner price 3150 rubles per person.
Reservations by phone +7495229 57 78 or email reservations.pokrovka@mamaison.com

Mamaison All-Suites Spa Hotel Pokrovka Moscow

Finally, the Valentine’s Day menu at La Perle Noire Restaurant and Lounge in Budapest features marinated scallop, trout fillet, French rack of lamb served with squid crust and tortellini filled with chestnuts; asparagus velouté, veal tenderloin, and other delicious mains. Valentine’s Day Menu is 9.000 Ft/person, includes VAT and service charge.

La Perle

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leica

A thriving center of cultural significance, Warsaw is a destination for every budget, appealing equally to adventure travelers, culture buffs, historians, party goers, and the list could go on. This time, we’d like to introduce to you some of the most fascinating art spaces in town, featuring both contemporary and classic works, true temples of beauty, where you can enrich your soul, while getting closer to the spirit of this outstanding destination.

Our first stop is MiTo at Ludwika Waryńskiego 28, a concept cafe, that also acts as a gallery space, showcasing contemporary art by local creators, in small temporary exhibitions. If beauty is not enough, the cafe also offers an exceptional selection of books for sale: no matter what you like, you will leave this place richer.

MiTo

Leica Gallery (address: ul. Mysia 3 00-496 Śródmieście) is for lovers of photographic art. It mainly shows art by Polish artists and photographers, in temporary exhibitions (other solo, or group), mainly revolving around current trends and social realities.

Galeria Kuratorium is a space for contemporary art, but also a design store. A unique art concept space, this shop is exclusively focused on works by young local talent. What they sell here is an inspiring alternative to traditional souvenirs, authentic and valuable, an excellent choice for art collectors, but also for everyone who wants to enhance a home, or a work space, with quality artworks.

Kuratorium

More local art can be admired at Bęc Zmiana (Mokotowska 65) – a non-profit space, dedicated to the promotion of modern Polish art and culture. More than art exhibitions, this space also hosts concerts, events, readings, and other cultural activities.

The arts and culture center of Warsaw is unique, exciting, challenging and extraordinary. The locals transform simple spaces into exceptional concept venues, pretty much like Pies Czy Suka (Szpitalna 8), where you will find a design store and a cocktail bar sharing the same roof. On sale here, items by local emerging artists and craftsmen. You can sip a delicious cocktail while you admire the goods, pondering what to buy. It’s pretty hard to choose: everything is beautiful, valuable, and enticing.

Keret House

Last, but not least, the Keret House, is an ­art installation inserted between two buildings at ul. Chłodna 22.

The house’s location is where two ghettos – the large ghetto and the small ghetto met. Only a few steps from the house stood a footbridge that connected both sealed off areas.

A fully functional building, the Keret House is equipped with all the amenities required for living in the city. The Keret House is open for visitors only on selected days. Visit the website to learn when you can see this outstanding creation by Architect Jakub Szczęsny. Call it the world’s narrowest house if you will, and don’t miss it. This outstanding work of art measures 92 cm in its narrowest point ­and 152 cm in its ­widest point.

La Rotisserie seating

A Gem of Budapest: La Perle Noire Restaurant and Lounge

A new world opened as our mystery guest stepped onto the patio of La Perle Noire Restaurant and Lounge, which is, according to local media and residents, one of the most beautiful terraces in Budapest. And they are not wrong. Time stands still here, in a silent intensity, you find yourself captivated, under the magic spell of a relaxing urban garden. For you are the mystery guest. Welcome to a different hospitality experience. Prepare to enjoy the finest local dishes, the freshest local, and organic, ingredients, and the friendliest atmosphere in this magic city.

We’ve got it: you are a foodie. But, you are, probably, not alone. You are here to share the time of your life with someone special, and we will do anything we can to make your time with us as memorable as you imagined it. This is, after all, award-winning Mamaison Hotel Andrassy Budapest.

It could still be summer: the patio is green and cheerful. Guests come, and go, but you can linger for hours, in candlelight, under the stars, savoring signature dishes inspired by both Hungarian and French traditions.

But then, the weather may not always be on your side, so La Perle Noire Restaurant and Lounge is a haven of sorts, even when the elements are hostile. If you arrive too early, that “hear-a-pin-drop” silence may put you off, but patience, dear mystery guest: the energetic staff will appear in no time, with just the right culinary suggestions to take away your blues.

La Perle Noire Restaurant and Lounge

Imagine indulging in a Barbary duck breast with Rougié duck liver, chili Beluga lens ragout and gingery green apple, arriving at your table looking pretty much as sensual as a Charles Willmott painting. Now, that’s perfection, as some celebrity chef somewhere would say in front of the cameras. But, maybe, just maybe, you want something with local flavors? A “Chef menu,” one of the two you can choose from, paired with the right sommelier recommendations, will do the trick. In other words, precious mystery guest, no matter the season, we will overindulge you, for sure.

Moscow’s Darling for Lovers: MEAT & MORE Restaurant

So, dear  mystery guest, you are now in Moscow, probably staying at Mamaison All-Suites Spa Hotel Pokrovka. Good for you! Did you know that this fine luxury establishment hosts the 11th Spa by Algotherm in existence? Yes, the hotel redefines pampering in all its forms. You can expect the same treatment from MEAT & MORE Restaurant, the jewel in our crown.

MEAT & MORE is the perfect setting for a date, for a wedding, and, why not, even for a psychedelic evening. Just look around you: the interior is so fresh, innovative, and unexpected, that it can transfigure into any theme you may choose. A wedding? We are a favorite partner of the Wedding Magazine, and many couples pick MEAT & MORE for a lively party, after they tie the knot.

The cuisine is refined and sophisticated, just like the interior decor by Anton Gorlanov. This is the only restaurant in the Mamaison collection to welcome you 24 hours a day, every day. When hunger strikes, just step inside the restaurant, and the staff will make you feel like a VIP, every time.

MEAT&MORE

If your question is “How happy can a steak make a man?”  then the answer from MEAT & MORE is “elated.” Steaks pass as simple meals, but not when they are prepared with the best meat cuts available on the market, and refined with signature gravies, and sides that put the world’s most famous restaurants to shame.

Not a “meat” fan? Well, there’s always the “more,” which stands for creative chef dishes, melt-in-your-mouth desserts, soups, salads, and internationally-inspired mains that change seasonally.

Timeless Elegance, and Cuisine by Paweł Oszczyk: La Rotisserie Restaurant, Warsaw

This imperial space is the reason why many local residents visit Mamaison Hotel Le Regina Warsaw time after time, every week. Everything you see, touch, or eat in this urban eatery is the best. You don’t need to be a guest of the hotel to indulge in the finest gourmet creations available in Warsaw.

The “grand” experience is open to all foodies, always changing, innovative, and fresh. The restaurant is as romantic, as it is family friendly. It is as suitable for business lunches, as it is for exclusive parties. And the terrace: is a sanctuary.

La Rotisserie interior

This is where you will find Chef Paweł Oszczyk, recently designated the Polish Chef de l’Avenir 2014, a prestigious award by the International Academy of Gastronomy, which recognizes culinary excellence. No wonder that the local food bloggers rave about the cuisine, and if you consider that the wines are hand-picked by Andrew Strzelczyk, the Polish Champion Sommelier in both 2012 and 2013, you’ll soon be convinced that only a few other selected restaurants in Warsaw come close to what La Rotisserie has to offer.

In other words, if you are looking for the ideal place to satisfy your passion for gourmet foods, this is it. Every other dish is more of a treat than the first, and every glass of wine is godliness.

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Mamaison Hotel Le Regina Warsaw

A charming European destination, Warsaw is as interesting in Winter, as it is in Spring, or any other season. With activities and attractions for every budget, this is the perfect cityscape, any time of the year. To enjoy a great time as a couple, or as a family, take advantage of our Winter Early Bird discounts, and save 20% at Mamaison Hotel Le Regina Warsaw or Mamaison Residence Diana. For those of you planning a trip to Warsaw this season, here’s what we recommend.

diana

First, have a blast at the Winter Town at the National Stadium. This is the second edition of a festival of sorts, that brings you 3 spectacular ice rinks, an ice hill with a slide and pontoons, and even an ice bar. Of course, there are many other exciting attractions: shows on ice “Kings on Ice” and “Xtreme Ice Show,” but also a disco skating rink and toddler activities every morning.

National Winter

Escape the gloomy days with a visit at the Wilanow Palace, and lose yourself inside the Labyrinth of Light, a light art installation covering over 1000 m², in the garden at the Orangery. This year, the theme is Alice in Wonderland – and the labyrinth offers attractions for young and old. 2015 marks the third and last year when the Labyrinth of Light art installation can be seen by visitors at the Wilanow Palace. You have time till March 15, 2015 to see it. The Royal Garden of Light is open every day from 09:00 till 16:00 – tickets are affordable and grant you access to other attractions at the palace, including the Labyrinth of Light, Garden of Imagination, and the Golden Courtyard.

light

Labyrinth of Light, photo by Marcin Mastykarz

Till February 15, 2015, you can still visit the largest Lego exhibition in Poland, which is on display at the National Stadium. On display, a 11-metre-long Titanic model, built with more than 500,000 Lego bricks; the new LEGO – Volvo excavator; the mock-up of the Simpsons family house in Springfield; Lego renditions of cars of the Polish communist regime era; and much more.

lego expo

Don’t forget to like Mamaison Hotels and Residences on Facebook for even more exciting travel news and updates from Warsaw, and for special offers from our hotels and restaurants.

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2015 - Happy New Year

2014 was an amazing year, a year of joy for the Mamaison family, which is now part of the CPI Hotels group, one of the major hotel groups in the Czech Republic. We’ve received tremendous accolades from travelers just like you, and from the media, we had unique events to celebrate our guests in Mamaison hotels in six European destinations (Prague, Ostrava, Budapest, Bratislava, Warsaw and Moscow). We also launched this special blog, to bring you travel news from Mamaison destinations.

In this spirit, we are now recommending things to do in Budapest in the first days of 2015. We will follow up with news from all our destinations, to help you plan a great start in the new year.

Budapest

Budapest enters in the new year with style and class, first celebrating with music, in a variety of venues all around the city. Check out the schedules at the Budapest Palace of Arts (Béla Bartók National Concert Hall), the Hungarian State Opera, the Budapest Congress Center or at the Papp László Sport Arena. New Year’s concerts are also held in churches and basilicas. The programmes are varied, satisfying a variety of musical preferences: you can listen to classical music, choir, opera and more.

The Carnival Season in Hungary, called Farsang, kicks of January 6, and lasts till March 5, 2015. As every year, several venues around the country, and in Budapest, will organize events to celebrate this important religious festival. Among the most interesting events to attend during these days, mark in your calendar the Budapest International Circus Festival (January 9-13);a retro-themed carnival celebration called Symbál, on February 8; a Baroque costume party at the Museum of Fine Arts on February 15 (tickets include a late night visit of the “Caravaggio to Canaletto”); the carnival at Vajdahunyad Castle on March 1st; and the Fat Thursday, featuring great food at low prices, in over 500 fine dining venues around Budapest, including the best of all, our own La Perle Noire Restaurant and Lounge, at Mamaison Hotel Andrassy.

Fővárosi Nagycirkusz

Speaking of good food, do not miss the Mangalica Festival, taking place February 6-8; an event that pays homage to the pure Hungarian heritage breed of pig “mangalica.” Traditional dishes prepared with mangalica pork meat include sausages and salami. After this festival, Budapest celebrates gastronomy with another fun festival: the Budapest Fish Festival (February 13-16). Here, taste the local fishermen’s soup, made with freshwater fish, or try the local wine and pálinka.

mangalica fesztival

We wish you a happy start in the new year, and thank you for choosing Mamaison Hotels and Residences, as individual as you!