07 MAY 2003

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Corinthia expands its operations in Hungary

The five-star deluxe Corinthia Grand Hotel Royal, a landmark redevelopment of a historic 19TH century hotel in the heart of Budapest, Hungary, was declared 'officially open' last week, in the presence of the President of Hungary Ferenc Madl, the President of Malta Guido De Marco, and other distinguished personalities.
Corinthia Group Chairman Alfred Pisani and senior directors of the Group welcomed guests to a memorable evening that included a classical music concert by the acclaimed Liszt Ferenc Chamber Orchestra under the baton of Maltese Conductor Michael Laus, and with the participation of celebrated Hungarian pianist Balazs Szokolay. This was followed by a Gala Dinner in the hotel's meticulously restored Grand Ballroom, reminiscent of the City's glittering social life of the late 19th century.
Within Hungary, the re-opening of the Grand Hotel Royal is being hailed as a major milestone for the City of Budapest’s continued revival. The Hotel enjoys a special place in the heart of most Hungarians in that the property had, for many years following its first opening in 1896, been a focal element in the cultural and social life of Budapest for over half a century, as also of the country’s long standing tradition of five-star hospitality.
The extensive project has indeed been a truly impressive achievement for the owners, International Hotel Investments plc., who acquired the Grand Hotel Royal on the Company’s inception in 2000 and immediately moved to initiate the mammoth task of rebuilding the erstwhile derelict and abandoned hotel. Quality Project Management Ltd, a Maltese project management company affiliated to IHI, was nominated to lead the project and represent IHI’s interests with consultants, architects, contractors and neighbours. The work covered 59,000 square metres of construction, essentially entailing the total redevelopment of the historic Grand Hotel Royal, while retaining historic features such as the listed façade and the imposing turn-of-the-century Grand Ballroom. In the course of restoration, utmost care was taken to restore the original atmosphere of the Royal, with traditional architecture blending with modern style to create a unique harmony. Walls now feature works by contemporary Hungarian artists, and floors in the public areas are covered in marble.
The Ballroom itself is now an exclusive event hall for up to 400 guests and the focal point of the largest and most modern conference centre in town, with 30 additional meeting rooms including the state-of-the-art Exhibition Centre, which has direct vehicle access from the road and is joined to the main building by a spectacular glass bridge. The 3,600 square metre Conference Centre can accommodate up to 2200 guests and boasts of the most complete range of facilities of any hotel in Hungary. It represents two-thirds of the entire conference space available in the City's five-star hotels.
Other hotel facilities comprise 414 executive bedrooms and suites, a splendid array of dining services including the casual Brasserie and the elegant Rickshaw, the Bistro, perfect for an early business breakfast, Le Bar with its magnificent cocktails, and the famed Royal Coffee House and Conditorei, a 300-car multi-storey car park, 28 penthouse apartments and a casino nightclub.
Due to re-open by late Summer, a fully equipped wellness centre, located beneath the hotel, will feature a pool area meticulously renovated to its original style, reminiscent of the famed Royal Spa of the 19th century.
The Hotel is being operated by Corinthia Hotels International on behalf of IHI. Corinthia Hotels International operates 22 four and five-star city and resort hotels in 11 destinations and it's portfolio includes the five-star Corinthia Aquincum Hotel, also in Budapest.
IHI plc is a hotel investor and developer. Other than the Corinthia Grand Hotel Royal, the Company owns the Corinthia San Gorg Hotel in Malta, as well as the Corinthia Alfa Hotel in Lisbon and the Corinthia Nevskij Palace Hotel in St Petersburg, Russia.

Copyright © Newsworks Ltd. Malta.
Editor: Saviour Balzan
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