The business climate has been "challenging" for the last couple of years but there is a slow recovery seen now. That is according to Adrian Ellis, the director of Corinthia Hotel Budapest, the largest 5-star hotel in the Hungarian capital.
“The thing what we pride ourselves on most is the service standard, we try to provide very personalized service. We are very much a European chain with our head office based in Malta, providing a unique surprising delight for our guests.” That is how Corinthia Grand Hotel Royal Budapest General Manager (GM) Adrian Ellis describes what makes his hotel different from other 5-star hotels in the Hungarian capital.
“We’re the oldest and biggest 5-star hotel in Budapest. It was built in 1896, so it has a lot of history, which makes it unique. It is a very big property with 414 rooms, 30 conference rooms, six shops, a night club, a huge spa and 26 parlors,”he adds. The utilization rate of these facilities was affected by the world economic crisis but Adrian Ellis believes things are improving now. “The business climate has been challenging for the last couple of years. However, there is some optimism now in 2010, we’re slowly recovering from the difficult period we had since late 2008 and I expect 2011 to be much more positive. Business optimism is improving, there are some better-looking numbers in terms of events coming into the hotel, occupancy is slowly but surely improving.”
As for clientele, 30% of the guests are from the United Kingdom but there are a lot of French, German, Spanish, Italian customers also, while lots of Americans visit the city as part of their summer tour. A significant number of the Corinthia guests are from the corporate world, representing a wide variety of corporate accounts including pharmaceutical companies, legal and accountancy firms, more recently car companies, retailers.
The Corinthia Hotel is a fairly big player on the Budapest conference market. “We’re probably providing the largest conference space in a 5/star hotel in terms of the number of rooms available and the biggest selling point of the hotel is our Grand Ballroom. 50% of our business is from the meeting, incentive, conference and exhibition trade, and therefore, we cater for the large part of the conference business in the city, a good portion of this business within the circle of 5-star hotels,” Adrian Ellis stresses.
“We are really trying to be perceived as the best 5-star hotel in the city. It was always our aim and I think we are achieving this. Now, we try to keep things lively and interesting for our clientele, coming up with new initiatives and new promotions,” he points out. Programs offered to the public include ‘Wine dinner’ once a month; ‘Tasty Classics’, which is a combination of good food and music from the Music Academy that is just across the road; at Champagne Fridays, entertainment is provided by a jazz duo; the Sunday brunch includes Asian and international food and a comprehensive Kids’ Corner.
“After the Christmas parties, we host a grand gala dinner, called ‘Hungarythm’ on New Year’s Eve featuring rhythms of Hungary, a fabulous dinner of six courses in the Ballroom and music from live bands and a DJ,” Adrian Ellis concludes.