At the beginning of December, the Hotel Gellért closed its doors so that the renovation of the 103-year-old building could start. But who will be the new operator, and what changes can we expect? We have put together the currently known future plans for the iconic Budapest building.
A little nostalgia
In more than a century of operation, the Hotel Gellért has undergone several changes. As the Hungarian information portal Metropol reports, it once operated as an airport hotel which was later converted into a family-friendly water park. Few people may know that between the two world wars, Princess Augusta, the granddaughter of Franz Joseph, was a regular at the hotel. In addition, the luxury hotel also had permanent residents. For example, an elderly Hungarian lady lived there for a long time in the 2000s. The Gellért hotel was her last residence before the death of Aunt Hédi.
As the Hungarian information portal Blikk reports, the legendary hotel was renovated after WWII. This is when its golden age begins. The hotel restaurant has long been run by Károly Gundel and gained worldwide recognition during this period. Besides the Hungarians, the iconic hotel in Budapest has also been visited by international legends. To name a few, US President Richard Nixon, tennis player Boris Becker and US violinist Yehudi Menuhin also spent a few days at this luxury hotel. The Gellért hotel also served as a filming location. Blockbusters were filmed here, such as me the spy with Eddie Murphy or Evita with Madonna.
In 2019, Danubius signed an agreement with Hungarian real estate investor Indotek Group to sell the Gellért hotel. The owners of the Danubius hotel chain wanted to find an investor who would allow the iconic building to regain its rightful place among the luxury hotels in Budapest. Consequently, the Indotek Group intends to proceed with the complete reconstruction of the building. While preserving the original exterior,
the company aims to transform the building into a five-star hotel serving quality tourism.
In June 2019, the contract was signed and the parties agreed that Danubius Hotels will operate the iconic hotel over the following years, during the design phase of the reconstruction and until the completion of the licensing process. As Spabook reports, this phase is now over. In November, Danubius Hotels bid farewell to its guests with a special farewell campaign, Gellért Grand Finale. As part of the series of events, we were able to see a special luminous painting adorning the facade of the iconic Budapest building that reflected the former glory of the Gellért Hotel.
The Gellért Hotel has been defining the view of Budapest for over a century and will continue to do so, as the overall appearance of the building will not be significantly altered from the outside.
Probably, The Gellért hotel will be reborn as a 5-star luxury hotel. Based on current plans,
a renowned international hotel brand will take over the operation of the building.
Regarding the reopening of the hotel, no specific date has yet been set. Although the hotel is closed for the moment, the very connected St. Gellért Spa still welcomes visitors. The latter is not affected by the renovation project, because it belongs to the municipal company which manages the thermal baths of Budapest.
Source: blikk.hu, spabook.net, metropol.hu