Architect: MAROSI Miklós
Everything was demolished in the more than 100 year old building, except its Erzsébet Boulevard front, its first structural unit and the ballroom; then it was reconstructed, based on the original designs, but taking the requirements of modern hotel operation and those of today’s guests into consideration. The old-new hotel is a great mixture of the spectacular external characteristics of the late 19th century and the comfort and luxury of the present age.
The original 170 room Royal Hotel, located between Erzsébet Boulevard and Hársfa Street, was built between 1894 and 1896, designed by architect Rezső Ray Sr. It was opened for the well-to-do visitors of the millennium exhibitions in 1896, as the largest and most up-to-date hotel in Central Europe. The hotel and its catering premises were the best within their category and they had become the hangout of writers, painters, musicians, actors and journalists. There had been several world famous persons among the hotel guests. The ballroom was converted into the Royal Apollo Cinema in 1915. The building was badly damaged by bombing in 1945 and it suffered further serious damages during the 1956 revolution. The following lengthy reconstruction included major alterations, this was the time the cours d’ honneur were closed off towards the street by bridges. The cinema was reopened in 1959 under the name Vörös Csillag (Red Star); the hotel was opened later, in 1961, with 367 rooms. It was permanently closed in 1992. The hotel was sold in 1997; the developer gave commission for the design based on the result of a two phase international design competition.
The architects planned to restore the original character of the boulevard facade, including the cours d’ honneur. The solid connecting bridges which enclosed the forecourts from the street side, were pulled down. The atriums have been roofed, and with their transparent glass walls towards the street, they have become organic parts of the hotel. The ground floor of the hotel functions as an urban square, it is open for everyone, not only for the hotel guests. It offers a wide range of shops, eating and drinking facilities. The special, French-style roof structure of the central projection on the boulevard front and the original octagonal corner towers of the roof have been precisely and authentically reconstructed. The floor plan of the hotel follows the original layout system. There are 440 hotel rooms, a great number of the new rooms are located in the new wing with a central corridor, built along the Hársfa Street front. An executive lounge has been established in the axis of the boulevard front, on the mezzanine; the presidential suite is located on the top floor, in the same axis. The roofed atriums have their own special ambience, they are useful and peaceful indoor islands of the noisy boulevard. Owing to the traffic development in the past 100 years, the main entrance by car had to be established on the Hársfa Street side of the hotel, so this originally simple facade has also got a quality finish, almost in a par with that of the boulevard front. In order to elevate those hotel rooms which face the inner courtyards, the simple courtyard facades have also been refurbished. After the reconstruction, the hotel has operated as Corinthia Grand Hotel Royal for a long time.
Across the Hársfa Street front of the hotel, two plots were bought and united to build a new apartment hotel cum parking garage building. An exhibition and function hall has also been established in this building, connected to the hotel’s first floor ballroom and conference centre, located on the same floor level. The graceful enclosed bridge over the street provides direct communication between the two buildings.
In 2006, the reconstructed Royal Spa of the hotel opened as well, which is accessible both from the hotel and from Erzsébet Boulevard. The spa, with its heritage look, offers the most up-to-date spa experiences and has an important role in the popularity of the award winning hotel.
Location: Budapest VII., Erzsébet körút 43–49.
Architect: MAROSI Miklós
Associate architects: ÁCS István, NÉMETH Csaba, PANTÓ Gergely
Interior design: Joshua Judd GA Design International Ltd.
Area: 44.900 m2