There are two Maltese people working at the Corinthia Hotel Budapest. One is the general manager, Jean Pierre Mifsud. You’ll know this by his personalised welcome letter which you’ll find in your room upon check-in, alongside some fresh fruit, sweet delicacies and Corinthia-branded wine.
The other Maltese staff member is an 18-year-old called Zack Sammut. He is literally Zero from Wes Anderson’s Grand Budapest Hotel, which is amazing because this impressive hotel was in fact the inspiration to the 2014 movie classic.
To be fair, Zack is a much more self-assured version of Zero. He is brimming with enthusiasm about his job and clearly devoted to this building. So as he guides you around the grand hotel giving you tips about what to do in the city and telling you stories about the hotel’s history, you’ll soon share his love for the place.
Staying at the Corinthia in Budapest is an experience every Maltese person should try at least once in their lives. It offers an unrivalled feeling of pride when you realise that such a fine product so far from home is a product of Malta.
It starts with the taxi ride to the hotel. Every taxi driver in Budapest knows the Corinthia. And when you get there, you’ll realise why. This is an iconic and extremely central building that has been part of Budapest’s history since 1896. Its original name is the Grand Hotel Royal, which is still etched on the building’s magnificent facade.
Corinthia opened its doors in 2003, absorbing the hotel’s rich history in the process. There are two incredible features in the hotel. The first is the spa, which is the reason the hotel was built here in the first place, atop a thermal spring. The original 19th Century spa has since been converted into a modern masterpiece featuring an enormous pool, two incredibly powerful jacuzzis, two saunas, a steam room and a large number of massage parlours.
The second most interesting feature is the ballroom, which is the most ostentatious room a Corinthia has ever seen. It prominently features a portrait of Corinthia’s mastermind Alfred Pisani, alongside other paintings of several famous artists and poets, and two regal chandeliers.
The ballroom is a former cinema, but a very special one at that. The French Lumière brothers – who are credited with inventing cinema – had arranged a special screening of their first motion picture in this very place. These are stories you just can’t find in many hotels elsewhere in the world.
Beyond the intriguing stories, Corinthia Hotel Budapest is a tribute to comfort, service and attention to detail. The rooms are built around a gorgeous internal courtyard atrium, creating the perfect illusion of comfortable al fresco dining even when it’s freezing outdoors. Enjoying breakfast over the giant skylight is really something special.
And talking about dining, the experience is only expected to get better, with Maltese top chef Marvin Gauci soon to open a Caviar & Bull adjacent to the Corinthia – a third local representative bound to contribute to this perfect experience of excellence, service and Maltese pride.