Once there were grey offices hiding away behind the listed façade of the building in District V’s Vigyázó Ferenc utca, which was designed by Hungarian architect József Hild. Now guests from all over the world can relax, dine and work here at the highest level: Prestige Hotel Budapest has opened, the newest hotel in the capital.
Just over a month ago Prestige Hotel opened its entrance and 85 rooms not far from Chain Bridge. For eight months, until the beginning of March, the building was renovated, and from April 1 guests could already sleep in the hotel beds.
“We are still in the so-called soft-opening phase,” owner Mazen Al Ramahi explained. “But the positive feedback we have already received is giving us an optimistic outlook on the future of Prestige.”
For Mazen Al Ramahi, Prestige is the third four-star hotel to open up in Budapest. The first one was Boutique Hotel in District V’s Só utca in 2006. Continental Hotel Zara in District VII’s Dohány utca followed four years later. Now Prestige complements the portfolio with another premium, modern hotel.
Anybody getting a feeling of déjà vu when entering the stately hotel is right: the noble, mildly oriental and yet purist style of Prestige returns in the other hotels of the chain – the interior and exterior architects were the same.
Which doesn’t mean that the three hotels are all the same – their designs are individually adjusted to the givens on site. “Only the high standards are the same in each of our hotels,” says Mazen Al Ramahi.
It’s hard to believe but this man sitting in the lobby of his own four-star superior hotel today started his career in youth hostels. Mazen Al Ramahi is a trained electrical engineer but when he came to Hungary in the 1990s only a few of the locals could speak fluent English. The Jordanian of Palestinian descent used this asset to work in youth hostels – later even owning one.
Now it’s already 25 years since Mazen Al Ramahi began living in Hungary. It is no surprise the businessman has built up a large network of people, through which he teamed up with Prestige’s well-known neighbour: Costes restaurant, which is owned by Sziget Festival co-founder Károly Gerendai, who had already been looking for a new location for a long time.
Gerendai’s original Costes Restaurant, in District IX’s Ráday utca, is a Michelin-star winner. Now the new one – Costes Downtown is right next to Prestige and can be entered from within the hotel as well as from outside.
Collaborating with one another resulted in a classical win-win situation for both the restaurant and the hotel. While Costes Downtown provides the food for the hotel guests it can attract non-hotel guests at the same time. Or as Mazen Al Ramahi puts it: “Is there any other hotel in Budapest which offers a breakfast provided by a chef of a Michelin star restaurant?”
Word-of-mouth by happy guests
Apart from its collaboration with Costes Downtown, Prestige Hotel can score with the quality of its rooms. Guests can choose from four categories: standard, deluxe, executive and suite. Each category has its own scheme of colours and style, which are still homogenous with the rest of the hotel.
Pastel and gold colours with a subtle touch of vintage and light patterns and ornaments make the rooms cosy. The materials radiate quality and, as they tell us in Prestige, the boss made sure he was involved even in the furnishing to ensure coherence in every detail of design.
“We believe that it’s great quality that attracts new guests,” Mazen Al Ramahi says, and this concept seems to work because many of them return. The hotels of the chain live off word-of-mouth, which can be the best ad.
A small but crucial detail representing the sophisticated service of the hotel is that there’s WiFi for free everywhere in Prestige, which is useful for both tourists and businessmen. The latter can use the Hild conference room of the hotel as well. Guests craving for relaxation can stop off at the relax room with its jacuzzi, sauna and small fitness room or get a massage in their room.
And when you leave past the beautiful elaborate mosaics, even a Budapester could wish to spend some quality time in Prestige Hotel.
For more information visit www.prestigehotelbudapest.com