|Danubius Hotel Gellért|
Danubius Hotel Gellért
|Address||Szent Gellért tér 2|
|Design and construction|
|Architect||Armin Hegedűs, Arthur Sebestyén and Isidor Sterk|
|Number of rooms||234|
Construction on the Hotel Saint Gellért started in 1912. The hotel was named for Saint Gellért (St. Gerard Sagredo) the first bishop of Hungary in the 11th Century. The 176-room hotel was designed by Hungarian architects Ármin Hegedűs, Artúr Sebestyén and Izidor Sterk. Work on the hotel slowed due to World War I, and it did not open until September 1918, just as the war was ending and the Austro-Hungarian Empire was descending into chaos. The hotel was commandeered for military use throughout 1919, during the Aster Revolution. Once Hungary was established as an independent country, the hotel operated so successfully that it was expanded in 1927 with the addition of 60 more rooms and a wave pool. Noted Hungarian restaurateur Károly Gundel took over management of the hotel's restaurants in 1927 as well. In 1934, the hotel added a jacuzzi pool.
The hotel was severely damaged in World War II. Post-war Communist authorities removed the "St." from the hotel's name and it became the Hotel Gellért. Restoration of the Gellért Hill wing began in 1946, while work on the main Danube River wing began in 1957. Restoration work was completed in 1962. The hotel was again renovated in 1973. Danubius Hotels assumed management of the hotel in 1981. After the company was privatized in 1992, it purchased the hotel outright in June 1996. The adjoining spa is owned and operated by the City of Budapest.
Hotel Gellért is famous for its thermal baths. The Gellért Spa, connected to the hotel directly, is a special attraction and its indoor and outdoor swimming pool, wave bath, sunbathing terrace and thermal spa can be used by the hotel guests free of charge. Thermal baths is used for healing different diseases and illnesses. Jacuzzi with its glass roofs, which is opened in the summer, and the wave bath are the favourites among guests.
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The hotel was built in the (Secession) style with some biomorphic elements. Inside of the hotel is built in Art Nouveau style with high glass cupola and wrought iron decoration. The characteristic, oriental cone-shaped towers of the hotel and eventful frontage attract the look from long distances. Inside the hotel less, but more in the spa the original Art Nouveau furnishing stayed with artistic mosaics, colorful windows and statues. The ornament of the stairs starting from the reception in the hotel is the glass window, made on the basis of layouts of Bozó Stanisits, representing the Chase of the Miraculous Deer from the famous old Hungarian legend. At the beginning of the 20th century the apartments of the nobles were characteristically magnificent, while the other rooms were simply furnished with carefully designed pieces. The stylish furnishing of the rooms does credit to the work carried out by artists under the direction of Ferenc Szabja. The domed hall opened to a formal courtyard which was used as a conservatory with its sliding glass roof. The semi-circular lawned courtyard was surrounded by an alcove for the orchestra and a colonnade of the pump-room. The Indian maharajahs with their numerous attendants visiting Europe frequently put up at the luxuriously comfortable Hotel Gellért. During and after World War II the richly colored coffered ceiling of the galleried foyer and the domed hall reminiscent of the great halls of the Roman thermal baths suffered almost irreparable damage. At the end of the 50’s the reconstruction of the hotel was started. Nowadays the Gellért Hotel is characterized by cozily furnished rooms in which the materials and colors of the textiles, furniture and coverings combine to radiate a sense of calm.
From Budapest Ferihegy International Airport (airport terminals are 16 and 22 km distant) the hotel can be reached by cab or minibus, and from Vienna with Hydrofoil on the Danube. From the riverbank the principal streets of the centre city and the nearest underground station are within 10-minute walking distance. The closest railway station is 3 km away.
- The hotel also makes an appearance in the computer video game series Hitman in Hitman: Codename 47 and Hitman: Contracts, under a changed name Hotel Gallàrd (and known as Hotel Galar in Hitman: Contracts), although it is more often referred to in game as the "Thermal Bath Hotel".
- The Hotel Gellért is one of Europe's great prize-giving sites. Since 1997 the international literary prize, the Balint Balassi Memorial Sword Award's prize-ceremony takes place in this famous Hungarian hotel.
- A music video for the song "You Can Get It" by Maxx was filmed at the hotel in 1994.
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