Balázs Kovács, CEO of the Danubius Hotels Group looks back with satisfaction at the recent period and optimistically ahead to the coming months. He has a good reason for this as the hotel company has plans to introduce several novelties in the near future to increase guest satisfaction and to provide high-standard service at events in addition to the renovations already completed.
Budapest had a very successful season from the point of view of tourism. What does it mean for the Danubius Hotels Group?
On the whole, it can be said that these were the most successful months of our history of almost 50 years, which resulted from the sustained efforts and good teamwork of all of our colleagues.
Between May and August, sales are dominated by leisure tourism. During these months, we operated at high occupancy rates already in earlier years, but this year we managed to achieve a substantial increase in average room rates. This was also supported by various sports and other events such as the Formula-1 Hungarian Grand Prix and the 17th FINA World Championships held simultaneously in July. In the case of the latter, the Danubius Hotels Group was in a special position as our hotels were among those where organisers booked rooms for the athletes.
What renovations were completed this summer?
In Budapest, three of our hotels underwent more than a facelift. At Hilton Budapest, we renovated two-thirds of the rooms and created a spacious group check-in area for receiving large groups, from which guests are taken to the lobby by a panorama lift overlooking the most splendid sight of the city. We have modernised the Ball Room, which has the capacity for 600 guests, making it an even more perfect venue for weddings, gala dinners and conferences. This was done with the involvement of renowned interior designers, ensuring that all design elements reflect the harmony between the hotel’s historic features and modern elegance. I am convinced that our Buda Castle gem deservedly attracted recognition two years ago when it was one of the gold winners of the London Design Awards and in May this year when it won the title of Hungary’s best five-star conference hotel.
We will soon continue renovating the rooms at the Hilton, just as at the Radisson Blu Béke Hotel on the Grand Boulevard, where guest rooms and suites on two floors have so far been renovated. Here, the style of the interior furnishings combines sleek Scandinavian design and refined ergonomic solutions. We have also approved some exciting ideas for the revamping of the lobby and the Café Zsolnay, which has been firmly attached to the name of the hotel. So we will set to work again in the autumn.
Meanwhile, Danubius Hotel Helia also underwent a renovation. The hotel’s entire conference room floor has been revamped for our prospective and returning partners, and the Ball Room has already served as the venue for numerous press conferences and corporate events. In November, simultaneously with the work carried out at the Radisson, the renovation will also begin in the lobby of this hotel, just as at Danubius Health Spa Resort Margitsziget, so that we’ll be able to receive guests in an impeccable reception area when spring arrives. With its child-friendly services, the all-inclusive Hotel Marina in Balatonfüred is understandably mainly popular among families; there are lots of returning guests choosing this hotel for their holidays every year. This summer, holidaymakers arrived to fully renovated rooms on several floors and regularly gave us positive feedback. The developments will be continued at this hotel as well.
So the revamping has not been finished yet?
Of course, not. In fact, apart from revamping the appearance of our hotels, we strive to develop them in other ways as well. We are familiar with event organisers’ requirements so we know that when choosing a venue they don’t just look for a room with large capacity. The versatility of the rooms, the additional services, and the potential and opportunities they hold for event organisers are equally important. It is our job to provide the perfect supporting background for realising these opportunities.
We make sure that our guests have a broader, more diverse selection to choose from in a coffee break or at a mealtime, and to offer healthier and increasingly creative options to everyone, also taking into consideration the needs of those who are sensitive to certain foods and ingredients.
There is another important innovation we want to offer to event organisers under the aegis of the Danubius brand. This year we will launch our Danubius Audio Visual Services, offering a full-scale, project management-type service that goes beyond classic event technology. Our aim is to guarantee a uniform, high-standard service at our conference hotels by providing dedicated project managers, highly-qualified technicians and state-of-the-art technology. We offer audio-visual installation solutions for using our revamped conference rooms in a versatile, creative manner; our colleagues specialising in visual design, individual stage design and event design will be at our partners’ disposal.
We trust that this will win the approval of event organisers and our other business partners since all our innovations are aimed to increase their satisfaction.