< HUNGARY | LILLAFÜRED: Hunguest Hotel Palota
Situated in Lillafüred, one of the nicest resorts in Hungary, Hunguest Hotel Palota is the castle built in eclectic style in 1930, and surrounded by a hanging garden and a large park. The Szinva Stream waterfall in the immediate neighbourhood of the hotel. Count András Bethlen, minister of agriculture, is said to have been the denominator of the place, which he discovered while hunting, in 1892. In honor of the daughter of a wealthy noble, Lilla Vay, he gave the name Lillafüred to this place of spectacular beauty.
The idea of its expansion to a tourist resort was raised by Count István Bethlen, in the 1920s. The beauty and the endowments made the prime minister initiate the building of a governmental
recreation house, which could serve the purpose of cultivating international relations, supplemented by receptions. Bethlen’s proposal met much criticism, because the economic world crisis at
the end of the 1920s had a serious impact on Hungary too, and the large-scale investment necessary for the construction seemed to unreasonable.
In spite of all this, the decision on building the hotel was made, and Kálmán Lux, the famous architect of that time was commissioned to prepare the plans. His idea was to build the hotel in the Renaissance style of the 1400s, bringing back the atmosphere of the reign of King Mátyás. The plans also included what the surroundings of the building should look like.
The construction of the hotel lasted from 1927 to 1930. The process of the construction is one of the most demonstrative examples of the well-organized communal work during the economic crisis. The Palota was opened on the 7th June 1930. The hotel became the favorite residence of high society guests. Is acquired reputation as a climatic recreation and health resort. In the 1930s the hotel hosted many outstanding events, too.
In the beginning, the operation of the Hotel Palota was in the hands of the Ministry of Agriculture. In World War II, the hotel was converted into a military hospital for healing wounded Russian soldiers. Though the building itself did not suffer much damage during the war, the hospital status and the thefts led to irreparable damage in the original sumptuous furnishings.
It was the Bükk Medical Bath Company which took over the right to manage the hotel after the war; then this right passed to the National Council of Trade Unions. It was a recreation house owned by the NCTU for 40 years, where people with a special voucher could spend their holidays.
In 1992 Hotel Palota became the possession of National Foundation for Holiday Services, which passed the managing authority to Hunguest Company in 1993. The Hunguest Co. had large-scale renovation done in Hotel Palota in 1998: the rooms were newly paneled and furnished, period furniture bringing back the air of old times was installed in the lounge; new ways of interior design was applied. The hotel, previously ranked one-star (low category), became a 3-star hotel.
By opening the sports and fitness centre of European level, excellent opportunities for active recreation are provided. Since then, the Hunguest Hotel Palota is looking forward to the arrival of the guests completed with many new recreation services.
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