The InterContinental Budapest Hotel is located on the Danube bank and surrounded by some of Budapest’s landmarks, such as Széchenyi Chain Bridge, the former Royal Palace and the Parliament Building.
History of the InterContinental Budapest
In the early 1900s the Danube-riverside was adorned by a row of hotels. The Carlton, Bristol, Grand Hotel Hungaria and Dunapalota-Ritz hotels were noted among the finest hotels thanks to their spectacular view, excellent kitchen and services meeting all needs of guests. After World War II this row of hotels was almost totally destroyed. Its rebirth started at the end of the 60s with the construction of the Duna InterContinental of that time – today Budapest Marriott Hotel.
Birth of the InterContinental Budapest – until 6 May 1997 the Forum Hotel – was made possible by a favourable credit contract after an Austrian-Hungarian government agreement. The construction was started in July 1979 based on the plans of the architect József Finta and the interior designer László Király.
The hotel opened its doors on 28 November 1981 under the name of the Forum Hotel owned by a state-owned company, called HungarHotels. After the Danube InterContinental it was the second hotel operated on a franchise agreement. The success was proved by the fact that the credit with interest given for 15 years was returned in the 7th year of operation.
In 1994 as the second phase of privatization the Forum Hotel went over into ÁPV RT’s ownership (as a state property) in order to prepare its sale. The tender took place in three phases. The first turn was invalid, at the second one Daewoo won, but after the announcement it was invalidated considering formal defects, and the third one InterContinental won. As of 1 November 1996 InterContinental owned the hotel with 95% after half a year the company bought the remaining 5% of employee shares. The contract contained the obligatory renovation condition and the restriction of no redundancies within a year. The name change from Forum to InterContinental took place on 6 May 1997. Thanks to the renovation between 1998 and 2000 the hotel became a 5-star property.Template:Cn
The Hotel during World War II
At the time of the World War II the Portuguese Consulate in Budapest was located in the building of the Hotel Dunapalota-Ritz, which was on the same site as InterContinental Budapest nowadays. In 1944, the diplomats Carlos de Sampayo Garrido (Ambassador) and Alberto Teixeira Branquinho (Chargé d'affaires) acted according to the dictates of their conscience and the generosity of their nature by granting entry visas into Portugal to those refugees persecuted and threatened with imprisonment and death by Nazi Germany and its Hungarian allies. For that reason they had to disobey the instructions of the conservative and authoritarian Portuguese regime, but eventually their actions made possible for thousands of Jewish refugees to escape The Holocaust, and find in Portugal a gateway to safety and stability on the American continent, where they started new lives and families, whose descendants are still alive today.
Notable Guests at the HotelTemplate:Cn
- João Havelange, former FIFA president (1982)
- Amanda Lear, French-born European disco queen of the 70's (1982)
- Andrew Lloyd Webber, one of the most popular musical composer of the 20th century (1983)
- Mark Spitz, American Olympic and world champion winner swimmer (1983)
- Paul Arma, Hungarian-French composer (1984)
- Larry Hagman, number one star of Dallas, an American prime-time television soap opera (1984)
- Sylvia Kristel, Dutch actress, model and singer, starring in French film Emmanuelle (1984)
- Edwin Moses, American athlete who won 107 competitions in a row between 1977 and 1987 (1986)
- Cliff Richard, British singer (1989)
- Joe Cocker, English rock/blues singer (1989)
- Ivan Lendl, regarded as the best professional tennis player in the 80's (1991)
- Giacomo Agostini, Italian Moto GP rider in the 60's and 70's (1992)
- Nigel Mansell, British racing driver (1992)
- Michael Schumacher, German former Formula One driver (1992, 1993)
- Lee Haney, former American IFBB professional bodybuilder (1993)
- Bonnie Tyler, Welsh singer, visited Hungary during her Silhouette in Red Tour (1993)
- Kylie Minogue, Australian pop singer, songwriter, and actress (1993)
- Damon Hill, retired British racing driver from England (1993, 1998, 1999)
- Teller Ede, Hungarian-American theoretical physicist (1994)
- Richard Claydermann, French pianist(1994)
- Puskás Ferenc, Hungarian footballer and manager (1995)
- Plácido Domingo, Spanish tenor (1996)
- José Carreras, Spanish Catalan tenor (1996)
- Diana Ross, American singer and actress.
- Gabriela Sabatini, former professional Argentine tennis player (1997)
The Hotel has won several awards since its opening under the name of InterContinental Budapest in 1997, including:
- 2012: World's Best 511 Hotels, Resorts, Cruise Lines (CondeNast Traveler), Best Conference Hotel in Budapest (Business Traveller Hungary), Business Superbrand (Superbrands Hungary), best luxury business hotel in Hungary 2012 (The MICE Report)
- 2011: 500 World's Best Hotels (Travel+Leisure Magazine), Best Employer 2011 - 3rd place among small enterprises (Aon Hewitt), Quality Excellence Award (InterContinental Hotels Group)
- 2010: EMEA Hotel Award winner of Corporate Social Responsibility (InterContinental Hotels Group), Best 5-star Hotel (Budapest Week Publishing), Best Conference Facilities (Budapest Week Publishing), Best View (Budapest Week Publishing), Best Sunday Brunch (Budapest Week Publishing), Best Catering Service (Budapest Week Publishing), Best International Cuisine Restaurant (Budapest Week Publishing), Best Outdoor Dining Restaurant (Budapest Week Publishing), Superbrand (Superbrands Hungary)
- 2009: Best Sunday Brunch, Best Catering Service, Best Conference Facilities, Best International Cuisine Restaurant - Corso, Best Outdoor dining restaurant - Corso Terrace, Best 5 Star Hotel, Best View (Budapest Week Publishing)
- 2009: CSR Hungary 2009 - in the category of small and medium enterprises - (CSR Hungary)
- 2009: Best website in the hotel industry (InterContinental Hotels & Resorts)
- 2009: Third Best Favourite Large European Hotel (Sunday Times Travel Magazine Reader Awards)
- 2008: Best 5-star Hotels, Best Conference Facilities, Best Sunday Brunch, Best Catering Services, Best International Cuisine Restaurant (Budapest Week Publishing)
- 2007: Best 5-star Hotels, Best Conference Facilities, Best Sunday Brunch, Best Catering Services, Best International Cuisine Restaurant (Budapest Week Publishing)
- 2006: Best 5-star Hotels, Best Conference Facilities, Best Sunday Brunch, Best Food and Beverage Service (Budapest Week Publishing)
- 2005: Best 5-star Hotels, Best Conference Facilities, Best Sunday Brunch (Budapest Week Publishing), Superbrand (Superbrands Hungary)
- 2004: Best 5-star Hotels, Best Conference Facilities (Budapest Week Publishing)Template:Cn, Superbrand (Superbrands Hungary)