100 Years in Style
Hotel celebrates over 100 years of service
In 2013 the Radisson Blu Béke Hotel celebrated the 100th anniversary of its existence. The hotel, formerly known as Britannia and Hotel Béke, surprised its guests with numerous offers and culinary news, historical exhibitions and guided walks in the building.
The hotel opened its gates as Britannia on 10 May 1913. Its founder, Henrik Fábri, established the most up-to-date hotel of its age, a few blocks away from the Western Railway Station. The hotel soon became a huge success among travellers, and from the 1930s, one of the centres of Pest’s cultural life as well. Szondi Beer and Wine House was established in this decade, as well as the Cupola Hall, the Yellow Room, which hosted the Nyugat barátok köre writing community’s meetings, and the first underground hotel garage. After the world war, the hotel reopened as Béke Hotel, which means “peace” in Hungarian. The old fame continuously attracted the guests; the Cupola hall became the stronghold of the capital’s nightlife, where artists like György Korda, Péter Máté, Hanna Honthy, Kamill Feleky, and Géza Hofi entertained guests. Due to the degradation of the hotel’s condition, the owner decided to completely reconstruct it in the beginning of the 1980s. Thus in 1985, a new, but classically styled building welcomed the travellers. In 1988, it became the first European member of the American Radisson Chain, and since 2009, its official name is Radisson Blu Béke Hotel.
For the momentous anniversary, the hotel prepared with numerous events lasting several days. The series of programmes started with the “Budapest100” program, where more than a thousand people got to know the building’s history. Radisson Blu Béke Hotel is closely linked with the 200-year-old City Park, so with many Budapest residents, the hotel planted pansies in the park, which resulted in a new Guinness record. Széchenyi Bath also celebrated its 100th birthday in 2013, so a shared package was created for the visitors. The hotel also connected with numerous theatres to create the Theatre package. In the autumn, the successful “Béke-beli beszélgetések” series continued, with famous people who were closely linked to the hotel telling about their experiences. Due to the huge success of this event, the hotel opened its gates to interested visitors monthly and provided insight into the hotel’s life, describing the art of Jenő Haranghy but delving deeply into other aspects as well.
A hotel’s success lies in whether it can keep up with the changes of time or not. The past century is evidence that the Radisson Blu Béke Hotel has stood the test of time and is already planning for the next 100 years.