Behind the scenes | Kempinski Hotel Corvinus Budapest

21 Jul 2018
3 min read
Located in the leafy downtown area of Budapest, Kempinski Hotel Cornivus is the perfect base for a weekend escape. FOUR speaks to General Manager Stephan Interthal to find out what makes the hotel so special.

How did you get into your line of work?

Already during my late school years, I did part-time work in restaurants. I knew at the age of 16 that my calling was in hospitality and gastronomy.


Tell us a bit about the design and concept of the recent redesign of the hotel.

A complete re concept preceded the conspicuous redesign in 2013, when we reconstructed the lobby level to become the home of what is today the “Gastronomic Quarter Downtown Budapest”, according to the plans of Maria Vafiadis (MKV Design London). It resulted in the repositioning of the hotel from a traditional “grandish” hotel to a contemporary “life-stylish” complex. In 2016-17, we renovated the entire event area on the hotels first level, and following our Food & beverage branding strategy we introduced our new banqueting facilities and service concept “Ten Rooms”. The next phase is since this year the room and suite renovation which design is from Alex Kravetz London. We have just finished the renovation of three floors, 163 units, with the 27 Grand Deluxe Rooms and 10 suites completely demolished and rebuilt, and the other units soft renovated and refreshed, to reflect the aesthetics and conveniences the contemporary, discerning traveller of today expects.


Where did the inspiration come from for the recent renovations and the hotel in general?

It was collaborative: the owning company, management company, hotel management and at the end from myself too. We all travel extensively, and source inspiration from our exposure to benefit our hotel. We also study market trends to be at the forefront.


What makes the hotel so special in your opinion?

 We’ve a great history here for the last 26 years. In 1992, we brought a completely new hotel concept to a at the time post-communist market. A hotel managed by an international hotel company and brand on behalf of international shareholders. We have educated and developed many hotel staff and management members who work today still in Budapest or somewhere in the country, or even abroad. We train our employees ongoing; we are also making sure that our employees are well looked after and stay positive and empowered. As a result happy staff creates happy clients, and guests actually feel this positive spirit while they stay at the Corvinus. It is about the DNA of the hotel and company, it has to do with spirit, culture, values and making guests feel good and talk as such about us.


Do you think there has been a shift in what people look for in a hotel?

Yes, absolutely. We’re welcoming the second or third generations after the opening of this hotel. 20 years ago, maybe butler service was important, whereas now it’s the high speed Internet connection. Much more life-stylish, much more technically oriented, and everything has to happen now, saying instantly.


Can you tell us any of your favourite highlights from the hotel?

We have been a vanguard of the market from the word go. We have had a lot of firsts… the first luxury hotel in town, for example, or our Corvinus Art Collection, down to the first electric vehicle charging station. Another pride and joy is our Food and Beverage services. Two-thirds of our guests in ÉS Bisztró and Blue Fox The Bar come from outside, we are trendsetting for the market and others. Our outside catering service, The Kitchen Caters, has a top professional branding and operational concept, with the best people running it, this makes it successful.


What do you hope guests will expect when they walk into the hotel?

I hope that our guests feel that the hotel is energetic, life-stylish and contemporary with dedicated staff, and that they feel they’re having a good time here and will definitely come back.


What do you think will leave the biggest impression on guests who visit?

It is a good mix of qualified, well-trained and competent staff plus a quality product and service at all times. People leaving us should turn around and have the desire to return, that’s our ambition.