Corinthia Hotel Budapest, originally the Grand Hotel Royal, launches a new package to celebrate the Oscar success of “The Grand Budapest Hotel” and cinematic past and present of Hungary’s capital. The buzz around Wes Anderson’s ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’ has been firmly reinstated – as the movie ran away with four Oscars. Did Anderson perhaps get his inspiration for this enchanting hotel when he stayed at and did a back-of-house tour at Corinthia Hotel Budapest in 2012?
Corinthia Hotel Budapest, which originally opened in 1896 as the Grand Hotel Royal, shares several similarities with the movie’s fictional Grand Budapest Hotel, including a remarkably similar facade.
The Grand Hotel Royal was Europe’s first grand hotel and royal spa. The earliest filmmakers, the Lumière brothers, held their first cinematographic screening outside of Paris in Continental Europe, at the hotel in May 1896. In 1915, the Hotel’s Royal Ballroom was transformed into the Royal Apollo Cinema seating over 1,000 viewers. In 2002, the luxury Corinthia Hotel Group, painstakingly and elegantly, restored the original Grand Hotel Royal to its former glory.
Though Wes Anderson maintains The Grand Hotel Budapest was an entirely fictional creation with no connection to the city, aspects of the history and architecture of the Corinthia Budapest betray uncanny similarities. Originally opened in 1896, under the name Grand Hotel Royal, the hotel was the most modern and elegant in nineteenth-century Europe. The similarities between hotel’s original façade, still in place today, and the façade of Anderson’s Grand Hotel Budapest, pictured above, also cannot be denied. The hotel has also long had strong ties with the film industry – the Lumière brothers screened their first motion picture on the European continent at the hotel, and the hotel’s ballroom was for a time converted into a cinema seating 1,000 people, called the Royal Apollo – renamed the Red Star Movie during the city’s Communist era.