Budapest expands top-tier hotel offerings By Gilbert Gjersvik / July 08, 1999 Share 1 -- NEW YORK -- Budapest, Hungary, will double its number of four- and five-star hotel rooms by the end of 2000, according to a spokeswoman for the Hungarian National Tourist Office here. The spokeswoman said there are currently 3,300 such rooms in the city. The increase will come from the addition of new properties as well as renovations and the reopening of older properties. The spokeswoman noted that guest nights in Hungary for the first quarter of 1999 are up 3% over the same period in 1998, and tourism-related income grew 6% for the same period.Among the most prominent additions is the 155-room Four Seasons Gresham Palace, which will include 60 suites and is scheduled to open in September 2000. The $84 million restoration of the nearly 100-year-old Gresham Palace will make it one of the top hotels in the heart of the city opposite the Chain Bridge.The 215-room Le Meridien is scheduled to open in June 2000 after a $50 million restoration of a historic Deak Square building on the Pest side of the city.The 232-room Hilton Budapest West Side, near the Nyugati Railway Station, is scheduled to open by the end of next year. Other Budapest hotel projects include the 212-room Hotel Pava which will open in September. The renovated Grand Hotel Royal will reopen next year as the Corinthian Grand Hotel Royal.The Pannonia Hotels Group began renovations on the 130-room Metropole, which will reopen in May 2000 as a Relais Mercure property. And last spring the 355-room Hyatt Regency Budapest and the 398-room Hotel Inter-Continental completed renovations.Outside of Budapest there are a number of other hotel developments.In Szeged, the 114-room Szeged Hungaria Hotel is being renovated by the Pannonia Group and will reopen under either the Novotel or Mercure brand next year.In Szekesfehervar, a 100-room Novotel property is scheduled to open by the end of next year.In Gyor, Mercure is opening an 80-room property next to the city's Trade Center. Also, the Hotel Raba completed renovations and added 21 executive suites.In Kaposvar, Ibis said it will begin construction later this year on a three-star hotel.