Adina offers a home away from home
Apartment hotels offer a new model for business travellers and tourists
The growing number of apartment hotels in Budapest suggests that many business travellers appreciate the opportunity to make themselves a snack late at night without having to pick up the phone and chivvy room service into action. To say nothing of not being confined to one room after returning from the last meeting of the day. “The first difference our guests notice is the amount of space,” says Angéla Gergye, manager of the Adina Apartment Hotel Budapest, in Budapest’s District XIII. “All our apartments have a living room, a proper kitchen, a bedroom and a bathroom,” she says.
Space and time
The hotel, which lies a 20-minute walk north of the city centre, has 97 apartments. One- and two-bedroom units range in size from 55 to 95 square metres, while there are also a few fully fitted studio rooms of around 35 square metres offering a hotel-like accommodation option. Although a fair number of tourists opt for the convenience of a serviced apartment during a short city break, most of Adina’s guests are business travellers. “The majority stay from between two or three weeks up to as long as six months,” Gergye says.
Conferences and business events, such as companies launching new production centres or back offices in Hungary, drive much of the hotel’s turnover. Budapest’s increasing role as a “Hollywood on the Danube”, with more and more productions attracted by local tax breaks and new film studios around the capital, has been good for business, too. “We have a good relationship with several studios,” Gergye said, although she was tight-lipped on the subject of which film crews have set up base in District XIII in recent months.
“Our guests have privacy and their rooms are equipped with everything they need. Unlike a private apartment rental, however, if they need something, we are here for them,” Gergye says. “Because people tend to stay here for longer, our staff get to know them and build up a friendly relationship – something that might not happen in a big hotel,” she says.
Although like the hospitality sector as a whole, the Adina Apartment Hotel Budapest has felt the chill winds of the economic crisis, the company behind the hotel is pressing on with a European expansion. The Australian firm Toga Hospitality is behind the Medina Apartment Hotels and Vibe Hotels brands in its home market, while its Travelodge chain is also present in New Zealand. Adina is the brand that spearheaded the group’s expansion into Europe. There are already two Adina Hotels in Berlin, one in Frankfurt and another in Copenhagen. Another German branch is due to open in Hamburg this month and Berlin will get a third Adina Apartment Hotel in February.
“When we opened in 1997, the Adina was the only apartment hotel in Budapest,” Gergye explained. Now, however, competition is fierce in all sectors of the hospitality industry. “The occupancy rate is rising now, but room rates are still depressed across the board in Budapest,” she notes. What the city needs, Gergye believes, is more events like the recent triathlon world championship (which saw thousands of athletes descend on the capital in September).