The magic in Hotel Prestige

The magic in Hotel Prestige

The classicist palace used to be a residential blockhouse in the 19th century, then it was left to neglection until the current owner took over. Architecturally speaking it is like a twisted blockhouse: the elegantly decorated lobby is where the inner courtyard of the blockhouse used to be.

It is the perfect venue for the next show of the Franco Fratelli, the twin Italian magicians who always prepared a bespoke event for each hotel. During the afternoon the guests gather in the atrium covered by a glass ceiling which enables them to see the sky from inside and lets abundant light in. The clouds are mirrored in the granite floor enriched with bronze particles. Cavalli furniture, Murano crystal chandelier, a bespoke curved reception “counter” and a handmade mosaic installation sum up to a sumptuous still laid back atmosphere here.

Marvin is responsible for the story of the show, but his concentration – for the first time – is very limited. In the 85-room design Hotel Prestige the mixture of past and present is palpable. The same way as Marvin wanted to use this opportunity to bring back the past to his present and find their grandmother, who was left behind when their father moved to Italy to marry their mum. They were not allowed to be in contact with their grandma. Marvin checks the various venues of the show with an assistant. He is impressed how the original architectural features were carefully kept: in some apartments, there are a few steps connecting the different levelled rooms while on floor 2 and 6 there are no rooms. The classicist motifs, elegant harmony and cosiness are reflected in the vintage interior of the rooms. The window looks onto the inner courtyard but it is not allowed to go out to the “balcony” – Marvin is given special permission, as they will arrive from here to the lobby at the beginning of the show.

The hotel enjoys an especially central, still calm position in a small side street. Travellers exhausted by business meetings or sightseeing can chill out in the wellness area equipped with sauna and jacuzzi. But today there is an ever bigger crowd, many people came to see the one of a kind performance. Even Sam, Judith and Simon joined who happen to stay in Hotel Continental in the Jewish district.

The hotel includes one of the five Michelin star restaurants of Budapest Costes Downtown – guests enjoy their handmade breakfast here, but it is also accessible to the general public for lunch and the dinner. Marvin meets a secret source here for a coffee. The high standard interior is intentionally designed to make a laid back atmosphere. Dining tables are made of walnut, the plates were handmade by a Hungarian ceramist, and the walls are decorated with paintings by contemporary artists. One of the walls is completely covered by live plants which bring in nature. They sit by the green wall, but Marvin gets bad news. The source has found no trace that can lead to his grandmother.

Marvin is really disappointed, but as they descend to the floor of the lobby as an entreé the audience is hysterical. Before they start the performance he turns to the audience: “My dear ladies and gentlemen, girls and boys. With my brother, we performed our show more than a hundred times with huge success, and now we deliver you an event, never seen elsewhere. But I fail to do the magic in my private life: I hoped to find my loved grandma here in Budapest, but I didn’t succeed. Now enjoy our show where we can still do the magic.” The performance was amazing, they got a huge applause. One man stood up and walked an old lady to the brothers. “Signore, I heard what you said at the beginning of the performance, and this lady is my neighbour who kept telling me about his twin grandsons, who are in Italy, and she knows nothing about them. So I went to pick her up. Magic really exists.”

Photo credit: fiction is written by Timea Kadar, photos taken by the author and by Hotel Prestige, Budapest.

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