The Continental Hotel Zara was officially opened to the public in central Budapest. ZeinaHotel’s project involved the reconstruction of historic buildings at the site along with constructing a modern structure reminiscent of the historic legacy.
The hotel holds 272 rooms of various price and comfort categories along with services such as a restaurant, parking and an indoor spa. ZeinaHotel completed the investment, its second hotel in Hungary, in little over a year.
The facility’s owner Mazen Al Ramahi told reporters the company is planning to build one more hotel in the Hungarian capital, but the launch is not on the immediate agenda. And despite the fact that the company prides itself in the Continental, it sees it as an investment for the future.
“This year, we should plainly forget,” Zoltán Géher, director of the hotel told the BBJ regarding business expectations for 2010. In his view the tourism industry for the time being is still not in a viable state. However, when asked whether delaying the grand opening was even on the agenda, he emphatically discarded the notion. “It would have sent a bad message.”
ZeinaHotel is highly confident of its project and is also seeing positive signs on the tourism market in general. “In our experience and the experience of our competitors, quantity-wise, the market is back where it was,” Géher said. At the same time, profitability is far from where it used to be. “The industry has pushed its prices to extreme lows just to stay alive and although our services are very much competitive, we still have troubles rising above the bad reputation that Hungary has generated for itself over the past years.”
Now that the hotel is open for business it is already seeing a promising number of bookings for 2010, even though 2011 is what the owner considers as the true benchmark. “In an ideal scenario, we are counting on a 55% to 60% occupancy next year,” Géher said.
“Once a guest comes here and sees what we have to offer, they will be convinced,’ he added. “We are not worried, we’ll leave that to our rivals.” (BBJ Online)