Grand Hotel du Boulevard has experienced some dramatic and exciting moments throughout its lifetime, which started in 1865 when the owner of a very successful bread factory, Jacques Herdan, bought the site and built a hotel which he named Hotel Herdan. It was inaugurated in 1873 and soon established its high quality by hosting an exhibition with paintings by masters such as Lucas Cranach, Tiziano, Tintoretto, Fragonard and others. The name was changed to Grand Hotel du Boulevard in 1877, and will now operate under the name Corinthia Grand Hotel du Boulevard, following a management agreement of 5 March 2018 signed by Corinthia and the owners NIRO Investment Group, in virtue of which Corinthia will act as Operator.
Plans are being worked out and refurbishment designs are ongoing. The end-result will be another Corinthia hospitality gem, respecting in full the history and architecture of the place. Grand Hotel du Boulevard is in fact one of the oldest hotels in Bucharest and is the brainchild of the very distinguished Romanian architect Alexandru Orăscu (1817-1894) who established a name for his Neoclassical and Renaissance-revival projects. After completing his studies in Berlin and Munich, Orăscu proved his mettle in several fields and occasions. He was an urban planner and author of the ‘City Plan’ of Bucharest (1893), and was also Rector of the University of Bucharest, President of the Romanian Architects Society, and President of the Cultural League.
A postage stamp was issued in his honour in 1967. He also experienced politics, participating in the 1848 Revolution, and serving as Minister of Culture and Public Instruction in 1876. As an architect, besides the Grand Hotel du Boulevard, Orăscu built other landmarks, such as the old quarters of the University of Bucharest, Carol Hotel in Constanța, Domnița Bălașa Church and Mitropolia Nouă in Iași.
Grand Hotel du Boulevard was the first hotel in Bucharest with water supply in each room and in 1904 prided itself on having installed electrical lights in all the hotel and introduced the service of an elevator. The high standard achieved and retained by the Grand Hotel du Boulevard is borne out by the fact that it was granted gold medals at the 1906 Milan Exhibition and the 1911 Turin Exhibition.
The history of the Hotel’s hospitality had a few hiccups and its use changed a couple of times, such as during World War II when the German troops in Romania established their headquarters there in the years 1941-1944. Later it was used as government building during the years 1950 to 1974.
Insider Plus spoke to Mr Jean Pierre Mifsud, who will be the General Manager of this hotel, and who is meanwhile using all his knowledge, experience and round-the-clock energy to see the project through, acting as a liaison between Corinthia, the Designers and the owners, NIRO Investment Group. Mr Mifsud’s last post was General Manager of Corinthia Budapest where he showed his fibre and expertise and will certainly continue with his spotless record in this new venture. “I am so excited with this project. We are all one team, Owners, Designers and Corinthia aiming at one goal: to give birth to the best hotel in Bucharest. It will be top-notch in luxury and elegance. We are scheduled to open in September-October 2022. Being such a historical site, and a listed building, our work had perforce to develop at a slower rate, with much attention to detail and respect towards the many characteristics and features of this hotel. We want to offer the best by reviving the soul of this historic edifice in a matchless manner.”
Insider Plus consulted the Lista monumentelor istorice din România (Romanian heritage site, known in short as Romania LMI Code) and extrapolated the reference to this Hotel.
Corinthia Grand Hotel du Boulevard, will operate as a Luxury Boutique Hotel with the following features:
•30 luxuriously appointed suites
•Grand Ballroom – Fine Dining / Private Dining / Exclusive Events
•Boutique meeting rooms
•Cigar Lounge, and
A mock-up suite layout has already been finalised, and plans for levels are more or less in an advanced stage. Renderings for rooms, reception, lobby, corridors, dining and living areas have progressed well and we are glad to offer you a peek of some of them.
The Grand Ballroom’s opulence adorned with Venetian mirrors and finest Bohemian crystal chandeliers, will provide a stunning experience and set up a high class of its own.
Lovers of culture will cherish their stay there. Bucharest is the cultural capital of Romania with numerous theatres, and hosts an annual theatre festival. Music lovers will appreciate the Opera House, the George Enescu Philharmonia and the Romanian National Orchestra. Museums include the National Museum of Art of Romania, the National History Museum of Romania, the Grigore Antipa National Natural History Museum, the Romanian Peasant Museum, and the open-air National Village Museum, enriched with examples of peasant homes and other traditional buildings from throughout Romania. Bucharest prides itself in having the three largest libraries in Romania: the National Library of Romania, the Central University Library of the University of Bucharest, and the Library of the Romanian Academy.
The regal character of this hotel matches the name of the street it faces: Boulevard Regina Elizabeta. Elizabeta (1843-1916) was the first Queen of Romania, being the wife of King Carol I and having been crowned Queen in 1881 after Romania was declared a kingdom. The name of this street changed a couple of times from 1930s until 1995 when the name was re-established. Queen Elizabeta was quite a unique character. She fought for higher education of Romanian women and established various charities, including a National Society for the Blind and was the first royal patron of the Red Cross in Romania. She was also a cultural font and penned an appreciable number of books, novels, plays, short stories and poems in different languages, under her pen-name Carmen Sylva. In her early times, she was a proficient pianist organist, singer and painter. Exceptional for a queen, she favoured republicanism and expressed herself clearly in her diaries. She died in 1916.
Insider Plus anxiously awaits the opening of this hotel and will feature it again close to its opening.
We are certain that this boutique gem, Corinthia Grand Hotel du Boulevard, will make Corinthia, NIRO Investment Group, and Bucharest proud!