Located in the heart of Bucharest, this four-storey building sits at the crossroads of Calea Victoriei and Bulevardul Elisabeta. One of the oldest hotels in the city, it was, for many years, at the core of Bucharest’s social scene. It is currently undergoing extensive refurbishment works, in line with Corinthia’s tradition of regenerating 19th Century Grand Hotels across Europe.
This hotel, the former Grand Hotel du Boulevard, was built in 1867 and was classed as a Monument of Culture and Architecture by the Romanian Ministry of Culture.
Corinthia will operate it as Corinthia Grand Hotel du Boulevard under a management agreement signed with the hotel’s owning company.
Corinthia’s man in Bucharest is Jean Pierre Mifsud. He is currently overseeing the work and will be taking care of the hotel when it opens. Insider Plus spoke to this most amiable character who infuses enthusiasm in everything he touches and manages. He started his career with Corinthia in 1996 at the Corinthia St George’s as a receptionist. After working in several different departments and Corinthia Hotels, he occupied his first senior role in 2003 at the Marina Hotel. He then embarked on a family business from 2007 until 2010. Jean Pierre recollects and comments: ‘I guess once a Corinthian, you are always a Corinthian.’ So he re-joined the Corinthia family in December 2010. Jean Pierre has been working as General Manager since 2013 and has relocated to Bucharest with his family following his 4-year assignment with Corinthia Budapest. He smiles as he recollects. ‘Time flies by extremely quick, but it passes much quicker when you are enjoying yourself. When I look back, I relive many uplifting moments and memories that continue to invigorate me.’
I asked Jean Pierre about the ongoing internal redecorations of the hotel and if there was a definite date for the opening.
‘Renovations have been ongoing at a steady pace. We have completed the mock-up suite, and I am pleased to state that it has exceeded the owner’s expectations. It will also serve as a benchmark for the level of luxury the Hotel will achieve. The owners have just signed an agreement with Atelier de France, who will be our turnkey contractors. This was a very important step for the next phase of the Hotel. Atelier de France (ADF) will commence the fit-out in October, and it is envisaged to take between 12-14 months. The property will be handed over to us in December next year so that we can organise an official opening on 1st March 2024.
This is a historic hotel, so I assume you had to move very cautiously on changes and amelioration.
‘Most certainly. Corinthia Grand Hotel du Boulevard is a landmark property in the heart of the city and many Romanians. It is a historical building dating from 1867, designed and built to operate as a Hotel. That makes it even more special. We are not just converting an iconic building; we are bringing back to life a gem of a hotel that will definitely be THE luxury hotel in the market. Since the building is listed at the highest grade, we had to work very closely with the municipality and preserve several hotel features such as the façade, grand ballroom and the marble of the monumental staircase. We are now in the process of shortlisting suppliers for the procurement of both FF&E (furniture, fixtures and equipment) and OS&E (operating supplies and equipment).’
This is a boutique hotel. How many rooms will it have?
‘Yes, it is a Boutique Hotel with 30 luxurious suites and a number of restaurants & bars, spa. We will also have a ballroom for private events. I have no qualms in stating that Corinthia Grand Hotel du Boulevard will be THE destination for the luxury sector in both domestic and international markets.’
The obvious question was, what would be the main attractions of this hotel? Why should one choose this hotel? Jean Pierre smiled. ‘We are offering the very best in the Romanian market. The Corinthia brand is itself an attraction, but I must add that the history of this Hotel and its location are crowd pullers. Then there is the ballroom, our attention to detail on the renovations and the level of service that we will be offering. I am not exaggerating when I say this is a different type of Boutique Hotel. Our wider selection of amenities makes us quite unique in the Romanian market. It is all about an uplifting lifestyle.
We do not have comparable hotels right now in Bucharest, though I am confident we will eventually have other luxury brands joining in this growing market. Indeed I feel Bucharest will eventually need to have more hotels of our standard.’
My last query: I assume every hotel you manage leaves a lingering attraction in your heart. Is it too early to predict this about Corinthia Grand Hotel du Boulevard?
Jean Pierre did not waste time in responding. ‘Every hotel has its own attraction. In this particular case I was fortunate enough to start this project from its early days. I literally experienced this Hotel being stripped out when I was visited occasionally whilst I was caring for Corinthia Budapest. It is bound to leave a special indelible mark in me. However, I must add that another Corinthia Hotel that still has a special place in my heart is Corinthia Budapest.’
Insider Plus looks forward to offer another write-up when this hotel is open for everyone to enjoy and admire.