After going through an extensive revamp both inside and out, Hotel Füred is now one of the most prominent luxury hotels of the Balaton region, which is true even if, despite the stiff prices, the facility doesn’t actually have a lot of big surprises in store. The building is imposing indeed, and it features a stylish wellness department as well as countless lavish chandeliers, but its biggest asset is without a doubt its close proximity to Lake Balaton.
Completed over a period of two years, the renovation of Hotel Füred cost a total of 4.6 billion forints (with funding to the tune of 1.6 billion forints being provided by the state). The building, which had been known for its tall tower and derelict interior, has been converted into a modern venue equipped with green technology in the form of solar cells. The official opening is scheduled for April 28.
The iconic tower has been retained as an integral part of the new structure: the 199 rooms of the 13-story building can comfortably accommodate up to 398 guests.
The on-site restaurant, which comes with an open-view kitchen, can sit 300. In addition to the buffet-style breakfast and dinner, hotel guests will also have an à la carte selection to choose from. Thanks to the convenient beach bar, patrons will have the option of ordering food and drinks to be consumed directly by the lake.
On our tour of the freshly inaugurated hotel, we felt like preparations for some grand event are going on here all year: wherever we looked, we saw splendid lead crystal chandeliers. Supplied by the brand Bohemia, the ornate lamps were apparently a particular favorite of Maria Theresa, and they are manufactured in the Czech Republic to this day.
We could use the word grand to describe every aspect of the building, including the conference room, which is spacious enough to house events attended by as many as 800 people. At the opening ceremony, it served as a venue for a performance by popular Hungarian singer Zséda.
We’ve already covered the issue of pricing: in high season a double room with a view will cost 59,700 HUF/night for two people. The panorama, which is subject to a surcharge, is of the bay of Balatonfüred, and to be honest, we wouldn’t mind hanging out on the first floor terrace to watch the kickoff of the 2016 Kékszalag Regatta.
The price of the suites starts at 104,000 HUF/night in the summer season; what you get in return is a warm and friendly interior, a spacious living room, and a comfy bedroom. The rooms have a welcoming, almost homey feel (even is the richly decorated carpets are not quite in harmony with the rest of the design elements), not least because of the five-star panorama, which is the first thing you see when you open your eyes in the morning.
The famous presidential suite is also generously decked out with the ubiquitous lead crystals and various hues of gold. The ornamental gold accents are everywhere, even on the bathroom taps.
Hotel Füred takes luxury to a new level: you don’t even have to get out of bed to see what’s going on in the next room, as the bedroom is only separated by a glass wall from the bathroom and the sauna.
Since our team hadn’t been particularly familiar with the interior of presidential suites, we were especially surprised to see that the dining room area not only included a table with throne-like chairs, but also built-in kitchen cabinets with a sink and a small electric stove top.
The five indoor and two outdoor pools as well as the hotel's private beach will be open to the general public.
It all sounds great in theory, but the 6,000-forint daily fee is a bit steep, even if you can lounge at the beach and use every service offered at the wellness department (the infrared, Finnish, and bio saunas, the steam bath, the Kneipp treading pool, the salt cave, and the various special showers). Located by the wellness area, Bowling Bar awaits hotel guests with darts, table football, and air hockey for an hourly rate of 5,000 forints.
In the evening, the building is illuminated with an assortment of decorative lights. We wouldn’t be surprised to see Hotel Füred become an alternative lighthouse for nighttime sailors.