Grand Story 16.
The Grand Story of Corinthia Hotel Budapest by Tibor Meskal, Sr. Manager on Duty Chapter 16
Hungarian intellectuals of cultural and political influence adopted the hotel as their base. Around 1902 a group of artists, musicians, actors, painters, sculptors and architects decided to establish their own artists’ association, the Fészek Club (meaning ’nest’, composed from the charadters F.é.s.z.e.k., which stand for the Hungarian words Painter, architects, actors, musicians and comedians). The first president was Béla Környei, a famous opera tenor of the time. Its venue: The Royal. Coffee house headwaiter Török had special orders to always group the most attractive young ladies around the tables of the nest club members. a good tip assured his friendly attention to the matter.
Artist József Rippl-Rónai complained that it was difficult to find an appropriate space to exhibit his
paintings. The hotel manager, Gyula Várady, swiftly came up with an offer of a free room at the Royal for the duration of his first exhibition. Today his paintings sell for tens of thousands of euros. While the Royal Café was the regular meeting place of The Royal Artists’ Club, other associations like the János Vajda Club held meetings with public readings in the hotel. One day in 1908, two hungarian writers and intellectuals, Ernô Osvát and Miksa Fenyô, sat together at the Royal Café. Over a cup of coffee; they discussed the foundation of a literary and social journal. Over a second cup, they decided to call it nyugat (The west). This was the start of a significant periodical in the history of Hungarian literature. Until 1941, the greatest writings of the first half of the 20th century first appeared in this periodical. The Nyugat and the János Vajda Club organised public readings at the Royal.
The Royal was a regular meeting place for Freemasons, with the symbolic grand lodge of hungary formed in 1886. at its height, Hungarian Freemasonry boasted more the 7,000 members.
More about our hotel’s history: Andreas Augustin: The Most Famous Hotels in the World. – Grand Hotel Royal