Three Hungarian castles received Heritage Hotels of Europe (HHE) awards at a ceremony held at the Hungarian Embassy in Vienna on November 17.
The HHE awards is a unique recognition of historic hotels, a tribute to dedicated owners, operators, and staff who have “vivified” outdated buildings.
The organization currently hosts 13 member countries, and nearly 100 candidates participated in the competition this year. Prizes were presented in seven categories, and an international jury voted for an extra special prize.
In the Heritage & Design category, Forgách Castle in Mándok took third prize. “The Mecca of all pleasures,” wrote poet Minka Czóbel in the late 19th century, recalling her days at the castle. After many years of neglect, the reconstruction of the castle and its surrounding area began in 2010 under the new Széchenyi tender program. Today it is restored once again to its original noble elegance and glory.
The winner of the Heritage & Hospitality category was Sidonia Castle Hotel in Röjtökmuzsaj. Today, its 46 beautifully renovated rooms, restaurants, ballroom, cafe, wellness area, tennis court, beach volleyball court, basketball court, giant chess space and more surprise guests on a daily basis. When planning the renovation work, it was important to keep as much of the original castle building as possible and to ensure that the new extension fitted into the existing building perfectly.
The special prize for Heritage & Experience was presented to Almásy Castle Visitor Center in Gyula. This was the first castle in Hungary to premiere a play in 1746. Today, with its exhibition space, the Almásy Castle Visitor Center presents the history of the complex to children and adults, young people and the elderly in their own language.
Hungary will host the prestigious Heritage Hotels of Europe award ceremony in 2020.