Like the city it serves, Budapest Ferihegy International Airport (BUD) still bears the scars of the Allied bombing raids that destroyed its buildings more than 60 years ago. But with a $345 million modernization program in the works, Hungary’s main hub — home to national carrier Malév — is vying to be the region’s best.
Located in the heart of central Europe, Budapest Airport processed 8.1 million passengers in 2009, behind only Warsaw Chopin and Prague Ruzyne. And though that number represents a decline from previous years, airport officials are betting that with the changes in store — expanded terminals and one new one, refurbished facilities, two new piers and a massive new parking structure — total capacity can reach 15 million by 2015.
At the center of it all is the $264 million SkyCourt, a sleek, five-story space opening this spring. By connecting terminals 2A and 2B, the new, light-filled SkyCourt will bring check-in, security, dining and shopping (including a walk-through duty-free area run by the family-owned Heinemann group, one of Europe’s largest duty-free operators) under a single glass-and-steel roof.
“Passengers will be able to shop right after passing through security,” says Director of Corporate Affairs Hardy Mihaly. “And there will be a special customer service desk where they can pick up items pre-ordered over the Internet.” In addition to the regular selection of perfumes, wines and spirits, he says, passengers can also peruse a special “Hungarian Corner” featuring Tokaj wines, foie gras, salami and paprika, the country’s national spice.
Next door will be a Hungarian wine store offering reds, whites and rosés from some of Hungary’s very best vineyards, and next to that a shop selling porcelain from the town of Herend, long renowned for its hand-painted pieces. High-end fashion stores like Burberry, Ralph Lauren, Hugo Boss, Longchamp and Montblanc have all signed on as SkyCourt tenants as well.
“Altogether, we’re handing over 260,000 square feet of new space for passengers, of which more than 46,000 square feet will be devoted to retail and food and beverage,” says Mihaly.
There’s also the “Airport City” project, a business park adjacent to Terminal 2 planned for completion in late 2013. The project includes a multistory parking deck and a 260-room 4-star hotel offering business travelers well-equipped conference facilities just a short walk from the gate.
The investment is already paying off; Delta is resuming its daily non-stop seasonal service from New York John F. Kennedy International Airport to Budapest on June 1. And American Airlines has announced plans to connect its JFK hub to Budapest Airport with direct daily service as well, demonstrating its belief in BUD as a oneworld hub with a bright future.
“We want to shift the convention of thinking from western hubs to central Europe,” says Mihaly. “And we’re beginning to do that.”
Once you’ve boarded Regent’s Seven Seas Grandeur, it is immediately apparent this recently launched cruise ship delivers what the name promises. Jewel box opulence dominates in most of the public areas, while quiet luxury teamed with clever function defines the cabins (save for the individually decorated top-tier suites). The ship, designed by internationally acclaimed Studio DADO and constructed by Ancona, Italy, ship builder Fincantieri, holds up to 746 guests and is serviced by a staff of 548 for optimal passenger-to-staff service.
Whether it's the people, the craic (fun) or the coasts, travelers always find something to love about the island of Ireland. What fills your heart?
The St. Regis San Francisco recently debuted a Lunar New Year-themed The Art of Tea to celebrate the Year of the Dragon. Available for only a few more days, through Feb. 25, the afternoon menu boasts Asian-inspired sweet and savory items, a selection of tea and a complimentary welcome toast with Champgane Lallier R.018.
One affordable plan can protect an entire year of trips: business or pleasure, short or long, domestic or international.
After a stressful pre-holiday season and a busy work schedule, there was no better time for a relaxing spa experience than during my recent trip to Pasadena with the FXExpress Publications, Inc. team. We headed to The Langham Huntington, Pasadena for the 20th anniversary of the GT Tested Reader Survey awards, which meant a jam-packed trip, but I managed to carve a little time out of our busy schedule to visit Chuan Spa at the hotel.
Incentive travel has long been a way for organizations to drive sales and reward employees with opulent trips to exotic destinations. Today it encompasses even more.
Keep New Year’s resolutions going with a stay at The Westin Tempe. The hotel recently launched a wellness stay offer in partnership with Lululemon. The limited-time Lululemon In-Room Fitness Experience includes accommodations in a guestroom equipped with a Lululemon-branded yoga mat and yoga block.