Breaking Travel News

Breaking Travel News interview: Alain Goetschel, general manager, Fraser Residences Budapest

With serviced apartments gaining market share across the international hospitality scene, Breaking Travel News editor Chris O’Toole here visits Fraser Residences Budapest to discover from general manager Alain Goetschel just what advantages this method of accommodation has over its many rivals.

As they are around the world, long-stay apartments are in vogue in Hungary, with Fraser Residences Budapest considered a market leader in the destination.

One of a growing number of European locations for the Singapore-based chain, the property is situated on the quiet Nagytemplom utca and is ideally located to explore the city.

On the doorstep is Corvin Promenade, described rather grandly by developers as a “new city centre” for Budapest, but certainly an epicentre of modernity.

The comprehensive urban renewal project is home to a shopping mall, cinema, countless upmarket boutiques and all the fine dining restaurants one would expect from a European capital.

This means there is plenty on offer for visitors who want to stay in the neighbourhood, while the nearby M3 Metro can whisk guests who wish to explore further afield into the centre of town in a matter of minutes.

And of course, back at the residences, all the advantages of a serviced apartment are on offer.

Boasting 50 modern, luxurious apartments, Fraser Residence Budapest provides the services and facilities of a four-star superior hotel while maintaining the comfort of your own home.

Speaking to Breaking Travel News, general manager Alain Goetschel explains: “The advantage of serviced apartments is that we operate like a hotel, but we offer a great deal more space.”

This space includes a fully functioning kitchen, which can be used to prepare home-cooked meals (lowering the cost of a stay) while a comfortable living room is ideal for family visitors.

Each of the well-appointed studios, one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments is furnished to high standard with open plan living and dining areas.

Also included are fully-fitted kitchens, state of the art entertainment systems, free high-speed internet access throughout the hotel and L’Occitane amenities.

“We offer long-stay options, and this is why, even during the low season, we are able to achieve occupancies of 80-90 per cent,” adds Goetschel.

“A lot of guests come back to us because it is quiet, we are away from downtown so we are more peaceful, but well connected – you can be in the centre in just a few minutes.”

Frasers is considered something of a pioneer in Hungarian serviced apartments, having opened five years ago, and word is spreading that long-stay is the way to go when visiting Budapest. 

“We welcome guests from all over the world, but largely from France, Germany, and right here in Hungary, those from outside the city. America is also growing,”.

“Definitely people are becoming more aware of this market segment.”

But what about Airbnb and the so-called sharing economy? Does this pose a threat to the more established hospitality sector?

“The sharing economy is exciting – but you must not forget, we are serviced apartments. Airbnb is not serviced, I do not consider them competition,” explains Goetschel.

“They will not be able to offer the standards we offer.

“People come here for the comfort of the bed, the breakfast, the Wi-Fi – we have a selection of four mattresses people can choose – we make the stay as comfortable as possible.”

“But we have to adapt, there is no doubt.

“For example, we have had to boost the Wi-Fi speed twice, even toddlers now come with iPads!”

To tempt guests, the residence offers full hotel style services, including a 24-hour reception, concierge, security service garage, and breakfast room with garden terrace that serves a rich continental breakfast every morning.

It’s hard for a private home to compete with that!

And the residence’s success has also been noted by voters at the World Travel Awards, who’ve recognised the property as Hungary’s Leading Serviced Apartments for the past three years.

“World Travel Awards have recognised us since 2013 and this is very beneficial to us, and for our team here at the hotel.

“It’s a great achievement for us here,” concludes Goetschel.

More Information

Fraser Residence Budapest offers a tranquil and exclusive repose in central Budapest.

The property is this year nominated at the World Travel Awards for the title of Hungary’s Leading Serviced Apartments – click here to vote.

For more information on visiting the residence head over to the official website.

Chris O’Toole