Then, Hungary’s northern border contracted to within 40 kilometres of Budapest. Another, slightly less serious, transfer of property to the north occurred in 2014 when CPI Hotels, the leading Czech Republic hotel group, took over the nine Mamaison properties, including Budapest’s Mamison Hotel on Andrássy and the Mamaison Residence in nearby Izabella utca. The takeover also swallowed up Mamaison Residence Sulekova in Bratislava, and this is our Hungarian lady’s base as she makes her debut appearance in this lost city of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

St. Martin's Cathedral sits at the western border of Bratislava’s compact and nicely preserved Staré Mesto, or Old Town, and is just a 12-minute walk from the Mamaison on this burning summer day in August. A similar distance from the hotel is Bratislava Castle, the symbol of the city. This mighty white-walled, red-roofed rectangular building with four corner towers stands on its own hill, looking down on the Danube and Staré Mesto.

Different castles have stood on the site, and, as Hungarians likely recall, in the reign of King Saint Stephen I (1000–1038), this early stronghold was already one of the central castles of the Kingdom of Hungary.

Uphill from the Mamaison, and a tough 20-minute climb in this summer’s heatwave, is the Slavín war memorial and cemetery for 6845 fallen Soviet soldiers who “liberated” the city from the Germans in 1945 (and then, as in Budapest and elsewhere, forgot to go home again for a few decades).


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Built in stark Socialist architectural style with a 39.5-metre-high obelisk topped with a statue of a Soviet soldier, the Slavin can be seen from much of Bratislava. Conversely, once you have made the climb it offers great views over much of the city.

CPI Hotels began operations in the Czech Republic in 1993 and its portfolio now stands at 29 hotels in 13 destinations with 8400 beds and 11,300 conference seats, making it one of the largest hotel groups in that country.

As noted above, in 2014 CPI took over the Mamaison Hotels and Residences, giving it properties in Prague (Hotel Riverside and Residence Belgicka, both four-stars), Ostrava (Hotel Imperial, four-star), Bratislava (Mamaison Residence Sulekova, four-star), Warsaw (Hotel Le Regina, five-star, and Residence Diana, four-star), Moscow (Hotel Pokrovka, five-star) and the two in Budapest.


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Of benefit to expatriates and Hungarians is that since 1997 CPI has been the exclusive representative in the Czech Republic and Slovakia of the international hotel chain Choice

Hotels, and the latter’s Choice Privileges is a loyalty program that allows members to gain points in more than 6300 hotels of the Clarion chain franchised in 35 countries and territories in Europe, the Middle East, North and Central America, the Caribbean and Australasia.

In return for points accumulated during hotel stays, members can gain a free room anywhere in the world and use airline bonuses and other rewards. The scheme claims more than 23 million

members worldwide and says it is one of the fastest growing loyalty programs in the travel industry. Details may be seen at www.choicehotels.com/choice-privileges.

CPI’s chain of nine four-star, full-service Clarion Hotels offers a choice of three in the Czech capital and six in regional centres Olomouc, Ostrava, Liberec, Ceske Budejovice, Usti nad Labem and Krkonose National Park at Spindleruv Mlyn.


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Hotel Cernigov (three-star) operated by CPI Hotels in Hradec Kralove, Eastern Bohemia, is slated to become the tenth in the Clarion family. Apart from the three hotels in Prague – which are the Clarion Hotel Prague City, Clarion Hotel Prague Old Town and Clarion Congress Hotel Prague – CPI is the operator of the five-star Buddha-Bar Hotel Prague, a concept now familiar in Budapest with its similar establishment. The Prague version has operated since 2009 and was the first hotel of the international chain Buddha-Bar Hotels and Resorts.

Other CPI choices are three middle-category hotels under their own brand Fortuna Hotels (all in Prague and all three-star) and two spa hotels under the brand Spa & Kur hotels (one

four-star, one three-star) in Frantiskovy Lazne.

Recent renovations to the Mamison Residence Suletova have seen a new reception area, kitchen and offices installed. The ground-floor wing was renovated a while ago.

Being a residence” as well as a simple hotel, Mamaison Residence Sulekova has 43 spacious apartments in five varieties. All have kitchenettes that favour longer-term stays, say by expatriates to the city who need extended accommodation while they sort out a flat of their own.


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Whether leisure or business travellers, they will find a hotplate, microwave, fridge, toaster and jug for home” cooking, and there is the use of a washing machine and iron, with plenty of wardrobes and drawers. There is a Samsung TV and a Pioneer CD player. In the basement is a small gym and sauna.

The heat has been exhausting and it is time for our Hungarian lady, no longer muttering, to relax in her Mamaison apartment. But first she tries her hand at rustling up some typical Slovak cuisine in the kitchenette: bryndzove halusky (potato dumplings served with sheep’s milk cheese), lokse (baked potato pancakes), kapustnica (soup with sausage and sauerkraut) and rezen (breaded schnitzel) are among the local delicacies.

Replete, forgiveness of injustice may follow.

Mamaison Residence Sulekova

Sulekova 20

811 06 Bratislava

Slovakia

Tel.: + 421 2 59 100 200

reservations.sulekova@mamaison.com

www.mamaisonsulekova.com

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