The crown of Mecsek to be reopened

The four-star Hotel Kikelet has not received guests since the fall of 2015. Owner Ferenc Scheffer said then that he had been offering the hotel for sale for three years, and no buyers had turned up until then. The neighbouring Da Vince Private Clinic announced this year that it had purchased the former hotel redolent of age, where they would like to develop a hotel department for patients, a policlinic with 16 surgeries and offices. Besides operating a wellness section, they also want to form a physiotherapy room and to launch physiotherapy treatments. They are planning to open the restaurant and terrace – one of the most beautiful ones in Pécs – not only for the Da Vinci patients but also for the general public.

Hotel Kikelet

Hotel Kikelet - Csorba Győző könyvtár, CC BY-NC

The town leadership of Pécs invited a tender for the construction of a two-storey hotel with the most beautiful view in the Mecsek Mountains on an area of about 12 thousand square meters in 1935. The call for tender detailed how the new hotel should be constructed. The criteria of the tender included that the competitor architect must come from Pécs. But the evaluation committee preferred the work of István Nyíry, a designer from Budapest, among the dozen applications, thus he hired the famous designer László Lauber from Pécs. Finally, the Nyíry-Lauber duo won the possibility for realization. The second runner-up was Andor Nendtwich jr from Pécs. The final plans were created by the three of them. Constructions started on a mountain where there was no road that time. The location of the hotel was chosen in a way that it would have eternal panoramic view and be visible from the whole town perfectly. Pécs was enriched by a building that is significant in the modern architecture regarding the cityscape as well. In addition, it was the first Bauhaus-style building in the city. The ‘mountain hotel’ was furnished and equipped by the timber industrial firm Neuschloss Lichtig of Budapest besides companies of Pécs. The most important characteristics of the hotel – apart from the clear-out forms – is the scenery of Mecsek, the closeness of nature and the merger of the outside world with the accommodation, via its large windows.

Béla Gaál’s comedy Hotel Kikelet that was finished by the time of the hotel opening contributed to the country-wide fame of the hotel. The film was shot on the original location mainly, with an illustrious casting: Gyula Kabos, Anna Tőkés, Antal Páger and Ida Turay. The story of the film is about Zsófi (Ida Turay) and Boldizsár (Gyula Kabos), who arrive at Hotel Kikelet for their honeymoon. The directress of the hotel is Mária (Anna Tőkés), who is running the elegant place with great talent, and only her secretary Péter (Antal Páger) – who is her husband incognito – feels himself to be an outsider. As Boldizsár spends his wedding-night at the card-table, the young wife allies with Péter, the directress’ husband: they want to pull their spouses’ noses.

The film was screened in Apolló and Uránia cinemas in Pécs at the same time in the September of 1937.


The SZOT holiday resort

SZOT Üdülőszálló a Mecsekben - Csorba Győző Könyvtár, CC BY-NC

After the war during socialism, the hotel functioned as the holiday resort of SZOT (National Council of Trade Unions) and was also used for providing gaffers with holiday accommodations. Its name was Resort-Hotel of Mecsek during this period. Kikelet was popular in the city: a ‘cocoa and cake’ line used to run from the main square of Pécs (Széchenyi Square) to the hotel terrace on Sundays. This was one of the reasons why the bus 34 was launched at the end of September in 1946, which still runs, connecting the hotel with the city centre. After the names SZOT and Resort-Hotel of Mecsek, the place is called Hotel Kikelet again nowadays. In 1997, it was extended with a wellness centre without an indoor pool, but in 2007 the indoor pool was also constructed – first among the hotels of Pécs. Presently, the hotel has a conference room, outdoor and indoor pools, wellness, fitness, a bubble bath, a restaurant, an eternal panoramic view and the famous mountain air all around, naturally.

It is good news that Hungary’s listed hotel with a unique panorama will reopen its gates, even if for patients exclusively. It is also splendid that one of the most beautiful restaurants and terraces of Pécs will be accessible not only for the patients of Da Vinci but also for the general public.

Etele Szüts


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