At first glance, Western Hungary may not seem as intriguing as the capital city, Budapest. Yet, once travellers get a taste, the region quickly gets under their skin, as it boasts an impressive, rich and diverse offer. The small town of Körmend lies in the westernmost point of Hungary, near the border with Austria and Slovenia. A city that developed and depended on the abundance of the Rába river has a historical connection with the Batthyany family and the chateau they erected in the middle of the 18th century. The Baroque complex and its adjoining park represent the symbol of the city. MJUS WORLD Resort & Thermal Park stands a kilometre from the city centre, nestled between residential houses and industrial factories. A renowned shoe factory of the Italian manufacturer Mjus once stood in the exact same location. In 2016, the factory was seamlessly transformed into a hotel and spa resort after a thermal spring had been discovered on the premises. Such a fascinating hotel story is rare in tourism and represents a sustainable transition from the former industrial complex. Starting from scratch, the hotel now achieves outstanding results. The hotel story of MJUS WORLD Resort & Thermal Park is praiseworthy and inspiring. Hats off to Mr. Piero Oliosi.
The hotel is located in Vas County, at the junction of three countries, only ten kilometres from Austria and Slovenia. The local roads were recently renovated and are well-maintained. Furthermore, road infrastructure has improved significantly in the past few years. In the vicinity, a motorway has halved the time needed to reach Szombathely. The city is perpetually investing in infrastructure, with new bicycle lanes and constructions visible at every corner. A new roundabout and shortcut to the motorway are welcome additions. Most guests decide to reach the resort by car. The hotel greets them with spacious parking free of charge, where they can also find charging stations for EVs. The closest airport is in Graz, about 100 kilometres away. We warmly recommend renting bicycles in the hotel and riding across the Pannonian plains. Public transport is well-managed in Hungary, particularly railways. The train station in Körmend is 2.4 kilometres from the hotel, and luckily for guests, the hotel organises transfers.
COLD STARTER - Architecture and aesthetics
How to transform a former factory into a tourist attraction? How to fill the space with intriguing content? What will represent the hotel story, and what is missing on the market? These must have been thoughts that crossed the mind of Piero Oliosi when he started changing his factory into a tourist complex. After eight years, the hotel is working at full speed, and the owner’s vision has become a reality, despite the challenges brought about by the corona crisis. The design of the hotel is exceptionally functional. Guests will not be shocked by high-flying, unusual or gaudy architecture but will be impressed by the content. The common thread of the hotel story is thermal water in all forms. Architects mastered the space to make it airy and spacious. The hotel is dotted with designer elements, particularly modern furniture, giving the space warmth. Since our last visit, the interior colours have been revived to make the space appear elegant, refined and, above all, spacious. The architecture of the hotel is highly functional and thought-out. We must not overlook the beautifully maintained thermal park.
WARM ENTRÉE - The staff and the culinary experience
The owners of the hotel own a large shoe company in Italy. Their focus is always on clients, their needs and innovation. They implemented their philosophy into their hotel project, the only one in the broader region with its own bowling lanes, a spacious sauna park and additional facilities. Compared to our last visit, the staff has made a visible step forward. Their professionalism and kindness come from the effort they put into their work. Thus, guests leave the resort satisfied. The hotel advanced most in cuisine, which is now a step higher. Both breakfast and lunch are self-service with a rich selection of tasty dishes. The menu also caters to the needs of vegetarians and vegans, and all dishes are labelled suitably. The wine list also deserves praise with a diverse offer of local and international wines. In any case, do not miss an excellent pizza made by Giovanni. The desserts in Pasticerria Italia amazed us on our first visit; this time, they were even better. An insider tip: the boutique restaurant in the wellness centre offers healthy dishes with a selection of flavourful salads.
MAIN COURSE – The meetings offering at the hotel
The hotel offers seven categories of rooms, and even the smallest – smart rooms – offer plenty of space. We stayed in the suite, including an additional room and a spacious walking closet. The eclectic design flaunts several peculiarities. Guests are welcomed by several innovative coat hangers that work brilliantly instead of classic closet spaces. The wooden floor matches the designer lounger in yellow. Pieces of furniture seem to be levitating because of how they are placed. Guests who cannot avoid working on their computers will appreciate the large writing desk. The bed is praiseworthy: we had not slept so well in a while. The bathroom is uniquely divided into two parts and features quality cosmetics. The spaciousness and unusual design of the room make guests fall in love with the hotel. Therefore, guests have no issue staying here for more than one night.
The smaller conference centre boasts four halls that can capacitate up to 160 attendees. All halls have an abundance of daylight flooding in from the windows. We were most impressed by the alternative event spaces found in the water park. According to the staff, meeting planners can even organise a pool party. The staff will gladly share advice and ideas for team building and incentive programmes.
DESSERT – The extras
Bowling can spice up any incentive programme. The hotel has six bowling lanes, with an adjoining bowling bar. Bowling is an excellent team activity, well worth including in your event’s programme. We must mention the shoe shop where guests can buy the legendary Mjus shoes. Guests will be in awe of the offer and quality of shoes. We have no doubts that many event attendees will leave the hotel with a new pair of shoes.
FLOP – NEGATIVE SURPRISES
The lighting in some areas, particularly the grand dining hall, could be better.
TOP – POSITIVE SURPRISES
The holistic offer also includes an eye-opening programme titled Underground Mjus, where guests get a one-off insight into the machinery and complex technical systems that keep the hotel running. The hotel’s trump card is a complex of outdoor Finnish saunas with large panoramic windows overlooking the park, built during the corona crisis. Paired with the relaxation room, the J Lounge is a phenomenal place to wind down.
Although the hotel is just starting its sustainable path, it strives to reduce plastic and has made its first steps in sustainable purchasing (recycled toilet paper). At the moment, the team does not have a holistic system of sustainable hotel management in place.
FINAL IMPRESSION AND CREDIBILITY
When evaluating this hotel, we must not forget that a factory once stood in its place. As we mentioned, the transformation was a resounding success. Altogether, the hotel is utterly convincing. That is no surprise, as the Italian owners manage the hotel with love and attention to detail. We see the hotel as an excellent choice for organisers of incentive events. There is also room for unusual wishes, such as a private pool party. The hotel stands out from the competition because of its alluring event space.
Compared to our first evaluation, the hotel has visibly improved in gastronomy and staff. More importantly, the latest addition saw the hotel fitted with the largest sauna park in this region of Hungary. As an entity, the hotel gets under your skin with its tidiness, comfort, rich offer and functionality. As opposed to other large thermal parks, the hotel offers privacy and secludedness for every guest. Therefore, one can easily forgive some discrepancies in its eclectic design. The offer compensates for the complicated logistics of accessing the hotel. More importantly, the price policy is affordable. In our opinion, MJUS WORLD Resort & Thermal Park is a hotel that exceeds guests’ expectations of the hotel and its location. The best things in life are hidden from the eyes – undoubtedly true for Mjus.
FINAL GRADE: 4.75 SILVER Spa Meeting Hotel
GOLD final score from 4.81 to 5.00
SILVER final score from 4.61 to 4.80
BRONZE final score from 4.41 to 4.60