Múzsa 
FOUR SEASONS

Case study

Múzsa, four seasons Budapest

– BUDAPEST’S FIRST ART NOUVEAU LUXURY CRAFT COCKTAIL BAR

The mission

The mission given to the Next Ship team was to connect the Four Seasons Budapest universe with a new clientele – the local, Budapest-based public. 

For this, the Four Seasons team imagined a luxury craft cocktail bar implemented in the lobby of the magnificent building, that would attract the local target group.

 

Next Ship’s role in the project was to create a brand concept, complete visual identity, offline and online brand communication tools to find the right connection to this audience.

 

The outcome

 

Next Ship’s team created MÚZSA, Four Seasons’ truly inspired luxury craft cocktail bar. Integrating the Art Nouveau atmosphere of the historical interior with a twist of modernity and a strong feminine touch, the Muse of the capital city was born. 

In addition to the brand concept and identity creation, Next Ship created a whole toolset of online and offline brand communication tools, crafted with care with exquisite Hungarian artisanship, designed by Next Ship, illustrated by Dora Kisteleki, and coordinating local talents to create something truly unique in every step of the journey. 

The impact

Although the opening of the cocktail bar was delayed by the pandemic, the impact of this long term, conscious and maximalist cooperation payed off. The Hungarian luxury world welcomed the newly opened bar in amazement. The grand opening was covered by all major local media and relevant international portals. The online social media campaign supported by Next Ship and the numerous press releases generated the target group awareness needed for the launch. MÚZSA was also short listed for brand identity and won the first prize of the prestigious Restaurant and Bar Design Awards in London for interior design.

Services

  • Brand strategy
  • Logo design
  • Visual identity
  • Illustrations
  • Content development
  • Identity toolset creation
  • Social media

Awards

Four Seasons – Budapest Hall

BACKGROUND

The Gresham Palace is an example of Art Nouveau architecture. Completed in 1906 as an office and apartment building, it is today the Four Seasons Hotel Budapest Gresham Palace, a luxury hotel managed by Four Seasons Hotels. It is located along the River Danube, adjacent to Széchenyi Square and the eastern terminus of the Széchenyi Chain Bridge.

So much of what makes Budapest the beautiful and enchanting city we know today, came into existence during the same time period as did the Gresham Palace. It was a hopeful and fertile period in Budapest’s history. It could be said that the soul of Budapest took form in this time.

The Four Seasons Hotel Gresham Palace was the redevelopment of the historic Gresham Palace that opened as a 5-star hotel in late 2003 with 179 guestrooms, meeting and conference facilities as well as a spa.

It is a unique destination setting a dramatic new standard. From the first connection throughout the customer experience an enhanced focus on the 3C’s: Connection, Craftsmanship, Character fitting to the Art Nouveau interiors of the Gresham Palace reflecting highest level of service excellence and exclusivity fitting to the elegance and inspiring ambiance of the Four Seasons Budapest Hotel.

POSITIONING

Sophisticated, classic, yet modern luxury craft cocktail bar. This meeting space is meant to be a luxury living room for locals and hotel guests seeking great service and entertainment with a separate, private library room for history indulgence and book reading.

The stylish bar would reflect the Hungarian talents such as manufacturing of porcelain, glass, textile, music, food and beverages in every transaction with the customer and define the bar’s feel by rooting it back to the Hungarian heritage – making it a must visit place for the community and international clientele in and outside of the hotel. Beautiful craftsmanship, a focus on aristocratic heritage and the elegant, eminently fashionable, sense of modern European style. This is a concept that comes together in the fine details.

The Customer
• Business traveller’s looking for a smart yet un-intimidating space
• Professionals & dwellers looking for their new local.
• Discerning Hungarians looking for Budapest’s latest ‘it’ destination
• Cocktail enthusiasts

Seating
• Mix of Lounge seating and Bar seating.

Service Style
• Professional well-known bartenders, friendly staff and table-side action.

 

DISCOVERy AND CREATION

Next Ship’s team was invited to an exclusive presentation for a unique destination concept setting a dramatic new standard in Budapest with the aim to be recognised as one of the ‘Top 10 Bars in the World’.

Perception

• A place that embodies the past, the present and the future of the Budapest luxury scene

• A place that conveys the best that Hungary has to offer in terms of hospitality, connection, craftsmanship and character

• A place that conjures the 1910s Budapest Golden Age

The Four Seasons’ team was inspired by Next Ship’s narrative of Past, Present, Future, and was immersed in the history of Art Nouveau in Budapest and throughout the world. Throughout the concept design and the pages of art books, the Muse appeared to us. In Hungary, her name is MÚZSA.

Concept

MÚZSA is the Hungarian word for “Muse”– the concept revolves accordingly around the inspiration and creativity indicative of the Art Nouveau era that once thrived in Budapest. The modern take on Art Nouveau interior motifs reflects and honours the rich heritage of the Gresham Palace, known as one of the most beautiful Art Nouveau buildings in the world.

The concept of Múzsa immediately resonated with the project’s vision and goals. There was clear alignment with the history of the Palace as an Art Nouveau landmark and its aesthetic. The philosophy and character of the bar were also in harmony with the concept. The word itself looks and sounds distinctly Hungarian, yet familiarly European and feminine. She is inspirational, creative, artistic, iconic, luxurious, celebrated, and eternal – traversing the past, present and future, effortlessly.

The PROCESS

With the concept chosen, the design process began to take place. Working in parallel with London based interior design office Richmond International, one of the challenges was to create a brand environment that would fit perfectly in the space created. 

As a first step, Next Ship creates Stylescapes to show the different design directions a project can take. This helps in aligning the designers’ ideas with the client’s wishes. 

Then, the logo is created according to the chosen path, along with primary and secondary design elements, colours and typos. 

Then comes everything that makes the brand a fully functioning system with all the rules applied to design and implementation.

With the brand book alive, the team could design and implement the identity rules to offline and online tools to convey the messages of the brand. It was the team’s mission to showcase the best Hungary has to offer in terms of craftsmanship – to make sure that everything related to the brand is unique and created by local experts.

Next Ship team had the chance to participate to the selection of uniquely designed Herend Porcelain Manufactory elements and Varga Art Crystal glasses.

The team designed the menu according to the brand concept and the uniquely crafted signature cocktails. These were classified in the 3 elements of the concept,  three eras – past, present and future. Each cocktail is served in unique Varga Art Crystal glasses, and has a unique story illustrated by the drawings of the artist Dóra Kisteleki.

Coasters and menu covers were furthermore crafted uniquely by Hungarian artisans, managed by Next Ship’s implementation team. 

The CHALLENGE

The design work towards the many possible interpretations of the Múzsa concept, in an effort to pinpoint and capture her essence was complex and refreshingly unique. The team had to explore Art Nouveau illustrations in depth and adapt them to a modern presentation.

The ever growing complexity of the different tools to be designed and crafted came to a climax with the approaching date of the launch. Packaging design for cocktail samples, design and creation of luxury gift boxes, invitations, business cards, window decorations, social media support from strategy to design.    

RESULTS

MÚZSA’s launch event has set the mood for a never-before-seen cocktail bar experience in Budapest. The atmosphere of the place, the food, the cocktails and the excellence of the service, enveloped in the brand created by the Next Ship team became instantly a success story.

Many articles relayed the opening of the venue, Marie Claire, Roadster, WeLoveBudapest, Dining Guide, Forbes, NoSalty, IN magazine and many others wrote about the exquisiteness of the MÚZSA experience.

A group of 3 000 aficionados became followers on Facebook and almost the double seeks the novelties posted on Instagram about the bar.

Next Ship’s brand design was shortlisted, interior design even won the Restaurant and Bar Design Awards in 2021. 

 

MÚZSA has been thriving ever since, serving not only hotel guests, but also an integral part of Budapest’s nightlife. Numerous events await the public thematic evenings, jazz concerts, world-famous cocktail bar tenders, afternoon tea and so much more. 

Köszönjük, hogy
kapcsolatba léptél velünk!
Hamarosan megkeresünk
a megadott elérhetőségeden.

Üdv, Next Ship