In the far reaches of Eastern Europe in the former Republic of Zubrowka, there once was the Grand Budapest hotel. A writer remembers a stay at the hotel during the off season many years ago and recalls the tales he heard of the hotel's past from the elderly owner, Mr. Zero Moustafa (F. Murray Abraham). He tells the young writer about how he came to acquire the hotel and of the original concierge of the Grand Budapest, M. Gustave (Ralph Fiennes). Young Zero (Tony Revolori) was a lobby boy at the time and accompanies Gustave to the reading of a will after one of their regular guests dies. She leaves Gustave a valuable painting, but when the woman's son challenges the will, Gustave and Moustafa steal the painting setting off a series of events that will lead to Moustafa's present circumstance.