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Four Seasons Hotel Gresham Palace Budapest

By Geri Bain

Four Seasons Hotel Gresham Palace is a Budapest landmark. Photo Geri Bain.

.By Geri Bain

I felt quite grand each time I walked through the stone archway into the elegant main hall of the Four Seasons Hotel Gresham Palace. It was built in 1906 in the Art Nouveau/Secessionist architectural style that was sweeping Europe at the turn of the century as a prestigious apartment and commercial property. In 2004, it was fully renovated and converted into the luxurious hotel it is today. Many original features have been restored including the glass cupola, tiled walls, stained glass windows, mosaics, and the large wrought iron peacock gates.

My room overlooked the Danube River and Buda Castle. Photo Geri Bain.

The first thing I noticed as I entered my third-floor guestroom was the view. It looked right out at the Danube River and Chain Bridge and across to Buda Castle Hill. The panorama was spectacular during the day and even more impressive after dark when the Castle, Fisherman’s Bastion and other Buda landmarks were awash in lights. High ceilings and rich drapery provided a palatial feel while art deco furnishings added a playful touch. And of course, the room had all the modern conveniences such as free Wi-Fi and a posh marble bathroom equipped with Moulton Brown amenities.

Afternoon Tea is accompanied by live music. Photo Geri Bain.

The formal afternoon tea was a relaxing and elegant retreat. I enjoyed listening to live piano music as I sampled the three-tier tower of traditional Hungarian and British pastries and finger sandwiches and made chose from an international selection of teas. But best of all, afternoon tea was a way to sit back and fully imbibe the elegance of the Gresham Palace.

The lap pool and hot tub stayed open until 11 p.m. Photo Geri Bain.

Budapest is known for its natural thermal spas, but I enjoyed the convenience of being able to hop on an elevator in our bathrobes and unwind in the spa’s large Jacuzzi and lap pool. It was open from early in the morning until late at night, so I didn’t have to break up my day to take advantage of it. Soaking in the soothing waters was also a nice way to meet fellow guests and share touring impressions and suggestions. Most were Americans, although I did meet a couple from France and another from Israel.

Lobby of Four Seasons Gresham Palace. Photo Four Seasons

One of the nice things about the Four Seasons Gresham Palace is that its location, history, and décor make it feel very much a part of Budapest and at the same time, like a posh retreat. Overlooking the Danube just steps from the Chain Bridge, it is central to all the city’s main attractions.

An extensive buffet compliments the full-service breakfast menu. Photo Geri Bain

I started each day with the extensive buffet/full-service breakfast at the Kollázs Brasserie & Bar, which also serves scrumptious pastries throughout the day as well as lunch and dinner. I loved knowing that in its former life, as the Gresham-Venezia Café, the brasserie was the hangout of the 1920s Gresham Circle, a group of influential Hungarian artists.

For more information, visit Four Seasons Hotel Gresham Palace Budapest

Geri Bain, a widely published travel writer and editor, is the co-author of The Complete Guide to Vow Renewals, released in December 2018. She has written about more than 60 countries and contributed to publications including inc.com, about.com, N.Y. Daily News and Robb Report. While travel editor at Modern Bride magazine, she wrote an acclaimed guide to Honeymoons and Weddings Away. She is a past president of the New York Travel Writers Association and former editorial director of Endless Vacation magazine.

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