Four Seasons Hotel Gresham Palace Budapest
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.