Posed in the center of Budapest, The Four Seasons Gresham Palace is an illustrious destination steeped in rich European history and ornamental Art Nouveau
Before arriving in Budapest, we knew it was going to be a historical adventure. After all, Budapest is one of the oldest cities in Europe with 1,000 years of complex and memorable history. But this antique city exceeded our expectations as we formed our first impression of the elaborate architecture and stunning Art Nouveau that adorns Budapest.
Budapest is a city with pleasing balance of old and modern design and has a striking, photogenic quality. Everywhere we walked, we felt like we were a part of a carefully staged photograph. In the middle of such an architectural paradise, it was easy to forget what era it was, and we were too busy admiring the vistas to care!
Our excitement continued as we made our way to our hotel, The Four Seasons Gresham Palace Budapest. The building and location of the hotel is idyllic, situated directly in front of the renowned Chain Bridge.. The hotel overlooks the awe-inspiring Buda Hill and Danube River, which shines during the day and glows at night. The Four Seasons Gresham Palace, built in 1906, became a luxury hotel in 2004 and when we first walked into the hotel, we could instantly feel the duality of the hotel’s fresh style and historic charm.
Exploring One of Budapests Finest Landmarks
After years of turbulent history, this Art Nouveau landmark was mistreated and unappreciated until it was taken over by Four Seasons in 1998. In order to restore the brilliance of the hotel to the beautiful destination it is now, Four Seasons hired the best designers, artists, and workers to revive the building. The hotel is now a symbolic landmark, representing Budapest’s return to thriving times of art, theatre, food, wine, and happiness.
Meandering through The Four Seasons Gresham Palace became one of our favorite pastimes. The hotel has glass dome ceilings, which were like optical illusions that transfixed our gazes. The lobby is a masterpiece in itself, decorated with highlights of majestic purple and shiny tile floors that reflect distinctive chandelier décor. A long atrium lines the lobby, with a few expensive shops and pleasant sitting areas perfect for sipping tea. During Christmas, they transform the lobby into a Christmas market, and I can only imagine how amazing that must be!
Perhaps most spectacularly, 1,021,200 mosaic tiles are placed artistically on the lobby floor, but that’s not the only fine detail you’ll find in Four Seasons Gresham Palace. Every time Chris and I wandered through the hotel, we were captivated by a new detail. Even if you don’t stay here, this hotel is worth a visit to grab a coffee and marvel at the remarkable design.
Sleeping in a Museum
If you’re staying at Four Seasons Gresham Palace, definitely book a room with a river view. When you wake up in the morning to the sight of an orange and yellow sunrise over The Chain Bridge, you’ll understand why. We stayed in the Danube River room, which was perfect for snapping pictures of the bridge at night. The sight of the bridge when it is lit up with golden light is worth it.
The Danube River rooms at Four Seasons Gresham Palace also feature views of the Buda Hills, the Royal Castel, and the Fisherman’s Bastion. Secure a room with a balcony to breathe in the fresh air while you admire the setting. Our room was a little bit small, but it didn’t matter because we hardly spent time in the room at all. It was comfortable and perfect for the experience we wanted in Budapest.
Dining at Gresham Palace
Dinner at KOLLÁZS restaurant is an absolute must! The cuisine can best be described as contemporary Hungarian, and it's full of dynamic flavors. The restaurant itself has a very relaxed bistro-syle feel, which reminded us of cafes we had been to in Paris and Vienna. We immediately made ourselves comfortable in one of the circular booths and preceded to order a few drinks off their extensive cocktail menu. Chris had a classic Vieux Carré and I tried their spin on a Negroni – it even had beets!
Our dinner started off with lamb tortellini with split peas, pickles, and sage, and the combination was explosive. For the main course, I had the Pike Perch fish with paprika risotto and celery, while Chris tried the veal with Jerusalem artichoke puree. We thought we were too full for dessert, but at persistence of our waiter we ended up ordering the French toast. We were glad we did! The dessert was unlike anything we have ever had, but was twisted with familiar flavors. It was the perfect ending to a hearty, creative, and absolutely delicious meal!
Roaming Historic Budapest
The central location of Four Seasons Gresham Palace makes it easy to explore what many call Europe’s most beautiful city. Budapest is a walking city, so be to sure to pack comfy shoes so that you can discover all this historic paradise has to offer. Dig into the city’s pulsing art scene, take yourself back in history at a museum, or simply relax at one of the many Bohemian-style cafes, which are signature to Budapest.
The Four Seasons Budapest is located within walking distance of most of the main attractions. Walk over the Chain Bridge to Fisherman’s Bastion: A neo-Gothic masquerade boasting some of the best views in the city, or walk over to the Parliament building where you can attempt to photograph “Shoes on the Danube.” The National Gallery is perfect for the art-lovers, carrying everything from masterpieces to local art and if you’re feeling a bit athletic you can climb to the Basilica of St. Stephen, a gorgeous neoclassical cathedral finished in 1905. Either way you’re not going to get bored!
For more information about the Four Seasons Gresham Palace Budapest, visit their website: