Four Seasons Gresham Palace Budapest

  • 01 of 10

    Four Seasons Gresham Palace Budapest in a Nutshell

    ••• A soaring glass ceiling and spectacular fixture light the way to the reception desk in the lobby. © Susan Breslow Sardone.

    Possessing the absolute best hotel location in all of Budapest, the Four Seasons Gresham Palace is an Art Nouveau treasure that stands at the foot of the city’s Chain Bridge, the oldest bridge spanning the Danube River dividing Buda and Pest.

    A 1906 gem, the Four Seasons in Budapest began life as a “palace” built to house the Gresham Life Assurance Company of London and its officers. Although its provenance was not majestic, its bearing has always been.

    Designed by Hungarian architect Zsigmond Quittner on practically an unlimited budget, the Gresham firm recruited the country’s most talented artists and craftspeople to contribute their skills as well.

    Some well-preserved elements of the fin-de-siècle design remain as decorative arts within the hotel. You’ll find original tiles in the Art Nouveau/Secessionist style, stained-glass windows, turreted rooms that are perfect settings for a romantic fantasy, and a spirit of service befitting a Kaiser.

    Other magnificent elements — such as the...MORE glass-roofed arcade and curvilinear “peacock gates” outside the front door that were destroyed by Allied bombs during World War II — have been restored.

    Even during the Soviet occupation of Budapest, the grim-faced occupants knew enough not to trash the facility, reserving these quarters to house the party hierarchy. Nonetheless, Gresham Palace fell into disrepair during those dark years.

    Reopened in 2004 under the far more benevolent rule of the Four Seasons Hotels empire, Gresham Palace today is a jewel in the company’s roster of outstanding luxury properties.

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  • 02 of 10

    Guest Rooms at Four Seasons Gresham Palace Budapest

    ••• Colors of the room echo sunset over the Danube. © Four Seasons Hotels.

    The hotel holds 179 guest rooms, including 14 suites. You’ll want one that faces the Danube and features sweeping views of the Chain Bridge, the water, and steep Buda, capped by the Castle District.

    Standard guest rooms feature every comfort – downy pillows and soft beds, flatscreen TVs, terry robes, an electronic safe. Along with some of our favorite candy bars and drinks both alcoholic and non, the minibar tempts with a few uncommon objects. These include a Rubik’s cube (Rubik, like many of the world’s geniuses, was Hungarian) and hand-painted greeting cards.

    The large marble bathroom in our guest room held two sinks, a glassed-in shower, a deep and spacious bathtub accompanied by the hotel’s own brand of bath salts for lingering soaks, a lighted magnifying makeup mirror, and a separate area for the toilet and bidet. L’Occitane's intoxicating verbena-scented soaps, lotion, shampoo, and conditioner are furnished.

    At turndown, the Four Seasons delivers an especially nice touch: A...MORE plate with three bite-size pastries to send you off to sweet dreams.

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  • 03 of 10

    Dining at Four Seasons Gresham Palace Budapest

    Kollazs restaurant
    ••• The entrance lures diners with its patisserie front. Susan Breslow Sardone.

    Dine at Kollázs (pronounced collage), the Four Seasons’ all-purpose restaurant that's as inviting to sophisticated locals as it is to guests.

    Right off the lobby, the eatery is fronted by a patisserie that gets the mouth watering. Kollázs also works as a coffee shop, a brasserie that serves dinner till ten and a bar that stays open till one or so.

    See Kollázs' menu and wine list

    The room is softly and romantically lit by exquisite pendant lamps, works of art in themselves. Seating includes a number of semi-circular, leather banquettes with brass accents, evoking a classic European coffeehouse.

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  • 04 of 10

    Destination Weddings at Four Seasons Gresham Palace Budapest

    ••• The Winter Garden features a glass ceiling. © Susan Breslow Sardone.

    Many memorable weddings have been held here through the years. Event space at the Four Seasons Gresham Palace is unique and the décor can be as elegant and thematic as a couple desires.

    The hotel's former restaurant, with its street-level, floor-to-ceiling windows has been converted into an event space. But it's not the only place to celebrate...

    Imagine entertaining guests at a rehearsal dinner while seeing snow gently drift onto the ceiling above you. Or saying your vows in a spacious room that overlooks the Danube and Castle District.

    Groups of up to 140 persons and smaller can be comfortably accommodated.

    A Four Seasons on-site expert will work with you or your wedding planner to reserve your dates, plan the schedule of events, coordinate food and beverage details from menu design to linens, and assist with other aspects of your wedding experience at the hotel. These can range from invitations to flowers, from the wedding cake to spa services for the bride and members of the...MORE wedding party.

    Since music has always played an important part in the cultural life of Budapest, the wedding specialist can help give couples the option of invoking a Hungarian folk, River Danube, or baroque theme, accompanied by the music of Hungarian composers including Bela Bartók and Franz Liszt.

    You can use this form to have a wedding specialist from the hotel contact you.

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  • 05 of 10

    Honeymoons at Four Seasons Gresham Palace Budapest

    ••• Tower Suite bedroom, fit for a prince and princess. © Four Seasons Hotels.

    Although the rooms and suites in the Four Seasons Gresham Palace Budapest are all lovely, the one you’ll want to reserve is a Tower Suite. Inspired by the Tower of London, these suites are ultimate hideaways for lovers.

    Bi-level Tower Suites feature a sunken living room with a mini spiral staircase leading up to the spacious bedroom. Its ceiling soars up, up, up, with a king-size bed positioned directly under the turret, which projects from the corner of the hotel.

    There’s also a small balcony with views of the Danube in between the turret's corbels.

    Honeymoon pleasures the Four Seasons can arrange include

    • Champagne breakfast in your room or suite
    • Romantic candle-lit dinner for two en suite or in the restaurant
    • Massages
    • Picnic basket for two

    Plus delicious miniature pastries left at turndown to send you off to ​dream land.

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  • 06 of 10

    Activities at Four Seasons Gresham Palace Budapest

    ••• The private pool in a city of public facilities. © Susan Breslow Sardone.

    In this city where public bathing is practically a daily ritual, the Four Seasons Gresham Palace Budapest maintains a private indoor pool for patrons’ use on the sixth floor.

    The infinity-edged lap pool is quite a feat of engineering. It's surrounded by a mosaic wall; water continually spills down onto river rocks and is drained away. There's also an adjacent hot tub inside a ledge that encourages serene gazing out the windows.

    This aerie also holds a spa with seven treatment rooms. Although it sounds like a tempting drink (just add rum!), the coconut rub and milk ritual wrap is designed for smoothing and softening skin. Others are equally yummy.

    Across the way is a well-lit exercise room with a full complement of workout equipment.

    If you visit at the end of the year, you may encounter a unique shopping opportunity. The Christmas market inside the Four Seasons isn't the only one in town, but it's certainly the most luxe. The curated collection of primarily Hungarian...MORE vendors sells beautiful leather gloves, fur hats, costume and fine jewelry, emollients, and artisanal chocolates. 

    We were charmed there by a 14th-generation woodworker who carves and paints everything from hand mirror frames to furniture. Hungarian/Transylvanian by birth, it's worth chatting with this true old-world artisan.

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  • 07 of 10

    Nearby the Four Seasons Gresham Palace Budapest

    ••• Budapest's Chain Bridge as seen from a fourth-floor hotel room. © Susan Breslow Sardone.

    If you don’t have a particular itinerary when you arrive in Budapest, begin by taking a walk to explore this safe and scenic city.

    Turn right as you exit the Four Seasons Gresham Palace, and you’ll come upon St. Stephan’s Cathedral at the end of a street lined with cafes. Imposing in daylight, it becomes spectral lit gold at night.

    Of course, you’ll also want to walk across the Chain Bridge, a popular place to steal a kiss or make a proposal. From your room at the Four Seasons Gresham Palace Budapest you may have a view of the oldest tree in the city, now propped up by wooden stanchions. Located on a grassy traffic island between the hotel and the Chain Bridge, it's a favorite and traditional place to become engaged.

    Should you want to explore the city further, buses, trams, subway, and tourist coaches can sweep you off your feet. (But avoid taxis unless a hotel or restaurant calls for them; drivers consider passengers fair game for overcharging.)

    The hotel’s knowledgeable concierge...MORE can also be a source of inspiration. Let him arrange to rent a couple of bikes for you to tour Budapest. Or perhaps you’d like to take a boat ride along the Danube or attend the opera; he can secure tickets as well as reservations.

    One night the concierge managed to get us into Kor restaurant, a local favorite around the corner from the Cathedral that had been fully booked. We’re still talking about the goose cracklings appetizer that sealed our love for Budapest.

    Dining Out in Budapest

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  • 08 of 10

    What Could Be Better at Four Seasons Gresham Palace Budapest

    ••• Welcome amenities for a lucky couple. © Susan Breslow Sardone.

    At a hotel this fine and pricy, charging for wi-fi seems unjustified. Better to bury the fee in the room cost. Also, the temperature in our room was a challenge to regulate. The thermostat seemed determined to keep us cold until we turned it so high one would have been able to roast a goose.

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  • 09 of 10

    Four Seasons Gresham Palace Budapest Vibe

    ••• At the entrance: The Art Nouveau peacock gates, restored to their full grandeur. © Susan Breslow Sardone.

    Refined and proper without being stuffy, the Four Seasons Gresham Palace Budapest attracts a well-dressed, well-heeled crowd consisting of both business people and couples in love. Although the hotel appears formal and elegant, the staff is gracious to all who enter.

    Those who have the benefit of experiencing a Four Seasons anywhere in the world come to realize that it is more than a hotel: It is a commitment to incomparable service, of helping guests by providing what they need to make life easier and travel more pleasant.

    I've personally known the Four Seasons to deliver a care package with chicken soup to a guest who arrived under the weather... to prepare a picnic breakfast for another guest catching an early-morning flight... to respond on a weekend to an SOS from a stranded client and arrange a change of plans in an unfamiliar city.

    Few hotels encourage their staff to graciously go the extra distance for guests the way Four Seasons does. Knowing that they will be there for you...MORE provides an extra level of security when you travel far from home.

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  • 10 of 10

    Four Seasons Gresham Palace Budapest Info and Reservations

    ••• The landmark hotel at night. © Susan Breslow Sardone.

    Four Seasons Gresham Palace Budapest
    Roosevelt Tér 5-6
    1051 Budapest
    Hungary
    Phone: +36 (1) 268-6000
    Official Hotel Web Site