Gresham Palace, Budapest

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One of the most beautiful hotels in Budapest, has to be the Four Seasons Gresham Palace. The building which was originally built in 1906 for a British Company, the Gresham Life Assurance Co, is much influenced by the Art Nouveau movement. It has been lovingly restored and turned into this wonderful hotel and it still boasts the beautiful mosaics, stained glass windows, the magnificent wrought iron railings of the main staircase and the three large peacock gates which open onto the central courtyard.

The hotel sits proudly overlooking Budapest’s most famous bridge, the Chain Bridge, which joins the two sides of the city across the mighty Danube River.

The rooms to go for are the Danube Deluxe category which are extremely well appointed with French style balconies and as the name suggests with superlative views across the river towards the Castle and the oldest parts of the city: time spent wandering around this district is well worth while and the views back across the river are truly spectacular.

The Hungarian Parliament building, just along the river bank from the hotel is enormous, reflecting Hungary’s position in Europe when it ruled under the Hapsburg dynasty. A magnificent refurbishment programme been undertaken in recent years. Andrassy Street the main broad thoroughfare runs from the river to Hero’s Square. The zoo is just behind this area as well as Hungary’s most famous restaurant, Gundels, partly owned by the Estee Lauder family.

Even if you don’t stay at the Four Seasons, do go into the foyer to see the wonderful architecture and enjoy dinner at the excellent Pava Restaurant.

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