If there is no plan to stay at the Four Seasons Gresham Palace while in Budapest, I do believe you have to visit either the first or the last night. We stayed the first.
Four Seasons is an excellent place to spend your days, no matter which city you are in, but there is nothing like Gresham Palace in Budapest. With its grand reception located in the middle of the building, it just leaves you breathless. Sipping tea in the lobby makes you imagine how horse carriages entered the gate on one side to disembark on the other while ladies stayed to do some shopping.
With two million mosaic tiles and an ornate Preciosa chandelier, this place makes you walk and talk differently, respecting every wall and window, carpet and button in the elevator. Everywhere you look, it leaves an organic and luxurious feeling. The chandelier plays with your eyes attracting attention, even if you had no intention of doing that. The over 10 m high ceilings make you understand how small you are and how grand the people and minds who built it over 100 years ago were. Every “Good morning, madam” and “Good evening, sir” makes you smile and be thankful for small details that give grand results.
Arriving, with a prime minister following you, is one more thing you can experience in Budapest: the important and most exceptional people come here (not necessarily in one person). Leaving with a local celebrity is another experience to have, but that is not what staying at Gresham Palace is all about.
It is about outstanding Art Nouveau, about attention to detail (I’ve waited 14 years to take my first hotel bath, only because there was some beautiful bath salt there), about the moment, about beauty, about late evening tea with freshly baked financiers and about stunning breakfasts with local produce, freshly baked waffles, and an interior to admire. It is a piece of art - from the exterior to interior, from the food to the people working there.
Text & photo by Signe Meirāne