My husband treated me to 3 nights at the Four Seasons Gresham Palace for my 40th birthday. Suffice to say, it was an amazing break from start to finish, mainly due to the wonderful hotel and the fantastic team of staff.
We arranged our airport transfers through airport transfers Budapest.com for just over 40 Euros return. No problem with the transfer to the hotel whatsoever (the driver was waiting as promised in arrivals with our name on a board), but there was a bit of confusion re the pick up time for the way back, but easily rectified by a quick telephone call. The best thing about this service was that the cars were impeccable and you don't have to pay prior to either the outward or return trip.
Perfection!!! From the staff to the facilities - we just loved this place and could have easily moved in! I need to give special mention to Kate in the restaurant, Daniel in the bar, Petra on reception, the Concierge and Spa team and the Doormen - the place is very grand, but we were made to feel welcome and like old friends. We had dinner in the restaurant on the first evening which was wonderful and very good value indeed - followed by a gorgeous birthday cake. We also tried out the Spa, which was terrific with first rate facilities. We had a River View room with a balcony, which was just sublime. We will be sure to return.
The Concierge arranged tickets for an evening boat trip (without food) which was well worth it and very informative. I would suggest that you do that at the start of the trip in order to be able to apply the knowledge you have gained to your general sightseeing. The price of the trip included a drink (the wine was ok) and the commentary was via earphones to allow people from different nationalities to take full advantage.
We also bought tickets for the Szechenyi Baths from the Concierge, along with tickets for the metro to get there, as it is at least a 45 minute walk from the Four Seasons. The Metro is fairly easy to work out (just don't forget to get your ticket validated in the machine on the platform) and the stop takes you right outside the Baths. The Baths are certainly worth a visit and the hotel will provide you with a bag containing towel, slippers, shampoo and shower gel - all essential.
Other places we visited were the Palace and Fisherman's Bastion, just across the Chain Bridge in Buda. Don't pay to go on the upper tier of the Bastion, just walk to your left to possibly the most out of place Hilton Hotel ever, and there is a cafe opposite on the upper tier of the Bastion, where you can have a coffee and enjoy the fantastic views (unless you turn around to look at the Hilton, which really spoils the effect, as nice as it is inside, I am sure!).
We also walked out of the hotel and turned right along the river (towards Parliament) to see the Shoes Memorial on the Danube. Very moving and beautifully done.
St Stephen's Basilica is literally just behind the hotel (come out of the door, turn right and first right again) and worth a visit. You make a small donation to visit the inside and then pay to walk the 300 plus steps to the top to enjoy the panoramic view. There is a lift available if you would rather not take the stairs.
We also paid a visit to Celeritas Shooting Range for something TOTALLY different. They give you a code for City Taxis to make sure that you aren't ripped off and it was great to see the outskirts of the city too. That was quite an experience!
FOOD AND DRINK
We only had one evening meal in the hotel, but had a few drinks in the evening and a wonderful hot chocolate one afternoon. All fantastic. For breakfast, we visited the Kor Cafe (I wasn't impressed to be honest) the first morning, followed by a cafe near Parliament the second morning and then a fantastic find - Szamos in Vorosmarty Square (out of the hotel, turn left and just keep walking straight ahead for 5 minutes), where we had a lovely breakfast.
The second and third evening meals were spent at Gerbeaud (again in Vorosmarty Square) and then a gorgeous meal at the Borkonyha Wine Kitchen which is a short stroll behind the hotel.
Needless to say, we were really sorry to have to return home and the Four Seasons will feature at the top of our list when it comes to hotels in the future. Thank you for making my birthday and our stay so special.
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- Also Known As:
- 4 Seasons Hotel Gresham Palace
- Gresham Palace Budapest
- Four Seasons Budapest
- Budapest Four Seasons