With the most astounding views on the Buda Castle, Fisherman Bastion and the awe-inspiring Chains Bridge, the restored palace of imperial grandeur that’s now the Four Seasons Hotel in Budapest is larger than life.
The Gresham Palace is more than its grand stairway, shiny Preciosa crystal chandeliers and over two million mosaic tiles; staying at the Four Seasons is an experience to cherish for the rest of your life. It’s also the perfect setting for the most exclusive Christmas holiday season.
Here’s how I spent last Christmas in one of Europe’s most luxurious Landmarks.
I must say Christmas really puts me in the right mood. Getting together with the family, the comforting dinners, you just can’t beat that. And then there’s the shopping — for that, Budapest’s Christmas markets are insuperable.
This year, over 280,000 travelers voted for the most exquisite Christmas markets in Europe, and Budapest ranked number one. It comes as no surprise, the ancient ‘City of Bridges’ knows how to dress its streets in Christmas lights. The most breathtaking holiday market, the Budapest Christmas Fair and Winter Festival, is celebrated every year at the Danube river banks, just a few feet from the Four Seasons. Needless to say, the hotel’s impressive lobby and its vaulted ceilings are gorgeously decorated for the occasion with a snowy Christmas tree as a focal point.
The Four Seasons gets it, we’re here to relax and enjoy. The wonderful spa and its interior blue-water pool are a nice place to start, but just the sight from every window in the building is enough to make you dreamy.
The food at the Four Seasons exceeds your expectations, but before buzzing down the dining room for breakfast, consider ordering room service for a slow breakfast with the most stirring views of the Chains Bridge, the oldest bridge between Buda and Pest. Unless, of course, you have the chance to enjoy Sunday brunch at the Kollázs.
INDOOR INFINITY-EDGE POOL
The hotel’s lovely Kollázs Brasserie & Bar is the Four Season’s heart and soul. That’s where all the hospitality, the pampering and the decor come together. It also turned out to be the most admirable setting for a blind date.
I’m talking about the “Blind date with Kollázs sommelier and chef.” Eight surprise courses paired with beautiful Hungarian wine.
I won’t spoil your surprise, but I’d love to share my impressions about the foie gras course. The country is the second-largest producer of the delicacy after France, and it’s delicious! This is only the beginning, though. French and Hungarian flavors concur in a fine-dining scenario, making each dish a sensual experience — every pairing revolves around precise harmony.
As for the wines, a zesty Riesling from Villány was a superb way of starting the evening, and if you think white wines here are admirable, because they are, wait until you try that chewy, berry-infused Kékfrankos. A full-bodied sparkling wine was a high note, but you know you’re here how the lusciously sweet Tokaji — this is a one of the most prized sweet wines on the planet.
After the spectacular dinner we were back in room to enjoy beautifully lit landmarks of the city. Beyond the grandeur, historical architecture, and seasonal decoration, Budapest’s Four Seasons is a home away from home; hospitality is authentic; people are warm. Isn’t that what you’re looking for in a place to spend the holidays?
Book your stay directly with Four Seasons Hotel Gresham Palace Budapest.
Price Range: € 395 – €3700 per night
Location: Budapest, Széchenyi István tér 5-6, 1051 Hungary
All images are taken by Thitiphol Owen Charoensri.