Luxury in Art Nouveau style in this stylish city.
Directly in front of the Chain Bridge, which connects bustling big city Pest with the historic riches of Buda across the Danube, shines one of the worlds grand hotels, The Gresham Palace, now a Four Seasons property. It was originally built as the home of a British life insurance company in 1906, when the Art Nouveau movement was at its height. It was, and is still, a world of graceful curves and arches, rich with stained glass and stone carvings and hand-crafted ceramics, all key elements of Art Nouveau architecture. Walking on more than one million mosaics in the lobby under dramatic chandeliers and galleries of 20th century Hungarian artists through the swirling wrought iron Peacock Gate that fronts the hotel, and proceeding down the glass-topped arcade, is to engage in a delightful travel in time. Thanks to a huge renovation, the Gresham Palace combines the best of its glorious past with the ultra-modern comforts of today. Its 179 rooms, done in soft shades of taupe and sage and grape, serve almost as a restful backdrop to the dramatic views of the Danube and Buda Castle visible through oversized windows. Massive soaking tubs recall that Buda since the Romans owes its reputation to waters and baths. Some of the hotel's 17 suites feature kitchens and fireplaces, step-out balconies, and domed ceilings. Well-equipped meeting rooms are available, as well as a business center that is open 24/7. The hotels Gresham Café (Gresham Kávéház) is also a nod to its rich past, when intellectuals and artists gathered to debate politics and art and philosophy over endless cups of coffee or glasses of good Hungarian wine. The unpretentious setting belies the quality of the food. One example is the cafés trio of foie gras including especially lovely wafer thin slices (mille-feuille) served with pungent red currant. The property's bar also offers 23 varieties of wine by the glass for those who want to experience a number of different vintages. The sleek spa and fitness center is complete with a slim infinity-edge lap pool.