Destination Guide


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In the well-traveled triangle of Vienna-Prague-Budapest, the Hungarian city is still treated like the little sister. It’s certainly less polished, but also more authentic, and discovering its secrets is a bit of an adventure but one that is infinitely rewarding.


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 Reception at Four Seasons Hotel Gresham Palace, Budapest, Hungary

Four Seasons Hotel Gresham Palace

The Four Seasons Gresham Palace, is not only the most luxurious option in Budapest, it’s one of the most glorious properties in the hotel company’s entire portfolio. Located in an Art Nouveau palace, it was built in 1906 for the British Gresham Life Assurance Company and painstakingly restored with the help of 100 artisans and craftsmen. The lobby is a folly of stained glass, lofty domes, delicate wrought iron, walls lined in handmade tiles and cream-colored mosaic floors accented with swirling black arabesques.

The 179 rooms and 19 suites are spread across five floors, and the best have Danube and Buda views. The Gresham Palace, which has a fancifully adorned white stone façade that is recognizable from miles away, sits at the foot of Chain Bridge, with unrivaled views of Castle Hill. Many of the palace’s original details were left intact, including soaring vaulted ceilings and heavy Art Deco–inspired wooden doors, but the overall design scheme has a light, modern touch, with a neutral color palette, honey-wood furniture and spacious marble-clad bathrooms. While the rooms feel slightly more generic in design than the immaculate public spaces, the Four Seasons is still the undisputed top hotel in the city.

There’s a luminous wellness facility on the top floor, including a lap pool and an exercise room that overlooks the rooftops of Budapest. The petite spa offers superb treatments for those not wishing to visit one of the city’s famous bathhouses. Meanwhile, Gresham’s bar on the ground floor, which spills into a glass-domed passage off the lobby, is a nice place to meet for afternoon tea or an aperitif. The restaurant, Kozacz, serves French- and Hungarian-inspired cuisine.

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Ritz-Carlton Budapest

Built at the start of World War I in 1914, the Ritz-Carlton represents a marriage of historic luxury and modern Art-Deco design. The lobby’s comfortable and chic look perfectly complements the elegant, neutrally designed  rooms. With beautiful art, marble bathrooms, separate bath and showers and heated floors, the 200 rooms and suites are extremely comfortable and homey. Many offer beautiful views of Erzsebet Square, St Stephen’s Basilica and the city center. Situated in the heart of the city and just a few blocks from the Danube, the Ritz-Carlton is popular with cruise ship travelers and often hosts conferences. The property offers guests an abundance of excellent shopping, dining and sightseeing within a close radius, so for those who don’t want to spend a lot of time in a taxi, this is a good choice.

Like many in Budapest, the property’s spa is well known for its indoor pool with natural light and amenities that include a sauna, Jacuzzi and state-of-the-art fitness room.

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