Four Seasons Gresham Palace
Without doubt the best - albeit also the most bank-busting - place to stay in Budapest, and one of Europe's finest hotels, full stop.
Originally built in 1906 for the Gresham Life Insurance Company (hence the official name the Four Seasons Gresham Palace Hotel), the latter day Four Seasons is an Art Nouveau masterpiece.
Despite occupying probably the finest location in the city - right opposite the iconic Chain Bridge, by the 90s the building was desperately in need of a face lift. Fortunately help (and a very large cheque) was at hand and after six years under wraps the palace re-emerged in its latest guise as a hotel in 2004. The results are, quite simply, spectacular.
Despite the eye-watering price tag, we at Original Travel believe it was money extremely well spent. What welcomes guests now is one of Europe's finest urban hotels, from the beautiful mosaic-inlaid (to a design by Frank Lloyd Wright, no less) entrance hall to the service in the fine restaurants and the extremely comfortable bedrooms. The rooms are a minimum of 350 square foot and all have king size beds and well-appointed bathrooms. All guests have the run of the spa and gym on the top floor, as well as the indoor infinity pool.
The location is also a big bonus as the main city sites are all within 20 minutes walk, and the leathery uplit snugness of the bar is a welcoming retreat after a hard day's sightseeing.
Why We Love It
Rarely can a renovation have been so thorough and under-taken with such attention to detail, but that's probably to be expected from a budget of $85 million.
Brody House is a private members' club and boutique hotel in the heart of the beautiful Hungarian capital city of Budapest.
The club is a hub for creative types and the super-connected concierge knows everyone there is to know in the city, so VIP club access and restaurant bookings are a breeze.
The spacious bedrooms are all individually styled and have well appointed contemporary bathrooms. While the original building dates back to 1800 and was once the unofficial residence of the Prime Minister when the former parliament next door was in session, there is now contemporary art and eclectic furniture in abundance, and a fun and bohemian atmosphere pervades.
Away from the hotel there is excellent shopping and culture in Budapest and the city is also famous for its hot spring spas, some of which date back to Turkish times. A visit to one of these is a must, and again the concierge can arrange this.
Why We Love It
For anyone who makes friends quickly, Brody House offers the chance to host dinner parties in the private room so you can entertain your new Euro-chums back at yours.