Friday, December 21, 2012

TRAVELLING WITH CHILDREN, part 1, Four Seasons Gresham Palace

Budapest in December instead of flying off to sunshine and pristine beaches?  We asked one of our sales consultants, Tommy, a new father, to tell us all why he made this choice for his latest break…and how it worked out.

Click for a larger panoramic view of the city from the Buda side

“This being the first trip as a small family, we thought the distance was perfect, just above 2 hours flight, no stopovers, no time difference or anything like that. An excellent chance to try out travelling with an infant.
The flight with Norwegian worked above all expectations. Our little baby Theo was in a brilliant mood charming all the onboard staff with fits of giggling.
On site in Budapest, Four Seasons was waiting for us right after luggage claim and swiftly we were rushed off to the waiting Mercedes with a big throne of a child seat. Being in a car seat is not really Theo’s favorite activity, but this time he was all smiles, and looked quite like a little prince being driven around.

The Little Prince

Upon arrival at the hotel, all luggage was whisked away and we entered the beautiful lobby of the Gresham Palace. Built in the beginning of the 1900s it has been many things, but it’s extremely suited to being a Four Seasons hotel.
Art Nouveau grace
Directly we are shown to our room, very classic in style, marble and thick carpets, separate shower and soaking bathtub and an amazing view over the chain bridge and the Buda Castle over the Danube river.
View of the Danube from our room

Hospitality for little ones

Now comes the special hospitality for babies and their parents! Small gifts start dropping in, a nice bottle of wine, some baby toys, canapés, bottle warmer, diapers, extra towels and fresh fruit. It really made us feel extremely welcome as a family, and we felt secure in good hands.
Theo with all the nice things
Upon examining the room closer we also found child sized bath robes, not really small enough for our little toddler, but it is the thought that counts right?

Great dining

I must mention the restaurant. Excellent breakfast with buffet style for most things but egg dishes are made a la minute.

One thing all guests must do (and it is not a recommendation, it is a Must)  if they spend a weekend in Budapest is to book the Four Seasons Sunday brunch. Italian themed during our stay, we sat for a good two hours eating our way through Italian delicatessen. Same as breakfast, much was buffet style but all the hot dishes were prepared a la minute.

Besides this fantastic location and great food, the thing that really struck us the most about this place was the impeccable service and hospitality. Everyone from front desk, cleaning, room service, restaurants and concierge had a very good sense of service and you really felt them doing their utmost to make all clients happy.

Exploring with baby


Magical lights
Tearing ourselves from the hotel we started exploring Budapest. Walking around the neighboring areas we discovered the city was very easy to get around in with a baby stroller. Good sidewalks and crossings and never any real problems. The only downside was that in the Christmas markets it could get quite narrow, and we had to cross many of the small genuine restaurants and cafés off our list just because they were too small, but fortunately there were many to choose from.

Christmas lights the dark

We quickly felt that it was a city that has a lot to offer, beautiful sights, museums and architecture, great food ranging from Goulash to Sashimi at Nobu and a buzzing market with lots of local handicrafts and the smell of glüehwein hanging in the air.

Ice rink at the Christmas market
So all in all, perfect trip for a short getaway: short flight, lots to see, great food and great hotel. What else do you need? Ah yes: for a family all members should be welcome…and we were…."

How to get to Four Seasons Gresham Palace

30 minutes by car from Budapest International Airport

Who to stay

Discerning couples and families...

Special offer

We must point out the incredible offer of stay 3 pay 2  (or stay 6 pay 4 etc) for stays until 30 April 2012. Phone or mail one of our offices.

Note: All images are informal snapshots by Elina Örmin, apart from the B/W image by Four Seasons

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