The Four seasons Gresham hotel in Budapest is all about paying and if that is your view on service, this hotel can make you very happy. Unfortunately, my story thus has to go about money for a large part.
It all started when I wanted to book the second smallest room for 245 Euri a night. A pop-up appeared saying that I could upgrade to the next in line for an additional charge of 50 Euri. Wow! After checking, this was just the normal price increase between the two rooms. Quite annoying, so I ended up with the cheapest room a 195 Euri a night. When confirming this price appeared to be ex tax. I think I never experienced this before. Really quite silly. So, our two night stay went up from about 400 Euri to 500 Euri.
At the arrival I dropped of our car. This costs us another 50 Euri a night, it turned out when checking out. Not that we had been informed about this, when handing the keys over. Anyway, after our stay this came as no surprise. So, this makes 600 Euri for our two night stay.
I thought I had read that we had a free 30 minutes of WiFi a day. Wrong and in general I try to avoid hotels without free internet. 30 minutes was on the edge, but I must have misread something. I forgot what I should have to pay, so flabbergasted was I when it turned out that there was no free internet.
When we asked for breakfast times, they were given. We did not ask for breakfast prices: so Dutch! Anyway, 250 Euri a night is not enough for a breakfast to be thrown in for free........ Apart from that, the coffee was as bad as it gets, unless you are used to the liquid they are used to call coffee in the US. Anyway, this added up to a 350 Euri a night stay in the cheapest room available.
The point is that I had also taken the room if it was -say - 300 Euri a night with free parking, internet et cetera. Then we probably would have a very positive feeling about the Gresham-experience. Now we hadn't. And it is not only about money. I am prepared to pay a lot if that can make me feel at ease. At the Four seasons Gresham this is not the case, because you either have to stay 'alarmed' because every fart you produce can cost you money or have to decide which takes time and is annoying. To give an example, I just want to start up my computer and do not want to be bothered with calls, coupons and codes. At breakfast I just want to order and/ or go to the bar and don't want to decide between an American breakfast - with espresso or capuccino - or a continental one with regular - which thus turned out to be American.... - coffee.
What else is there to complain about?! The view from our window was - well, what shall I say..... You can imagine that if you have the cheapest room, you have the worst view. From another perspective it is hard to be happy with a look into an ugly office building standing about 15 meters apart if you have paid 250 Euro for a night.
Relatively large part of the 'guests' consisted of - how should I describe them - quite uncivilized persons. Fat, bold, dressed like plumbers in action and - which counts the most - making a lot of noise and / or putting their legs over the arm rests of a chair or sofa. At one time the four Russians (?) sitting round a table in the bar area where all making phone calls at the same moment. When we sat down on a sofa for breakfast, we looked right into a guy sitting - or better laying - next to us, with one leg over one of the arm rest of his sofa and making phone calls continuously. We decided to move to the window, which normally had a perfect view on one of the bridges over the Duna. Not this time. During our entire breakfast we saw a Mercedes S-class, Audi A8 and Lexus LS600 standing between us (next to the hotel entrance) and the bridge with their engines running. The chauffeurs - bald muscle men with dark sunglasses on their heads (it was minus 5 degrees centigrade) - got in and out of the cars, just like the persons they seemed to have to transport. Not something I want to pay for...........
There was a leaflet for a free Wall Street Journal if you would hang it on your door handle. I did, but no paper. Another leaflet would bring you back your shoes polished. They were indeed polished, but I gather that it took them more time to wrap them up in paper and put them in a cushioned basket than to polish them. I am convinced that they have done the polishing with a machine: all places which make you polish your shoes by hand were untouched.
When I had a **** in the toilets next to the reception, there was no brush, meaning that the next one in line - who wasn't there by the way, because the hotel was quite desolate - had to view a nice piece of art on the non-flushed parts of the bowl. I think they also have a 'drainage' problem, because both this toilet and the bath in our room had difficulty with getting rid of the water.
The beds felt very good from the beginning, but during the night it turned out that they delivered not enough support for our backs in the middle. We weigh 65 and 70 kilos.
If this all sounds like nitpicking, you are right. But this is justified to my opinion by a 350 Euro a night price tag of the cheapest room available.
On the plus side, the interior, location and grandeur of this hotel score 9 out of 10 and the same counts for the friendliness of the personnel. To our surprise, all persons involved had far above average knowledge of the wines on the list. Funny! An asset is also the serene atmosphere in the rest of the hotel. The atmosphere is really very calm and relaxed, but - once again - there were only very few rooms occupied (confirmed by the employees).
Hope this helps!
Wieger Fransen, Amsterdam
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- Also Known As:
- 4 Seasons Hotel Gresham Palace
- Gresham Palace Budapest
- Four Seasons Budapest
- Budapest Four Seasons