On the Pest side of Hungary’s capital, opposite the famous Chain bridge one of the nicest buildings of the city can be seen. Let’s see the history of it first! In the first half of the 1800s there used to be a neo-classical palace on the site which was bought by the English Gresham Life Assurance company based in London. Interesting fact is that at that time it was not allowed for insurance companies in Great Britain to invest their money in stocks. However, rental income was acceptable and legal for them. Some time later they built their foreign headquarters on the site and they wanted a grand setting. Zsigmond Quittner and János Vágó, two local architects were commissioned to design the new building and in 1904 the construction of the Gresham palace started, it was finished in 1906. They named the structure after a 16th-century English financier, Sir Thomas Gresham who was the founder of the Royal Exchange in London.
The building had offices in it and was a residence for senior staff of the Gresham company. During the second World War, in 1944 March Hungary was occupied by Nazi Germany, then in 1945 liberated by the soviets and the liberating Red Army used the palace as barracks during their occupation of Hungary (1945-1989).
Since 1987 (amongst other buildings on the bank of the river Danube) the Gresham palace has been a Unesco Worlds Heritage site. In 1990, following the end of the communism in Hungary, the national government presented the building to the city of Budapest. In 1991 a hotel group with its head office in Delhi, entered into an agreement to manage a hotel in the building, however, finally after some legal battles with the residents of the building this deal did not happen. In 1998 another investment company got the palace and received the approval of the Budapest Heritage Board to reconstruct it as a luxurious hotel, but they had to retain its original Art Nouveau architecture. In 1999 the Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts group (headquartered in Toronto) agreed to supervise the reconstruction and manage the new property. Currently the hotel, which has one of the most amazing location and views in Budapest, has 179 guest rooms, including 17 suites. It also has some of the most expensive hotel rooms is the city and this is where Hollywood stars stay when they are spending their free time or shooting a movie in the Hungarian Capital.