Danubius Hotel Gellért****
Danubius Hotel Gellért is one of the oldest and most famous hotels of Hungary.
Set in picturesque surroundings, it lies on the bank of the Danube at the foot of Gellért hill making its location exceptionally advantageous. The easily accessible, downtown area is just across the beautiful Szabadság (Liberty) bridge.
Gellért Hotel and Spa
The bathing culture of the ancient Hungarians is unrevealed. According to some chronicles, thermal springs of Buda were recognized by the kings of the Árpád dynasty (1000-1301).
Data from 1178 implies that the Johannite Order established a hospital by the foot of Gellért Hill. The bathing culture in Buda was blooming during the Turkish era. The bath was called Adzik Ilidza, Open Spa in Turkish. Other sources refer to the site as Aga’s Bath or Spa of Virgins.
After the Turks were expelled from the country, the bath had many different owners. In a German travel book from 1827, it is mentioned that there were accommodations built to the spa and later in 1832 constructions of a greater hotel and bath began.
In the 19th century it was referred to as Sárosfürdő, and was considered a pleasant bath and hotel. Its name ’Muddy Spa’ comes from its exceptionally healthy mud, exceeding all other springs in quality. Due to its popularity, mud reserves of Sárosfürdő were depleted.
In 1894 construction of Szabadság Bridge, along with the reconstruction of Gellért Square was under way. The building of St. Gellért Hotel and Spa started in 1911, but WW1 delayed the works. The hotel, built in Art Nouveau style of the palace-hotels of the turn of the century was finally opened in September 1918.
The traditional, one century-old hotel is still a symbol of Budapest. The building was built by Ármin Hegedűs, Artúr Sebestyén and Izidor Sterk, their style greatly influenced by the works of Ödön Lechner. The characteristic entrance is decorated by reliefs by Aladár Gárdos, while the main entrance to the bath holds grand statues representing the process of healing by József Róna.
When the four-storey hotel opened it had only 176 rooms. All suites had bathrooms with the supply of both mineral and thermal waters.
At present the Gellért has 234 rooms out of which 13 are suites, 38 are superior doubles, 94 standard doubles, 49 singles with baths, and 40 singles with showers. The rooms, facing the Danube, have balconies with stunning views of Budapest.
Today the bath and the hotel have different owners. Hotel Gellért is a member of the Danubius Hotels Group chain, and operates under the Danubius Classic Collection brand, which guarantees special atmosphere and impeccable service. The bath is run by Budapest Thermal Waters Co., and has been refurbished lately. The open-air wave pool and terrace is now supplemented by a thermal water pool.
The Gellért is one of the most frequented and most well-known tourist sites of Budapest. Beautiful decorations of the hotel include the tiles produced by the Zsolnay factory, the columns in the Jacuzzi, and the colorful statues. In Gellért Bath most health spa treatments are available such as balneo-therapy, mechano-therapy, electro-therapy, mud treatments, etc). It has a complex physio-therapy department and inhalatorium. Guests of Hotel Gellért have free access to the Spa.