Luxury Hotels

Antibes – Budapest

The painting above, by Hanneke Jongsma, shows Oetker-owned Villa Sainte-Anne, literally just across the road from Oetker’s iconic Hôtel du Cap-Eden-Roc. After he had turned Antibes’ Villa Soleil into what became the world-famous hotel that opened January 1889, Antoine Sella bought another villa, Ste-Anne, to live in. This is now what will open May 2021 as a separate, but symbiotic, extension to the main hotel. The five Villa Sainte-Anne suites, decorated as is the Oetker standard by Countess Bergit Douglas, are each 370sq m, with private wellness and, of course, full service, including butlers 24/7. There are also facilities for your own staff. (This is Hôtel du Cap’s third villa – the existing ones are Villa Les Cèdres and Villa Eleana.)

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Read these tough, sock-it-to-you words from Marius Gomola, who heads Horwath Budapest: “I am flabbergasted by the timidity of the travel industry in seemingly hesitating to take action in rebuilding. If the industry waits for others to take matters into their hands, be it by (more) government handouts, airline frequencies, destination management promotions, border relaxations or OTA initiatives, we might be waiting until eternity or go out of business faster than we could spell the word bankruptcy.” Gomola is Co-Founder and Chairman of the annual HOTCO gathering. Last event was, in reality of course, January 2020 and – as another Co-Founder and Committee member – Girlahead is thrilled to share Gomola’s enthusiasm. HOTCO 2021, physically in Budapest complemented by virtual, is scheduled for 22-23 March. Note the dates and register interest, NOW, via https://hotconf.com/

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 Budapest has so many treasures. Think the Chain Bridge, spanning the Danube and joining Buda and Pest. This cast-iron masterpiece, which opened in 1849, was designed and built by Brits, engineers William Tierney Clark, from south of the border, and Scotsman Adam Clark. It was, however, Hungarian architects Zsigmond Quittner and Josef Vago who designed the Gresham Palace at the east end of the Bridge – it was headquarters for the Gresham Life Assurance Company. This, the Gresham Palace, was to have a sometimes turbulent life until it re-opened in 2004 as the 179-room Four Seasons Hotel Budapest (Girlahead recommends booking something overlooking the Bridge, say #103, one of two 85sq m Chain Bridge Suites). Hotel GM is the superbly-thoughtful Yves Giacometti.  By the way, his boss, Four Seasons’ charismatic Global President Christian Clerc is current star on MARY GOSTELOW GIRLAHEAD PODCAST: pick up the 15-minute taping, below.