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Lavender garden above the city

28. 10. 2015.

Those people who have already been to our hotel know that our wellness department on the rooftop has been at our guests disposal for 5 years (since our hotel was opened). In Budapest, we were the first hotel to build a grassed wellness department, and we are still the only one with a rooftop swimming pool. Exploiting the advantages of our rooftop garden, we have taken another step towards “a greener future” today.

Nowadays, there is a revival of roof-gardens. A lot of bars and restaurants are being opened above the city. The idea is not new, but the motivation has changed.

Everyone remembers the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, which is one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. According to the legend, the gardens were built, because Nebuchadnezzar II wanted to please her wife, who had been longing for the green areas of her homeland. In the 21st century, people feel the same. Everyone knows that the percentage of green areas has significantly decreased.  We cannot stop the process, but we can strike a healthy balance. Building rooftop gardens on flat roofs is a good method to increase green space.

Different American research groups have been studying rooftop gardens for several years. A lot of interesting findings have been revealed, e.g. that plants in urban rooftop gardens can absorb a surprisingly large amount of carbon-dioxide. However, it is only one of their practical benefits.

Green gardens breathe together with the building. They play a major role in increasing humidity, balancing temperature and decreasing the amount of dust. Moreover, they are surprisingly good insulators. Allowing mild fluctuation in temperature, they increase the lifespan of residential buildings. In addition, they also drain off rainfall, therefore they considerably facilitate the operation of the drainage system. Their advantages also include light-absorption.

However, the reason why our hotel decided to establish a lavender garden on the terrace was very special. Áron Barka- Chef de Cuisine of Araz Restaurant spent 8 years in France. During his stay, he fell in love with lavender and started using it as an ingredient of his specialities.  Upon returning home, he said the following: “A lot of people don’t like lavender as a spice, and can image it only in their wardrobe as a sachet.” By today, even Hungarian people have got used to lavender. It has become one of the “trendiest” ingredients. We can meet lavender-flavoured chocolate or ice cream almost everywhere. Our chef’s long-cherished dream has come true by having his own lavender garden on the top of  Continental Hotel Budapest****Superior.

Five years ago, we aimed to build a wellness department in the rooftop garden to improve the comfort of our guests and provide them with a peaceful place in the middle of the noisy city. We tried to create a pleasant resting place, which has a positive effect on the climate, as well. We have crowned our efforts by planting new plants on the rooftop recently. Next spring, our visitors will be delighted by the distinctive colour of our tiny, blooming plants. After manifesting itself in the rooftop lands, flowery fields, kitchen-gardens, bars and restaurants of Vancouver, Chicago, New York, Stuttgart, Singapore and Tokyo, the “greener future” comes true in Budapest, as well.

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