Holiday and Hotels
Hotel Review: Esplanade Zagreb Hotel, Zagreb, Croatia
In the 1920s, when the Orient Express stopped in Zagreb on its way from Istanbul to Paris, guests disembarked to stay at the beautiful Art Deco Esplanade Zagreb Hotel.
Built for members of the higher ranks, it quickly became the heart of Zagreb’s social scene. This luxury hotel opened its doors in the turn of the century and has hosted everyone from Lawrence Olivier to Queen Elizabeth II. This Croatian icon enjoys a prime location in the city center and remains one of the finest places to stay in Europe.
Esplanade Zagreb Hotel is for guests who want to stay in the heart of the city in one of Zagreb’s most iconic buildings. If you like a trendy environment and want to dress well, chat with celebrities and generally live the good life, this hotel is for you. What’s unusual about this, however, is that staying overnight won’t break the bank: even if you’re traveling on a shoestring budget, you can still check in and treat yourself to an experience you couldn’t afford anywhere else.
When the Esplanade Zagreb Hotel was renovated, the designers took into account the property’s great history and a touch of Hollywood glamour. The 208 rooms are divided into three categories, Superior, Deluxe and Suites, all of which are spacious, imaginatively decorated and finished with life’s little luxuries. The pillows and blankets in the beds are filled with goose down. Hypoallergenic options are available.
Enter the Deluxe Room and you’ll have separate living and sleeping areas and a huge marble bathroom with a bathtub and walk-in shower. The bath products are from L’Occitane, and the bathrobes and towels are so soft you’ll feel like you’re wrapped in a cloud. If you want to pamper yourself or a loved one, browse the bath brochure and ask customer service to organize an unforgettable L’Occitane bath ritual.
Food and drinks
Esplanade Zagreb Hotel’s own restaurant is Zinfandel’s, which is generally considered the best restaurant in the city. Chef Ana Grgic honed her skills in star kitchens in Brussels and Berlin before joining Esplanade in 2012.
Croatian TV fans know him as a judge on Celebrity MasterChef. Zinfandel’s menu showcases the finest Croatian ingredients, such as fresh fish from the Adriatic Sea, truffles from the forests, and butter and cheeses produced on local farms. For the full effect, dishes should be accompanied by Croatian wines, and you can choose from an extensive wine list.
If you want to combine Croatian and French cuisine, try the Esplanadi’s other restaurant, Le Bistro. The Art Deco setting is beautiful, although in the summer guests often like to spend time on the outdoor terrace and enjoy the barbecue. This is also where most hotel guests choose for breakfast with the best coffee in town.
If you want an aperitif or an evening drink, you want a stool at the Esplanade 1925 bar, the hotel’s lounge and cocktail bar. Curated by Croatia’s top mixologists, the cocktail menu combines old favorites with inventive new drinks inspired by the cities visited by the Orient Express. Our advice is to start with the Zagreb, a delicious cocktail made with cognac, honey and orange liqueur.
Since its construction, the Esplanade Zagreb Hotel has been the center of public events, from masquerades to luxurious drinks and parties.
The Emerald Ballroom is dazzling, seating 365 for parties under the roof. Small events can be held on the Oleander Terrace, which overlooks the city and has many conference and meeting rooms.
However, if you’re just here to relax, you’ll be more interested in health and relaxation services. There is a health club, spa and gym, and Zagreb’s first fitness park is across the street.
When you stay at the Esplanade Zagreb Hotel, you are right in the center of Zagreb, the capital of Croatia and a city with 900 years of history. Zagreb was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, which had a major influence on local architecture and culture. Allow yourself plenty of time to wander through the charming old town and admire sights such as the distinctive Church of St. Mark, the Croatian Parliament and the Old Town Hall.
Whatever your interests, Zagreb has a wonderful selection of museums. The most famous are the National Museum of Modern Art, the Nikola Tesla Technical Museum, the Zagreb Chocolate Museum and the quirky Museum of Broken Relationships. By pre-purchasing the Zagreb Card you get free or discounted access to many destinations and free use of public transport.
As lunch approaches, be sure to have a picnic at Zagreb’s Dolac Market, the city’s largest and oldest farmers’ market. After that you can go to the Maksimir Park, built in the 18th century, to sit in the sun and have fun, or if you want to do something more energetic, take a walk in the Medvenica Natural Park or swim in the Jarun- Lake. .