Introduction: Transatlantic Insanity
Review: Aeroflot Business Class 777-300ER Los Angeles To Moscow
Review: Aeroflot Lounge Moscow Airport
Review: Aeroflot Business Class 737 Moscow To Belgrade
Review: Metropol Palace Hotel Belgrade
Review: Belgrade Food Tour
Review: Air Serbia Lounge Belgrade Airport
Review: Air Serbia Business Class A330 Belgrade To New York
Review: Air France Lounge New York JFK
Review: Azerbaijan Airlines Business Class 787 New York To Baku
Review: Hyatt Regency Baku
Review: Baku Airport Lounge
Review: Ukraine International Airlines Business Class 737 Baku To Kiev
Review: Kiev Airport Lounge
Review: Ukraine International Airlines Business Class 767 Kiev To New York
As Hyatt and Starwood loyalists we had two practical options in Belgrade — there’s the Metropol Palace, which is a Starwood Luxury Collection property, and then there’s the Hyatt Regency Belgrade. We ended up deciding on the Metropol Palace, given that it’s located in the old town, which seemed to be the place to be.
We were staying for three nights, and the nightly rate was pretty tough to beat. The hotel cost just 80EUR per night on a pre-paid rate, which was an even better value than redeeming 7,000 Starpoints per night, as this is a Category 3 property (I value Starpoints at ~2.2 cents each).
We took a taxi from the airport to the hotel, which took around 30 minutes, and we arrived shortly before 11PM. The hotel has a pretty bland exterior.
The lobby was gorgeous, much nicer than I was expecting based on the exterior. Clearly the hotel was recently renovated, and they did a great job with it.
Inside the lobby and to the right were the concierge desk and reception.
There was only one person working the front desk when we arrived, so he checked us in one after the other. He explained that we had both been upgraded to suites, and that we’d receive free restaurant breakfast, access to the club lounge, and a free 25 minute massage in the Elemis Spa. That’s some excellent SPG Platinum treatment, if you ask me!
Per spg.com, Tiffany had been upgraded to an “executive suite,” while I had been upgraded to a “junior suite,” so I was curious to compare them. We first went to Tiffany’s room, located on the second floor.
There was an entryway that led into the rest of the room, which was basically one big rectangular room that was partitioned off into two areas.
There was a living area, with a desk and wall-mounted TV.
Then there was a couch and a chair facing a table.
On the opposite side of the partition was a king size bed, facing a TV and closets.
The bathroom was to the side of the room, and also in a rectangular shape. There was a toilet, a sink, and a walk-in shower (which got a separate post from Tiffany).
Overall it was a beautiful room, though I was a bit confused about what made this an “executive suite.” The way I see it, a junior suite is a single room with a partitioned off sitting area, while an executive suite is a suite with two separate rooms.
Meanwhile I had been upgraded to a junior suite, room 916.
Oddly the junior suite consisted of two separate rooms. Upon entering the room I was in the living area, which featured a dining table with two chairs, a couch and chair with a table, and a desk with a TV above it.
There was a coffee machine near the entrance to the room, as well as the minibar.
There was a lovely welcome amenity waiting for me, including two bottles of wine, chocolate cake, cheese, and water.
Then there was a door separating the living room from the bedroom. The bedroom was quite small (just how I like it, so I can control the temperature and avoid disturbances as much as possible), and featured a king size bed and two nightstands.
Across from the bed was a TV.
The bathroom was located off of the bedroom, and featured a walk-in shower, tub, sink, and toilet.
I was impressed by just how many amenities they had in the bathroom, all of which were Luxury Collection branded.
Thanks to being on the ninth floor, my room had great views of the surrounding area.
Overall I thought both rooms were lovely, and the value certainly couldn’t be beat. Wifi in the room was excellent for the most part, and there wasn’t even any sort of log-in required to access it.
My one major complaint was the mattress. The bed was hard, to the point that I had serious back pain the next day. I’ve spent well over a thousand nights in hotels, and this was the first time that ever happened to me. I’m not sure if it was the bed, if I somehow slept in a weird position, or what. I mentioned it to Tiffany, and she said she liked the bed. Different folks, different strokes, I guess.
As Platinum guests we could have breakfast in the restaurant for free, which was located next to the lobby. The restaurant was physically beautiful and felt a bit like a greenhouse. However, the service was underwhelming. First of all, the host simply took names down and didn’t actually seat people, so people ended up sitting down at tables that were already occupied (the people sitting at them were at the buffet getting food, and returned to find their tables occupied).
On top of that, getting any sort of coffee service was difficult, as the servers weren’t at all proactive. That doesn’t even address the fact that the coffee was really bad.
On the plus side, the buffet itself was excellent, with some things you don’t see at many other buffets. I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves.
On top of breakfast we had access to the hotel’s “Elite Lounge,” located on the seventh floor. This is one of the first Luxury Collection properties I’ve stayed at that has a club lounge, so kudos to them for going above and beyond and offering this. The lounge is open daily from 6:30AM until 10PM.
The lounge is a nice space, and we worked from there a few times. I try to get out of my room as much as possible when staying at hotels so I don’t get tempted to work from bed, and then eventually fall asleep.
The lounge had dining tables with chairs, as well as more relaxed couches with lounging chairs.
There was also a computer with a printer.
Breakfast in the lounge was basic, and just consisted of cereal and some pastries. However, that wasn’t an issue since those with access to the club could also eat in the restaurant. So I’m not sure why they bother having anything in the lounge for breakfast at all.
Throughout the day there were drinks on offer, including soft drinks, beer, wine, etc.
Then from 6PM until 9PM daily there were snacks and desserts, though the selection was a bit underwhelming. There were some nuts, salad, cheese, a few types of meat, brownies, etc. It’s not a selection that will spoil your appetite for dinner.
In terms of the hotel’s other features, one night we planned to have drinks at the lobby bar, and ended up having dinner there (we were both busy with work and were planning on going out, but it just didn’t work out). The service was friendly and food was good (I had a caesar wrap, while Tiffany had a caesar salad).
There was even softcore porn on the TV. Ah, Europe!
The hotel’s spa and gym were located on the basement level, one floor below the lobby. The spa is operated by Elemis, the same you’ll find at the British Airways Lounge at Heathrow (though this one is a bit nicer).
As mentioned above, as a Platinum member you’re entitled to a free 25 minute massage when staying at this hotel. I was able to schedule that without issue, and enjoyed the treatment. It was a full on massage, and not just one where you sit in one of those massage chairs fully clothed).
The gym was located next to the spa, and had a good selection of modern equipment.
The staff in the hotel were generally friendly, though I wouldn’t say the service level was five star (then again, when paying 80EUR per night I don’t really expect that).
The hotel had a good location, and we were able to walk to most areas of the old town within 15-20 minutes. Otherwise taxis are cheap, and you’re a five minute ride from anywhere you could want to be.
Metropol Palace bottom line
For 80EUR per night we got an excellent deal. This is a pretty nice hotel with exceptional Platinum treatment. The hotel certainly has its quirks, like the strange showers, lacking service at breakfast, odd club lounge offerings, etc. But for Belgrade this is a fantastic option, especially when you factor in the price and location.
Perhaps I’d consider trying the Hyatt next time, though I really did like staying in the old town, so I’d still lean towards this hotel.
If you’ve been to Belgrade, do you have a favorite hotel?