Hotel Review: Crowne Plaza Belgrade

15 Comments

Last weekend I was in Belgrde with friends, and I decided to stay at the Crowne Plaza. Located outside the city center overlooking the river and the city walls, and for 70€/night seemed like a good deal.

You can access Crowne Plaza Belgrade’s web page on IHG’s website here.

Background

This property was opened to the public as an InterContinental Hotel in 1979. Due to the hit that the hospitality industry took during the Yugoslav wars, the hotel lost its franchising licence in 2006, having to be rebranded outside the chain. The property was then sold in 2008 and the new owners kept the existing setup until striking a deal with InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) about using their Crowne Plaza brand. The hotel closed in July 2012 to undergo a major reconstruction effort before re-opening as Crowne Plaza in December 2013. New Crowne Plaza Belgrade has 416 units (387 rooms and 29 suites), 14 conference rooms as well as a choice of restaurants and bars.

Exterior

Lobby

The hotel lobby is a large space with high ceilings and lots of natural light due to the glass wall of the façade. In the lobby level, the property offers a bar, a café and a brasserie as food and beverage options. I though the interior design was superb, very modern and elegant, full of great details.

Front Desk

Bar Area

Elevators

The Living Room Cafe

Restaurant PRIME

Room

Being IHG Rewards Platinum member I got upgraded to a club room. Again, the room interior design was great, with a king size bed, chair and foot rest and a work desk. There was a selection of Serbian magazines and the usual amenities (flat screen TV, coffee maker, safe box, etc.)

City views from my room

Club Lounge

The club lounge was a great space. Decoration and design follows the same concept as in other areas of the building, offering diverse seating options. Both times I went to the lounge for happy hour I was surprised it was absolutely empty!

The food and beverages selection was good, with special accent on local wine and spirits, and regional dishes. The lounge desk agent was an adorable lady who chatted with me during good 20 minutes and explained to me the local food and drink options they were offering and also told me a bit about the history of the property.

Breakfast

I wanted to check the Club Lounge breakfast offering but failed to wake up on time for that on my first day at the hotel. On my second day, I decided to try the restaurant breakfast offering, which had been praised by the Front Desk agent as much superior to the Club Lounge’s. The breakfast spread did not disappoint at all, it was a good selection including traditional Serbian breakfast dishes. Considering that the price for the breakfast was 12€, I think it was a good deal.

Conclusion

This property was a pleasant surprise. The staff was friendly and attentive and they took good care of me during my stay. I loved their interior design in all the spaces, especially in the club lounge. I wouldn’t doubt staying here again if I return to Belgrade in the future.

 

 

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  • Nikola

    thanks for the review

  • Barbarella

    Thank you Freddo for posting.
    I love the Balkans and have been visiting pretty often since Air Serbia launched their direct JFK route (phenomenal service imho) but to me the issue in Belgrade was always a noticeable lack of any major chain hotels in the center of the city. The closest one to the heart of Belgrade was always Metropol (SPG and I absolutely adore its postmodernist style and décor). Both Holiday Inn and Crowne Plaza are located in a rather distant business district and I don’t know who chose the location for the Radisson. Safe but absolutely not a walkable or pleasant area to stay. Although I rarely choose Holiday Inn Express, the one in Belgrade has a terrific service and staff. Absolutely hats off, not to mention that it is more centrally located than the above CP and the regular Holiday Inn.
    The hotel landscape in Belgrade has recently started to change. I guess this is a reflection of a more stable political and economical environment, not to mention the direct foreign (especially Chinese and Middle Eastern) investment flows. Now you have the Marriott Courtyard (Republic Square which cannot be more central) and SPG is planning to open two properties (including St. Regis) on the bank of the Sava river in 2019. My Serbian friends and acquaintances (always pretty skeptical about any local progress;) say they will not manage to do that on time.

    • I have stayed at the Metropole and the Hyatt in Belgrade. Much preferred the SPG property due to location.

      Didn’t write about it, but went through all the Balkans the other year. Started from Thessaloniki and flew to Albania (not part of Balkans obviously). used car, bus, train and plane to visit all the former Yugoslav states.Took about a month.

  • Nick Hevelian

    Very interesting… you got lounge access (via the club upgrade) as a Plat.

    My understanding was that in February they changed the T&Cs so that only Spire got lounge access. If Plats are still getting this at CPs (always the best for status recognition at IHG) then it’s encouraging as I have a stay at CP Vilnius in a couple of weeks!

    • Nick Hevelian

      PS Belgrade is a great city to visit and your post just reminded that it’s high time to go back there.

    • Club access is not guaranteed access even at the Spire Elite level outside of Greater China. It is up to the properties if they want to grant it. Some may event to Platinums.

  • Jason

    great review. thx for posting

  • Gary

    Another excellent and well-researched post, Freddo! Cheers!

  • BatSheva

    Thanks for the detailed review and the great pictures. The hotel looks excellent value for 70€/night. My experience is that the Crowne Plaza properties are usually good value with staff who go the extra mile, and that includes upgrades for high, even if not top level, elites. I have never come across the “special categories” just to provide an upgrade that are so common in the InterContinental hotels.

  • josmon10

    I visited this hotel in 2010, when it was called Continental (without the “Inter”), and it felt like stepping back to the 70’s, no investment had taken place in a long, long time. I was staying at the Holiday Inn then, which was a new, much better hotel.

    Good to know they managed to bring it back to life.

  • Christian

    A pretty detailed review about the hotel. For the future, maybe a bit about transportation and the neighborhood would be good. For instance, are there a lot of bars/restaurants/shops nearby?

    • The hotel is located on a office buildings/corporate headquarters area outside the city center, so not many options for dining/shopping around.

  • Andreas

    I was there checking out Friday evening, so sorry not being able to meet you, as I love your blog – although I have never posted before! Congrats – and the CP Belgrade is really a great place.
    Andreas

  • inoculate

    it looks nice