I had a very long day of travel. First, I flew economy class in British Airways from Seattle to London. Then I flew on Croatia Airlines from London to Zagreb. For the great price of $350 these weren’t all that bad. I got to fly on an airline I have never flow before as well as check out the Queen’s Terminal. The Plaza Premium Lounge in that terminal was extremely nice. When I finally landed in Zagreb it was after 8:00pm. I was ready to head to the hotel. For my first two nights in Zagreb I booked The Palace Hotel. As I had an expiring Marriott free night, I would be staying at the Westin for my final night.
The Palace Hotel Zagreb is about an 18-30 minute ride from from the Airport (depending on traffic). To get to hotel by public transportation would take over an hour, but only 15 minutes by car. Luckily, Uber is a thing in Zagreb, and it is surprisingly cheap. Given that I was tired and hungry, I decided to go the uber route. It was about $14 USD for the ride. More important the Palace hotel ideally located for tourists in Zagreb. Zagreb’s Ban Jelacic Square is the main square and literally were all tours meet. The hotel is only a 6 minute walk from the square. At the Palace Hotel you are also in walking distance from Zagreb Cathedral, the Archaeological Museum, the Dolac Market, and Central Station. As far as location go, it is hard to find a hotel in a better location in Zagreb than the Palace Hotel.
Despite being tough to get to, Zagreb is an extremely affordable place to visit. While in Zagreb you can eat and live like a king, at a fraction of the price of the more mainstream vacation destinations. As a cheapskate I was in love. There is absolutely no shortage of nice, affordable, centrally located hotels in Zagreb. So finding somewhere to stay was extremely simple. Even in peak season you can find hotels for under $75/night, and you can find hostels for less than $40/night. While AirBNB drives me nuts, there is a lot of value to be had in Zagreb using AirBNB. But I decided to go with a traditional hotel, for two nights at the Palace hotel I paid $73.70/night. While this is actually a bit pricey for the end of March, I decided I valued to the location over saving $10-15 dollars a night.
The Palace Hotel Zagreb
The Palace Hotel is an art nouveau hotel built in 1891 and is stunning inside and out.
They have maintained its traditional facade impeccably.
The hotel maintains an old-world charm and elegance that you don’t get at most modern hotels. While most modern hotels are decked in neutral colors and stone accents, the Palace Hotel has burgundy carpets, finished with wooden accents. Inside its lobby sits a beautiful painted dome. While, not the current interior design style, this type of elegance is timeless.
The Living Space
While the old-world style is great in the lobby, I appreciate it a bit less in the rooms. I booked their smallest twin room, and it really did feel old and small. When staying at older buildings in Europe generally the rooms will be smaller than newer hotels. However, this room ended up being closer to what I would expect in Japan vs. n Europe. The room itself was extremely narrow. at 5 Foot 9 I could spread my arms and almost touch both walls at the same time. It barely fit the bed.
That being said, the bed was actually very comfortable. I had no issues getting a good night’s rest. Living space in the room also had a small desk which a flat screen TV sitting on it, but again this all just made the room feel extremely tight.
Personally, this does not bother me too much as I spend very little time in my room, but for those who need the living space this could be an issue. One major issue I did have was with the WIFI. The Palace hotel offers free wifi, but it is extremely slow. When I am abroad without my wife we generally chat via web conference. The wifi connection was not strong enough to use a web conferencing platform like webex, even in audio only mode without disconnection or audio issues. Luckily, the only day I needed to work I was staying at the Westin.
If the bedroom was small, the bathroom at the Palace Hotel Zagreb was even smaller. The bathroom had a tiny stall shower that made me feel like I needed to lose a lot of weight quickly. I seriously felt claustrophobic every time I took a shower.
It also had a toilet and a sink with decent counter space.
It was not all negative, I really did like they provided quality travel sized toiletries. I know there is an environmental argument for the massive dispensers you see at most chain hotels, but as a frequent traveler I enjoy the travel sized amenities. I travel a lot and not always always shower in places where I have access to shampoo or soap dispensers, I get a lot of use out of hotels that provide these.
My reservation did not include breakfast, but most of their reservations do. This didn’t really bother me as I prefer, especially in cheaper places like Zagreb, to sit down and have a quality breakfast when I travel. Hotel breakfasts rarely stand out, but are nice when you are short on time. For those interested the Palace Hotel Zagreb has both a fitness center and spa facilities. Most importantly, to me at least, they are willing to hold your bags at the front desk at no additional charge if have some time in between check-out and your flight.
You cannot find a hotel in a better location than the Palace hotel. While it my single room was extremely small, it was comfortable and extremely affordable.