My trip to Zagreb was most definitely a weird one. First who goes to Europe for only a weekend? Second who goes to Croatia and only visits Zagreb? Finally, why, if I am staying for only 3 nights, would I stay in two hotels. Well, the answer to all of this is I am crazy travel nut. Plus, Zagreb is awesome! Though I did get some weird looks at customs, when I told them I was returning home just a couple days after arriving. But at least for the hotel question I had a few legitimate answers. The main reason I stayed at the Westin in Zagreb rather than the Palace was work.
Being a blogger who has not monetized his blog in any way, means I need to have a real job. I daylight as a Corporate Attorney. The last day of my time in Zagreb was a Monday which means I needed to work. So I had to be staying at a hotel that I knew would have reliable internet. As much as I bag on the big chain hotels for being more expensive than boutique hotels, a great thing about chain hotels is you know exactly what you are getting. Which means I knew that at a Westin I would have sufficient internet to remotely do all of my normal work. So instead of risking it at the Palace (which I later found out had terrible wifi) I booked the Westin for the final night ahead of time. I also had an expiring Marriott free night which also didn’t hurt.
The Westin Zagreb was on the opposite side of Old Town Zagreb than the Palace Hotel, and less centrally located. That being said, depending on what you come to Zagreb to see, the Westin could be in a better location. The Westin is located in a newer area of Zagreb that is densely populated with Museum. It is a short walk from the Mimara Museum, the Croatian National Theater, the Ethnographic Museum, and the Technical Museum. This is a trendy area that is full with some of the most in vogue cafes, restaurants and boutiques. It is a bit of a walk though if you want to head to any of the attractions of old Zagreb. Ban Josip Jelačić Square is a 17 minute walk and it is closer to 20 if you want to head to the Upper Town and its Famous Tiled Church (St. Mark’s Church).
A rule of thumb with travel is, the easier to get to a city the more expensive it will be to stay. This is especially true of North America and Europe (with the exception for some of the more popular beach towns). For on our moms trip to Europe, we went to Copenhagen. Deals on flights to Copenhagen pop up all the time. Even from the west coast, if you are patient, you can generally get to Copenhagen for less than $350 R/T. However, one you get there it will cost you an arm and a leg. In Copenhagen Stephanie and I stayed in a hostel with our moms, but I am notoriously cheap. With Zagreb, it is hard to get to without spending a lot of money, but it is extremely cheap when you get there.
While boutique hotels will almost always be cheaper, in Zagreb chain hotels like the Westin can sometimes be found cheaper. Even for a weekend in July, which should be peak season the Westin can be found for $83 a night. As for me, Stephanie had an expiring Marriott certificate night from a credit card we cancelled the prior year so we needed to use it. While it was not the best value I could have got out of the certificate, the night I was booking was just over $100 a night so I did get decent value for my certificate.
The Westin Zagreb is legitimately the polar opposite of the Palace Hotel. The exterior of the Westin is literally as generic of a hotel as you can imagine.
If you remove any of the surrounding area, and leave just the building it is completely devoid of any character. It looks like any of the 100s of Westin hotels anywhere in the world. Once you are inside the building it gets significantly less boring. While it still has the very modern interior that you will find at a lot of chain hotels, it is absolutely beautiful. The lobby is bright, open, and stone everywhere you look. Everything looks pristine and new. It is really everything you could expect from a recently remodeled (Late 2016) hotel of its class.
I don’t necessary always write something about check-in, but in this case I will. As I will write about later, my last day in Zagreb was rough. I intended to go the Plitvice Lakes National Park, but the lady at the bus station wrote down the wrong platform number, and the bus left without me. It was about 6am and I did not have a hotel room to go back to or a plan for the day. I scrambled to put together my plans and figure out my day. By noon however, I was tired, had screwed up my ankle, and really needed to rest. So I called over to my hotel and they let me know my room was ready and they would have no issue checking me in 2 hours early. I was able to get to the hotel, and get situated without a problem!
Westin Zagreb Room
The Westin Zagreb room was absolutely fantastic. It was clearly recently remodeled (look at the pictures on hotels.com *cringe*), and looks like a whole new hotel from the original. The room continues the modern feel of the lobby and is spacious and extremely comfortable. Adding to the space is the mounted TV. With the TV not taking up any desk space you are left with desk/table space that spans the entirety of the wall across from the bed.
The bed, oh the bed! The bed at this hotel was potentially the most comfortable bed I have ever slept in. The sheets and comforter were, well as the brand name suggests, heavenly. It was a plush cocoon and I did not want to break free. Of course this made it extremely tough when I had to work from 8am-5pm Pacific Time (5pm to 2am in Zagreb). By Midnight, my god that bed was calling me into its warm embrace.
Speaking of work, the wifi was blazing fast in comparison to the Palace Hotel. While I did not run a speed test, I had no issues running any video conferencing software without any noticeable lag or interruption.
The View from the room could not be beat!
Westin Zagreb Bathroom
The bathroom in the Westin Zagreb was relatively small, but again very beautifully remodeled. The Bathroom had beautiful granite countertops, and granite tiled walls. One thing I could really appreciate was the rainfall showerhead that had amazing water pressure and temperature.
Other Notable Amenities
The Westin Zagreb has all of the standard amenities you would expect at a 4-5 star hotel. This includes Pool, SPA, onsite restaurant, and room service. Only one thing really stood out from the pack. They had free snacks on each floor! just a few steps outside the elevator they had cookies, little cakes, and some drinks for everyone on the floor to enjoy! I swear i am beginning to repeat myself, but it is the little things that make me happy.
The Westin Zagreb was a little further way from city center than I would like, but made up for it with one of the most comfortable hotel rooms I ever experienced.