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Esplanade Zagreb Hotel 5.0

Zagreb, Croatia

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Review Summary

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  • Historic hotel with luxurious interiors and romantic atmosphere
  • Convenient location near the train station and walking distance to sights
  • Attractive rooms with period decor, minibars, and marble bathrooms
  • Upper category rooms with Caffitaly coffee machines; suite with kitchenette and sauna
  • Two fine-dining restaurants and bar
  • Fitness center and sauna
  • On-site spa with beauty treatments
  • Ballroom holding up to 365 people
  • Free Wi-Fi throughout hotel
  • Parking available on-site (for a fee)
  • V.I.P. Dog Service (for a fee)


  • Some rooms show signs of wear and tear
  • Breakfast is an additional fee
  • Lower category rooms do not have tea- or coffee-making facilities
  • No swimming pool

Bottom Line

Dating back to 1925, the Esplanade Zagreb Hotel is a historic Zagreb landmark and the best-known hotel in the city. Located within walking distance of the train station, this independent luxury hotel with 208 rooms and suites is the capital’s most opulent place to stay. Rooms, with elegant, classical decor and marble bathrooms, reflect the tony atmosphere found elsewhere, but a few rooms are in need of renovation and show signs of wear. With all its glitz, it actually offers good value for a five-star category hotel with very reasonable room rates. However, it doesn't have a swimming pool, something other nearby five-pearl properties like The Westin Zagreb and Sheraton Zagreb Hotel have, at very similar rates. 

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Historic hotel with Old World charm and a romantic atmosphere

The Esplanade Zagreb Hotel was built in 1925 to accommodate passengers traveling on the Orient Express, the long-distance passenger train linking Paris and Istanbul. The luxury hotel’s magnificent ballroom was also the center of the city’s social life in the 1920s. Today, the hotel retains a lot of its original Old World charm and romantic atmosphere. The imposing six-story building was built in a neo-classical style, while its interiors have a few Art Deco features, like the intricate brass banisters of the marble staircase. The spacious lobby area impresses with its high ceilings, black-and-white marble walls, and extravagant chandeliers. This is a popular place to stay for tourists exploring the city, as well as business travelers because of its central location and excellent transportation links. 


On a main thoroughfare within walking distance of the train station

The Esplanade Zagreb Hotel is located just a four-minute walk away from the train station, in a historic and cultural neighborhood full of museums, galleries, parks, historic buildings, and other hotels. Many tourist sights are within walking distance, or can be reached by the city’s efficient and cheap tram system which connects all major points of the city, and has a stop just outside the hotel.

  • Four-minute walk to the train station
  • Five-minute walk to the Botanical Gardens
  • 12-minute walk to Josip Jelacic Square
  • 14-minute walk to Dolac market
  • 15-minute walk to Gornji Grad, the historic old town
  • 13-minute ride by tram to the main bus station
  • 30-minute drive to Zagreb Airport


Spacious, tastefully decorated rooms and lavish suites

The guest rooms and suites at the Esplanade Zagreb Hotel are tastefully decorated in a classic style that seems like a nod to its 1920s roots. Complementary tones of beige and brown, or gray and maroon, are used in the patterned wallpaper, rich upholstery, elegant mahogany furniture, and tasteful artwork on the walls. All rooms have air-conditioning, minibars, and L'Occitane toiletries. Luxurious marble bathrooms have double sinks, magnifying mirrors, and walk-in showers as well.

While many of the guest rooms are spacious and have been renovated to a high standard, other rooms are much smaller and show many signs of wear and tear, like mold in the bathrooms or problems with drainage in the showers. These rooms also have smaller, uncomfortable beds and do not have flat-screen TVs or the Caffitaly coffee machines found in the upper category rooms. Many of these smaller, substandard rooms are located on the sixth floor -- which is best avoided.

By contrast, the suites are particularly luxurious and more like apartments with many extras. The Esplanade Suite is especially lavish, with not only a large, separate living and dining area with beautiful hardwood floors, but also a kitchenette with a coffee machine and microwave, a desk and small library, a whirlpool bathtub, and even a sauna next to the bathroom.


Two fine-dining restaurants and bar, fitness center, and sauna

The restaurants at Esplanade Zagreb Hotel are two of the city’s best fine-dining destinations. Zinfandel's Restaurant offers all-day dining with a menu of French-style gourmet dishes as well as Croatian specialties. The high ceilings, large arched windows, marble columns, and contemporary-style chandeliers give the space a stylish and chic ambiance. Le Bistro Esplanade is more intimate, and the decor is somewhat sparse in comparison. But it's still elegant, with Art deco-style lamps and chairs. There’s also a pleasant outdoor terrace and the adjacent Esplanade 1925 Lounge & Cocktail Bar is open all day for morning coffee, afternoon tea, and evening cocktails. Breakfast is available for an extra fee and guests can choose from a continental-style breakfast, a la carte, or the full hot buffet -- the Eggs Benedict get especially good reviews. 

The hotel’s spectacular dome-shaped Emerald Ballroom, with Ionic pillars and arched glass windows, used to host tony balls, but today this magnificent space can be rented out as a prestigious venue for special events like conferences, receptions, and banquets of up to 365 people. Guests have free use of the spacious fitness center equipped with cardio machines and weights, and the sauna. The on-site spa offers beauty and massage treatments. Free Wi-Fi is available throughout the hotel, and parking is available on-site for an extra fee. Pets are welcome, and there’s even a V.I.P. (Very Important Pet) Dog Service for an extra fee which includes a “V.I.P. welcome” and specially designed dog bed.

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