Croatia’s tourist industry has boomed over recent decades. Yet it’s the coastal areas that have so far seen the majority of holidaymakers. As a result, hidden gems can still be found inland, especially in the country’s capital Zagreb. And you won’t be surrounded by sightseers, in the way you would in Dubrovnik, or even Split. There’s a real atmosphere of authenticity here, with beautiful Austro-Hungarian, neo-baroque and gothic architecture. Pop up markets, street art, food stalls, parks and music events make it especially conducive to exploring on foot. Then after a satisfying day exploring the sights, go home to rest in your luxurious hotel base.
This hotel is both stunning and imposing. A large fountain sits in front of the grand 1925 art deco facade, providing guests with a sense of opulence at first sight. The Hollywood elite and real-life royalty have stayed at this residence, with its sparkling chandeliers, sweeping staircases, wrought iron balustrades and stained glass windows. 208 bedrooms have marble bathrooms and L’Occitane bath products and there’s a swish health club. Four, five and six-course tasting menus are served in Zinfandel’s, as is the gourmet buffet breakfast. A cocktail bar is adjacent and there’s Le Bistro, for a less formal dining experience.
Le Premier Zagreb
Le Premier is home to Eastern Europe’s only Davidoff cigar lounge, a cosy nightspot, with chesterfield sofas and wood-panelled walls creating an old-world gentleman’s club feel. But the highlight is undoubtedly its incredible restaurant, headed by a Croatian Michelin starred celebrity chef. The hotel is housed in a listed building – a former bank – with the interiors taking on a classic Italian flair, accented by local modern artworks. 60 airy bedrooms are soothingly decorated, plus there’s a spa, with two saunas and a fitness room. Located in the art and design district, many city attractions are accessible on foot.
The Westin Zagreb
George Bush, Vladimir Putin and the Rolling Stones are just a few of the famous names to have graced the polished Presidential Suite at The Westin. The modern high-rise hotel is a popular spot for VIP visitors to the city, offering discreet service. A short walk to the main square, it’s business, pet and family-friendly too, with 349 air-conditioned rooms. There are three places to eat; Kaptol restaurant, the Diana bar and Rendez Vous Cafe, as well as a casino, a World Class Health Academy® wellness centre, a Turkish bath, a 17-meter indoor pool and the Spa Zone.