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TO THE POINT: If it’s your first time visiting the Serbian capital, the Hyatt Regency Belgrade is worth considering. The pros: nice price point, luxurious room and exquisite service. The cons: tourist attractions aren’t really within walking distance, ongoing construction messes up the current aesthetic and socially speaking, there’s not much going on here.
The Hyatt Regency Belgrade is a Category 2 property that’ll cost you 8,000 Hyatt Gold Passport points for a free one-night in a standard room — consider paying with cash though, especially since rates, even during the busy summer months, start at 80 euros (~$90) per night.
Thanks to Hyatt Diamond status, I received a complimentary upgrade to a Regency Suite King room, which offered nearly double the space. At the time, I booked with my Chase Sapphire Preferred card and let me earn 2x the points on travel and dining — if I’d booked with the new Chase Sapphire Reserve, however, I would have earned 3x the points for my stay and any dining.
Since this was my first trip to Belgrade, I wanted to organize a car service pick-up from the airport. After contacting the hotel by email, I promptly received a reply with my options — 27 euros (~$30) for a Mercedes-Benz C Class, 55 euros (~$62) for a Mercedes-Benz E Class, or 160 euros (~$ 180) for a Mercedes-Benz S Class. Since I was traveling by myself, the C Class was just fine. Even though I may have been able to hail a taxi for about 20 euros (~$22), sometimes it’s nice to know that someone will be waiting to pick you up near baggage claim, especially in unfamiliar territory.
Check-In and Lobby
Pulling up to the hotel made me feel like I was in another world. The entrance looks and feels like you’re walking into a grand ballroom, with high ceilings, steps that lead to all different points around the hotel and staff who are attentive to your every need.
The reception agent welcomed me by my surname before I even got the chance to say hello — it seems the hotel had been in touch with my driver from the airport. I thought this was a nice touch and it’s nice to know the staff had been anticipating my arrival.
If you arrive early enough in the morning like I did, the front desk puts out a breakfast spread including freshly baked breads, pastries, coffees and teas.
I noticed one of the main hallways had some spaces blocked off with renovation covers. In the hotel’s defense, it was clearly stated that renovations were being done in various parts of the hotel when I booked my reservation. Fortunately, the ongoing construction didn’t have any effect on my visit.
After passing the check-in desk, you have the option to walk downstairs for a better view of the open atrium filled with flowers, trees, the grand marble staircase — and, of course, some lovely construction scaffolding, as you can see in the image at the top of this post.
I was given the choice of two welcome gifts when I checked in: Hyatt Points or a fruit basket. Although the points gift would’ve been more rewarding for me in the long run, I was ready for a morning snack and thought the fruit basket may come in handy if I got hungry in the middle of the night. Shortly after making my way up to the room, housekeeping arrived with my present.
Even though the hotel seems very modern, many of its features seem to be a bit on the older side, like the elevators, for instance. Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a bad thing, but it showed that the hotel was experiencing a little wear and tear.
All floors, except seven and eight — which are a part of the Regency Club — have you enter an atrium once you leave the elevators.
The hotel is oddly-shaped, with many wings and the room doors slanted on an angle.
The Regency Suite King Room
Upon entering the room, you’ll spot a half-bathroom and a large, walk-in closet on the right and left sides, respectively.
There was plenty of countertop space next to the sink and near the toilet, enough room for everyone to store their toiletries during a stay here.
Although a little on the small side, the half-bathroom featured all the essentials.
There were several closets in the room to hold all your stuff. I stored any daily non-essentials in the front entrance closet to allow for more space in the room.
The king-sized bed appeared immediately after I passed the large living room area. My one-bedroom suite was serviced by hotel staff daily, including turn-down service every evening at no extra charge.
The housekeeping staff cleaned the room to perfection each day, and seemed to pay attention to little details and quirks I have for how I like my room to be — and they adapted to them. I was also given a water bottle each day, which was nice.
There was a little table off to the side — the perfect spot to jot down some quick notes or use as a charging station for your electronic devices.
The master bathroom featured a large marble bathtub and a separate walk-in shower, which complemented the other parts of the room perfectly.
Here’s another view of the bathroom, this time featuring the large, floor-to-ceiling marble shower.
This Hyatt was equipped with Pharmacopia shampoo, conditioner and body wash, which were nice, but nothing too over the top.
The second walk-in closet was identical to the first, but offered less floor space, since this is where the safe and other amenities, like bathrobes, are located.
If you’ve come here on a business trip and need some time to catch up on emails or other projects, the living room has large working area complete with a desk, phone and paper.
The living room also had a couch along and a large coffee table, which made for a comfortable set up. Note that the couch did not fold out.
Another example of that “old fashioned hotel” feeling I mentioned earlier are the chain locks on the doors. Even though the chain does its job, it would be nice to see an upgrade here, since this is one thing guests will see right away.
I usually prefer rooms to be a little on the chillier side and even though the room temperature went down to 21 degrees Celsius (~69.8 degrees Fahrenheit), I would’ve loved if the room was a bit colder. Sadly, maintenance confirmed to me that this wouldn’t be possible.
It was easy to stay organized after I unpacked thanks to the many closets and shelves located around the room.
Housekeeping staff always set down a bottle of water on my bed-side table next to the ice bucket, which was also consistently filled when the room was serviced.
Although I’m not a big coffee drinker, the machine looked pretty complex, offering many options to make sure you got the perfect brew.
One of the four drawers revealed some snacks and wine glasses.
The mini-fridge reminded me of something out of a movie. Although it was nicely designed, the fridge drawer was placed very close to the floor, which made it difficult to read what each bottle said.
If you decided to brew your own coffee or tea in the morning, there were instructions for how to use the machine, along with some glasses and plates.
While one coffee machine might be enough for the typical guest, Hyatt graciously offered a coffee pot for those who prefer to make tea or coffee themselves.
I never once had any safety concerns at this property since the surrounding area was perfectly safe for tourists. Nonetheless, it’s always nice to have the option to put your belongings in a safe place while traveling.
Hyatt also provided comfortable slippers to go along with the super-cozy bathrobes that were in the closet. Next to the slippers were solid laundry bags, nothing like the plastic laundry bags provided in hotels back home.
The Regency Club
In many domestic hotels, the lounges can be below par and many times, it’s not even worth your time to pass through them. I was hoping this lounge would live up to my high expectations for international hotel lounges — I’m happy to report, it did.
As an elite member, you have the option to request services at the lounge concierge desk and even ask for advice on what to do around town. There’s generally an agent at the desk between 6:00am and 10:00pm.
The lounge overlooks downtown Belgrade and the mega-mall across the street. Since it’s located on the seventh floor, you have a nice view while maintaining a sense of privacy. What shocked me most was how empty the lounge was each time I visited.
I was able to take a bunch of photos and sit wherever I wanted, whenever I wanted, which was nice. Other lounges I’ve been to tend to get more crowded during the evening cocktail hour, but not this one. Every night, I made it a point to visit for a snack before venturing into town, but each time, I was one of the only guests in there. Yes, it was nice to have privacy and a sort-of private waiter, but it felt a little weird to always be sitting in such a large room all by myself.
The breakfast and dinner items served in the lounge were really great. Most times, I was too stuffed to go out and eat that night, although I always tried to push myself (you know, for research purposes). The evening hors d’oeuvres were very filling but unfortunately, hot food items were not served.
Every morning and evening, the food offerings changed. In the evening, the menu was centered around Middle Eastern food. The chef from downstairs, who catered the lounge, also managed to keep the desert options interesting with treats ranging from chocolates to cheesecake and other mouthwatering sweets.
For breakfast, there was a bread station set up with many types to choose from, but unfortunately, there was no made-to-order egg station to be found — I ended up ordering room service one morning as an alternative.
For me, breakfast was even more delicious than the evening “snacks.” The amount of pastries and jams available was rather impressive, and I could always tell how fresh everything was.
Breakfast options were geared more to European (and American) travelers, with options like cold cuts and an array of cheeses.
The fruit choices were presented nicely as well.
Food and Beverage
As I said, the lounge consistently offered amazing food options and service, but it was nice to have a hot meal one morning while I was there. For $30, my meal arrived right on time during the 15-minute window I’d selected when I ordered.
To start off, a large plate of mixed breads and pastries were served — the bottom of the cart had a mini-oven so my food was kept nicely toasted. These were the same breads as the ones served in the lounge, by the way.
I ordered an egg and cheese sandwich, which tasted great. The bread seemed to be a soft sourdough served alongside sausage, potatoes and bacon.
My eyes had been bigger than my stomach when I ordered this the night before, so I also had two fried eggs, which weren’t as tasty as the egg sandwich had been, but were still very good.
When in Europe, you must order a cappuccino! Even though it arrived a little cold, the taste was still nice and it went perfectly with the rest of my meal.
All dishes were served with a platter of cold cuts and cheeses similar to what the lounge had offered, but this time, with more professional-looking and personalized plating.
The next day, I decided to visit Metropolitan Grill downstairs, which is open from 6:00am – 11:00pm. I was really excited for the meal since I’d heard great things, and also because this was my first time trying authentic Serbian food. To start, I was given freshly baked bread straight from the oven.
Although I wasn’t planning to have a glass of wine, the waiter insisted that I try a glass of Epigenia (red wine) to complement the rest of my meal.
For my appetizer, I kept it simple with a grilled chicken and bacon Caesar salad. The waiter highly recommended it and promised it wouldn’t taste like your average Caesar salad. He was right, since the salad had the perfect dressing-to-ingredients ratio, which is not often the case.
For my main course, I decided to have braised duck and lamb shank stew with potatoes and sour cream. The stew was a traditional Serbian dish. I always like to try new things when I’m traveling, and this quickly became my favorite meal of the trip. The service here was excellent as well. The waiters were very friendly — one of them confided that his girlfriend was away at school in New York City, so we then had plenty to chat about.
After all those meals, I found myself in the spa and fitness center daily. The gym is open 24/7 and the spa and pool are open until 11:00pm. A welcome attendant was always present, except, ironically, in the image below.
After you check in at the front desk, you’ll be given a key to a locker in case you want to take a shower or store clothes to change into after your activities. The showers are immediately cleaned after you use them.
The gym isn’t too big, but you surely won’t hear me complaining about the equipment. There’s a good selection of treadmills, step climbers and other weight-lifting machines around to satisfy any workout regimen.
The room didn’t get too crowded, but during busy hours, you might find yourself waiting to use a particular machine.
Inside the fitness center, there will generally be an attendant walking around to help out or clean the area you leave, which was another nice touch by Hyatt.
There was also a large indoor pool, which never got too crowded and made a great way to end a day full of sightseeing.
My visit to the Hyatt Regency Belgrade was part of a trip to Serbia I’m sure I’ll remember for years to come. After spending a day exploring the town (pictured below), the Hyatt makes a great place to stay, although it have would been nicer if the hotel was located on the more touristy side of town, though it’s only a short taxi ride away. Considering the price and elite status benefits I received, this is definitely a hotel I’d visit again and one that I’d recommend to anyone else visiting Belgrade.
Have you stayed at the Hyatt Regency Belgrade? Tell us about your experience, below.
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