1. METROPOL PALACE / Belgrade, Serbia / FINAL SCORE: 4,79 / The legend has returned to Belgrade. Through a long renovation the historic heritage has been excellently rebuilt and today the hotel is flirting with premium hotels in the major metropolitan cities of the region. Warm colours, superior lighting, retro furniture and services at an appropriate level place it among the best hotels in the Balkans. If you want to impress your conference guests, then at the moment this hotel is the best choice in Belgrade. It is the hotel from which the memory of the good times returns, which many people are missing today.

kongresna-zvezda-150x150HIDDEN CONGRESS GUEST RESULTS 2012-2013
Based on a systematic evaluation of the quality of meeting facilities for our readers, we have developed a unique method of hidden congress guest. Data is collected using a hidden congress guest, who in a structured way observes and records what is actually happening at the hotel and where are opportunities for improvement. We have been carrying out the project since 2007 and we have assesed over 70 hotels so far. 
The methodology is  used for awards for excellence in the field of meetings tourism MEETINGS STAR. The winners of this year’s award will be announced at Conventa on January 21, 2013. 

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1. METROPOL PALACE, Belgrade, Serbia
Final score:  4,79
The legend has returned to Belgrade. Through a long renovation the historic heritage has been excellently rebuilt and today the hotel is flirting with premium hotels in the major metropolitan cities of the region. Warm colours, superior lighting, retro furniture and services at an appropriate level place it among the best hotels in the Balkans. If you want to impress your conference guests, then at the moment this hotel is the best choice in Belgrade. It is the hotel from which the memory of the good times returns, which many people are missing today.

2. ESPLANADE ZAGREB, Zagreb, Croatia
Final score:  4,78
The hotel is an excellent choice for business and congress guests and is probably the regional flagship in terms of service quality, customer care, prestige and image. Staying at the hotel is a special experience, with a package that gives you a feeling of luxury.

3. HOTEL SAVOIA EXCELSIOR PALACE, Trieste, Italia
Final score:  4,65
The Savoia Excelsior Palace is definitely a good example of why such hotels are still a big selling hit and a shining exception on the otherwise quite tired Trieste congress-hotel scene. The hotel is a good starting point for the re-launch of Trieste as a congress destination. Less can be more. Probably the most stylish first category facility also in the wider region.

4. SPIRIT HOTEL, Sarvar, Hungary
Final score:  4,54
The hotel Spirit, which is currently the “flagship” of the city, certainly represents a new chapter in the rich history and culture of Sárvár’s spa tourism. It is elegant, spacious and because of all this an impressive hotel, although it is certainly not perfect. Anyone wishing to take advantage of everything the hotel has to offer will have to deal with a relatively high price for this part of Europe

5. SHERATON SOFIA HOTEL BALKAN, Sofia, Bulgaria
Final score:  4,51
An extremely practical classic hotel, which has recently seen an increase in competition. The question remains what, in addition to the central position, differentiates the hotel Sheraton from the contemporary competitors. If you’re a fan of minimalism and the latest hotel fashion then this hotel is not for you. It is a traditional hotel with classic charm, which is felt at every step from the hotel lobby on. However, for the hotel to keep pace with the competition it will need cosmetic refurbishment in the guest rooms.

6. KEMPINSKI HOTEL ZOOGRAFSKI SOFIA, Sofia, Bulgaria
Final score:  4,46
Reasonable prices, a solid selection of restaurants, beautiful views from the rooms (especially to the Vitosha mountain) and a great convention centre are the main advantages of the hotel. Yet the hotel is far from the standards of other hotels in the Kempinski chain. The most disturbing aspects are the lobbies and other public areas, which urgently call out for renovation, and the inconsistent services. In a final evaluation the hotel better fits into the four star category and does not reach the five star standard, but because of the diversity of the offer in combination with the cuisine, the large number of rooms and the spaciousness, it is still a very good choice for meeting planners.

7. GRAND HOTEL UNION EXECUTIVE, Ljubljana, Slovenia
Final score:  4,45
The taste of meetings organisers is unpredictable and difficult to follow, but the choice of Grand Hotel Union is definitely a right one, due to the excellent convention halls and, of course, the flexible and friendly staff. In the Ljubljana conference offer the Grand Hotel Union reigns. An excellent hotel for convention gourmets and a true flag bearer of the Ljubljana hotel conference offer since 1905.

8. HYATT REGENCY, Belgrade, Serbia
Final score:  4,44
The Hyatt Regency is a legend on the Belgrade hotel scene. It represents an excellent choice in Belgrade’s current premium class. For many years it has been the most reliable and convincing Belgrade hotel, although it will soon face fierce competition with an abundance of hotels coming online, which will necessarily demand a renovation (whi the rooms are already calling for). The hotel has a soul, which has been successfully shared with its guests for a number of years and, like the city itself, it does not leave you feeling indifferent.

9. HOTEL WESTIN, Zagreb, Croatia
Final score:  4,44
Westin Hotel is a contemporary but not modern, spacious but not over-equipped, robust yet flexible hotel for those who care a lot for practicality and reliability. It still functions perfectly and is well received among congress clients due to its versatility and the professionalism of the staff. Service, staff, quality in all the important elements of the hotel works well; it is reined in only by the lack of a hotel of character and personality, which more inclines the hotel towards four stars.

10. HOTEL LEV, Ljubljana, Slovenia
Final score:  4,43
Hotel Lev is somehow reminiscent of car limousines: in our region, despite numerous advantages, they are not always the first choice. The situation is completely different in other markets, where limousines dominate among cars, as do those with pedigree and the genetic blueprint of large hotel chains among hotels. Lev is love at second sight, which never disappoints. After all, not all guests are the same and to some more important than the appearance of the hotel are the well-being, comfort and friendliness of the staff that makes all the difference. After all, this hotel is “good value for money”, which today is also very important to business guests 

WHO IS HIDDEN CONGRESS GUEST?
Professional person who has years of experience in the field of wellness and health resort tourism and has knowledge of hospitality management. Required skills and competencies to ensure objectivity are:

  • min. 15 years of international experience in the hotel business or meetings industry;
  • Knowledge of international standards with specific knowledge of control standards (DIN (Deutsche Industrie Norm), DEHOGA and others;
  • Knowledge of trends in the meetings industry in the domestic and international markets;
  • Identifying specific needs and preferences of customers;
  • Knowledge of all the necessary elements for guest satisfaction (technical specifications, catering services, additional services, security, ….);

In addition, our examiners have checked references in the field of quality assurance of their own work in the hotel industry, which provides an unbiased view on behalf of the client and maximum reliability of the method. Our hidden guests are objective, fair, accurate and reliable, and well-organised and pay attention to detail.

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