Till today we have evaluated 35 resort meeting hotels. Here are our top ten for 2014:
1. HOTEL BELLEVUE
5***** Lošinj, Croatia 4.83
Through renovation an elegant and extremely elaborate, in fact almost timeless hotel has been created. This is also reflected in its exceptional and truly top-class logo. With the richness and diversity of content it functions as a mini-city into which the convention centre is also nicely and reasonably well positioned. A team of Croatian architects, led by the legendary Andrija Ruslan, has done excellent work and created a space that the youthful team is filling with kindness, positive energy and a superior service.
A hotel that in many respects stands out from the offer on the Adriatic and deserves the highest praise.
2. KEMPINSKI PALACE
5***** Portorož, Slovenia 4.77
The Kempinski Hotel is the only five-star superior hotel in Slovenia. This means that the rooms are spacious and well-equipped, as befits a top hotel. The interior colour is subdued, of modern design and appears prestigious, whilst offering a lot of style and freshness. The technical equipment showcases the hotel’s technological sophistication. The modern convention centre is prestigious and well-equipped. Six conference rooms have natural daylight and the largest hall can accommodate up to 220 participants. The heart of the convention offer is Crystal Hall, which post-renovation shines in full splendour and which in addition to the Union Hall in Ljubljana is the most prestigious conference and banquet hall in Slovenia. It opens onto a century-old park, which is an attractive venue for outdoor events.
3. HOTEL MONTE MULINI
5***** Rovinj, Croatia 4.76
This is a hotel to enjoy and for which the entire business philosophy is covered. There are only a few hotels that delight and thrill as fully as the Monte Mulini does; it looks good, is superbly equipped and offers a number of extras. The longer we stayed in the hotel, the better was the feeling that it is an extraordinary gastronomic oasis.
A real 5 star hotel in an excellent location, suitable for the most demanding and exclusive conference events.
4. FALKENSTEINER SCHLOSS HOTEL VELDEN
5***** Velden, Austria 4.73
The legendary hotel is undoubtedly one of the best hotels in the region. Managed with German precision and Austrian charm, it is the ideal of excellence in all areas. Unfortunately, the town of Velden isn’t following the hotel standards and the rest of the tourist offer is also only average at best. After the takeover by the Falkensteiner hotel chain the hotel was slightly refreshed and is probably one of the best incentive hotels for the most demanding guests. It was established as the best hotel for elite guests in Carinthia and we consider the goal to be close, however, the Falkensteiner Team will still need to master a few more details. It sometimes happens that when a large hotel chain buys a boutique hotel, in their zeal to rationalise it is often overlooked that some things simply cannot be squeezed into a boutique hotel.
5. HOTEL LONE
5***** Rovinj, Croatia 4.72
We understand design hotels as an experience that can include reflection and a very personal contact with culture, nature and the culinary art of the destination. The creators of the first Croatian design hotel, Hotel Lone, were probably thinking similarly. And we like it. Lovers of hotel glamour and kitsch will not like it, however, but we think that the luxury comes through in the small details, like the enormous room service menu and the hotel guide in broadsheet newspaper format, or even in the selected fabric for curtains and the numerous other small details. Being ideal for “DINKS” and young professionals and a totem of Croatian creativity, it is the zeitgeist of the new generation.
6. HOTEL EXCELSIOR & SPA DUBROVNIK
5***** Dubrovnik, Croatia 4.69
Dubrovnik’s high-flyer defies both time and its increasing competition in the city – the hotel’s myth is built on its reputation of being the best hotel in the city.
This traditional hotel still scores very high on the quality scale. However, there are currently several competitors breathing down its neck. ‘Excelsior is Excelsior’, though, and this is a sentence that you often hear in Dubrovnik. It would be difficult to place any other hotel in Dubrovnik into this thought that would command the same special meaning. This is not to take away from the value of other local competitors, however, which are continuing to build on other strengths.
7. HOTEL LAV MERIDIEN
5***** Split, Croatia 4.62
It is in a class of its own in Split’s current hotel and convention scene. The Starwood operators have done their homework excellently and are winners in the most sensitive areas – friendliness and the professionalism of the staff. This has in the past earned them a place among the best in the class. However, there are also some shortcomings, particularly in the areas of catering and hospitality, where one would expect a little more from a top hotel. Overall, though, this is a balanced congress hotel that is elegant, charming and a perfect choice even for the most demanding congress clients.
8. HOTEL MELIA CORAL
5***** Umag, Croatia 4.58
Hotel Meliá Coral stands out with the general quality of the offer, comfort and its spaciousness. The final grade is that this is a good hotel for good money. The prices are in fact very reasonable in relation to the nearby Istrian and Slovenian competition. There are numerous options for organising receptions and outdoor activities. Without much bragging about it, Istratourist, together with the hotel chain Melia, have managed to make a great hotel and convention product, helping Umag on its path to becoming a serious and respected European incentive destination.
9. SPIRIT HOTEL
5***** Sárvár, Hungary 4.54
The hotel Spirit, which is currently the city’s “flagship” hotel, certainly represents a new chapter in the rich history and culture of Sárvár’s spa tourism. Its elegance and spaciousness make it 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.
10. HOTEL & SPA IADERA
5***** Zadar, Croatia 4,52
The overall impression of the new resort is an extremely good one. The hotel follows the known standards of the Falkensteiner group and is an excellent choice for incentive and product launches, as well as smaller conferences. It is important to avoid the high tourist season, go for less frequented dates and carefully plan the arrivals logistics. From what we saw and experienced we can only give it a firm nod of approval.
The HIDDEN CONGRESS GUEST section is not paid for. The selection of hotels, which are evaluated by the hidden congress guest, is left to the editorial board. The hidden guest visits the hotels without prior notice.
Hotels are rated by the HIDDEN CONGRESS GUEST. These are professional people who have many years of experience in the meetings industry and the additional knowledge of hospitality management. The evaluation matrix contains over 450 measurable criteria, which are divided into different categories, such as the first contact with the customer, the general impression upon arrival, the behaviour of employees and a host of others. Each category is assessed by the share of conditionality and the average rating, which allows the improvement of the quality of the individual criteria.