A NEW GATEWAY TO PODGORICA
The new hotel was built in the exact same spot where the Črna gora hotel used to stand and that was in service for a full 60 years, becoming an icon of the city’s tourism. After many long years the time came for an overhaul and a princely sum of 47 million euros was invested by the owners. The arrival of the hotel is big news for Podgorica, as the Hilton Podgorica is the second hotel of this brand in the ex-Yugoslavian region (the first being in Dubrovnik). As a consequence the overall hotel service in the city has increased and it has also helped propel the development of the congress service sector – the hotel is top of its class as a congress hotel and with everything needed to fulfil this role successfully. It seems that the Hilton will soon become a symbol of the city, as the erstwhile Črna Gora hotel once was.
The hotel is located in the city centre near key Montenegrin institutions and close to the lively streets where most of the city’s social life happens. Podgorica is predominantly a transit city, where all main Montenegrin traffic routes cross and from where you can get to all corners of Montenegro quite quickly. A pleasant surprise in the city is what is probably the cheapest taxi in Europe – a ride around the city centre won’t set you back more than 1 euro! An advantage of the city’s size is that the airport is only about 10 minutes away from the city centre, but if you are arriving at the hotel by car then for a charge there is a spacious garage at your disposal that will keep your car pleasantly cool from the summer heat.
COLD APPETIZER - Architecture and Aesthetics
The hotel’s exterior follows the modernist design base that was once represented by the Črna Gora hotel. A functional building has been created, correctly blending into the urban centre of the city and representing the architecture typical of the Hilton hotel chain. The interior also stays true to the chain’s typical design, with the architects here creating a pleasant and elegant area and with the lobby especially standing out, with its black and gold shades appearing both lofty and prestigious. The legendary cafe opens into the city street and this is where urban reality and hotel glamour mingle and create an inspiring public space, which the locals themselves have grown very fond of. With its clear image and message, the hotel represents a natural line between the old and the new, or a point of new transformation for the city tourism.
WARM APPETIZER - Staff and catering
Hilton Podgorica represents the Mediterranean spirit of both the city and Montenegro and despite the staff’s sense of being formal there is an even more relaxed atmosphere that can be felt and that somehow belongs to a wider ambience. This, however, certainly doesn’t detract from the professionalism and kindness of the entire staff at the hotel. The culinary offer is exquisite and in particular the catering, setting new standards in this field for the entire city. We are glad that a strong part of the offer is also the wine list, among which many are local wines. This is no surprise, as the owner is one of the best Montenegrin wine growers. The hotel breakfast is amazing – diverse and coloured by many local Montenegrin specialities, really making it stand out.
MAIN DISH - Conference hotel service
The hotel rooms do not disappoint in any way and the beds and bed linen are great, with the elegant lounger adjacent to the bed particularly impressive. Hilton also understands the needs of business guests and that is why there is plenty of space for a desk. The flooring and fabric are in nice pastel colours that go together well with the bathroom’s gold and silver tiles. You will find very little lacking in the room, as Hilton thinks of every little detail. The heart of the congress offer is the large congress room with a capacity for up to 435 participants. Soon after opening it became the centre of the congress and social life of the city. Besides the Ballroom Hall, there are also five smaller congress halls available for parallel events, stretching out over 796 sq.m. The congress hall is also popular with wedding and corporate events organisers.
DESSERT – The extras
The hotel cafe is an institution of the city’s coffee scene and in its new guise is now surrounded by a fountain, making it an ideal place for congress pre- and after-parties.
FLOP – NEGATIVE SURPRISES
It is very hard to find anything negative about the hotel, but for any hair-splitters out there the only imperfection might be the slightly slow check-in and check-out process.
TOP – POSITIVE SURPRISES
The brilliant balance between price and quality for accommodation and congress services.
OVERALL IMPRESSION AND CREDIBILITY
With Hilton, Podgorica has acquired one of the best congress hotels in the region. In terms of both size and offer the congress centre is the biggest in Podgorica and is the heart of the new congress offer of the city. Hilton is, of course, synonymous with comfort, modernity and practicality, which is always delivered to a high level. This is supported by staff who represent the hotel’s strongest aspects. A few steps still divide the hotel from perfection, but overall the investor and the team deserve serious plaudits. The work has been carried out better than brilliantly and with its sense of harmony the hotel will not disappoint its guests, not even the more demanding congress guests.
FINAL GRADE: 4.79 SILVER CITY MEETING HOTEL
GOLD final score from 4.81 to 5.00
SILVER final score from 4.61 to 4.80
BRONZE final score from 4.41 to 4.60