Dorćol can be described as the heart and soul of Belgrade or simply one of the coolest parts of the city. This charming city quarter is home to a new hotel, located in the same place where the Shonda chocolate factory once stood. Having grown from a small chocolate factory, it became a recognised brand. The former factory from 1902 now houses a congress centre. Hotel Mona Plaza’s location is full of history and surprises, and everything is just a shot away. We warmly recommend taking time to walk to the heart of Belgrade that will not leave you empty-handed. If you are a fan of running and recreation, the hotel has one of the best locations in the city.
Belgrade is among the most accessible congress destinations in the region. Air Serbia and several low-cost airlines are to blame for the great accessibility. You will need about 20 minutes to reach the airport, albeit, during rush hours, you might need more. Even though Belgrade’s public transport is perpetually improving, you will occasionally have to opt to take a taxi or two that are cheap and well-functioning in Belgrade. Sustainable alternatives of transport are not at the forefront in Belgrade yet. An advantage of the hotel is the vicinity of the confluence of the Sava and the Danube, where you can take a walk, exercise or admire the imposing river. Not least, the spacious two-level underground garage is the hotel’s trump card.
COLD STARTER - Architecture and aesthetics
The central building of the hotel is a modernistic structure that appears elegantly balanced. They say it resembles bars of chocolate, as suitable, given the historical legacy. In the interior, pastel colours combined with industrial design dominate the space. The latter is dominant in the hotel’s restaurant that alludes to the story of the chocolate factory. All rooms and hotel corridors are minimalistic and complemented by designer pieces of furniture. Numerous plants that go hand in hand with the hotel’s style are another eye-catching detail. Hotel Mona Plaza is a textbook example of minimalistic industrial design that is well-balanced and appears convincing. In our honest opinion, the architect, Milan Dimitrijević, did a phenomenal job.
WARM ENTRÉE - The staff and the culinary experience
Serbian hotel staff professionality has remained unscathed even by the corona crisis. If mixed with unparalleled kindness, the result is a highly effective combination. You are bound to feel welcome when staying at the hotel. If not upon arrival, then undoubtedly after trying excellent cevapcici. Scepticism upon trying the hotel’s signature cevapcici was swiftly replaced by enthusiasm. The breakfast was equally impressive; a great example of advocating local culinary tradition. One cannot fully enjoy Serbian cuisine without ajvar and meat specialities, and Hotel Mona Plaza is sure to deliver. The deserts are especially noteworthy, rekindling and celebrating the memory of old times when the Shonda factory was still operating. You must taste one of the desserts prepared in line with the recipes of the legendary Šonda.
MAIN COURSE – The meetings offering at the hotel
The rooms are spacious and boast dominant bright pastel colours and oak furniture. The flooring is warm and pleasant due to the excellent overall cleanliness. Equally stunning is the elegant and above-standard bathroom. The bed is solid, whilst the bed lining is premium. As a whole, the room seems compact and balanced. If you can choose, we recommend opting for a room on the upper floors that overlooks Belgrade’s skyline and the confluence of the Danube and Sava rivers.
Hotel Mona Plaza’s congress centre is one of the largest in Belgrade. Its key advantage is the exhibition space that spans 700m2 and stretches over three floors. You will hardly come across such spaciousness in another conference centre. The hotel’s hidden gem is the large congress hall that can host up to 400 guests on 420 m2. Event organisers will appreciate the 4-metre high ceiling. The smaller hall, Gornji Dorćol, is also among Belgrade’s largest, with 240 m2. Altogether, the centre is well-designed and embodies the essence of a modern hotel congress centre. Considering the hotel opened its door during the corona crisis, the new story is waiting to be discovered by regional event organisers.
DESSERT – The extras
For lovers of recreation, the hotel offers a well-equipped fitness centre where one can train in the presence of professional coaches. Real fitness professionals will be pleased to find a miha bodytec.
FLOP – NEGATIVE SURPRISES
A tiny remark goes to the clumsy air conditioner that practically cannot be set in a way that does not disturb sleep.
TOP – POSITIVE SURPRISES
The coworking space in the lobby is highly charming. It is equipped with everything a modern business person might need. It is no surprise several entrepreneurs tend to extend their stay.
FINAL IMPRESSION AND CREDIBILITY
Hotel Mona Plaza is a good compromise between design, comfort and functionality. In fact, it is one of the best such combinations Belgrade has to offer. Time will tell its worth once the corona crisis is over. Unfortunately, the superb congress centre was lonesome for a long time and is eager for regional event organisers to uncover its secrets. It is a fact, though, that it can please their needs chiefly due to its spaciousness. The hotel feels harmonious and attendee friendly. Thus, we full-heartedly recommend opting for Hotel Mona Plaza as a rational alternative to its more renowned city competitors.
FINAL GRADE: 4.72 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