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Photo Credit: Hotel Indigo Belgrade

LOCATION

Constructed in 1889 next to Belgrade’s legendary and most prominent street, Knez Mihailova, an imposing building has become home to Hotel Indigo. The hotel thus welcomes guests in the heart of the pulsing city centre. The landmarks are a stone’s throw away. The location is ideal for wandering the nearby streets and slightly less perfect for guests arriving by car. They will have to resort to public parking in the close-by parking garages. Hotel Indigo brilliantly intertwines two central city pedestrian zones with its atrium. Sleeping closer to the heart of Belgrade is nearly impossible.

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Photo Credit: Hotel Indigo Belgrade

ACCESSIBILITY

Due to Air Serbia’s proactivity, Belgrade has emerged as the regional air crossroad. Arriving from the airport to the hotel is simple if you can avoid traffic jams. Public transport in the city is improving year-on-year. Likewise, railways are developing; however, road infrastructure has proven inadequate, as it could not keep pace with Belgrade’s swift development. Given Belgrade stretches over a large area, the easiest way to get around is by taking the omnipresent and affordable taxis. We miss a better cycling network and less traffic in the city centre. That would raise the quality of living substantially. Nonetheless, one can get anywhere in Belgrade with a bit of patience.

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Photo Credit: Hotel Indigo Belgrade

COLD STARTER - Architecture and aesthetics

In the renovation process, the core task was to rekindle the spirit of the building from the art nouveau period in which it was designed. The renovation was tremendously successful, and the building glimmers again. Among the revived elements are impressive art nouveau details on the facade. What sets the hotel apart from its competition is the compelling atrium that connects two city streets. A panoramic lift takes guests to the second floor, where they are greeted by the hotel restaurant and the grand Duke Garden terrace. The spacious area features imposing murals that give a special aura. Duke Restaurant is equally impressive, with high ceilings and Secession details. In the interior, the architects combined details from Belgrade’s history and motifs from Serbian art, subculture and pop culture. We had encountered such an eclectic mix in numerous hotels alike. It seems the spirit and concept of 25Hours Hotels have spread globally and, not least, within the IHG Group, which has opened 134 Indigo Hotels. A further 120 hotels are set to open their doors soon.

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Photo Credit: Hotel Indigo Belgrade

WARM ENTRÉE - The staff and the culinary experience

The youthful and kind personnel at the reception proved to be professional and up to the task of dealing with demanding guests. They deserve praise from the viewpoint of professionality and intention to present their city to guests in the best light. Belgrade’s genius loci are its people rather than iconic buildings or monuments. The staff at the reception are undoubtedly great ambassadors of their city.

We had hoped to experience such service at breakfast. Alas, it proved to be a generic, mediocre hotel breakfast. Even though the quality of dishes was satisfactory, the philosophy of the hotel brand was nowhere to be seen at breakfast. The staff showed no interest in serving guests coffee. Hotel Indigo should certainly improve this part of their offer. We expected more local and authentic dishes on the menu apart from the omnipresent burek and ajvar. Considering the harsh competition posed by numerous charming coffee shops and bakeries in the city centre, the hotel breakfast will have to improve.

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Photo Credit: Hotel Indigo Belgrade

MAIN COURSE – The meetings offering at the hotel

Hotel rooms

With a central location, the hotel is space-limited. Consequently, the rooms are smaller, measuring 23 m2. The theme in the rooms is Yugo brutalism, with replicas of furniture from that period and pirot carpets. The room we stayed in boasted art-deco style, an elegant bathroom and signature beige walls. Its central furniture piece was designed in an open industrial style. An intriguing detail was a retro telephone. The hotel could have been more creative with the rather generic graphics on the walls. The bed and lighting were good, as was the bathroom with faux marble tiles. The stand-out element was the art deco writing desk with an ingenious desk lamp. We were not blown away by the design, yet it does meet the expectations for hotel rooms of the hotel brand. Too many universal and already-seen elements taint the thought-out idea.

Meetings centre

The hotel does not boast a dedicated conference centre. Nevertheless, Duke Garden can transform into a unique event venue in warmer months. Alternatively, meeting planners can privatise the hotel restaurant. Both venues are extraordinary and set in the heart of Belgrade.

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Photo Credit: Hotel Indigo Belgrade
hotel_indigo_belgrade
Photo Credit: Hotel Indigo Belgrade

DESSERT – The extras

When staying at Hotel Indigo, guests feel like they booked a room in a boutique hotel, albeit the IHG hotel chain manages the hotel. If the hotel succeeds in retaining this look, it will easily edge out its competition.

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Photo Credit: Hotel Indigo Belgrade

FLOP – NEGATIVE SURPRISES

Soundproof windows are integral for a hotel in the city centre. Because we stayed in the hotel on an eventful Friday, the noise coming from the street was disturbing.

TOP – POSITIVE SURPRISES

Grandiose murals in the atrium are a welcome surprise. We could not take our eyes off them during our stay. In addition, we were in awe of texts from Miroslav Gospel that crown the hotel lift. Such boutique details bring the history of the city closer to guests.

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Photo Credit: Hotel Indigo Belgrade

FINAL IMPRESSION AND CREDIBILITY

The narrative of the Indigo hotel brand is a boutique experience connected to authentic local stories. In Belgrade, the brand succeeded in convincingly portraying local culture, character and geography to their guests. There is room for improvement, particularly in regard to the personnel and additonal offer, which can elevate a guest’s experience. The hotel terrace is waiting to be discovered by event organisers. We do not doubt the central idea was to create one of the coolest hotels in the heart of Belgrade. A thin line separates a cool and boring hotel, however.

FINAL GRADE: 4.67 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

CATEGORY 4****
OPEN FROM October 2021
MEETINGS STAR City meeting hotel
STANDARD Hotel with conference facilities
NUMBER OF ROOMS 46 rooms and apartments
MEETING ROOMS/
TOTAL EVENT SPACE/
MAX. CAPACITY THEATRE75
INTERNET PRICE138 – 296 EUR (single use) / Booking, September 2022
ADDRESS:Hotel Indigo Belgrade
Čika Ljubina 9
Belgrade, Serbia


T: +381 11 697 92 00
E: begkm.frontdesk@ihg.com
W: www.ihg.com/hotelindigo/belgrade

FACILITIES
    • Duke Garden
    • Duke Restaurant
    • Fitness Centre
SPECIALS Duke Garden is not your everyday restaurant; it is a one-of-a-kind venue ideal for organising events. In our estimate, the venue can greet up to 60 attendees in an unparalleled creative space in Belgrade.
hotel_indigo_belgrade
Photo Credit: Hotel Indigo Belgrade
RESULTS MARKS
1. LOCATION 5.00
2. ACCESSIBILITY 4.59
3. FIRST IMPRESSION4.63
4. LOBBY4.59
5.  EMPLOYEE ATTITUDE4.72
6.  RECEPTION 4.78
7.  HOTEL ROOM 4.58
8.  HOTEL BED 4.74
9. BATHROOM AND RESTROOM4.79
10. HOTEL BREAKFAST 4.62
11. BARS AND RESTAURANTS 4.67
12. CONGRESS HALL 4.49
13. ADDITIONAL OFFER  4.51
TOTAL:   4.67