Skopje Marriott Hotel is set in an iconic location next to the colossal, twenty-two-metre-high statue of Alexander the Great in Macedonia Square. A more central location for staying the night or organising an event is impossible to find in Skopje. The hotel is the backdrop for countless selfies and photos taken by tourists visiting the capital of North Macedonia. One of the undeniable advantages of the hotel’s location is its proximity to all major institutions and monuments. Following extensive remodelling in the city, most governmental palaces and edifices now greet guests in the city centre. If you are in Skopje and plan on visiting one of the institutions, Marriott’s position is undoubtedly the best. In addition, the hotel is an ideal starting point for discovering the city’s cuisine or experiencing the nightlife. Skopje is similar to larger European metropolises in this respect and can easily compete with Belgrade.
Within the diverse mix of international guests visiting Skopje, most opt to arrive by plane. The airport is approximately 26 kilometres away, or a half-hour drive. Guests arriving at the hotel by car can park in a spacious underground parking garage. In light of the hotel’s central location, guests can reach most of the city’s monuments on foot. Alternatively, they can opt for affordable taxis, which the hotel staff will gladly call. We recommend selecting the official and more affordable city taxis instead of the prestigious Mercedes competition. Still, one better way of getting around Skopje exists: cycling. We believe cycling is an excellent way of exploring the city, as the infrastructure has advanced rapidly. We hope the hotel will offer us rental bicycles upon our next visit. One of the hotel’s core advantages is the proximity to the promenade along the Vardar River, a favoured spot for running and strolling.
COLD STARTER - Architecture and aesthetics
Skopje’s architecture is as colourful as its diversity of nationalities and cultures. Christian, Islamic and socialist styles intertwine at every step. The hotel was part of a comprehensive remodelling of the city, known as the Skopje 2014 project. Around that year, most Neobaroque buildings were erected. We may consider Skopje Marriott Hotel one of them, although the exterior is more reminiscent of Secession. The facade has been dividing opinions, yet impressions about the interior design have been almost univocal. The Paris-based Jean-Phillipe Nuel studio excelled in creating a timelessly elegant design within the hotel. The building still appears fresh and modern after seven years. Premium materials and a slew of details, particularly the illumination, exude luxury. The lobby makes a lasting impression upon entering the hotel. Still, the gloomy hotel corridors dim the elegance of the rooms.
WARM ENTRÉE - The staff and the culinary experience
The friendliness and hospitality of Macedonians are unmatched. You will experience both first-hand as a dream team at the reception desk guides you through check-in. The team was professional, kind and with an ever-present smile on their faces, always willing to help. Kristijan, working at the reception, embodies the team’s hospitality.
We were equally impressed by the staff working in service. The breakfast was arguably the best in Skopje. The hotel is among a handful of establishments in the city that source ingredients locally. They put local, fresh dishes in the limelight by placing them at the front of their menu. The front cooking was a phenomenal addition to the extraordinary culinary experience. The Distrikt Bar & Kitchen is a breakfast hall in the morning, a bistro throughout the day, and one of the best fusion restaurants in Skopje in the evening. The gastronomic part of the hotel’s offer is splendid, and the team regularly display their brilliance by providing catering service for events in the conference centre.
MAIN COURSE – The meetings offering at the hotel
We stayed in the spacious junior suite with a charming balcony. Although the views from the room were not spectacular, everything else was astonishing. Marriott truly understands the needs of business guests. The writing desk was spacious and included all the amenities a guest needs. The bed is the centrepiece, ensuring guests are well-rested. The walk-in bathroom with a shower and a separate toilet is equally impressive. All materials are world-class and timeless, set to last for years. The furniture in dark colours and shades of maple exudes elegance. The timeless pastel wallpapers and quality flooring add to the overall great impression. Original oil paintings are one of the tiny details that make the room stand out. There is no room for cheap replicas in such a hotel. Unique artwork hanging on the walls proves the quality of the hotel rooms. In the bathroom, the prestigious line of cosmetics, ThisWorks, convinces guests with an original story and sustainable concept.
The conference centre, adjacent to the foyer, follows the design by Jean-Phillipe Nuel to represent modernity. The foyer is an inviting living room dotted with hand-picked and functional furniture pieces. All paths lead to the central hall, aptly named the Ballroom, which crowns the event offering in the hotel. It can host up to 600 attendees in a theatre setting and 360 in a banquet setting. Several smaller meeting rooms complement the main hall. Skopje Marriott Hotel is home to one of the best hotel conference centres in the city. Since Skopje has no congress centre, Marriott’s conference halls may be the best replacement.
DESSERT – The extras
The hotel’s location is its trump card. Skopje, in all its subtleties, is within arm’s reach for guests staying at this hotel. We warmly recommend making the best of the hotel’s location.
FLOP – NEGATIVE SURPRISES
Even though the spa is enjoyable, it is perhaps too small for such a grand hotel. When the hotel is fully booked, you will quickly find yourself crowded. That is why the hotel should consider implementing a schedule for visiting the spa.
TOP – POSITIVE SURPRISES
The staff at the hotel is probably the best in all of Skopje. For us, every hotel story starts and ends with kind personnel. The hotel service makes all the difference, not the architectural design or the interior.
We noticed the hotel restaurant strives for sustainability with its cuisine. Moreover, the hotel’s line of cosmetics and communication is sustainably oriented and focused on preserving the planet. We did not encounter other sustainability or CSR activities.
FINAL IMPRESSION AND CREDIBILITY
The philosophy of Marriott Hotels is an age-old, universal and enduring model for luxurious hotels: We put people first. We had the privilege of experiencing that concept upon visiting the Skopje Marriott Hotel. The hotel bets on its quality and elegance to outdo the fierce competition in the city. The hotel is charming and refined, lacking virtually nothing. Should you host your event here, the attendees will surely enjoy their stay if they know what to expect from an international hotel institution such as Marriott. The superb interior design in the conference centre and rooms turns heads. Last but not least, the price policy of the hotel (the Marriott Best Rate Guarantee) is comparable to other luxurious hotels in the city. Saying at this hotel is significantly more affordable than in Western capitals. With prices rising, that factor is becoming increasingly important.
FINAL GRADE: 4.91 GOLD 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