ZAGREB, 20 May 2020 – Esplanade Zagreb Hotel, one of the oldest hotels in Zagreb, closed its doors due to damage caused by the March 22 earthquake and the coronavirus crisis.
Last week, after the easing of measures for the hospitality trade and with a high level of safety following the recommendations of the Croatian Institute of Public Health, Esplanade Zagreb Hotel opened its doors of its refreshed interior to hotel, restaurant, bar, and health club guests.
One month ago, on April 22, 2020, the majestic Zagreb icon and institution of the hotel and catering industry, turned 95 years old. Unfortunately, instead of a solemn celebration, the Esplanade Hotel celebrated its birthday in lockdown, without guests or staff.
Esplanade Zagreb Hotel was built with the aim of providing accommodation to passengers of the famous Orient Express in just 26 months, and the opening ceremony held on April 22, 1925, was attended by the then Mayor Heinzel and almost 200 guests.
Even then, the hotel was luxurious, sophisticated, and equipped with the latest advances in modern technology. Guests had at their disposal two hundred rooms with running hot and cold water, a hundred bathrooms, a telephone in each room, numerous apartments and lounges, restaurants with excellent cuisine and a luxurious ballroom decorated with Ionic pillars and sculptures.
The role of Esplanade Zagreb Hotel in the social life of that time is best evidenced by the common opinion that “exceeding its threshold is an experience worth mentioning to grandchildren”, and a frequent guest of the hotel Miroslav Krleža once concluded that “Oleander Terrace is the border between Europe and the Balkans”. The thesis that the Esplanade is much more than an ordinary hotel – that it is a kind of institution and icon of the city of Zagreb that one should be especially proud of.
For generations, they spoke with awe about the elegant and mystical spaces of the hotel. Many interesting events took place here, and the history of the hotel abounds with interesting and intriguing stories. Journalists predicted a bright future for the hotel internationally, and among the first guests was Mr. Glück (Luck in German), who raised hopes that the predictions will come true. And so it was.
The hotel has experienced many ups and downs throughout its long and sometimes turbulent history. It has gained the status of the centre of the social and cultural life of Zagreb, as well as a favourite gathering place for business people, celebrities, journalists, and all those who are admirers of exceptional service and luxurious ambiance.
The endless list of celebrities includes numerous statesmen, royal families, and stars from the world showbiz scene such as Josephine Baker, Charles Lindbergh, Arthur Miller, Richard Burton, Elizabeth Taylor, Laurence Olivier, Prince Albert of Monaco, Hillary Clinton, Prince Charles, and many others.
Several times in its history, the hotel has closed its doors, most recently for a major renovation (2002-2004), after which it once again shone and continued to follow a well-known tradition and high standards of superior service, with innovation, fresh ideas and pushing boundaries. set new trends in the hotel industry. A number of numerous awards and recognitions are an additional confirmation of the leading position of hotels in Zagreb and the region. The Esplanade was and remains a temple of top gastronomy and a hotel of refined taste, sophistication, outstanding service, and a special, sincere connection with Zagreb, fellow citizens, and every guest.
Unfortunately, the 95th birthday, which was supposed to be solemnly celebrated on April 22, 2020, was welcomed by the hotel in a sad atmosphere – closed, without guests and staff, with earthquake damage.
“The new situation around the coronavirus, then the devastating earthquake that hit Zagreb in March, forced us to close the hotel for a while. These were difficult moments not only for us but also for our guests who contacted us every day stating that they could not wait for that first coffee on the terrace or delicious štrukli in Le Bistro. The importance of the hotel for this city and how much the people of Zagreb are connected to it led us to honour guests with birthday promotions and encourage them to visit again and experience this icon of style and elegance, of course with high hygiene standards and precautions,” said the CEO of the hotel, Ivica Max Krizmanić, adding: “The Esplanade is more than an impressive history and luxurious interior, this hotel is primarily made up of people who win over guests with their loyalty, personality and charm, giving them a sense of happiness, security, comfort, and relaxation. Hotel Esplanade was and remains a favourite gathering place of many generations of Zagreb residents, and I believe that this tradition will continue in the future with some new precautions.”
In order to thank fellow citizens and guests and share with them the joy of reopening on this significant jubilee, the hotel has prepared special promotions:
Until July 1, 2020, all guests can enjoy the specialty of the house – the famous and delicious Esplanade štrukli – at a special birthday price of only 95 kn for two servings in the pleasant ambiance of Le Bistro. Table reservations are possible by phone 01 45 666 11 or e-mail [email protected]
Orient Express afternoon tea for two in the Esplanade bar or on the Oleander terrace with a selection of delicious mini sandwiches and irresistible cookies is a real gourmet pleasure, and in a special birthday offer until July 1, 2020, it is available to all guests at a price of only 95 kn, instead of the usual 180 kn. Table reservations are possible by phone 01 45 666 33 or e-mail [email protected]
For all Zagreb residents who often pass by the Esplanade wondering how it feels to stay in this luxurious setting and for those who do not intend to travel far this summer – the hotel offers a night in a Superior Room with a sumptuous à la carte breakfast in Zinfandel’s or on the Oleander terrace. One or two people for only 95 EUR (the offer applies only to guests with residence in Zagreb, and is available every day until September 1, 2020, subject to availability). Sojourn tax is 1.6 EUR per person per day. Accommodation reservations are accepted via e-mail at [email protected]
“I believe that many Zagreb residents will be delighted with this birthday offer and decide to ‘escape’ for the weekend at the Esplanade. They are often our guests. Experiencing a stay in the Esplanade like a tourist, but without traveling and close to home, indulging in another luxurious world and top service, in an oasis of peace and luxury with the delicacies of chef Ana Grgić, is a special experience not to be missed, “said the CEO. Ivica Max Krizmanic.