You know it's a great hotel when you don't want to leave within the first 10 hours of arriving because you're in reverential awe of its architectural lines and stunning interiors - a nod to its glorious past; when you're mesmerized by and engaged in hours of conversations with managers and staff as they share the hotel's history traipsing from lobby to restaurant to room to bar; and when you're simply enchanted by its beauty, character and soft whispers longing for you to stay longer.
Well, this is how I felt upon my arrival at Metropol Palace, a Luxury Collection Hotel in Belgrade, Serbia. A welcome so pleasant upon my first visit to Serbia, that it quickly predetermined my extension to stay one more night within the first hour.
Let me rewind the story a bit.
As the ideal central meeting point in Europe to reunite with old friends, this was a spontaneous, wanderlust decision to spend a short weekend in Belgrade and back to Athens on Monday. Surprisingly, yet naturally for me, after many more dots were connected, I quickly made new friends within my industry of hospitality. Interestingly, as I realized the connection of the name Metropol- a short version of the ancient Greek word metropolis comprising of the words meter–mother and polis-city - which now has a much wider meaning, formulated by Serbian linguists and historians Ivan Klajn and Milan Sipka, as "a city that is the center of public life or a certain industry." No wonder I gravitated toward this pull.
Image courtesy of Metropol Palace, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Belgrade
A GORGEOUSLY GLAM STAY AT THE METROPOL PALACE AWAITS
- Andria Mitsakos
Positioned in the middle of the Bulevar kralja Aleksandra (formerly Bulevar Revuclije), one of the longest and most important streets in Belgrade, Metropol Palace truly is in the heart of Belgrade, well connected with all the city's transportation hubs.
Breeding with history, as it was originally built in 1950, the Metropol Palace was designed by Djordje Ristic to become a conference center as the Home of the Central Comity of the National Youth of Yugoslavia. Its huge building was then considered too big for its purpose, so the architect Dragisa Brasovan came up with a new idea - the project to turn The Metropol into an extraordinary capital hotel re-designed with European moderna mixed with Belgrade style exuding a sense of peace and comfort that allows for the socialites and elite to instantly unwind and intertwine.
As the capital of 'social heritage' during the 60s and 70s, the Metropol was one of the most famous and elite places in Belgrade, where ladies would always showoff their luxurious shopping conquests and prestigious men benchmarked an epicurean scene. The hotel was always a place of gathering and entertainment for diverse groups, even today, where young artists are welcome to present their new ideas and work, while acclaimed artists have their works displayed in its grandiosity. From students to statesmen and presidents to world famous actors, actresses, directors and musicians, each of the hotel's guests leave a unique anecdote yet mutual agreement - the Metropol is unique and exceptional, and reflects a "metropolitan" soul in all of its forms and structures, as a true historical gem in this vibrant lively capital.
Wander with me as we enter this week's wanderlogue at the Metropol Palace...
Lobby love - @wanderlista
Retreating to a space that is spacious, elegant, and filled with opulence...yes, please! Individual design traits pay homage to the city's surroundings—reflecting a cosmopolitan panorama in front of the grand Tašmajdan Park, right in the heart of Belgrade.
Love a room with a view.. and a Junior Suite with VIP access to a lounge.
Indulging in services at the Elytis Lounge was easy. The Elytis Lounge is available for Platinum and Gold SPG members, VIP guests and guests staying in Junior, Executive, Special, Royal or Presidential suites. It was the perfect place for me to enjoy my Sunday view with the New York Times.
By night, head up to The TwentyTwo Restaurant & Bar, Belgrade’s newest restaurant, rooftop at the Metropol Palace with gorgeous panoramic views of the metropolitan city.
The weekend began with aperitif at The TwentyTwo Restaurant & Bar Belgrade’s newest restaurant, rooftop at the Metropol Palace with gorgeous panoramic views. As the sister restaurant to The TwentyOne Restaurant & Bar in Athens, it's never a coincidence how worlds collide as per usual in my life.
I always manage to find Greeks in a room! @wanderlista @thetwentytworestaurant
The hotel also houses the 44 Restaurant serving contemporary international cuisine and signature dishes prepared by Executive Chef Dimitrije Acevski. The menu blends local flavors and Greek specialties to create delightful dining experiences, especially designed for Metropol Palace.
The Red Parallel Lounge, with a summer terrace offers a stunning view of the park, a relaxing, yet vivacious atmosphere and a magnificent selection of cocktails, but I particularly enjoyed having my coffee here under these lights.
Aleksandar knows how I like my coffee at The Red Parallel Lounge
Diving in. The subterranean pool @limegrove.metropol. Image courtesy of the Metropol Palace.
A weekend here is not complete until you have a treatment at the Limegrove Spa. Located in the center of the beautiful old city of Belgrade, also with a view over the stunning Tasmajdan Park, the Limegrove Spa consists of 6 treatment rooms offering unique results-driven treatments of Elemis and Beauty Lab London, a beautifully appointed relax area, a 25m long swimming pool, Jacuzzi, Thermae experience consisting of sauna, steam bath and ice fountain, a gym, studio and a retail shop for sportswear and beauty products - the perfect retail therapy as my Danube days came to an end.
Metropol Palace: Bulevar Kralja Aleksandra 69, Belgrade, 11000, Serbia. www.metropolpalace.com
Showcasing Wanderlista's signature collapsible top handle invented and designed by founder and creative director Andria Mitsakos, The Rose (Medium) is a great conversation piece while it fits all of your essentials, perfect for a day-to-night look at the Metropol Palace in Belgrade.
Images courtesy of @wanderlista except for the cover and where credited.