The Croatian capital city of Zagreb has two Hilton-branded hotels, and a third on the way, reflecting the growing popularity of that Balkan country as a tourist destination. It is a testament to the city that swells to double its size during tourist season that Canopy by Hilton Zagreb was the first of this emerging brand in continental Europe.
For a city with plenty of attractions, Zagreb is surprisingly compact — and Canopy Zagreb is in the thick of it all. From its location in walking distance to downtown, as well as both the train and bus stations, guests can explore the capital on foot, by tram (the tracks are right out front) — or on one of the hotel’s colorful bicycles, which are free to borrow. Just grab a complimentary map from the front desk, and then follow the ubiquitous brown directional tourism signs.
It’s worth getting back to the hotel by 5:00 p.m. every day, however, in order to enjoy Canopy’s very own happy hour: tastings of excellent local wine, beer and spirits, along with Croatian delicacies — all free of charge for guests. At other hours, the hotel has one café/restaurant and one bar open to guests and the general public; breakfast is served at the café, or you can order a Canopy Break Fast Bag delivered to your door in the morning.
The colorful and informal furnishings that characterize the Canopy lobby — not to mention the branded bicycles — may not bring to mind your ordinary Hilton hotel, but the creature comforts in the rooms certainly do. Don’t let the rudimentary, exposed hanging rod that stands in for a closet fool you: the comfortable beds and fine linens are 100% Hilton quality. In addition, the 49-inch smart TV will keep you entertained and informed in English, while the espresso machine, refrigerator and tea station will keep you fueled. Naturally, the hotel’s free WiFi extends to all the guest rooms and public areas.
The bathrooms as well are up to universal Hilton standards: the shower stalls, equipped with dual raindrop and massaging shower heads, are spacious, the towels plentiful, and the Apivita amenities quite pleasant.
As can be expected at any Hilton, there is a nicely equipped fitness room; and while there is no full-service spa, there is a room furnished with massage tables where guests can book pampering treatments.
Another nice feature is never having to worry about buying bottled water, or running out of fresh drinking water: there are flasks in every room inviting you to fill them up at hydrating stations (on alternate floors) that dispense unlimited filtered spring water.
Canopy also has a solution to another problem that often plagues travelers: what to do when you need to check out of the hotel at noon, but you do not have a flight or other plans to leave the city until hours later. The answer: Canopy’s Transfer Room, a carpeted lounge with lockers where guests may leave luggage, relax and even take a shower and change before going off to the airport.
Finally, guests in suites can enjoy a rather distinctive perk: robes and slipper/socks, the latter (pictured on the bed in the photo above) comfortable stretch cotton, with non-skid soles, in unforgettable orange with gray stripes. The socks are a gift to be taken home as a Canopy souvenir.
The hip, stylish Canopy Zagreb, a welcome addition to the Hilton lineup, has already been joined in Europe by a sister property in Iceland, with future locations slated for London, Paris and Madrid. With its young, friendly staff, and reasonable prices, it represents good value for member of the Hilton Honors loyalty club of the global hospitality giant. Book your hotel directly with Canopy by Hilton Zagreb or compare rates at Expedia.
No. of rooms: 151 in five categories, including suites and handicapped accessible units
Published rates: High season (April-Sep.) € 140-220; low season, from € 99; breakfast € 20.
Text and photos by Buzzy Gordon, who was a guest of the Croatian National Tourism Board at The Canopy Zagreb by Hilton. Additional photos courtesy of The Canopy Zagreb by Hilton.