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Le Bistro Esplanade

Esplanade Zagreb Hotel Named Best European Historic Hotel

Esplanade Zagreb Hotel Named Best European Historic Hotel of the Year at the Prestigious European Hotel Awards 2019 in Geneva

Over the past few days, the Grand Hotel Kempinski in Geneva Lake in Switzerland has hosted the European Hotel Awards Awards 2019, with Guillaume Gomez, Head Chef at the Elysée Palace in Paris, serving as Honorary President. The magnificent event brought together numerous European hotels and professionals, as well as renowned guests which included Jan Zarahdil, member of the European Parliament, Zdenek Rajnis, former Deputy Mayor of Prague, Christian Nieto, Honorary Consul of Monaco, Bertrand Glory, Director of Maison Collet, and many others. At the ceremony, prizes were awarded in around ten categories. Among those honoured was Zagreb’s luxurious Esplanade Hotel, which was recognized as the Best Historic Hotel of 2019. General Manager of the Esplanade Ivica Max Krizmanić had the special honour of attending the event and accepting the prestigious award presented to him by Jérôme Chapman, Director of the Références Hôteliers Restaurateurs publication.

‘I am proud of our Zagreb beauty – an icon of style, elegance, and glamour. Even as early as 1925, the Esplanade easily attracted the travellers of the renowned Orient Express with its luxurious interior, impressive architecture and modern amenities. Today, on a foundation of traditionally exceptional service, timeless charm and elegance, and cultural and historical significance, the hotel continues to enchant guests coming to Zagreb every day. This award proves once again that we are at the very forefront of not only the European, but also the global scene of exquisite hotels well known for their splendid history, which is what makes the Esplanade so unique.

But apart from historical facts and a long list of famous guests who have stayed here, the hotel is distinctive in its pushing boundaries and setting new trends in the hotel industry. A series of awards and accolades are just further confirmation of the Esplanade’s leading position in Zagreb and the region. What I particularly appreciate, as a person who has spent nearly three decades in this hotel, is that the Esplanade has remained, throughout its long history and to the present day, a temple of top gastronomy and a hotel of exquisite taste, sophistication, exceptional service and a special, sincere connection to the city of Zagreb, its residents and every guest. I must admit that I was genuinely proud to represent Zagreb and Croatia at this prestigious awards ceremony in Geneva and promote our long-standing value. The Historic Hotel of the Year is a great honour. I congratulate the whole team of the hotel on the valuable years behind us.’

These are the words of Ivica Max Krizmanić, whose recent personal contribution to the Esplanade hotel business was awarded with another prestigious international award – the Five Star Diamond Award for excellent hotel management, while the oldest gourmet association in the world, Chaîne des Rôtisseurs, presented him with an honorary member in Croatia sash during a recent inaugural ceremony.


The Esplanade Hotel has recently received several other prestigious accolades and international awards and has been included in globally renowned guides. The Haute Grandeur Global Award presented the Esplanade with awards for hotel business practiceZinfandel’s Restaurant and the Health Club in several categories. Once again this year, TripAdvisor has chosen the Esplanade as the recipient of the Travelers’ Choice Award 2019, which puts it among the best 1% of hotels in the world. The Luxury Travel Guide named Zinfandel’s Restaurant the Best Modern Restaurant in its Food & Drink Awards category. The esteemed Osmani Mahmood, one of the judges, said: ‘A fresh, seasonal menu combined with the creativity and talent of Executive Chef Ana Grgić makes Zinfandel’s one of the most sought after fine dining options’.

 was also named the Best Fine Dining Restaurant at the World Luxury Restaurant Awards, thus finding itself alongside world-famous restaurants that share its vision of increasing competition at a global level through improving quality of food and standard of service. Zinfandel’s Restaurant and Le Bistro have been included in the Michelin Guide for the third consecutive year, and the creativity of Executive Chef Ana Grgić has been recognized by the gourmet association Chaîne des Rotisseurs, who presented her with their orange sash and silver medal as well as with the title of Chef Rôtisseur.

The European Hotel Awards represent the best players on the European hotel industry scene. They are based on individual or collective human qualities and affirmed professionalism, with a focus on a high level of respect for guests. They are awarded to individuals in the hotel industry that through their passion for their profession and excellence in their work, as well as human qualities, contribute to promoting the image of the European hotel industry. The luxury publication Références Hôteliers-Restaurateurs, which is behind this ambitious project, has been actively promoting the world’s luxury hotel and culinary industry for years. The European Hotel Awards by Références 2019 award winners are selected by experts from across Europe as well as by hotel guests.

The Esplanade Hotel, Zagreb’s most prestigious hotel, was built in 1925 with the aim of providing superior accommodation and service to passengers of the Orient Express, which featured en route between Paris and Istanbul. The Esplanade Hotel is one of the most elegant buildings in Zagreb and, since it first opened its doors, it has been a place of key social events in the capital. The hotel offers its guests unparalleled luxury and has always been a clear favourite for attracting celebrities. The impressive list of famous guests includes Josephine Baker, Charles Lindbergh, Leonid Brezhnev and many others. After its complete reconstruction in 2004, the hotel reopened and has since emerged as a true star hotel in the region.


Photographs (Hotel archives, Références Hôteliers Restaurateurs):

Sanda Sokol, PR & Marketing Manager

T. +385 1 45 66 036, M. +385 91 47 666 47, E. [email protected]

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