We had great expectations for this hotel as it ticked our three main boxes: free Wifi (which was excellent), central location (you can walk to the centre in a few minutes) and a secure car park (which it was). However, we were disappointed throughout.
We arrived early (we are driving back to London from Greece and our journey from Macedonia took less time than planned). The receptionist told us that check in was 2 pm (it was around noon) but kindly checked to see if our room was ready. It was - plus points for the receptionist.
We went to our room (a superior double) to find that a third bed had been left in the room, instead of the table and two chairs (which were there) we were expecting. The walls were also scuffed and marked and the carpet stained in several places. No matter, we thought, we're only here for one night, it doesn't really matter. We went out for a lovely lunch (check out the Opera restaurant) and came back. My husband did some work and I had a bath and washed my hair. I was a bit put off by the fact that the bath had black mould at the edge and so did the grouting between the tiles. The ceiling light did not work, making the bathroom quite dark. The towels were quite small and there was only one bathrobe for two people but again, not the end of the world. It's when I realised that the hairdryer was not working that my husband took matters in hand and phoned reception. The poor receptionist was on her own and there was no duty manager available. She did promise to come up, which she did when she was free. I cannot fault her attitude nor her helpfulness, she was great, a wonderful ambassador for the hotel. She agreed with the points we raised and immediately suggested moving us to another room - by that time, it was late in the afternoon and we declined, as we'd unpacked (and again, it was only for one night). Natasha checked the fuse box and realised that the hairdryer had fused (she later sent up a maintenance person to repair it). We went out for supper and came back at around 9 pm. Natasha phoned us to say she'd spoken to her manager and he was happy to offer us dinner on the house or a one hour massage - which would have been great had we heard about this offer earlier but we were unable to take her up on it, having just had dinner and also because we were planning to leave early in the morning. However, her kindness did make us feel valued.
Unfortunately, our disappointment was not at an end. We went down to breakfast: good selection of Serbian pastries and cheeses, not so good cereals where cornflakes were mixed with muesli, lukewarm coffee. We ordered a cappuccino and an espresso from the bar, thinking that, as in many other hotels, you can order these as part of breakfast. They came after a couple of minutes and the girl asked us how we were going to pay! At no stage had we been told that 'special' coffees were extra and having no local currency, we sent the coffees back. The girl later brought some hot coffee in a flask but we were preparing to leave anyway.
At checkout, we asked if we could pay the agreed €99 in Euros and handed out two €50 notes. But of course, there was city tax to be added, another €2.50. I handed a €5 note but was told that change could not be given in Euros...we asked if they would accept the €100 in cash in full and final payment but the receptionist declined. So we gave them an American Express card instead to pay the full bill in local currency.
I have high praise for Natasha, who was the ultimate professional and really did her best. The rest of the staff were friendly but there should be a manager on duty at all times. It is quite possible that other rooms are fantastic but the one we had was a total disaster and we left very disappointed by what could have been a wonderful stay at the Life Design Hotel.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- LifeDESIGN Hotel is the unique hotel in downtown Belgrade which offers comfortable accommodation and comprehensive service that meets the needs of modern business man.Guests can enjoy in Spa Oasis, garage and internet free of charge . The price includes bed and breakfast (buffet), which is served daily from 06:00 to 10:30.Guests can choose from variety of rooms and suites, distinguished by simplicity in form, inspired by the cosmopolitan spirit and needs of modern businessmen. Our conference rooms 1 and 2, located in the ground floor of hotel, are equipped with modern technical equipment, perfectf or all types of meetings. For all our customers, we offer FREE of charge:projector, screen,WiFiInternet and a flip-chart. Restaurant '' Privilege'' care for their guests, and so the rich variety of vegetarian specialties and gluten and casein free dishes are offered. The exclusive Spa center is a part of the LifeDESIGN Hotel,offering the highest level of care for your face, body and spirit. Spa Center has a jacuzzi, Finnish sauna, bio sauna, infrared sauna, steam bath, Kneipp, tepidarium and state of the art BeautyTech machine. Spa center offers a variety od unique massages, as well as numerous face and body treatments. LifeDesign holistic center's mission is to become a gathering place for all people who care about their well-being and are willing to do the extra step toward its full development. Team LifeDesign holistic center is made up of permanent and visiting members - top experts in their field, who will guarantee that all the activities of the center will be tailored to your specific needs. ... more less
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