Esplanade Zagreb Hotel
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|Esplanade Zagreb Hotel|
|Opening||22 April 1925|
|Number of rooms||306|
The Esplanade Zagreb Hotel is a historic luxury hotel in Zagreb, Croatia. It was built in 1925 to provide accommodation for passengers of the famous Orient Express train, which traveled between Paris and Istanbul.
In 1917, an international tender was announced in which a number of prominent architects participated, including the famous Austrian architect Adolf Loos, who however was not awarded the contract. The winner was Germany's, Otto Rehnig, whose original plans were modified by the Zagreb architect Dionis Sunko. Today, most people consider Sunko to have been the architect of this building from the Belle Epoque period. The hotel was given the name "Esplanade," which in its original form has the meaning "field", probably because it was built on a vast plain to the west of the station.
The hotel was the center of Zagreb social life, especially in the 1920s, when it attracted amorous couples. According to legend, the first Croatian striptease party was held there at a farewell celebration for an Italian count. Famous singers, including Ivo Robić, played in Hotel Esplanade.
In 1964 the hotel was renamed Hotel Esplanade Intercontinental, having become part of the Inter-Continental Hotels chain. In 1968, it was nominated as the best hotel among the 62 Inter-Continental hotels in Europe and the Middle East. In 1975, it received a medal from President Josip Broz Tito with a golden wreath. Inter-Continental constructed another hotel nearby (today known as The Westin Zagreb) in 1975, and the Esplanade left the chain a few years later. Throughout the 20th century, the hotel was the site of key social events of the Croatian capital.
Many world famous personalities have stayed there, including: Josephine Baker, Charles Lindbergh, Orson Welles, Vivien Leigh, Alfred Hitchcock, Leonid Brezhnev, Elizabeth Taylor, Sophia Loren, Andrew Dickson, Louis Armstrong, Francis Ford Coppola, Queen Elizabeth II, Ella Fitzgerald, Richard Nixon, Pele, Catherine Deneuve, Tina Turner, Samantha Fox, Nelson Piquet, Woody Allen, Garry Kasparov, and Pierce Brosnan Fats Domino.
The hotel closed in 2002 for a major renovation, and reopened on 18 May 2004 as The Regent Esplanade Zagreb. The hotel left the Regent chain in 2012 and operates independently since that year. In 2012, it was named the Best Hotel in Croatia in all three categories (the best hotel, the best service and the best luxury hotel) by TripAdvisor.
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