Slovakia is the first place I put my Hilton HHonors Diamond elite to use since getting a status match last December. I stayed at two Hilton brand hotels in Slovakia at both DoubleTree Kosice and DoubleTree Bratislava. The hotel in Kosice is in a prime location in the city center, but the DoubleTree Hotel in Bratislava is about two miles from the main tourist sites and medieval streets of historic Bratislava. The location was a bit of a walk, but I had come to Slovakia primarily for hiking and Bratislava was my last stop after already spending a week in the country. Walking several hours had become my normal mode of transportation by the time I reached Bratislava in the warm September days and nights. The only rain I encountered on my trip to Slovakia was the hour I arrived in Bratislava when I walked 2.6 km from the city train station (Hlavná stanica) to the hotel, basically along one main city street, slightly downhill. The bus to the hotel cost 0.70 EUR. I wanted open air and a walk after a 6 hour train ride from the High Tatra Mountains in the central-northeast of Slovakia.
First impressions of Bratislava were based on seeing busy city streets with broken sidewalks, tall residential apartment blocks, loads of graffiti on the walls and a real lack of city park greenery on the route I walked. There was none of the charm in this part of Bratislava that I had found in Kosice and the medieval town of Levoca or the mountain resort area of the High Tatras. Bratislava looked like so many big cities where people congregate for work, yet slummier. My impressions of Bratislava improved immensely when touring the historic city center the next day.
DoubleTree Bratislava is located next to Ondrej Nepela Arena (Orange Arena), Bratislava’s ice hockey rink. Ice hockey is a major sport in this city. This is also a location where music concerts take place. There was a hockey game happening as I passed by the arena on a Saturday evening and several café spots were filled with drinkers. 1.65 EUR for 0.5 L beer was advertised on one of the sidewalk chalkboards. I had been paying 90 cents to 1.00 EUR for pints at the pubs the day before in Levoca, Slovakia.
DoubleTree Bratislava is seen in the wavy window section of the first photo. The entrance to the hotel is around the corner from the main road Trnavska cesta. I never photographed the front of the hotel. The hotel website has photos that look the way I remember the hotel.
At check-in I was given a warm cookie and told I had been upgraded to a suite. Nice. My room was 718 in the 10-floor hotel.
There were two bottles of sparkling water and a plate of chocolates in the room.
Wifi worked great at the hotel, as in all places I stayed in Slovakia.
Room view from Suite 718 DoubleTree Bratislava. This is looking to the east I think. I never walked that direction. The historic part of the city was the other direction.
The bathroom had both a tub and separate shower stall.
The standout feature of the stay was the breakfast buffet in the morning. I had gotten used to self-service and little staff interaction from the four previous hotels I stayed in Slovakia during the previous week. Every hotel included breakfast in the rate. As a coffee lover, I loved that the staff in the breakfast room brought a pot of coffee to my table. At the other hotels I ended up making several trips during my meal to refill my coffee. The cups tend to be kind of small compared to U.S. hotels.
DoubleTree Bratislava was the only hotel with a good selection of vegetables at breakfast. I made sure to load up on a good salad to start my day.
Fitness Center and Spa
Spa prices looked so low that I would not mind paying for my wife to have treatments here.
DoubleTree by Hilton Bratislava room rates tend to be around 80 – 110 EUR / night. The hotel is a category 2 HHonors reward night at 10,000 points.
I stayed 2 nights on HHonors Points & Money reward nights for 4,000 points + 26 EUR per night.
While I enjoyed my stay and it was the best value hotel I found for my dates, my recommendation for Bratislava is Radisson Blu Bratislava, one of the city’s most prominent hotels in an excellent location for tourism. Radisson Blu Bratislava is 28,000 points per night. I arrived in Bratislava on the weekend of the EU Summit with all the major European leaders in the city and central city hotels had sky high rates.
DoubleTree Bratislava is a fine hotel and offers a great breakfast, but the location is a little far from the historic sites at a couple miles from the main tourist areas of the city center.