Hotel insider: Tulip House Boutique Hotel Bratislava

This warm centrally located hotel is close to the sights and ideal for both business and leisure travellers.

The building that houses Tulip House Boutique Hotel dates from 1902 and was reconstructed in 2008. Courtesy Tulip House Boutique Hotel
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The welcome

After being dropped around the corner by my taxi, I’m greeted by a porter before I make my way to the entrance, which starts my stay in the right fashion. I’m escorted to the quiet reception area, handed a welcome drink and checked in. Before I know it, I’m in the lift on the way up to my room.

The neighbourhood

I arrive on a Saturday afternoon, and it’s eerily quiet on the surrounding streets. There are a few stragglers making their way towards Bratislava Port, which is a few minutes’ walk from the property. Set on the Danube River, the port area is home to waterside cafes (some serving shisha), restaurants and a shopping mall. In the other direction is the historical district. The airport is a 15-minute drive away.

The room

I’m staying in a 70-square-metre executive suite, with a separate living area and additional sitting area. The room is comfortable enough and has plenty of windows. The bathroom is of a good size, but the shower isn’t the best, and the decor feels tired. The building dates from 1902 and was reconstructed in 2008, but I feel like it could do with another freshen up, in keeping with the historical art nouveau style.

The service

Friendly from the get-go and extremely helpful. Whenever I ask for anything or make a special request, I’m attended to promptly. I’m warmly greeted each time I leave and arrive back at the hotel. At meal times, the staff are intuitive to my needs, without hovering.

The scene

For most of my two-night stay, it feels like the hotel is empty, although I’m assured it’s not. On the first evening, I’m the only guest dining at the restaurant, which is a little odd, but I get the full attention of the waiter. The breakfast experience is entirely different – when I arrive at 8am, the cafe is full of what appear to be older European tourists.

The food

Tulip House has two dining options. Rhapsody is located in a cosy vault space downstairs, while Café Tulip offers all-day dining. I enjoy a full buffet breakfast (€20 [Dh80]) in Rhapsody on the first morning. It’s a basic selection, including cereals, cold meats and cheeses, fruits, yogurt and toast station. An omelette from the à la carte menu and a cappuccino are both delivered promptly. Dinner is at Café Tulip, where I’m the only guest. I opt for a three-course menu, which is superb. For my starter, I choose beef bresaola served with lettuce, roasted beetroot with balsamic and horseradish dip (€8.50 [Dh32]). My main is a well-cooked grilled corn-fed chicken breast and risotto with sugar snap peas and wild garlic pesto (€13.80 [Dh56]). Both dishes are tasty, but the dish of the night has to be the vanilla pannacotta with strawberry tartar (€4.40 [Dh18]).

Loved

The location, and that the hotel feels quite homely, thanks to the warmth and friendliness of the staff.

Hated

The hotel feels a little tired, and I wasn’t able to try the spa because it was fully booked.

The verdict

A central hotel not too far from the sights. Suitable for business and leisure travellers.

The bottom line

Executive suites at the Tulip House Boutique Hotel (www.tuliphousehotel.com) cost from €130 (Dh528) per room per night including breakfast, taxes and Wi-Fi.