Kempinski Hotel River Park Bratislava, Slovakia Review
Bratislava’s strategic position (it sits astride the Danube River and is the only capital city in the world to border two independent countries, Austria and Hungary) and multi-cultural history have lured many global companies to the city, bringing many business travelers with them.
Since 2010, there has been yet another good reason to visit the city: the Kempinski Hotel River Park. Located in the newly-built River Park business complex, on the banks of the Danube, the hotel is minutes away from Bratislava’s historic Old Town and close to the city’s castles, museums, and monuments.
As we drove up (I was accompanied by Christian Stampfer, our European Editor), the hotel’s Rolls Royce Phantom sedan, which transports guests at no charge to various destinations within the city, was parked in front. The doorman ignored the Rolls, welcomed us to the hotel, and escorted us to the front desk. As we checked in, we were offered a cup of warm tea made with fruit and wine which was so good I took another cup up to the room.
My Executive Club Room, located on a high floor, was warm and inviting and had wonderful views of the Danube. A fruit platter, which welcomes every guest at the hotel, was waiting for me on the side table.
The king-size bed was extremely comfortable and I woke up refreshed and ready for the challenges the next day. The mini-bar included a choice of complimentary beverages as well as some that were available for purchase. The bath area merits special mention as the water temperature in the standalone shower (there is a separate tub) was digitally controlled (see the slide show).
The climate control was easy to use but, as Christian found out in his room (which was identical to mine), it could not be turned off completely.
ROAD WARRIOR SUPPORT
The Executive Lounge, in addition to being a comfortable place to relax with drinks, has two private meeting rooms reserved for Executive Club level guests.
The Zion Spa offers a variety of stress-relieving treatments but my favorite was the Alpha Sphere, which, perhaps somewhat in keeping with Bratislava’s UFO bridge, was out of this world.
The Alpha Sphere combines light and sound, a lounge-type chair, and an enclosed space. During the treatment, which lasts about 40 minutes, the sound is felt throughout one’s entire body and, when combined with the monochromatic blue color, the gentle rocking of the chair, and the chair’s warmth, serves to decrease stress and tension and (according to the Alpha Sphere’s creators) enhance creativity, lower blood pressure, and widen one’s perception. I definitely felt less stress and tension after my treatment, as did Chris after his.
For meetings and gatherings, the hotel’s 11 elegant and modern meeting and banquet rooms can accommodate as many as 340 people and as few as six.
The River Bank Brasserie serves breakfast as well as lunch and dinner. The breakfast buffet offers a vast assortment of freshly baked breads (the hotel has a German baker in house), cheeses, cold cuts, fish, cereals, yogurts, and juices as well as an unlimited menu of hot items. The waffles with warm maple syrup were particularly tasty.
The Arte Restaurant offers unique food and wine pairings in a relaxed atmosphere. The Park Lounge, located off the lobby, has a wonderful wine list (I could have spent hours examining the wine wall). I tried the Kempinski White (2009), which was half chardonnay and half rulandské šedé (Pinot Grigio), and it was the best Slovakian wine I had on my visit. It was somewhat complex with a lively acidity but extremely well-balanced.
In the Executive Club lounge, a light breakfast is served in the morning and canapés are served in the evening, along with drinks. Beverages including a variety of juices are available throughout the day.
Business travelers invoke multiple criteria when choosing a hotel but stress reduction is rarely on the list. Stepping into the Kempinski River Park’s airy lobby began a process that continued throughout my stay and made me feel relaxed and stress free despite a hectic schedule.
Small details make one’s stay memorable and the staff did everything possible to make our stay pleasant, in some cases going above and beyond the call of duty. When my camera’s battery lost its charge more quickly than expected (and I didn’t have the charger along since it usually lasts over a week), a member of the hotel’s staff made arrangements for the battery to be charged overnight at a local camera store and she delivered the fully charged battery to me the next morning.
The Kempinski Hotel River Park Bratislava is only 35 minutes from Vienna International Airport and is easily reachable by car or train from major European cities. I hope to be returning soon.
Kempinski Hotel River Park
Dvořákovo nábrežie 6
Tel +421 2 3223 8222
–Jonathan B. Spira is the Editor of Executive Road Warrior and Chief Analyst at Basex, a knowledge economy research firm.
KEMPINSKI RIVER PARK – THE ROOM
KEMPINSKI RIVER PARK – HOTEL ENVIRON
KEMPINSKI RIVER PARK – DINING