Despite becoming an increasingly popular city to visit for a short break, accommodation in Belgrade remains fairly reasonable – in fact, it's somewhat cheap in comparison to most other big cities. Getting a hostel room for a mere few euros is easily achieved, however, what if your YOLO days are long gone and you want the whole experience to be a comfortable one – including your bed? When looking for a place to stay I always prioritise location and cleanliness, but I'd be lying if I didn't say that I'm a sucker for modern, boutique minimal style too. Luckily in my search for somewhere to lay my head in the Serbian capital I stumbled across 88 Rooms hotel – which offered the perfect blend of style and substance.
My stay at 88 Rooms was smooth from start to finish. As soon as I clicked 'book' I received a friendly email from the hotel, which offered the option of an airport pick-up. Normally such things are ridiculously overpriced, and despite the temptation for ease and comfort most people usually politely decline and start googling the public transport connections from the airport. Not necessary with 88 – the cost of their pickup is exactly the same price as getting a taxi outside the airport (and safer too, as it removes the risk of being scammed). This is a huge plus for solo travellers arriving in the early evening and preferring to take the safest and most efficient travel option possible to the hotel when darkness is starting to draw in – there's nothing worse than traipsing around after nightfall in a strange city, frantically searching for your accommodation without the aid of Google maps.
Upon arrival at 88 Rooms, you are met with a slick and chic lobby, with glossy black floors and funky lounge music emitting from the lobby bar. Add to that the efficient and warm natured reception staff, and it's already clear that this hotel is on to a winning formula which puts other aloof cities to shame.
The rooms are minimalist and modern, and have everything needed for a comfortable stay (including tea-making facilities – a rarity these days). What's more the rooms are spotlessly clean– something that wouldn't necessarily be expected from a so-called 'grittier' city like Belgrade.
Although 88 Rooms recently got rid of its open rooftop, never fear – the rooftop restaurant and breakfast area means that the views can still be enjoyed morning and night. Speaking of breakfast, 88 Rooms' is included in the price, and what a breakfast spread it is: an array of sweet, savoury, hot and cold options are on offer to choose from. What's more, breakfast can be enjoyed while soaking up the panoramic view of the city – perfect.
In terms of location, 88 Rooms' is more than convenient. It's 15-minutes to the airport by car, and a mere 15-minute walk to the Republic Square – with a route that goes past other sights on the way, such as the impressive House of the National Assembly. With that practical balance between airport and city centre proximity, it's hard to ask for more. But, visitors can and do get more – my stay at 88 rooms cost a mere 77 euros per night with breakfast.