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Hotel recommendations for Ljubljana

After reading reviews on hotels in Ljubljana, I decided on Hotel Mrak and emailed the hotel requesting a 2-night stay for September. Unfortunately, the second night of my request was unavailable. I googled and found that there will be a convention associated with the University coinciding with the date I want.
Does anyone have another recommendation, for a hotel in the city center.
Thanks,
Carol

Posted by
4684 posts

I would go on Booking.com and see what is available. Maybe that one night is going to be tough due to the convention? Feel free to post a few available places. I may not know them but I know the locations pretty well.

Posted by
162 posts

Andrew: High on my list is the Best Western Hotel Slon. We usually avoid chains when we're in Europe, but the location is excellent. Your thoughts?

Posted by
1865 posts

Carol,
When we visited Ljubljana in September 2018 the Mrak Hotel was booked. We found alternative accomodations at another RS recommended place. We stayed two nights at the lovely Meščanka Apartment on the river. The location was walking distance to the sights. We enjoyed the vibe and all the restaurants on or near the river. I would gladly recommend this Apartment. It can be booked on Booking.com. We booked 9 months in advance.

Some friends stayed 5 minutes from Meščanka at Hotel Lesar Angel. They were very pleased with this accommodation as well.

Posted by
4684 posts

Carol, the Best Western is in a great spot close to the center of town, south of the train/bus station if you happen to be arriving that way. (Maybe a 10-15 min walk, too much for some people, but works for me.) Ljubljana is a great walking town with big car-free zones, and this is just at the edge of one I believe. I stayed once at the Grand Hotel Union a block away (I would recommend that hotel if only for the breathtaking views from the rooms; usually not cheap but it was lightly booked when I stayed so discounted then).

But I will say that the town is pretty compact anyway, and it's hard to find a bad spot unless you are not near the center. I guess you might find a place that's pretty far out - I'd avoid.

Posted by
64 posts

The Hotel Mrak was booked for us too as well as some of the hotels mentioned in RS guidebook. We ended up booking a room for 4 nights at the City Hotel Ljubljana. While not fancy, rooms were clean, staff friendly and location good. It is located about a 15 minute walk from the main railroad station and about 10/15 minutes to main downtown area. The view of our room was not spectacular but the hotel worked for us. Safe travels!

Posted by
1367 posts

The Best Western Slon appears to be booked most of the first half of September.

If that's your timeframe, the Grand Hotel Union has availability throughout September. The prices in September appear to be significantly higher than some other months (and much higher than I paid, 2 years ago in October) - perhaps due to the convention; perhaps just their high season. I recall that when I stayed there, I kept checking the hotel rates and rebooked when I saw that they had actually gone down.

The Grand Hotel Union is in the city center and a 1 or 2 minute walk from the river. Their service is very business professional.

Posted by
568 posts

We also stayed at the City Hotel this past September, and we really enjoyed our stay there. The location is excellent! About a 10 minute walk to Preseren Square. It's very close to the Grand Union Hotel that Andrew mentions. The price was reasonable (I don't remember the exact amount but under $200) and included a very ample breakfast buffet. The staff were very helpful, and our room was clean and comfortable, but on the smaller side.

I guess September is always busy in Ljubljana. I first contacted the Urban Hotel, but they were full, and friends had stayed at the City Hotel the previous April and liked it, so that's why we chose it. You could also check the Urban, too, to see if they have availability.

Posted by
1840 posts

I'll offer another vote for the City Hotel. I stayed there late August/early September 2019. Like kmkwoo, I was planning to stay at other places, but they were all booked. I decided to splurge a little and go for a "Comfort Balcony Room," which was quite large and had a balcony with a nice view of the castle. The room was 169 euro per night.

Posted by
162 posts

Thanks for all the hotel suggestions from Ljubljana. Right now I have quotes from The Grand Hotel and Best Western Slon. Unfortunately the Grand Hotel is about 35 Euros more per night than the the Best Western Slon. But it sure looks opulent. Reminds me of the Lake Louise Chateau and the Banff Springs Hotel.
Then based on recommendations from several of you I requested a quote from City Hotel.
Dave: I too could be sold for a Comfort Balcony Room from the City Hotel....although I'm not sure if we'll take the time to have a meal or snack out there. But the view is awesome!
Andrew: TA shows these hotels are only 10 minutes from the train station. We'll definitely walk. We're cheap.
So appreciative all of you who gave suggestions on Ljubljana...a new area for us to visit.

Posted by
4684 posts

Carol, have you looked at apartments, hostels, or AirBnb? The Grand Hotel Union was by far the nicest place I've stayed in Ljubljana, but I've also stayed in a few hostels in private rooms, with private bathrooms. They are on Booking.com too. I can't really recommend the ones I've stayed in because I think they have changed names or closed down in the last few years. Not especially nice but they worked!

I had no trouble walking to the Grand Hotel Union from the train station - sounds like you wouldn't either. If the place is a splurge for you, as it was for me, it might be worth it if you get the breathtaking view I had - wow! Otherwise, the hotel was very nice but not the most luxurious place I've ever stayed.

Posted by
1840 posts

Carol,

I was there 5 nights and got take away from a not-too-far away falafel place one night. The balcony was a pleasant place to enjoy my falafel. :)

Posted by
256 posts

We stayed at Hotel Cubo in June 2017 and could not have been happier. The staff were incredible, the rooms lovely and within walking distance to everything. The only problem was booking it. I like to book directly, but for whatever reason could not book directly, every time I input our info and clicked "submit" nothing happened. No error message, etc. just nothing. Had to book via booking.com.

I would stay there again in a heartbeat.

Posted by
162 posts

I need to make a decision on a hotel by this evening because I have quotes from both the City Hotel and the Best Western Premier Slon. Both have a comparable "Comfort room" rate; City Hotel is 20 EUR less per night. We decided to go with a "midrange price hotel room," and splurge a little in Luzern.
Both are within walking distance from train station, which is how we will arrive (I think) from Lake Bled after the RS Best of Eastern Europe tour which I will book later today. Also, I think both are within walking distance of the Castle, and lots of restaurants and Old Town.
Anyway, I think breakfast may be the deciding factor. I like to have fresh fruit and protein for breakfast such as eggs or meat or cheese. I know, such a first world dilemma.
I know a couple of you who posted above have stayed at the City Hotel so would appreciate it if you would tell me what you like about the City Hotel.
And has anyone stayed at the Best Western?
Thanks.

Posted by
4684 posts

Carol, Ljubljana is small and compact enough that pretty much anything in the core is walking distance to lots of restaurants. It's a great walking town. I know I have walked past the City Hotel a few times - I see on a map it's also close to the bus/train stations (which are adjacent in Ljubljana). I've heard good things about City Hotel - I'm sure I'd stay if the price was right.

The bus from Bled is probably more convenient than the train (I know, you have months to work this out). The train stations are not convenient when staying in Bled; you could take the bus (the one that continues on to Ljubljana) to the Lesce Bled train station for a direct train to Ljubljana; if you time it right, the train will beat the bus into town. Or just stay on the bus.

I'd recommend anyone who has the time after the tour ends in Bled to rent a car and drive the scenic route from Bled back to Ljubljana via Kropa and Jamnik (fairly narrow but modern roads through the mountains) down to the town of Skofja Loka (pretty old town, worth a stop). Then it's a less scenic but easy drive from Skofja Loka back to Ljubljana. It would be easy to rent the car for just a day in Bled and make an afternoon of it and return the car in Ljubljana.

Posted by
64 posts

Hey Carol,
The City Hotel offered a wide variety of choices for breakfast. The dining area is large and serves many guests at one time. I remember eggs, lunchmeat, cheese and fruit being among the choices. Fruit was fresh. There also was a variety of pastries. We were not disappointed at all with what was offered. Hope that helps.

Posted by
1840 posts

Things I liked about City Hotel: friendly/helpful staff, hotel in good condition, very clean room, comfortable bed, excellent breakfast, laundry service (pricey but, for me, better than schlepping laundry to a laundromat). The breakfast selection was huge and included a good variety of fresh fruit.

The two hotels are owned by the same company, so I think the experience is likely comparable. From the history page on the City Hotel website:

Today, City Hotel Ljubljana is owned by Elephant group d.o.o. and is
part of a successful tourism story together with its sister hotel,
Best Western Premier Hotel Slon. Together, the hotels offer 370 rooms
at an elite location in the centre of the city and are famous for
their genuine hospitality and rich tradition.

Posted by
16576 posts

The two hotels seem relatively equidistant from the river. The City Hotel is somewhat closer to the train and bus stations.

The castle is set up on a hill but is only about 0.7 miles from the City Hotel. I don't know how comfortable a walk it would be. I had a city pass that allowed me to use the little pseudo-train.

Posted by
4684 posts

I'm in good shape and can handle hills easily - and I had no trouble at all walking up the hill to the castle from the center of town. I highly recommend getting up there one way or another if only for the views down. The castle itself is OK but nothing that special as I recall from the one time I saw it inside.

Posted by
1865 posts

As suggested up thread we also used the funicular railway to reach the castle.

Another mode of transportation to consider is the environmentally friendly vehicles known as Kavalirs. They are electric carts to transport you through the city. That said, we walked to the major sights. We were told a number of years ago the Mayor initiated this service for the transport of the elderly, mobility impaired and visitors. Best of all it's a free service. We used it to move from our Apartment on the river to our RS Tour Hotel in the city center.

Posted by
64 posts

My favorite permanent exhibit at the castle was the Museum of Puppetry. It was a fascinating historical overview of puppetry.

Posted by
430 posts

Try the Allegro Hotel. We stayed there 2 years ago and enjoyed it.

Posted by
162 posts

Finally made a decision on hotel. Based on the recommendations of Dave and CJS, and "stamp of approval" by Andrew, I chose the City Hotel. Many reviews mentioned the friendly, helpful staff as well as adequate breakfast. Also airport shuttle service is reasonable. I think that's how we'll leave the city.
Thanks to those of you who recommended sites in the city, as well as the FREE transport.
And yes, we also booked the RS Best of Eastern Europe tour, a couple of days before the deadline.

Posted by
1865 posts

I will add a favorite restaurant in Ljubljana as well. We recommend Julija. Mid-priced, Mediterranean style menu, delicious offerings, wonderful wines, and best of all we discovered Pumpkin Seed Oil! We ate their 3 times. Weather permitting, eat outside and enjoy the vibe of this charming town. Enjoy your journey!

Posted by
133 posts

We stayed at Hotel Emonec, a RS recommendation. Not one of mine, however. The website shows nice rooms; ours was cramped (less than 12 inches of walk space around the bed and walls), and not cleaned very well. On the up side, the front desk staff was very nice, it is in the center of everything (like most hotels in Ljubljana), and the price was reasonable. Breakfast was included and adequate, but certainly not worth writing home about.