This month, we bring you our top picks from our recent visit to Ljubljana, Slovenia. We spent a busy few days being shown around by the Meeting & Incentive Forums team. Ljubljana may be a tricky one to pronounce but the variety of venues and sightseeing opportunities made it very hard for us to choose just a few favourites for our blog!
Worlds away from our Richmond events agency, Ljubljana is Slovenia’s capital city offering both a distinct old town and commercial hub with the Ljubljanica River meandering right through its heart. The city centre has traffic restrictions, leaving it free for pedestrians and cyclists with plenty of cafes spilling out onto the streets – it’s no wonder it was awarded the coveted Green Capital of Europe by the European Commission in 2016.
Our luxury base camp
We were based at the Grand Hotel Union for our 3-night stay, the largest conference hotel in the city and just one of four hotels in their portfolio in Slovenia. It boasts 21 conference halls and rooms, a courtyard area big enough to place 2-3 cars for product launches, can cater for up to 400 people for banqueting and has capacity for 800 people in its theatre. This beautiful building is an ideal base camp whether you are running a corporate event or visiting the city for the weekend.
On Thursday, we visited the hotel’s spa, Sense Wellness, and experienced the best thai massage, despite having had many massages in Thailand itself! The spa has created a fusion of the finest and most effective elements of both traditional and modern massages from all over the world including Thailand and the Philippines. There is a luxurious penthouse swimming pool with an open terrace and an amazing view of Ljubljana’s castle. If you are planning an intimate getaway, there is a VIP suite with an infrared sauna, whirlpool-bath and massage package for couples.
Fairytales do come true
There’s no question Ljubljana is reminiscent of Disney’s fairytale movies with classic structures, cobbled streets and a forest in the distance. You can take this one step further with our favourite part of our whole visit, taking the tradition ‘Pletna’ boat on Lake Bled to, what is said to be, the only island in Slovenia. It’s certainly the only island we could find with a 12th Century castle perched on top of a steep cliff!
This venue is ideal for weddings but would work well for any significant anniversary or cultural event. If you’re feeling fit or looking to work up to your thai massage, climb the 99 steps to the Assumption of Mary church and the fortune bell. You can also sample Slovenia’s most famous dessert here, the Bled cream cake.
Whilst you’ll get the best of weather from May to September, Ljubljana is also an alpine region so this really is a versatile location with fun activity all year round. Many of Slovenia’s ski resorts are a short drive from the city with the closest being Krvavec ski resort, with 26 kilometres of ski runs to keep you busy – another great precursor to that fantastic thai massage at the Grand Hotel Union!
It’s familiarisation visits like this that fill our minds with endless possibilities for our private and corporate clients alike. Back in our boutique events agency in Surrey, we’re eagerly awaiting the right client for a fairytale extravaganza!