IPA Magazine-Luxury Travel Reviews

Grand Hotel Toplice, Bled, Slovenia

Located on the shores of Lake Bled and surrounded by majestic mountains, the elegant Grand Hotel Toplice features luxury suites with panoramic views of a small island and its fairytale church, Bled Castle with the Julian Alps in the background.  This is the oldest and the most exceptional hotel in Bled, Slovenia with arguably the best location. With its lovely view on a beautiful lake, this 5-star, upscale hotel occupies a prominent, updated 19th-century building that’s close to major attractions.

Bled is the leading alpine tourist resort area in Slovenia.  It is located in the Upper Carniola region of Slovenia some 50 km north of Ljubljana and close to both the Austrian and Italian borders. The magnificent lake with a church-topped island and the old medieval castle characterize Bled as one of the most beautiful tourist sites in Europe.  France Prešeren (1800-1849), considered the greatest Slovene poet, said of this region, “The Carniola County holds no nicer place than this second Eden, full of charm and grace.”

In 1850, Josef Luckmann built Hotel Luisenbad, naming it in honor of his wife Luisa, on the site of today’s Toplice. It soon became a popular destination for Austrian elite and wealthy foreigners.  After the collapse of Austria-Hungary in 1918, the hotel was renamed the Grand Hotel Toplice. In 1931, Austrian architect Franz Baumgartner had it renovated.  It was considered the country’s most luxurious hotel. Through the years, prominent diplomats and leaders often resided here such as King Alexander I of Yugoslavia and later Josip Broz Tito. Other famous guests include American author Arthur Miller, Agatha Christie, King Hussein of Jordan, heart surgeon Christsaan Barnard, and US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.  In the downstairs hall are photographs of Prince Charles and Melania and Donald Trump who visited here before becoming president.

Today the Grand Hotel Toplice, a member of the prominent Small Luxury Hotels of the World group, continues to attract guests from all over the world who delight in its prime location right on the shore of Lake Bled. The five-star hotel has retained the elegant style of the 1930s and is still considered one of Slovenia’s most distinguished hotels, offering traditional comfort and the highest level of services.

There are 87 air-conditioned rooms, including 29 sumptuous lake-view suites and one presidential suite originally built as a luxury apartment-home.  The traditionally decorated rooms feature private furnished balconies with table and chairs featuring breath-taking views of the majestic lake, castle and island. Suites add living areas.  Each of the rooms and suites at Grand Hotel Toplice has its own unique character.  Traditionally styled with beautiful parquet floors, elaborate rugs with lots of red and gold trimmings, authentic antique furniture, wooden beds, mahogany wardrobes and paintings on the walls, the majority of rooms benefit from superb lake views.

Each room has a bathroom with bathtub or shower, balcony, direct phone line, flat screen cable TV, minifridge, safe, air conditioning and high-speed internet. For greater comfort, the mattress firmness can be adjusted. The R-Comfort mattress is of the highest utility with the option of adjusting it to various degrees of firmness, which assures you the best possible rest and comfort, irrespective of your weight and stature.  If you adjust the mattress correctly, you will wake up fresher and more rested than ever before.  Guests may also choose the pillow that suits them best. With three wonderful restaurants, two bars, an elegant indoor thermal pool with its own thermal spring, saunas, a beauty parlor, massages and a private lido and boathouse, this is surely one of the most romantic spots in Europe. The use of lido, sun beds and bathing towels is free for hotel guests.

Parking is free, as is a breakfast buffet at one of the refined restaurants with terraces. There’s a cozy lounge and a summer-only terrace bar

The Grand Hotel Toplice offers excellent meeting and conference facilities.  It boasts a total of five conference halls with state of the art technical features. The hotel’s conference center features two larger divisible conference halls, as well as two smaller meeting rooms, several indoor exhibition spaces and magnificent lakeside terraces ideal for coffee breaks. The largest, aptly-named Grand Hall is a multi-purpose meeting and banqueting room which can accommodate a maximum of 270 persons theatre-style and has direct access to a terrace. The hotel’s function rooms reflect its historical and traditional character and offer a creative ambience, which is further enhanced by natural daylight and wonderful views across the lake.

Renowned for its fine international cuisine, the Grand Hotel Toplice delights guests with the creations of its expert chefs, which may be served to larger gatherings in the Grand and Panorama Halls, or alternatively in the intimate and exclusive ambience of the lakeshore Julijana Gourmet Restaurant. (Please see our separate review of dining options at Grand Hotel Toplice).  Or, one may choose to sit on the Jesero bar terrace under the chestnut trees alongside the lake and enjoy a drink while watching the boats pass across the shimmering water.

One afternoon we visited the Luisa Studio spa center on the lower level to swim in the elegant indoor pool surrounded by Greek columns.  The 12×14 meter swimming pool filled with natural thermal spring water which is a cool 22°C (about 70°F).  The pool is open from 8:00 a.m. until 8 p.m. in summer.  Afterwards, we headed over to the wellness center for a relaxing massage. The Luisa Studio on the lower level of the hotel also offers Finnish, Turkish and infra red saunas.  It is open daily from 7:00 a.m. until 9 p.m. (You can read about our wonderful massage experiences in an accompanying article.)  Later, in the evening, we dined in Julijana, Grand Hotel Toplice’s formal a la carte restaurant with white linen table cloths and attentive service. (Please see the review of the Julijana Restaurant on this website.)

The nearest airfield, Lesce, is approximately 10 minutes drive from Bled.  It is suitable for recreational flight with smaller airplanes.  The nearest international airports are in Ljubljana (30km), Klagenfurt (79 km), Zagreb (196 km), and Venice (291 km).

Breakfast is served at the Grand restaurant on the lower level of the hotel from 7:00 until 11:00 a.m. Room service is also available for which there is an additional room service charge.

The Grand Hotel Toplice is the leading hotel of the Sava Hoteli Bled group, which includes five other properties, all in the very heart of Bled.  It is also incorporated into The Leading Hotels of the World consortium.

Grand Hotel Toplice
Cesta svobode 12
4260 Bled, Slovenija
Website: http://www.sava-hotels-resorts.com/en/accomodations/sava-hoteli-bled/grand-hotel-toplice/
Email: ghtoplice@hotelibled.com
Tel. +386 4 579 10 00 (reservations)
Fax +386 4 574 18 41

 

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