Seeking a slightly more unusual city break option? Check out Slovenia. The country’s inland capital has a thriving cafe culture among the cobbled streets, museums, exhibitions and the expansive Tivoli Park. Indeed you’re never far from a leafy space here and with cars restricted in the city centre, it’s no wonder this was the European Commission’s Green Capital of Europe in 2016. There’s architectural beauty to behold too – minimalist designer Jože Plečnik had much to do with Ljubljana’s bridges, lamposts and pillars, ensuring the urban design was extremely attractive. And the city has some exciting places in which you can stay.
Vander Urbani Resort
Close to the riverside, this boutique design resort was formed within several Baroque townhouses. At the very top, guests can step into a petite rooftop infinity pool with super city views. Drinks can be ordered poolside on the terrace and yoga classes are also held here. With just 20 rooms, the emphasis is on quality over quantity and exquisite, soothing, minimal decor. The urban chic (with a hint of Scandi) restaurant boasts an expansive wine cellar, or you can venture to Bubbles Bar for a tipple – it specialises in wines from within Slovenia. While the design of the hotel is cool, the service is warm, attentive and welcoming.
This is the tallest hotel in the city and a member of the global IHG brand. Climb to the 18th floor for a little pampering at Serenity Wellness where you can swim while viewing the city’s rooftops through floor to ceiling windows. The InterContinental was also Ljubljana’s first five-star residence and has 165 rooms. Book the Presidential Suite – on the floor above the spa – to enjoy your own steam room, living area and fireplace. And you can dine a floor above that, at the B-Restaurant, which is managed by the Michelin-starred chef, Alfredo Russo. The B-Bar is found beside it, with the Bloom Lounge serving lighter meals at ground level.
Previously a swish apartment block occupying a corner plot, this 1930s building now holds 26 plush rooms for paying guests. Some suites have circular beds and bathrooms have glass walls and White Company toiletries. Cubo’s owners are restauranteurs, so you can expect some excellent cuisine crafted using seasonal ingredients with a low carbon footprint. The lobby bar doubles as a pavement cafe during the summer – the perfect spot to people-watch over a mouthwatering pastry. Guests can take advantage of free bicycle hire too, with the river and park close by for leisurely cycles.