Where to stay in Ljubljana — hotels in Ljubljana Old Town
There’s a warm (literal) and friendly welcome as we arrive at Vander Urbani Resort in Ljubljana. It’s the perfect antidote after 5 hours of traveling, and a brush with the windy autumnal weather outside.
Our first impression of the hotel’s a good one. The reception area’s small, but you see that the space immediately expands from both sides. To the left is the À la carte restaurant, while to the right is Bubbles Bar.
The décor’s modern, fun and also very much encapsulates the concept of a design hotel.
A location in the old town — where to stay in Ljubljana
It’s not often that you get to check into a boutique hotel with 2 major plus points. The first, is its excellent location in the heart of Ljubljana old town. The second, is that Vander Urbani Resort also happens to be right by the river.
Vander Urbani Resort is the result of 4 former townhouses transformed into a boutique hotel. It sits on the banks of the River Ljubljanica in Ljubljana Old Town. The hotel’s also just 1 minute to the main road of Ciril Metodov trg. It’s the street where you’ll find main attractions in the capital such as Ljubljana Cathedral.
The building’s history is an interesting one. There was once an embankment on the river during Roman times, which was reinforced by a jetty. This was used as a small harbor, and was also frequented by tailors and shoemakers in the Middle Ages.
The outside façade of Vander Urbani Resort gives away its former residential roots. Inside, however, is a décor far different than the townhouses from days past.
Good design begins at Vander Urbani Resort
Step inside a design hotel
There are just 20 rooms at the hotel, reinforcing its boutique status. Chic and edgy, the rooms’ design embraces comfortable living.
Rooms are unique, contemporary and, if you manage to get a river view, also pretty romantic. Accommodation types include Vander small, Vander large, Zen rooms and river rooms.
Rooms types at Vander Urbani Resort
Make mine a large — where to stay in Ljubljana
We stayed in a Vander large room with street facing views. Upon entering, the warm temperature enveloped us, instantly making us feel at home. A room spacious in size (large ranges from 23 to 28m2) we wasted no time exploring our temporary abode.
The first of many surprises during our stay at Vander Urbani Resort was a welcome fruit bowl and personalized note. Though a simple offering, it’s these kinds of small touches that make up the overall experience.
The first piece of furniture to catch our eye in the room was the unique white leather armchair. Designed by Italian firm, Moroso, it’s elegant in design, yet is also functional too. Relax, read, or even work; this armchair’s good for more than just looking pretty.
Other noteworthy features of the Vander large room include:
- super king bed (200x210cm)
- luxury toiletries
- fluffy cotton bathrobe and towels from designer brand, Frette
- ergonomic and anti-allergy pillows and blankets (upon request), and
- complimentary WiFi.
Where to stay in Ljubljana — a welcome personalized note and fruit bowl
“The décor’s modern, fun and also very much encapsulates the concept of a design hotel.”
Maintain your Zen Vander Urbani Resort
The mysterious sounding Zen room is another type of accommodation offered at Vander Urbani Resort.
Measuring 18m2, the room’s slightly smaller than the Vander large, but no less lacking in comfort.
The reason behind its name, and the room’s selling point, is the bed. A super queen bed (160x200cm) provides ample space to practice zen yoga while the sun rises over Ljubljana. The bed’s also big enough if you fancy booking an in-room massage (on request).
Zen rooms also come with a writing desk, separate bathroom and an LCD TV.
Water views all the way — where to stay in Ljubljana
If your budget allows, and you enjoy waking up to river views, consider booking into one of these rooms.
The River side room is similar in size to the large, ranging from 23 to 28m2. Inside, is a super king long bed (200×210cm), Moroso armchair, and the star feature, a view of the Ljubljanica River.
The River front room is larger, ranging from 28 to 38m2. Rooms come with a double bed, or a super king long bed if you choose the suite. River rooms also come with the same facilities as other accommodation types at Vander Urbani Resort. Room service is available from 8.30am to 11pm.
Standard check-in at the hotel is 3pm, and the standard check-out is a very generous 12pm. Early check-ins and late check-outs are subject to availability.
Bath times are a luxury affair at Vander Urbani Resort with C.O. Bigelow products
It’s time to eat
As a foodie, I’m always curious to find out what’s on offer, especially at breakfast. The most important meal of the day starts from 7am to 11am, giving you enough time for a lazy lie-in.
Start with breakfast — where to stay in Ljubljana
It’s a mouthwatering scene as you enter the À la carte restaurant for breakfast. An elegant and inviting setting, your eyes dart towards the spread laid out on the table and sides.
The long table in the center’s filled with cold meats, cheeses, jams and butter. To the side are loaves of freshly baked bread and pastries. Hot drinks are served on a separate table.
Along with the breakfast buffet items, Vander Urbani Resort also has a separate menu. Choose from dishes such as Vander muesli, fresh fruits and pancakes with jam or with Nutella. For hungrier tummies, there are also omelettes on the menu, as well as local Slovenian breakfast options.
Start the day with something more local, like yellow polenta with milk, buckwheat porridge and pork cracklings, or Vander granola.
Hot or cold? Just one of many hot breakfast options at Vander Urbani Resort
Long lazy lunches at Vander
There are 2 places to stop for lunch at Vander Urbani Resort. Along with the À la carte restaurant, they also have the Haus Restaurant.
The menu’s a mix of Slovenian as well as international dishes. To give you an idea, starters include fried Dolenjska cheese. It’s a product that comes from the lower Carniola region of Slovenia, and is served with a creamy herb mayonnaise.
Main courses showcase the international flavors of Haus restaurant. Australian grass-fed ribeye steak and a Japanese gourmet wagyu beef burger are just 2 of the dishes on the menu.
Haus Restaurant is more informal than the À la carte restaurant, and there’s also the option to dine outside.
It’s open every day from 12pm to 11pm.
In comparison, the lunch menu at the À la carte restaurant is slightly more traditional. Typical dishes include potato soup with truffles, and pork tenderloin with horseradish sauce, apple and onion chutney and baby potatoes.
Quality ingredients for a quality dinner — where to stay in Ljubljana
All of the eateries at Vander Urbani Resort take pride in using local and fresh ingredients in their dishes. Most of the produce comes from nearby markets in Ljubljana, which are made by Slovenian farmers.
The hotel embraces the concept of farm to table, and you can eat well knowing that everything’s been locally sourced.
Dinner at the À la carte restaurant begins from 5pm and closes at 10pm. However, you should note that the kitchen closes about 30 minutes before official closing time.
Like in Tallinn, we found that many restaurants in Ljubljana close early. Saying that, come earlier than late to avoid disappointment.
A sample dinner menu at the À la carte restaurant includes beef tartare with confit and grilled salmon fillet. For dessert, there’s a coconut Panna Cotta with mango and basil gel.
Where to stay in Ljubljana — Nutella or jam in your pancake?
Where champagne and comfort come together
To the right of the reception area is the Bubble Bar. As its name suggests, it’s a stylish place to relax with a glass of fizz, or drink of your choice.
All guests staying at the hotel are given a complimentary welcome drink of sparkling wine, wine or a hot drink.
Swim, sun or bathe at Vander Urbani Resort
Depending on the time of year you visit, I urge you to visit the fabulous pool on the roof terrace. Given our visit took place in the depths of autumn, there was no chance (or desire) to fully appreciate it.
Summertime in Ljubljana is an altogether different matter. The pool terrace’s open from 9am to 6pm, and everyone’s welcome.
Along with being a place to relax, the pool terrace is also ideal for booking events. Sit, soak or sun it up: it’s an idyllic setting to watch Ljubljana life from above.
Enjoy a complimentary glass of fizz, and more, at Bubbles Bar at Vander Urbani Resort
Attractions right outside your door — where to stay in Ljubljana
You don’t have to go far from the front door of Vander Urbani Resort to see some of Ljubljana’s top sights.
As mentioned above, the cathedral’s an easy-peasy 3-minutes on foot. If you continue walking down Ciril Metodov trg, you’ll meet the cobbled streets of the old town. Shops, cafes and restaurants line both sides, many of the exteriors maintaining its historic charm.
Another one of my favorite attractions in Ljubljana are the markets. There’s a covered, and an open-air, market, both of which are open every day.
You can’t visit Ljubljana without seeing its castle. Vander Urbani Resort is around 5 minutes on foot to the funicular ticket office. Here, you can purchase your tickets and explore the castle at your own pace.
What do you think about Vander Urbani Resort? Is it somewhere you’d like to stay when in Ljubljana? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.
Till next time, happy boutique travels x
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Welcome to my site! I'm Lisa, founder of Following the Rivera. I write primarily for a ‘flashpacker’ audience; a demographic (late 20s onwards) that enjoys glamping over camping, staying at boutique/luxury boutique hotels, sampling the local food and wine, cultural activities, and indulging in a spot of wellness on their travels. Read more here…