Design Hotel: Vander Urbani Resort

If, like me, you have a weakness for the old and traditional,  Old Town Ljubljana will make you swoon.  With churches from the 15th century, baroque architecture from the 1700s, and city tales that go back to Jason and the Argonauts—you’ll be sure to get a full dose of all things old and beautiful.  But somewhere in the heart of Ljubljana is an unexpected respite from the past: Vander Urbani Resort is a boutique hotel that’s clad in absolute contemporary cool.

Location:  The hotel is right in the heart of Old Town and is literally steps away from the iconic Triple Bridge and all other attractions in the city.  It’s in a traffic-free zone and the entrance to the hotel is tucked away in a shaded street which makes the overall ambience so calming.  My favourite thing about the hotel’s prime location is how it also served as a short cut to various spots in Old Town: turning right from the hotel’s entrance took us to the river, while turning left took us to the Town Square.

Décor:  A member of Design Hotels™, the hotel is clad in quintessential boutique luxury—exposed concrete and glass, steel and sculpted shadows, hard wood and supple leather.  I usually think of modern décor as cold and distant, so I was pleasantly surprised as to how all the design elements combined to give a sense of warmth and intimacy to the place.  Although I loved the public areas of the hotel, I did not feel the same about the room which had glass walls to separate the toilet and shower from the rest of the space.  Call me traditional, but there are some things I wish to do in private and not share even with my husband.  So if you’re planning to book a room with someone, make sure that you’re either comfortable enough to be seen showering or sitting on the toilet, or be ready to do your business with lights off.

Service: The hotel was very warm and friendly.  They were at hand for any questions, directions, and even went the extra mile of checking bus schedules for us.  

Pool perfection:  My favourite part of Vander Urbani is the hotel’s rooftop pool.  We took a dip right after a full day of touring on what the locals were claiming as the first weekend of summer in the city, with temperatures soaring to 30°C.  To cool down, we plunged into the infinity pool much to the dismay of the neighbouring pigeons.  The pool and the hotel’s rooftop give a panoramic view of the river, the roofscape of Ljubljana, and the prettiest pastel baroque houses.  If, like us, you find yourself wading in the pool at sunset, be prepared to fall under the spell of lovely Ljubljana.

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Entrance to the hotel tucked away along a leafy, shaded street

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The hotel bar/lounge decorated with a mix of patterns and materials

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Our room is nicely decorated but I did not like the glass walls that separated the toilet and shower area from the rest of the space—there are some things I wish to do in private and not share even with my husband

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The steel “curtain” that hangs from the ceiling and the walls provide some light play in the hotel’s atrium

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Stunning modern décor of concrete, glass, steel, and shadows

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More shadow sculptures and light play at the rooftop bar/lounge

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More shadow sculptures and light play at the rooftop bar/lounge

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The rooftop pool overlooking River Ljubljanica and Old Town

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Wooden deck also for lounging and tanning

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Spotting Vander Urbani Resort’s rooftop pool from Ljubljana Castle

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A modern oasis in the heart of Old Town Ljubljana

Vander Urbani Resort • Krojaška ulica 6-8 si-1000 Ljubljana  • + 386 1 200 9000  • info@vanderhotel.com

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