Antiq Palace Hotel and Spa: Worth a Walk to Find This Historic Luxury in Ljubljana’s City Center
Our driver did his third loop around the town center at Mom’s and my urging to try one more time to find our hotel, Antiq Palace.
“I don’t think I get you there,” he said in broken English and a minute later pulled over next to the large square we’d already passed a few times.
“Close,” he said and pointed to the other side of the square and then gestured to the right. “Go that way. Very close.”
I looked dubiously at our surroundings and then back to the driver who was obviously a bit confused and who also had let us know earlier that he had taken this shift as a help to his friend. He didn’t normally drive the Budapest to Ljubljana route. So I could be forgiven for not feeling happy to be dropped off not at the entrance to our hotel after paying a hefty sum of €300 to get here. Bus routes and train routes between the two cities aren’t easy to come by and in order to save a day of travel and an expensive plane ride, my mom and I decided to splurge on private transportation to Ljubljana. The driver had been friendly and courteous the whole drive and there had been no problems up until this point. Yet he was now getting out of the car and putting our bags onto the sidewalk with our hotel nowhere in site.
I agreed we had to be close and I certainly wasn’t a stranger to arriving in a city center and having to navigate my way to a hotel. Only, usually I’ve figured out how to do that prior to arriving. In this case, assuming we’d be dropped off right at Antiq Palace hotel, I hadn’t looked at much about the hotel’s location. (The Antiq Palace website didn’t say anything about cars not being able to access the road it was on, once again making me wonder how much the driver knew about where he was pointing to and how far from our hotel we really were.)
But we had no other choice. And he did seem quite sure it was down that street over there. So we thanked him, tipped him, and took off to the other side of the square. The square was wide and quite empty. I’d realize later it was because we arrived during siesta.
We turned right onto the street he had gestured to, a quiet side street. The street name was not the name of the road Antiq Palace was on, but we decided to give the driver the benefit of the doubt. We passed a bar located at the bottom of long rows of steps, which had pillows and little tables placed on them.
I wanted to join the pillows and get a glass of wine and relax instead of walking under the hot Slovenian sun, but the hotel was hopefully not far. After walking for five minutes, the road curved and we were soon upon an unassuming part of the long row of connected houses and businesses along the side of the road. A sign stuck out, proclaiming that this little stretch of stone was Antiq Palace Hotel and Spa.
We had made it.
We pushed open the oversized door and entered a soothing entry way that looked out upon a foliage-filled stone courtyard. We were warmly greeted by the receptionist and led to our room, while being told a brief history of the hotel.
Antiq Palace is housed in a 16th century building that has a palatial feel as it was originally built to be the city residence for nobility. The location was a premier address back then and it still is today. It’s just a couple minute walk to get down to the river and all the restaurants and shops that border it. Antiq Palace is a member of “Small Luxury Hotels of the World” and is comprised of 18 boutique rooms and suites that are individually decorated plus is it home to an onsite, luxurious spa. As the building is a protected piece of heritage, it has been restored and remodeled to still include original materials and any new materials or changes are added to ensure it doesn’t lose its historic feel, making it an ideal place to stay in Ljubljana for those looking for history both inside and outside their hotel walls. Mom and I were those sorts of travelers so we were excited to see what our room looked like. So far, judging from the décor of the hotel on the walk there, we were in store to be pleased.
I stepped into our room – no, make that apartment – and quickly surmised I would have walked 60 minutes to get here, let alone five.
It was massive! And the suite immediately felt calming and the ideal place to relax after a day of sightseeing. Gold accents like the knobs on the kitchen cupboards and glass chandeliers accented the mostly white rooms. Comfortable couches and chairs upholstered in blue patterned fabrics filled the living room and rested on gold- and sand-hued wood floors framed on one end by high fabric curtains.
My favorite, however, was the bedroom. In this room, I felt like I’d stepped back an entire century thanks to the incredible ceiling, which has been restored to its original frescoed glory.
Yes, Antiq Palace was definitely worth a short or long walk to get to.