Hotel Park – Ljubljana, Slovenia
The Greenest Hotel in Europe’s Green Capital
In 2016 Ljubljana, Slovenia was named Europe’s Green Capital. In the middle of the green capital, surrounded by parks, is the city’s greenest hotel. Some hotels say they’re environmentally friendly and sure, they may not wash your sheets and towels every day but they’ve got nothing on the Hotel Park in Ljubljana.
I was invited to stay for two nights to see for myself just what they’re doing to give guests a comfortable experience while reducing the effect on the planet. The small size of Slovenia’s capital and the hotel’s city centre location encourages guests to walk or use public transit. Most of what you’ll want to see is within a 20 minute walk from their front door. If you do drive, there are several charging stations for electric vehicles.
The lobby and room design are sleek and minimalist, almost Scandinavian in nature – from the geometric copper lights at reception to the leafy accent walls and modern wooden lamps in the rooms, to the quilt-like grey tile floors in the bathrooms. Rooms are equipped with AC units but windows also open to allow for natural, energy free cooling. Despite being city centre, Hotel Park’s setting means you can sleep with the window open and still get a good night’s sleep.
There was one thing that I’ve never seen in a hotel before, but makes so much sense: motion activated hallway lights. Why light the hall when there’s no one in it? When I first stepped off the elevator and noticed the darkened hall I thought it looked foreboding but as soon as I entered the hall, it cheerfully lit up. Smart design.
As is now common in many hotels, you’re encouraged to reuse your towel during your stay but Hotel Park have recently implemented a policy to take it one step further. Now, unless you request it, you room won’t be cleaned mid-stay. I mean, do you clean your bathroom and bedroom each day? It’s not really necessary and, while I know I can veer towards untidiness, I really don’t need my space to be scrubbed down each day. This way, the hotel can save on water and cleaning chemicals.
What I was really enamoured with, but didn’t get a chance to check out myself was their rooftop garden and bee colonies. Yes, bee colonies. There are four hives that were installed on the roof in 2016 and you can even buy jars of the urban honey as a unique souvenir. Meanwhile the hotel’s newest workers are pollinating within a 3km radius. I don’t know about you but I think that’s pretty sweet.
A sign by the elevator encourages you to consider walking instead – a single elevator ride uses as much energy as half your cell phone charge. Panels on each floor highlight a different Slovenian park so you get to learn something as you go as well as burn off some calories.
So how was my stay? Fantastic with only a few minor hiccups. First, the bedding situation had me confused. I was travelling solo and my room had a king sized bed (yay!) but there was only one pillow and what seemed to be half a duvet. When I gratefully climbed into bed at the end of a long day I tucked my feet under the duvet and, thinking it was folded in half, grabbed the top edge to pull up over me only to have my bare feet and shins now sticking out from the bottom. In the dim light I assessed the situation and came to the conclusion that the twin duvet must have been put on the king bed perpendicular to the actually intended usage. Once turned right way around I had a cozy night’s sleep.
Secondly, while there was a wall mounted shampoo dispenser (more environmentally friendly than individual bottles) there was no shelf for me to put my own shower toiletries so I ended up lining up my shampoo, shower gel, razor, and puff on the floor. Not ideal, but not a deal breaker.
Thirdly, you need to time your breakfast just right. Hotel Park has a great hot and cold breakfast buffet included with your stay but time it wrong and you’ll be standing in a line for the coffee machine and then asking strangers if you can share their table since there’s nowhere else. However, it doesn’t take long to turn around. On my first morning I slept in and had breakfast at 9:15 and was just about the only one there. I filled my plate with scrambled eggs, sausage, cucumber, cheese, and croissant with Nutella. There was no line for my cappuccino or blueberry juice. The next morning at 7:40 it was madness. It seems the hotel is popular for tour groups and they all like to eat at once. Not 10 minutes later it was again almost empty.
All in all, Hotel Park in Ljubljana has been the hotel most committed to the environment that I have yet to stay at and all without sacrificing guest comfort or amenities.
If you’re looking for well-priced, centrally located accommodations in Ljubljana, Slovenia that will also make your conscious feel pretty good, consider Hotel Park. Enjoy the honey!
- Where: Tabor 9, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenija
- Cost: Rooms can range from $108 – $206
- Number of Rooms: 207
- Amenities: free wifi, free breakfast, electric vehicle charging station, urban honey available for purchase
- Rating: TripAdvisor 3.5*
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Note: I was a guest of Hotel Park in Ljubljana, however all opinions are my own. They didn’t ask that I write a favourable review or that I take the stairs just to learn about the parks. Seriously, take the stairs.