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“Tito Era Lives On at Excellent Villa Bled” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Vila Bled

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Vila Bled
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   C Svobode 26, Bled 4260, Slovenia   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #5 of 23 Hotels in Bled
Certificate of Excellence
New Rochelle, New York
Level Contributor
41 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
“Tito Era Lives On at Excellent Villa Bled”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 24, 2008

My wife and I enjoyed two wonderful nights at the Villa Bled on September 10-11, 2007.

While looking for an interesting extension to a trip to Venice, we learned that Tito’s former summer palace on Lake Bled was now a Relais & Chateaux hotel. Too exciting to pass up, we built a 5-day circuit through western Slovenia around a visit to Villa Bled.

We expected this to be a window into how the big-named Communists lived, and we were not disappointed. Well maintained but little changed, the Villa Bled displays an unsmiling (but ultimately quite friendly) black-dressed matron at the front desk, 50’s vintage sterile-granite elegance, and huge multi-room suites designed to house dignitaries from abroad. Our suite (for just the two of us) started with an ante-room, that led to a dining room, that opened into an oversized office replete with desk and built-in cabinetry for conducting business of state. Beyond that, hefty French doors opened (at last) into the master bedroom, very large and with a huge marble bath en suite. That Communist bigwigs lived differently from the adored masses was highlighted by the priceless maid call-button next to every bed. Sadly this suite lacked the lake views we wanted (a booking error by Relais & Chateaux), but the Villa gladly moved us the next morning into a mere 2-room suite with the spectacular views we had hoped for.

Do not miss walking up the not-so-grand staircase from the lobby and into the ball room, which is encircled with Tito’s prized murals, brightly depicting the victories of the People’s Red Army. It is adjacent to a modern-looking business/conference center.

We were at the Villa for the throw-back experience, and so even enjoyed the Communist-era inefficiencies that abounded. For example, asking for a cocktail before dinner, we were directed to Tito’s bar, a spacious room at the rear of the lobby where Tito apparently did much of his entertaining. There was a fully stocked bar but . . . no bartender. Eventually we asked at the front desk, and after while a waiter was pulled from the dining room to serve us. So for us to have a drink, someone had to wait for supper. Another hotel would turn the bar into a money-maker, a great way to gain business from travelers staying at other hotels. But here, the bar was historic dead space. We loved it, sipping our drinks and trying our best (unsuccessfully!) not to talk in bad-guy accents straight out of Soviet-era James Bond movies.

Dinner at Villa Bled was another treat. The large and austere dining room was staffed by lovely and eager servers. Everyone in Slovenia, it seems, speaks excellent English, and this was certainly true of the staff in the restaurant and throughout the Villa Bled. The kitchen was headed by Slovenia’s only Michelin-starred chef and the meal was a nostalgic wonder, my sense being that the menu has gone without change for decades. We ate superbly prepared Cordon Bleu cuisine, featuring dishes (e.g., aspic laden salads, meats in pastry) one would not have seen on a menu in, say, New York for decades. The perfect retro experience for this venue.

The Belvedere Pavilion is a separate building on the grounds, where afternoon tea and snacks can be purchased. Apparently used by Tito for entertaining his guests, this offers wonderful lake views and more Communist-era art on the walls. A cup of tea and a pastry there was a wonderful end to our stroll around the lake.

Villa Bled is an excellent high-end base for touring this beautiful sub-Alpine corner of Slovenia. As other reviewers have noted, it does not provide all the up-to-date luxe of a 21st Century 5-star boutique. And thank goodness for that. It is a well-priced and comfortable blast from the past, the best reason of all to visit!!

  • Liked — Large, comfortable, historic
  • Disliked — Air-powered mechanical mattresses are interesting, but not very comfortable
  • Stayed September 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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174 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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35
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5
Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (37)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Turkish first
  • Any
English first
Philadelphia
Level Contributor
49 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 1, 2008

The Vila Bled is on the outskirts of the small town of Bled -- approximately a 15-20 minute walk from the town. It commands a spectacular view of the Lake and the beautiful Church on the island. Since the whole area is so great for walking, this attribute of being a bit out of town is a good one. The amenities of the hotel are top notch. There's something just a bit off-putting about the 1950s decor, but it grows on you. What also deserves mention is the beautiful grounds that the hotel sits on. You can relax in great comfort where world leaders visiting the old Yugoslavia were taken to be impressed. The hotel's restaurant is excellent. While the prices are high for Slovenia, they are not shocking for a top drawer restaurant. The staff at the hotel is friendly, the breakfast is lovely and the location cannot be beat.

  • Liked — Huge suite with great views.
  • Stayed March 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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swansea
Level Contributor
36 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 31, 2007

Just spent two nights at Vila Bled - location is perfect - candlelit dinner on the terrace with lake view in thunder storm a fantastic experience. Food is best we had in Slovenia - first class standard anywhere in the world actually. Rooms good and big and excellent standard but ours suffered from (very) early morning delivery noise and no air con meant we had the windows open - oh and mosquitos - best to ask if they can give you anti mosquito plug ins if you don't want to get bitten alive. Sauna, steam room and jacuzzi now on site and you can have massages, aromatherapy massages etc. Free use of rowing boats and there's a small private lido area by the lake with loungers and changing facilities and a small swimming area. All in all a very good first class hotel with the facilities and food you'd expect. You can hire bikes at reception but it's a lot cheaper to do this in the town itself. Free internet access. Two nights B and B for three and two dinners - two courses with wine and aperitifs came to 950 Euros so it's not cheap but a very nice treat!

  • Liked — historical connections and quality
  • Disliked — early morning noise, mosquitos and no air con
  • Stayed August 2007, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
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Plymouth, Minnesota
Level Contributor
36 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 66 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 13, 2007

Vila Beld is located right on the shore of beautiful Lake Bled on the western edge of the busy town of Bled. The grounds of this property are beautiful; no wonder Tito entertained here. This is an upscale property affiliated with Relais et Chateaux and the prices are not for the squeamish. You will be rewarded with a very comfortable, large room, a breakfast with a bounty of options, outstanding views of Lake Bled and if you are so inclined a top notch restaurant for al freco dining as the sun sets over the lake. The staff are very attentive as should be expected at a property in this price bracket.

  • Liked — The views, the restaurant
  • Stayed July 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
West Yorkshire
Level Contributor
17 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 26, 2007

We just returned from a 3-night stay at this beautifully-situated hotel. We would willingly have stayed longer, as it was impossible not to completely unwind in such tranquil, idyllic surroundings.

I agree with all the foregoing reviews, so will not repeat them. We too were upgraded to a suite (107) which had a HUGE terrace, with chairs, a table, sunbeds and our own umbrella. We decided to have half board after our first evening because the food was so good.

Slovenia is a beautiful country and well worth exploring by car. We stayed in Ljubljana last year and thoroughly enjoyed it. We were fortunate enough to be taken round many of the tourist sights by our Slovenian hosts and also explored round Lake Bled on this visit. Our favourites (not counting Ljubljana and Lake Bled) are: the drive along the Soca Valley (from Kranska Gora to Bovec), Vintgar gorge (very close to Bled), Lake Bohinj, Postojna caves, Piran, Skocjan caves. It's a pleasure to drive around the unspoilt countryside on uncrowded roads.

We're definitely going back!

  • Liked — Space, tranquillity
  • Disliked — Nothing
  • Stayed June 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brighton, England
Level Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 24, 2007

Just returned from a trip round Slovenia as part of our honeymoon, we had a couple of nights at Vila Bled and we loved it. It's spacious, posh and has an excellent location on the lake. In my opinion it's got the best location of all hotels in Bled, right on the lake in a quiet stretch near to the little island, it's far more peaceful than the town itself which is only a short stroll away.

Everything about our stay was perfect, on arrival we were upgraded to a lake view suite, this was a lovely surprise and really made our stay. We were given room 207, a beautiful suite with 4 huge windows which open to overlook Bled Castle, the island and the lake. I'd be amazed if there was a better view in Bled from any other hotel room.

The staff at the hotel were excellent and the hotel restaurant is expensive but superb. The breakfast was also great with all the usual trimmings, plus eggs etc cooked to order rather than sat in hotplates like most hotels.

I would strongly recommend the lake view suites, the hotel is expensive but if you want somewhere nice in my view it's worth it.. I'd also recommend taking a stroll fully around the lake (only about 6kms) and take a rowing boat from the hotel steps. It's a really tranquil spot, we'd definitely stay again.

  • Stayed June 2007, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
657 reviews
306 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2,987 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 28, 2007

The moment you turn off to Bled from the autobahn you are in a completely different scenic bliss. The hotel is situated approx five minutes drive from Bled along the striking lake drive. As you drive into the resort it certainly becomes a breathtaking picture, the gardens and entrance are divine blended into the environment; not to mention the views of Lake Bled and the island.

The building is historical and survived communist architecture. Vila Bled was originally President Tito summer lodge built with a combine privilege affluence and wealth. The hotel is situated 35km from the International Airport.

This hotel is apart of the Relais and Chateaux chain.

Check in –
It all went to plan, just perfect, the receptionist knew our names and just asked for our passports. In two minutes we were transformed into our delightful apartment.

Room –
Our room 209 was certainly a knockout factor, It was absolutely massive with a walk in hallway with a small sitting room which lead directly to the very spacious bathroom. Off the hallway was the massive lounge room, which consisted of a lounge suite, TV, mini bar, small table and two chairs. The room was decorated in the 50’s with beautiful parquetry floors, Persian rugs and chandelier lights. Large French windows opened to a wonderful view of Lake Bled and the gardens. The bedroom lead from the lounge room and consisted of a king size bed, bedside tables, large built-in wardrobes and a small balcony, which again had stunning views of the lake.

Bathroom –
A very spacious elegant 50’s bathroom, which consisted of two vanity sinks, shower over the bath, which created a problem for my tall man. Bathrobes and slippers were also supplied. Toiletries were sufficient, although not the best.

Restaurants –
Café on the terrace – coffee was fabulous.!
Dinner – Was certainly the best I have had since my travels from Australia. Just try it, you won’t be disappointed( the lamb was better than NZ lamb) and make sure you try the traditional Lake Bled sweets.

Breakfast - The setting for breakfast on the terrace overlooking the lake was fabulous, there is a set menu offering omelet’s/ fried eggs or poached. A good selection of fruit , cereal and pastries were also supplied.

Amenities –
The Vila Bled offers there own rowing boats, which are located on the lake, one can
easily row over to Island Bled. There is a small café on the island if you want lunch.
Bicyles can also be hired around Euro 3.00 .There is a small sauna/spa and guests can use the swimming pool of their sister hotel up the road.

Staff –
Just so friendly and helpful, they make you feel very special.

Parking –
Parking is available in the grounds of the hotel at no cost.

Laundry service –
Excellent .

Overall –
A unique romantic blend of exquisite scenery mixed with hospitality and a delightful spacious and elegant room.

  • Liked — Everything
  • Disliked — nothing
  • Stayed May 2007, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Vila Bled

Address: C Svobode 26, Bled 4260, Slovenia
Location: Slovenia > Upper Carniola Region > Bled
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Spa Hotel in Bled
#3 Luxury Hotel in Bled
#4 Family Hotel in Bled
#5 Romantic Hotel in Bled
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Vila Bled 4*
Number of rooms: 31
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Also Known As:
Vila Bled Hotel Bled
Vila Hotel Bled
Bled Vila Hotel

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