Landing at Ljubljana Airport amidst a severe thunderstorm our thoughts turned to "I hope we haven't booked a holiday in the middle of the monsoon season!!"
The journey from the airport was fun thunder and lightening all around, the driver told us that the previous week temperatures had been in mid 30's, great we thought just what we needed for walking up mountains!
We drove down past Lake Bled, with its church and castle and concrete carbuncles next to the lake, and onward to Bohinj.
After dropping a few people off in Ribcev Laz at the eastern end of the lake, we made our way along the road on the south shore of the lake. Even with thunder and lightening crashing and flashing there were some people having a dip in the lake. Eventually we arrived at the Hotel to be met by a very happy and smiley receptionist and an even more pleasant manager, who checked us in and gave us our room keys.
Despite reading reviews on here regarding the rooms, staff and facilities we were more than happy with the room we had in the Villa, just across the road from the main hotel (apart from the music school who seemed to have descended on the villa at the same time). Yes the rooms are a bit dated and dark but this is a very reasonably priced 3 star hotel with good facilities so you need to adjust your expectations to suit.
Dinner was served between 7 and 9 which all in all was a rather impressive spread of soups, cold meat, salads, 2 meat dishes and a fish dish, together with a variety of vegetables. Our only criticism was that the veg were all frozen and were occasionally heavily salted. Anything that was empty was quickly refreshed, the food was hot and very well presented.
Waiting staff are very friendly and speak a variety of languages as you might expect, with excellent english.
Plans made over a beer saw us planning to ascend to the waterfall at Savica about and hour and a half walk from the hotel.
Breakfast is a rather pleasant affair with a typical continental buffet style breakfast, you won't go hungry at all.
Setting off from the hotel its in road for the first bit then a short climb up through the woods to the car park and the entrance to the waterfalls. After climbing the some 500 plus steps we were rewarded with mother nature at its finest, cascading water thundering down into the splash pool at the bottom. The pictures we had seen before going were impressive, but after the storms the day before it was even more so.
After descending back to the Hotel we ventured along to Don Angelo a pizza and pasta restaurant! portions were enormous and the prices were very fair with a large bowl of pasta ranging from €5 to €9 and a small (about 12") pizza from €5 a large pizza (about 18") is about €1 more.
Walking along the South Shore of the lake is a little boring as you are walking high above the road and away from the lakes edge, however walking along the north shore is a totally different thing. You are walk next to the lake where streams come down from the mountains and are tapped into freshwater drinking troughs. Swimming in the lake is excellent, don't expect it to be like the med in the middle of summer, with water temperatures in the mid teens. However the good thing is, if you happen to take a mouthful of water in, don't panic, just swallow it as the water in the lake is perfectly drinkable. There is a little scrambling over rocks towards the western end of the north shore walk with one stream crossing. Be aware some of the bays around the lake are very secluded and some people may be sunbathing nude and they think that as they can't see the path, the people on the path cant see them.
If you go up in the cable car to Vogel the views of the lake and surrounding mountains ARE amazing. Please please please do not walk down from the cable car, we did and despite the information on the signs and the map the walk into Ribcev Laz took 4 and a half hours down a very steep slippery slope with uneven boulders and tree roots everywhere! However if you do decide to do this there is an excellent Ice Cream shop opposite the tourist boat office. With homemade ice cream at 80cents a scoop mmmmmm the lemon was ace!!!
Most other walks are centered around Ribcev Laz so if you stay at the Zlatorog you either have to walk, catch the bus (several companies stop outside the hotel) the tourist boat or the land train. Prices are fair for the bus and the train however the tourist boat is a little expensive at €10 one way and €16 return for an adult, however we are told that you do get a bit of history.
The bikes that are available for hire at the hotel are ok, if a little on the small size, not really suitable for a tall person, however the roads and paths are excellent for cycling.
There is a lovely gorge walk from the town of Stara Fuzina, up to the Mostnice Waterfall, the walk is along the gorge and is truly amazing. At the top of the gorge is the mountain hut where they serve truly delicious apple strudel (so we were told) it did look nice!! Our advice is to walk up one side and down the other, we went up on the right and down on the left and must say the views coming down were spectacular.
After a long days walking a great way to unwind is to have a dip in the hotels very own pool, at 14m x 8m you are not going to get an Olympic challenge going but it is a lovely way to cool off at the end of a day, situated on the first floor of the main hotel, all you need to take is your swimming cozzy and your room towel. You will be met by a charming attendant who has a penchant for her small dog and the hotel cat! She always greats you with a smile and after the first visit you are no longer subjected to the strict instructions. Clothes must be put on a hanger, you must walk through the foot bath and have a shower before getting into the ppool. The pool is open in the morning and afternoon with the sauna only being open in the afternoon.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.