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“Essex fogeys” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Pri Lenart Hotel

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Pri Lenart Hotel
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Podvrh 1 | Poljane nad, Skofja Loka 4223 , Slovenia   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 4 Hotels in Skofja Loka
london
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
“Essex fogeys”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 2, 2012

The hotel, of five bedrooms, is a seventeenth-century manor house, an award-winning restoration, in a small village at about 3,000 ft altitude, looking south across a peaceful and seriously beautiful valley about 30 miles west of Ljubljana. The rooms were generous in size, well-appointed and spotless to standards which would frighten Austrians.

The walks, taken in a group and expertly led, were wonderful. They were mostly across pasture or through pine and beech woodland, typically eight miles long but mostly involving 600-700 ft of altitude gain, so involve genuine effort. Slovenia definitely slopes, but even 100ft of gain produces new views.

The food, most of it locally sourced ‒ the evening meals, in particular, were excellent – was produced with great care and imagination, and it would be all too easy to gain weight despite the energy expended on the walks.

The company can make or break this type of holiday. Our group – there were seven in our particular week ‒ was international and we all enjoyed ourselves hugely, both on the walks and in the evenings around the dinner table and on our evening out to a local pub. The place is run so skillfully, by real humans and a canine, that it is difficult to imagine people failing to enjoy themselves.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Podvrh, Owner at Pri Lenart Hotel, responded to this review, October 7, 2012
Thank you very much for the lovely review; we are delighted you enjoyed your holiday. To avoid confusion, we'd like to clarify that the heights and altitude gains mentioned in the second paragraph should actually be metres not feet.

Kind regards, Keith and Sarah Hogg
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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324 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (91)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Massachusetts
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 30, 2012

If you too have searched for active walking/hiking vacations for years, you need not look farther. Sarah and Keith provide one of the most complete combinations possible: Slovenia is a beautiful and fascinating country, Pri Lenart is an extremely comfortable and beautiful historical inn, the daily walks are a blend of invigorating activity and an education in local history, culture,and ecology, the dining at Pri Lenart is truly excellent, and the company of no more than 10 guests (in our week, from the US, UK, and Australia) was comfortable, stimulating, and just plain fun. But perhaps more than that, Sarah and Keith have a remarkable passion for excellence, and at virtually all moments, they seemed to go beyond anyone's ordinary expectations, always attentive to the comfort of their guests, always expressing a commitment to the local neighbors in terms of their values and their crafts (local fruits and vegetables, honey, wines, farm feasts, guides, etc.), and always sharing with their guests their love of the surrounding countryside. I believe that it is actually their personal spirit that leads to creation of such a special combination that so many others have described in their reviews, and it cannot be duplicated.
Tim & Gwen

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 29, 2012 via mobile

Pri Lenart is the most wonderful place I have ever stayed. Our hosts could not have done more - it was perfection to the finest detail. The walks in the countryside were beautiful and the food was delicious.

  • Stayed September 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atlanta
Top Contributor
54 reviews 54 reviews
41 hotel reviews
Reviews in 39 cities Reviews in 39 cities
114 helpful votes 114 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 29, 2012

For reasons I don't fully understand, I always wanted to visit Slovenia which I envisioned as a sort of affordable Switzerland without the Swiss. So I poked around on the internet and found Pri Lenart "walking" holiday which got all these good reviews on TripAdvisor. Mind you, I had never been on a walking holiday before nor have I ever voluntarily paid to vacation with a multi-national bunch of strangers ( who I fully expected would be wearing Earth shoes and living on tofu trail mix) out in the boondocks of a country that half my friends still refer to as "Slovakia." But, hey, I like adventure as much as the next guy, so I takes my chances and paid my money. Glad I did.

Getting to Slovenia (Ljubljana) was "easy" by my standards which are 1) you can fly directly from Atlanta, or if you can't 2) you can make a connection in Europe somewhere other than at Charles De Gaulle, the ne plus ultra of terrible airports. Lufthansa had a nice connection through Frankfurt connecting with an Adria commuter jet into Ljubljana. The Brits actually have it the best because they have not one but two cut-rate airlines that fly non-stop from London area airports directly to Ljubljana. The airport is small and easy to navigate.

Anyway, I spent a day hanging out in Ljubljana at the Hotel Cubo (see review) and had my guide Gregor (a fine guy and the owner/operator of slovenia-explorer.com) drop me back at the airport to rendezvous with Keith and the rest of the gang for the van trip to Pri Lenart. Everybody showed up as scheduled and, yes it was a multi-national crowd from the States, the UK and Australia, but nobody was wearing Earth shoes or munching on tofu trail mix. So far, so good. So we were off to Pri Lenart. As an aside, you might be interested to know know that Pri Lenart is NOT in Skofja Loka (not that it matters much because there isn't a whole lot going on in Skofja Loka), but is in a small village about 25 minutes away called Podvrh which roughly translates to "under the peak" and, as you might expect, shares the name with dozens of other Podvrhs all over the country so don't even try to find it on the Google map. It really is reminiscent of Switzerland.

There are only five bedrooms in the place and the two on the second floor are larger ( I think) and also have tubs, but the third floor rooms are perfectly comfortable and equipped with modern lighting, bathroom facilities, big showers, nice amenities, flat screen TV and anything else you could ever reaonably want. What is truly remarkable about the place is that Keith and Sarah bought the place when it ws a virtual falling-down derelict and renovated the entire structure including building the third floor from scratch. It sounds impressive, but you have to see it to appreciate the scope of the project.

A word about the food. It is all high-end restaurant quality stuff that Keith mostly cooks, but Sarah weighs in with her specialties from time to time. With rare exceptions, everything is locally sourced, home-made or farm-made up the road. I am no food critic, but I know the difference between truffles and hash and can say with some assurance you will like the food here: breakfast includes cereals, fresh fruits, juice, coffee, tea and varying hot entrees; lunches are sandwiches on the hike; tea time always includes some great pastry or scones; cocktail hour comes with home-made hors d'oeuvres ; dinner is a multi-course extravaganza washed down with bottomless bottles or white or red wine and capped by some great dessert followed by local schnapps. They could easily rename the place "Eating Slovenia" and fill the rooms. Wednesday dinner is usually scheduled at a farm up the road serving local Slovenian specialties which, as far as I could tell, include almost anything that moos, bleats or oinks and an array of vegetables. And, or course, home-made wine (quite decent) and more schnapps.

Now for the hikes. Note that I say "hikes" and not "walks." There is a linguistic issue here. "Walking" to me means long, flattish and somewhat hilly stretches. "Hiking" includes the foregoing plus some fairly arduous uphill stretches. This is hiking. I think most of our crowd had done some hiking conditioning before they came and that would be a good idea, as I didn't and paid the expected consequences on the first day out. We had one Australian gazelle who seemed unfazed by any climb and I would say the rest of us (mostly in our 60s) ranged from pretty good to OK hikers and the latter would be me.The weather was spotty and sometimes rainy, but all the hikes (about 10 miles a day) were interesting and scenic and, frankly, the one I enjoyed the most was mostly rainy. Many of them involve stops for coffee and the local farmers are always inviting you in for schnapps. This is a custom I hope to introduce to the States. Lunch is usually in some bucolic place and consists of sandwiches, fruit and granola bars of various types.

But it's not all just hiking. There is the "gorge" hike over at Lake Bled so you get a little piece of touring as a side-benefit. Wednesday is "free" day so I got Gregor to send out one of his guys in a van, to take us to the usual tourist hotspots - mercury mine, castle and caves ( I can't spell any of them) and that was an interesting time. So, at the end of the week, if you throw in a "recovery" day on the front end in Ljubljana, you have not only had a great "walking" vacation, but pretty much covered many of the tourist sites as well. You can't beat that.. Sarah is an excellent guide who knows the language and shares the guiding experience with Mojca, a delightful young local woman who is also a part-time lawyer.

As most of us readily confessed to Keith over endless schnapps at night, the pricing for this all-inclusive 7 days is criminal. Criminally inexpensive, that is. A paranoid guest might justifiably fear arrest for theft of services at the tariff they charge. But they are apparently content to undercharge, proving that there really are people out there in tourismland who are interested in providing a high quality experience for their guests without squeezing the last proverbial buffalo off the nickel. That's impressive. Also impressive is the way they have supported the local economy and populace and created this totally unique thing in the political, economic and social context they dropped into.

All of us strangers, of various and diverse backgrounds, got along quite nicely. But the fact is that Pri Lenart has spoiled me for any other "walking" vacation so I guess I will have to revert to form and book some cruise or other indolent vacation the next time. Happy trails.





We all settled in

Room Tip: Second floor larger I think and with tub, but they are all nice.
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chichester, United Kingdom
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 28, 2012

If you want a fabulous holiday with spell-binding scenery , sumptuous food , entertaining company and total escapism then Pri Lenart is where it's at ! Sarah & Keith and their wonderful team make this a holiday to cherish ! We will definately be visiting again - absolutely excellent !

Room Tip: All the rooms are delightful
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Winchester, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 26, 2012

If you like challenging walks in beautiful countryside, meeting the friendly locals and returning to quality accommodation that provides excellent food and wine then Pri Lenart in Slovenia is the place to go. Sarah and Keith provide this experience with the help of Toncka, Mojca and Martina all done with a personal touch making them the perfect hosts.
Sarah ensures all the guests needs are catered for as well as leading many of the walks as the knowledgeable guide. The walks offer many fine views, with some requiring a bit more energy than others. Your first reward for a hard days toil is one of Keith's afternoon teas which could include a coffee & walnut cake, cherry madeira or a cream tea!
Later on you will be spoilt by one of Keith's amazing evening meals served with there own good quality house wine; the taste and presentation was first class and on some evenings we were even allowed 'seconds'.
Don't expect to loose weight on this holiday, although to help the conscience, you can always let Fluffy take you for a walk up a few of the local slopes.
This was a thoroughly enjoyable week which was also helped along by our fellow house guests who were very easy company. Thanks to them and especially to Sarah and Keith for making it such a wonderful week in beautiful Slovenia.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 26, 2012 via mobile

A wonderful holiday, excellent walking, food, wine the small hotel made the holiday friendly and such attention to detail completed the experience.
I will certainly visit again in 2014, we plan to take friends to fill the hotel.

  • Stayed September 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Pri Lenart Hotel

Address: Podvrh 1 | Poljane nad, Skofja Loka 4223 , Slovenia
Location: Slovenia > Upper Carniola Region > Skofja Loka
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 4 Hotels in Skofja Loka
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Pri Lenart luxury catered chalet hotel is set in the beautiful foothills of the Julian Alps and specialises in guided walking holidays. The property, a Slovenian Cultural Monument, has been renovated to the highest standard, offering exceptional accommodation and excellent cuisine.Our maximum number of guests is ten so you can be assured of attentive, personal service and small walking groups. We have one aim - to offer you the best walking holiday of your life. ... more   less 

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