We stayed at the Grand Toplice for 5 nights at the beginning of July. We had high expectations of this 5* hotel on the edge of Lake Bled and the location was fantastic, there's no question about that. However, we were seriously disappointed with the hotel itself, in many different ways. Overall, we got the impression that the hotel was not really trying any more - it seemed to be resting on its laurels of being a Bled institution, a "Small Luxury Hotel" and a tourist magnet, and we did not appreciate the lack of care taken in customer service and the ambivalent attitude of many of the staff.
On arrival, we were not greeted with any kind of real welcome - we had to fend for ourselves with regard to parking, and we were treated with disdain for having booked through an online agent. We were shown to our room by a rather harrassed looking young man and immediately regretted having booked into this hotel. We had booked the 'standard' type of room however reasoned that, being a 5* "Small Luxury Hotel of the World", and being quite pricey, all of the rooms would be decent. This was not the case. The room we were allocated was tiny and we could not believe that we were paying the high price we were paying for this quality of room. Feeling very hard done by, we went back down to reception and asked whether any other rooms were available as we were not happy with this one. After much mumbling and grumbling from the staff, we definitely got the impression that it was a case of "you haven't booked a lake view room therefore what do you expect" attitude from the front desk. We didn't book a lake view because it would have been an extra EUR30 or so a day, and we hadn't wanted the extra expense, we thought we would get 5* luxury no matter which type of room we had. After a bit more deliberation between the staff, saying they had no other rooms, saying all the rooms were the same size etc., they eventually managed to give us a bigger room and said they not charge us for the effort. This new room was signficantly larger - probably double the size - and as far as we understand it, still within the 'standard' category, so we were pleased that we had finally got the sort of room we had expected. Needless to say, all of this hassle served to create a very bad first impression of the hotel and did not get our stay off to a very good start.
Another disappointment was the "wellness centre". Although the thermal pool area is quite nice to relax in (despite the chill of the pool itself), the spa was incredibly basic and functional, the changing rooms were awful and it all just felt a bit tired and cramped. We booked in for massages and although the treatments themselves were adequate, the ambience in the treatment rooms was not at all conducive to relaxation - mostly because of the hideous noise from the large portable air conditioning unit!
We were also disappointed with the housekeeping service. Our room was not properly cleaned every day and there was no turndown.
In our view, the eating /drinking options at the hotel were also very limited. The restaurant where breakfast was served was not the sort of place we wanted to dine in the evenings, and the restaurant on the ground floor at the front was a bit like a canteen, also not our cup of tea. The hotel's website also talks about there being a bar area but this was dead every evening, and the wine bar across the street was never open when we were there. We had expected there to be a bit more life around the place, but instead the atmosphere was rather stale, which is a real shame. We got the impression that perhaps our age group is not the target market of this hotel and sought nice meals and drinks elsewhere, in places with some more atmosphere.
With regard to the outdoor areas, the deck with sunloungers was fine. Again, it was functional, with its main benefit being direct lake access. The loungers were not particularly premium and there was no service in this area. We also don't really know what the purpose was of the large 'pool' area with what looked like lots of algae in it. We certainly didn't see anyone bathing in there. Being able to hire a rowing boat and go out on the lake was enjoyable and the little bar by the lake was nice for an early evening drink.
All of the negative comments aside, we enjoyed our stay in Bled, although sadly the hotel was not a highlight of our stay and we would definitely not stay here again - it is just not worth it.
To be fair to the hotel, we did raise all of our complaints/suggestions/concerns with them upon checking out - we submitted a full feedback form, however we never received any acknowledgement of this, which I would say is another fault in their service. We also gave them a review on the booking agent's website showing our negative feedback and received no comments. They have also added me to their mailing list, which is clearly an unwished-for development!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Grand Hotel Toplice, the most famous Bled hotel, is located by the shore of Lake Bled. It offers 87 rooms, including 28 suites and a presidential apartment. All the rooms have air conditioning and suites with a view of the lake have a balcony. The beds in the rooms and suites with a view of the lake include mattresses with automatically adjustable firmness. The hotel provides a selection of pillows to taste. The bathing site within the hotel is filled with natural thermal water from its own spring. The boutique Studio Luisa wellness comprises a thermal pool, a massage tub and saunas, and offers a range of massages and beauty treatments. Since 2009, the Grand Hotel Toplice has been the only Slovenian hotel member of the international Small Luxury Hotels of the World. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Grand Hotel Bled