Due to an unplanned chain of events we arrived in Ljubljana at 8.30 on a Sunday evening with nowhere to stay. We couldn't impose on our friends there as they have a newborn baby and we wanted to be straight out of the capital the following morning and en route to our own home in the east of the country. We were heading for a hostel we knew of but turned into the wrong street and found ourselves outside Hotel Park which, we had recently learned, has a floor of hostel grade accommodation on one of its upper floors.
When we first started visiting Ljubljana back in 2004, Hotel Park was often listed in guidebooks as one of the cheaper options in the city. It was very dowdy and rather grim in those days but it has since undergone a dramatic transformation that includes a major updating of the rooms and a whole new look for the public areas, making it look modern and inviting. Of course, this has led to an increase in its prices though the hotel still offers fairly good value given the enhanced quality of the rooms.
We were able to book a hostel room without a problem. The cost was €54 for a double room including tourist tax (only about €1 per person per night, this is often waived after three nights) we could have paid slightly less for a room that wasn't en suite but we decided to pay the extra €6 for our own bathroom. We could also have paid for breakfast when we checked in but we knew we wanted to be away early so decided not to bother. Breakfast costs €7 per person so it is perhaps a bit too expensive for most hostel guests.
We took the lift to the 6th floor and had no problem finding our room. The lifts are tiny and can only really comfortably hold two people with luggage but we found that we never had to wait long for the lift. The corridors were kept in darkness until the lights were switched on and we found that we were groping around in the dark to find the switch. Even once the switched was flicked, it still took a few seconds for the light to come on.
We were pleased to find that there were two doors in the room with the second effectively forming a lobby which we hoped would reduce any noise in the corridor. In the end there was virtually no noise at all, though whether this was due to the double door arrangement is anyone's guess. I was so tired I could have slept through an earthquake that night.
There were two single beds in the room as well as a clothes hanging area between the two doors. A television set was in the corner on a desk. It was in such a position that it couldn't really be seen from the bed further away from it. There were no reading lamps, something that I found disappointing.
The en suite was perfectly fine; complimentary soaps and shower gels were supplied and the towels were a reasonable size. The shower was easy to operate and the water was hot at all times. The lighting was good in the bathroom was good as was the ventilation, meaning that you didn't have to contend with annoying steamed up mirrors.
As far as our actual stay is concerned there is little else to add. We found the room comfortable and adequate for our short stay. As soon as we had dropped off our bags we went out to eat, came back at 11.00 and went straight to bed. The following morning we dropped the swipe card at reception and left. We had no need for any of the facilities at the hotel/hostel but it may be useful to know that there are many.
Hostel residents can use any of the hotel facilities, some of which are free while others need to be paid for. While the public areas have wifi coverage, there are also computers with internet access for those guests who haven't brought computers with them. There are laundry facilities that are available to guests in both the hostel and the hotel but they are really intended for hostel guests. On the top floor is "Meeting Point" which is a communal area with a television and sitting area which is intended for hostel guests. As well as not having an ensuite, the cheaper hostel rooms do not have a television.
The hotel has a restaurant and bar which are open to guests and non-guests alike.
Bikes can be hired directly from the hotel and reception staff can also help guests book places of day excursions to destinations outside the capital.
The hotel is situated on a leafy side street in the east of the centre. It's a ten minute walk along Trubarjeva to the Triple Bridge, the heart of the city. Along the way there are plenty of shops, bars and restaurants. It's a ten minute walk to the train and bus stations and the hotel has plenty of its own car parking space.
The Hostel at Hotel Park offers reasonable value given that this is a capital city and certainly the double rooms would be more aptly described as a budget hotel. There are larger rooms containing several sets of bunks and these are definitely more hostel-like but judging from the photographs on the hostel webpage, they are bright and modern and reasonably spacious.