Ljubljana, the only EU capital city with no international luxury hotels


On a recent visit to LJUBLJANA, the capital city of SLOVENIA, we have been unpleasantly surprised to discover that the city has no international chain five star hotel.

Slovenia is not only a beautiful country with high mountains with international standard skying resorts and a stunning coast on the Adriatic sea, but it is also the strongest economy in the entire Central and Eastern European region, having been the first in the region to meet the criteria of adopting the EURO as a national currency.

In the recent years, Ljubljana has become a cultural hub of the entire region, hosting yearly over 10 music and dance festivals and several major concerts by reputed international artists both classical and pop-rock.

According to the National Tourism board, Ljubljana attracted on average 60.000 visitors (95%foreign) per month of which over 30% stayed in four and five star hotels. The total number of visitors to Ljubljana in 2009 is estimated at approximately 700.000. Most of the foreign tourists come from Italy (10%), Germany (8%), U.K. (7%), Austria (5%), U.S.A. (5%), France (4%), Croatia, Serbia (4% each), Japan (4%).

Currently, there is only one five star hotel owned and run by a local company (Hotel Lev) which has 173 rooms of which part have been renovated recently. Also, there are 9 four star hotels with a total number of 1.100 rooms and only 2 are internationally affilliated (Best Western) but are independently owned and run.

Browsing through the leading worlwide traveller review web site portal TRIPADVISOR, over half of the reviews are negative and they concern customer service and high prices. Mention should be made that the average nightly room rate at a four star is EUR 120, the highest in the entire region, which automatically creates an opportunity for five star level hotels in regards to pricing positioning.