We have just returned from our 2nd of 4 honeymoons, this time at the lovely Penzion Mayer. A quick note about the travel - a quick 2 hour flight from Manchester in a small plane resulting in the quickest ever luggage to carousel, then a transfer to the Penzion in a small 8 person mini-bus. Thank you Thomson, If only all travelling was this easy.
Anyway, I digress... upon arrival at the beautiful floral Penzion Mayer we were greeted by the friendly owner, Dietamar, and a very strong grappa. I'd emailed ahead and Dietamar had allocated us a lovely room at the back of the hotel with a balcony (at an extra supplement) and a view of the fairytale castle. The room was large and comfortable with a free safe, fridge (and minibar), t.v., and a large bathroom (with complimentary daily sachet toiletries). There is no kettle etc so if like a brew during your stay you might want to take your own. Also the hairdryer is pretty useless so again you may wish to take your own. Probably the most important thing to note during the summer months is that there is no aircon and it does get really hot and stuffy in the rooms at night. We left the balcony door open which did help.
The Penzion is situated in a lovely location, above the lake, surrounded by other similar pretty penzions. The only blot is the large Hotel Golf next door, however this only causes a problem early in the morning when there is quite a lot of noise heard from the hotel efuse and laundry vans. We may have only been affected by this though because our room was on the back and we had our balcony door open.
Mealtimes were always great, there is an inside breakfast room and restaurant, but the weather was gorgeous we always ate on the terrace. Breakfasts were prepared by Dietamar's lovely wife and consisted of cereals, fruits, cold cuts etc and eggs cooked fresh. If you like a massive buffet and fry up it might not be for you but we loved it and started the day feeling very virtuous indeed. Evening meals were a set menu (you can ask for an alternative if you don't like what is on offer). Each meal was absolutely gorgeous accompanied by a basket of bread and a jug of water (you can drink the tap water in Slovenia). It is a public restaurant so expect to see non-residents there too. On a Monday the restaurant is closed and residents eat in the charming 'cellar'. Each course is accompanied by complimentary grappa/wine... a great way to mix with the rest of the guests, but expect to stagger back to your room. Complimentary apples, homemade biscuits and sweets are always in plentiful supply at reception which you can take out with you during the day.
The lake itself can be reached by a pathway to the right of the Hotel Golf and then a 'lot' of steps, not problem on the way down, a bit of a killer on the way back up in the heat. It is a beautiful lake with a path all the way around which you can either: walk in 3-4 hours, take a horse and cart (about £40), cycle (these can be hired a points all around the lake), take the mini 'train' (every 45 mins from outside hotel Panorama £4), or row (from points all around the lake £15).
We went specifically during the 'Bled Days and Nights' festival, which I would really recommend, during the last weekend of July. There were various events, some better than others, but it culminates with the most gorgeous sight on the Saturday night of candles floating on the lake and a fantastic fireworks display which we were lucky enough to be able to see from our hotel balcony.
Other things to do are take the 'gondola' across to the little church in the middle of the lake. It really is beautiful. We rowed over there in our wedding outfits and some extremely kind tourists helped us to take some photographs with the stunning backdrop of the 99 steps and church. The castle is also definitely worth a visit. We took a taxi up there on our final evening for a gorgeous meal (you can walk up the steep hill, or take the tourist 'train'). The views are spectacular and you can visit a very quaint printworks and have a personalised 'olde worlde' print of the castle. We also recommend the toboggan run, it isn't just for the thrill seekers, you can stair lift it back down again if you don't want to hurtle down the hill, the views are worth it.
We did a couple of trips. The Thomson trip around the Julian Alps is worth it, even though we felt it could be done in half a day, do take a look at the poignient Russian Church during the trip. We also went to the Vintgar Gorge on the service bus from outside the Panorama Hotel. Do get the 9.03 bus though rather than the 10.03 so that you have plenty of time as it can get quite busy (and slow) with all the tourists. It's very pretty and worth it. We ran out of time to get the bus back at 12.30 and walked back to Bled along a signposted route, very uphill initially but very scenic and you pass through woods, fields, pretty villages etc and you will be ready to dip your feet in the lake when you land back and feast on a Bled Cake (think humongous vanilla and cream slice).
You can take out complimentary bikes from Penzion Mayer, which we did one morning. The little back roads around the Penzion are really nice and quiet, but do take a mental note of where you are turning as it could be easy to get a bit lost.
The hotel gardens are quiet and relaxing and we spent late afternoons having a read and a snooze there.
If you want a traditional spotless hotel, excellent hospitality, service and food in a scenic resort this is is the place for you. A week is probably long enough to do everything, although there are opportunities in the resort to do more extreme sporting activities (rafting etc), and Thomson offer other trips you could do.
Have a great time, we are already thinking of returning in the future to renew our vows in the little church on the island.
- Also Known As:
- Penzion Mayer Bled
- Penzion Mayer Hotel Bled