It took just one trip for us to fall in love with Green Slovenia and decide to find a location for Lipizzaner Lodge. We then spent several years visiting and selecting our perfect spot. One day, driving through the village of Landol, we had to immediately stop our car on seeing the stunning view of Nanos mountain from an overgrown plot of land with a derelict farmhouse. We had found our dream location and had space for a guest house and horses!
Landol is surrounded by beautiful countryside and leafy lanes, but is less than one hour from so many places to visit, including Slovenia's biggest tourist attractions and many smaller ones you might not yet know about. Why not check out some of the amazing secret places we have found on our Secret Places to Visit page.
Even we can't quite believe how we found the very best location as a base camp to discover Green Slovenia, Italy and Croatia.. please check out our "Location" page to see how well positioned we really are. You might be pleasantly surprised to know, for example, that you can easily have a full day out in Venice from Lipizzaner Lodge.. There are nearby gorges, lakes, waterfalls, secret tracks, rivers, coast, castles and mountains just waiting for you to explore!
We think we have identified a really big gap in the Slovenian market for an international standard guest house, more like an hotel than a tourist farm, but in the countryside and offering all the comforts you would expect on holiday. Our central position in Slovenia and perfect location close to the main motorways and hundreds of options for day activities, makes Lipizzaner Lodge the ideal place from which to really get to know this beautiful little country, right in the centre of Europe.
We have also noticed from our many trips here before as visitors and now living here, that it can be very difficult for a tourist to really discover Slovenia's best kept secrets. So we are dedicated to help you to do this with as little or as much help as you want! We can assist with planning your own daytrips and also offer our daytrips, where you will just sit back, relax and enjoy the day in the company of a local guide.
We know from our own travels that people like a blend of doing active "stuff", visiting new places, trying out new activities, but also need good options to relax and enjoy the holiday downtime, so we use our concept of "Relaxtivity" as a central theme for Lipizzaner Lodge.
Our first phase was the hotel building, opened end 2013, with six rooms, being 4 large en-suite guest rooms, 1 family suite, a spacious self-catering apartment and an all day cafe, sauna, massage and cinema room with choice of loads of films & books to borrow. Phase 2 was the completion of a large stables building, with integrated bike/hike stop opened in 2014. We opened 2 new terraces and a Finnish summer cottage in 2015.. We also completed our beloved hand made wooden guest library on the middle floor, stuffed full of jolly good holiday reads for you to enjoy!
We finally achieved one of our greatest dreams in 2016, completing 2 stables, a stone paddock and organising some fields to welcome our very own Lipizzaners, Guyatana and Gandalf. At last Lipizzaner Lodge is graced by Lipizzaners! (Read more about them in our BLOG ) And in 2017 we plan to open our huge Relaxroof as another luxury double bedroom and to continue making relaxing spaces in our gardens for guests to chill and enjoy the view of Nanos, Slovenia's last mountain before Italy and the coast.
We have lots of other exciting plans to make your stay at Lipizzaner Lodge even more comfortable and enjoyable. So Welcome to Lipizzaner Lodge.. Now you can really visit Green Slovenia, see you soon!
And here are some pictures below of the original house and that incredible view that we first fell in love with...
If you are interested, a little bit more About Us
Chris is Welsh and Hanna is Finnish, we met last century close to London working for the large US corporation 3M in the Finance Department. But neither of us wanted to spend our whole lives sat behind a desk and we had a dream to travel and someday to have a guest house and cafe somewhere lovely in the world.
During 2005 -2006 we took a year off from our jobs in the UK and travelled around the world, (see the 2 pictures of familiar places below). We visited 21 different countries during that time and got some really good ideas about what we wanted to do in our own small hotel.
We remembered the small homely things that we really liked from staying in a new place every couple of days during that year. For example, a few places we stayed at had a cinema room and we loved the idea that you could have a great day out and then in the evening just chill watching a film of your choice in a cinema environment.
We knew we would do this project at some time, so when we saw something unusual or pretty during our year travelling, we put it in a box and sent it home! We have decorated the guest rooms at Lipizzaner Lodge with some things we sent back from our favoutite places, so we have rooms with themes from Guatemala, Thailand, Bolivia, Finland and Australia.
This is also how we accumulated our collection of over 30 chess sets from around the world. We noticed in Guatemala that the local chess board was very different to the standard British set, with Mayan Indians against Spanish Conquestadores, horses against Llamas. So in each country we visited, we found a local chess set and sent it home to make a collection you can now see at Lipizzaner Lodge.
Probably like you, we knew next to nothing about Green Slovenia. By chance we met a couple of lovely Slovenian girls in Australia who told us how beautiful this country was and how much there was to do here. So when we returned from travelling, we took a trip to Slovenia and visited the coast, Lipica, Ljubljana and the Postojna caves, but that was enough to realise that this was exactly the place for us.
Hanna loves horses and our dream was to have a stables and horses, so we were very excited to find that the main stud for Lipizzaner horses in the world is located here in Lipica, south Slovenia. Having seen these beautiful animals perform for the Spanish Riding School we knew they were a special breed. We noticed there was not much quality accomodation for people wanting to see Lipizzaners, so we knew we should locate somewhere close to Lipica.
And so we returned again and again to Slovenia to research and find our perfect location... An old farmhouse with a bit of land.
We started looking near the coast, but soon realised that this area is dedicated towards wine production, which is great, but made it very difficult to find an old farmhouse with some land attached. As said, we wanted to be very close to Lipica, so we moved our search slightly inland towards Postojna and realised immediately that this location was perfect for us.
This part of Slovenia has more farmland and is perfect for horses and better stiill, because it is 30 minutes further up from the coast, it means the rest of Green Slovenia is far more accessible, so our tourists could have even more choice of places to visit easily for a daytrip during their stay.
And after a lot of searching we found the ideal spot in the quiet village of Landol. An old farmhouse with some land and the most amazing view of Nanos mountain range. We also discovered lots of stone tracks leading from the village into the countryside and one even leading just 40 minutes directly to one of Slovenia's top tourist attractions, Predjama castle! We really had found the perfect spot!
To cut a long story short, over the next few years, we made lots of local contacts, were very lucky to make some very good friends and also applied for a European grant to help fund the project, we got it and started to build Lipizzaner Lodge!
We originally wanted to save the old farmhouse, but it was in such a bad condition and derelict, so we had no choice but to design and build a new bigger building. We kept the traditional shape and features of the old house and added some extra features that were important to us. In fact some people dont believe this is a new house when we tell them how new it is!
We put solar panels on the roof to soak up the very sunny days we get here, even in Winter. We wanted the rooms to be spacious and warm so we chose underfloor heating with no radiators getting in your way. For the showers. we wanted very large walk in glass cabinets with space to wash yourself and a flat stone floor, so there is nothing to hit your toe on!
We built a big car park with flat wide spaces to make it easy for you to park your hire car. We included a cinema room, and of course, with Hanna being Finnish, we had to have a Finnish sauna next to our massage room!
We chose balconies and terraces to soak up the sun that we knew would flow through our south facing windows, (because we had seen this feature in the old farmhouse).
In the meantime, we continued our careers in the UK to help fund the project and also took qualifications in massage, web design and cooking to prepare ourselves to look after our guests!
We opened officially end August 2013, we wanted to open earlier, but the building was not finished, so our first full year has been 2014. We have been absolutely delighted with the interest and lots of nice people who have stayed with us already from all over the world. In fact it feels like we are travelling again!.
At last, we are starting to get the message out about Green Slovenia and its incredible secrets. We are really enjoying our new life here helping to introduce people who love nature to this amazing little country.