Tel: 386 1 308 1270
This magnificent Art Nouveau building dates back to 1905 and takes up two-thirds of a city block about 150 feet from the central Prešernov Square and the Triple Bridge. It has been substantially refurbished in the past decade, and although the interiors have a business-hotel anonymity, the bedrooms are spacious, light, and comfortable with slick granite bathrooms. Be sure to ask for a room in the "executive" wing, not the dreary 1960s annex dubbed "business" (the latter has a separate address and phone number).
3 Gornji Trg
Tel: 386 1 421 3560
This intimate, family-run hotel below Ljubljana Castle has just 16 rooms with romantic views over the Upper Marketplace or the private back garden. It's not perfect: Some of the mix-and-match furnishings clash with the patterned wallpapers and carpet, though one traveler's cloying is another's charming, we guess. This is the place to book if you are more interested in sipping afternoon tea in the garden than a cocktail with the smart set. But the small size keeps it well off the tour-group radar and it's ideally located in the Old Town's historic pedestrian zone (plan not to drive here).
154 Dunajska Cesta
Tel: 386 1 588 2500
This tower hotel outside the center has undergone many name and style changes, the most recent in 2007, when it received a high-tech makeover and became Hotel Ljubljana. The 214 rooms have both wired and wireless Internet connections, plasma TVs, and work desks with multiple plugs and ports. The hotel obviously hopes to attract business travelers, but it's still a good option if you want to stay plugged in. Many standard doubles have pocket doors between work desks and the bedroom, and rooms are decorated with Asian motifs and bold color combinations like black and cream or burgundy and gold. Book a room on a high floor for views of the stunning Julian Alps rising in the distancemuch nicer than staring at a computer screen.
55 Pot Za Brdom
Tel: 386 1 470 2700
A hotel on the outskirts is usually something to be avoided, but the 114-room Hotel Mons defies conventional wisdom. Ljubljana's first design hotel opened in 2006, and the ultramodern decor, vibrant colors, and three-story pendulum sculpture in the lobby are centuries (if not light years) removed from the Baroque and Functionalist architecture in the Old Town. The rooms are kept simple with muted color palettes, dark-wood floors, and large windows. The service, including a knowledgeable concierge and an accommodating front-desk staff, is way ahead of Old Town's small hotels as well. Atrium, the on-site restaurant, is not worth it for lunch (they do a business-geared prix fixe), but at dinner you will find dishes with Slovenian Kras prosciutto and scorpion fish from the Adriatic prepared in a clean, modern way to match the surroundings. There's also a long list of almost entirely Slovenian wines. The free 15-minute shuttle to the center makes up for any remoteness and the location right off the city's fast-moving ring road makes it easily reached by car.
34 Slovenska Cesta
Tel: 386 1 470 1100
A Best Western franchise that claims to be the only hotel in Ljubljana in which all the rooms have...wooden floors! Not exactly Pratesi linens, but they're a nice accompaniment to the mod furnishings, which include a few oddball touches like animal-skin rugs. It technically ranks as the city's oldest hotel, in operation since 1552, but the current incarnation occupies a drab modern building that crudely interrupts the vista that city planner Joze Plečnik contrived to run from the mansion of Tivolski Grad to the onion domes of the pink-and-white Baroque Franciscan church on Prešernov Square. The introduction of ADSL Internet connections in the rooms and WiFi in the lobby are a welcome addition to the amenities, which also include several restaurants, a Jacuzzi and sauna, and a business center.
Tel: 801 426 3135 (toll-free)
Tel: 386 5692 7000
This handsome Belle Époque hotel had become a rather shabby sleeping beauty, but now the 183-room property has regained its dignity with a striking modern annex, an impressive spa, two gourmet restaurants, new indoor and outdoor pools, and an inside-out renovation of all rooms to make them state-of-the-art. Happily, the beautiful cedars of Lebanon and other century-old plantings in the surrounding park were saved, and despite the fact that it's essentially a brand-new hotel, the Palace, which has one of the most magnificent dining rooms in Europe, still exudes an aura of Hapsburg elegance. Streamlined modern room interiors, in muted colors and with bathrooms with heated marble floors, unfortunately make almost no reference to the building's storied past aside from the occasional framed Art Nouveau-style lithograph. With Portoroz's little beach just across the street and so much pampering on tap, the Palace makes Slovenia a fun new alternative to the South of France, the Amalfi Coast, or even nearby Croatia.