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Kempinski Palace Portorož, Portorož

$200-$299
Slovenia, Europe: The strikingly modern lobby at the Kempinski Palace Portoroz hotel in Slovenia
Obala 45
Portorož
Slovenia 6320
Tel: 801 426 3135 (toll-free)
Tel: 386 5692 7000
www.kempinski-portoroz.com
From the editors of Condé Nast Traveler:
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.—2009 Hot List

When to go: June and September are ideal—Portoroz is a mob scene in July and August.

Which room to book: Sea-view third-floor deluxe doubles in the "traditional" wing are spacious with cute little balconies.

Information may have changed since the date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.