The Grand Hotel Portorož is one of the town’s tourism trump cards, one that visually and logistically represents the centre of Portorož. It is at the same time also the flagship of the first Slovenian international hotel chain, Lifeclass, in the largest and the most important Slovenian seaside resort. The calm location by the Bay of Piran and the pleasant Mediterranean climate have defined Portorož as a health resort since the 13th century, an offer united through Lifeclass hotels, which have been operating under their Lifeclass brand name since 2006 and spatially dominate the centre of Portorož.
Taking all of the classic requirements of international congress guests, from hotel facilities to the congress offer in Portorož, into account, the locations falls short in terms of flight accessibility. This remains the biggest problem of Portorož, which consequently remains predominantly a regional congress player. An ideal Mediterranean location for congress guests who can access the destination via the excellent highway system, or are capable of a bit more of a strenuous transit through neighbouring airports.
COLD APPETISER – Architecture and aesthetics
The whole hotel complex, which besides the main Grand Hotel Portorož also includes the Slovenia, Neptun, Mirna, Apolo and Riviera hotels, was designed in a modern style by architect Edo Mihevc. The decision for a number of smaller hotels and regionally coloured architectural language still characterises the typical panorama of Portorož today. During this time a typical seafront promenade was created, characterised by the entire Portorož Riviera seafront. The Grand Hotel Portorož is the central building of the complex, which is complemented by hotel annexes. The prevailing warm colours and the use of local building materials, alongside the terraces and other architectural elements generate a mixed response, but it is necessary to recognise how the most attractive tourist centre of the most cosmopolitan tourist destination in Slovenia was created.
WARM APPETISER – Personnel and culinary offer
Despite attempts to upgrade the culinary offer, it can not shake off the image of the hotel, which fluctuates somewhere between a full board and a more author’s cuisine. The offer is based on a wide range of dishes. Cuisine adapted to the level and the taste of prevailing guests. Perhaps the strongest part of the offer is thus the sweet part in the Central Café, where they really positively surprise with desserts and an excellent culture of preparing an espresso. Staff fluctuates between kindness and pension nervousness, depending on the occupancy of the Hotel. Classic coastal hotel scene, which to leap into a higher quality and golden days of glory, luxury and cosmopolitan needs a qualitative leap in the field of relations with guests and bit more culinary innovation.
MAIN COURSE – Congress and hotel offer
The hotel and convention centre underwent a renovation in 2006, with some corrections in the hotel lobby and now more of an emphasis on the quality of the materials and in the rooms. Time, however, is a ruthless judge and the layout of rooms will be obsolete anytime soon. The economic crisis also takes its toll, and the hotel highlights a systematic selection of what it will continue to offer guests and what needs to be missed out on because of costs. Despite this, the selective comfort does not leave a cheap impression – what they are offering is of good quality.
Congress guests, who may stay in all of the hotels, have the convention centre Portus at their disposal. The centre remains within the compact medium rates and offers space for 450 participants. Seven multi-purpose halls offer various spatial options and users of the centre will not be disappointed. Standard equipment is almost perfect in terms of both functionality and technical equipment. The only slightly awkward aspect is the access through the Hotel Slovenia reception.
DESSERT – Additional offer
A superb Lifeclass Spa & Wellness centre, which includes a Wai Tahi Massage Centre, Thalasso Centre, Ayurveda Centre and Pilates Holistic Centre.
FLOP – NEGATIVE SURPRISES
Portorož is missing a little bit of character and a decision on what makes a primary tourist attraction. Consequently a lot and nothing is going on at the same time. The level of additional offer is poor and sometimes shabby, or else just missed completely.
TOP – POSITIVE SURPRISES
Probably the most comprehensive hotel, conference and wellness offer on the coast that caters to a wide range of tastes.
OVERALL IMPRESSIONS AND CREDIBILITY
Lifeclass stakes its reputation on the provision of high quality services and a lot of pleasure for their guests, which they manage to do well. The hotel and convention centre, however, just lack a bit more character, and a look across the street at Portorož’s first class facility that does not leave their guests cold could help. Set against the quality of service of the nearby Kempinski Hotel, the Grand Hotel Portorož is more deserving of four rather than five stars. A little more emotion, playfulness and hotel dynamic could leave a completely different final impression of the hotel.