Marija Bistrica is probably among the most important Croatian shrines. The pilgrimage sanctuary stands on the “Calvary” hill in the middle of the picturesque market and with the miracles that happened over the years it attracts many visitors each year. The divine energy attracts more than 800,000 pilgrims every year. Religious tourism and wonderful green natural environment are the reasons that the Blusun Group bought and renovated a former Salve Regina Hotels from the Archdiocese of Zagreb in 2008.
When you realise that Croatia is not only Istria, the sun, sea and the islands, you will immediately be surprised that after Zagreb, there is a largely unexplored world. To get to the town of Marija Bistrica it is approximately 40km of winding scenic road from Zagreb (or exactly 52km to the Zagreb airport). You will need a good half hour to reach your target, but whrn you do you will find yourself in an interesting tourist destination that doesn’t lack spas or attractions (Krapina Neanderthal Museum, Veliki Tabor Castle). There are no parking problems, because they are accustomed to large crowds.
COLD APPETIZER – Architecture and Aesthetics
The Bluesun Kaj Hotel was first opened in 1980 in the typical style of the time. The architecture doesn’t dominate, but rather blends perfectly into the surrounding with its brick facade elements.
WARM APPETIZER – Personnel and cuisine
Croatian Zagorje and Kotel Kaj offer genuine hospitality, which is a home to one of the best Croatian restaurants – Academia. A boldly designed restaurant with direct sight of chef’s, it offers traditional Zagorje cuisine with a modern twist. First class delicacies are prepared by head chef Tomislav Kožić. We found the innovative names for dishes amusing, bringing a smile to the fortunate diners’ lips. The hotel only underperforms at breakfast, that does not reach the first class cuisine otherwise on offer.
MAIN DISH – The hotel’s congress services
Tested standard rooms are pleasantly decorated, although maybe by today’s standards a little bit small. The furniture in brown shades and pleasant pastel colours is positive and pleasant. The rooms have all the amenities expected for a 4-star hotel.
An integral part of the story is a multi-purpose conference hall with a capacity of 150 seats and 3 meeting rooms. The beautifully manicured surroundings of the hotel offer many options for organising events outside the hotel.
DESSERT – Extras
Superb cuisine of chef Tomislav Kožić in both restaurants, accompanied by a selection of over 200 wines from the world’s key wine regions.
FLOP – NEGATIVE SURPRISES
Tidiness of wellness centre.
TOP – POSITIVE SURPRISES
Value for money
OVERALL IMPRESSION AND CREDIBILITY
This hotel in a very special location could be described as a romantic hotel in the middle of the picturesque Croatian Zagorje. The hotel team is sincerely trying to achieve excellent results.
A big surprise is the ambitious cuisine, which one would not expect at this location. Due to the proximity of Zagreb, Marija Bistrica is an ideal location for congress tourism. It offers a lot of content and calls for the development of attractive incentive programs.