Quality, hospitality and an authentic congress experience in the heart of Goriška Brda in Slovenia

“Residents of Brda connect Vila Vipolže with many beautiful memories of their youth dances, St Martin’s Day, weddings, pubs and socializ- ing in the various local societies,” recalled Tina Novak Samec, director of the Brda Institute for Tourism, Culture, Youth and Sport.

She took over the position as director of the institute last summer, when the property was handed over by the Ministry of Culture to the institute’s care. With more than 15 years of tourism experience working for Hit, as a local resident Tina felt that Goriška Brda has an enormous potential that will only be enhanced by the Vila Vipolže offer. She was thrilled to see that the Brda residents have embraced this property as their own and are passionate to see it come to life again.


In the field of tourism Brda made a huge leap forward in the last twenty years and is now upgrading its offer with boutique tourism too. A kind of forerunner to this story lies in the formation of the old manor – the romantic Brda hills have always been at the crossroads of three worlds and cultures, where the noble families of Herberstein, Della Torre, Attems and Teuffenbach enjoyed the boutique comfort of the manor, an ideal spot for hunting, from the 12th century onwards.

Today the greatest potential of Brda lies in its people. For more than 20 years, and in the most previous years under the leadership of the Mayor Franc Mužič, the stubborn locals had been insisting on the reconstruction of the building. Once the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia handed the management of the villa as a monument of national importance (and renovated with European funding) over to the municipality of Brda, the Brda Institute for Tourism, Culture, Youth and Sport immediately set about the realization of its ambitious plans to revive the property, and without doubt their extremely positive energy will help them pull it off. This year, the offer will be upgraded with the opening of a cafe and wine bars, while Vila Vipolže can already boast numerous cultural and congress events.

If we want to be sustainable and preserve natural
resources, the way to go is to focus on boutique tourism, including congress tourism. The foundation of the whole package is the natural cultural heritage
and gastronomy.
– Tina Novak Samec

Tina told us that different incentive programmes compliment the current offer. After a high-pro- file opening in October 2015, they have primar- ily focused on the Slovenian market, but are now planning to present Vila Vipolže on the interna- tional market as well.

The focus is currently on cultural events and is gradually also directed at securing corporate events, in particular the new product launches. The picturesque location has already been discovered by Mercedes, who is considering their journalist event there and just a week ago Vila Vipolže was hosting an event for Citroen too.

Aljaž Filej, a representative of the Brda Institute for Tourism, Culture, Youth and Sport, said the location is also an extremely popular official wedding venue where you can get your marriage license. This summer almost every weekend has already been booked.

The key to a happy ensemble (not just married couples!) is to combine the Brda offer with congresses, all based on tradition and the Brda experience. Vila Vipolže will work with the best caterers from the region and beyond. The placement of the property allows for a unique fusion of different culinary styles, accompanied by fine wines. Brda is considered one of the best wine destinations in the world and this part of the offer definitely needs to be included and profiled in incentive programmes. Last year the prestigious American magazine Wine & Spirits named two local winemakers on ‘The 100 Best in the World’ list.

There is awareness that the road to recogni- tion is a long one and a step by step process. An interesting route of promotion is cooperation with the embassies and today five embassies have already opened their cultural embassies at the Brda winemakers. Many see a big potential for tourism and have brought their companies from abroad to the Brda region. It can’t be over- stated, however, that the local winemakers are probably the best promoters of the region.

The big advantage of the location is that it is well away from the hustle and bustle of the city, so that an event can be set in a romantic and tran- quil atmosphere. At the same time Vila Vipolže is one of Slovenia’s most modern centres for cul- tural, business and educational tourism in terms of technical equipment. A special attraction is the cooperation with local providers who come into contact with event participants through the local cuisine, wine and culture.

On the first floor of the manor, that The Venetians named Piano nobile, one can find a hall ideal for congresses, receptions and gala dinners. The 200m2 space can be divided into three sections and includes a system for simulta- neous translation. Next to the hall there is a ban- queting space with a kitchen. The second floor is decorated with a beautiful fresco that has been carefully restored. Guests especially enjoy the big underground cellar that is great for socializ- ing in a relaxed atmosphere and again great for wedding receptions.

My favourite place in the villa is the entrance hall,
which serves as the information desk. Here we are the first ones
to welcome our guests and catch their positive first impressions. An additional advantage is the informational centre and a lovely gift
shop, “Briška butiehca”, filled with selected
local products.

 – Aljaž Filej

Brda is a boutique incentive destination that offers a-one-of-a-kind experience for small groups and no other destination in Slovenia is a match for it. Boutique accommodation is availa- ble within a small, 15km area, which is another unique feature that you will not find in large cities or hotel resorts. The future is in boutique tourism and the numerous small venues that tempt meeting planners, and the role of Vila Vipolže is to connect them and include them in their incentive offer, just as they already connect culture and experience.

The unique story here and the engagement with the Brda environment makes it ideal for car launches and tests. This is a logistical and likable property with a large car park area, service facilities and a location that allows for combining the experience of driving on rural roads and motorways with a culinary experience of Brda.

The team led by Tina Novak Samec is not short of energy or ideas on how to go about their work, as Tina considers that the management of Vila Vipolže is “not just a job – it is a lifestyle”. Their formula for success is definitely hard work, flex- ibility and great hospitality.

Some of the most important events held in Vila Vipolže since the opening in October 2015:

⦁ Workshop on Japanese green tea, March 2016
⦁ Festival Svirel, March 2016
⦁ Days of Slovenian Tourism 2015
⦁ Meeting of Slovenian state coun- cillors, December 2015
⦁ Meeting of the Board of EU Cohesion Policy, November 2015
⦁ Slovenian Association of Liquidators, December 2015
⦁ Association of Dermatology, December 2015
⦁ Conferences NIJZ, ZVKDS
⦁ Corporate events Pfizer, Citroen
⦁ numerous cultural events
⦁ numerous protocol events

In November, Planet TV organised a party in Vila Vipolže celebrating the end of filming of the second season of the popular “Ena žlahtna štorija” romance comedy series that contribut- ed to the promotion of Goriška Brda. Since the filming started, the site visit has significantly increased.

Vila Vipolže stands among the hills of the Brda region, very near to Nova Gorica, the region‘s main town, and to neighbouring Italy.

Address: Vipolže 29, SI-5212 Dobrovo, Slovenia
Distances: 26 km from Trieste airport, 135 km from Ljubljana, 143 km from Venice
airport, 200 km from Klagenfurt
E: info@vilavipolze.eu

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