A GREEN ALPINE OASIS
The hotel is situated on the Pohorje hillside near the centre of Maribor. The second largest Slovenian city is the cultural, economic and university centre of Štajerska. Pohorje, a beautiful mountain range that is a green alpine oasis, is also known for the Golden Fox World Cup skiing for women that takes place there. Conference guests are attracted mostly by the pristine nature and the numerous possible options for recreation throughout all seasons.
The Hotel acquired its current image in 1998, when it gained 5 stars and became one of the best Slovenian hotels. Numerous events with well known and important personalities have taken place at the hotel. It has remained the central focus of congress tourism in the region, with over 300 events annually.
The hotel is easily accessible at the bottom station of the Pohorje cable car and is located just 10 minutes from the centre of Maribor. Access by car is simple, more complicated, however, is arrival by plane. Due to years of complications Maribor Airport is practically not operating, so guests have to use nearby airports. The first choice is definitely Graz, which is well connected to the world and some 60 km away, alternative also include airports in Ljubljana and Zagreb, which are some 120 km away.
COLD APPETIZER - Architecture and Aesthetics
The central part of the Hotel was renovated in 1998 and is connected nicely with the outpost located above the Conference Centre. It is all integrated sensibly into the surrounding environment. The green backdrop of the Pohorje ski slopes dominates and gives a central focus to the resort. The surroundings of the hotel are nicely maintained, with the exception of the pool complex, which is in need of renovation. The interior of the hotel is decorated in a rustic style typical of the nineties, making the entrance lobby burdened with materials and a little dark, all of which calls for a stylish renovation and a necessary architectural refreshing.
WARM APPETIZER - Personnel and cuisine
The hotel staff has always been known for their openness, serenity and professionalism. The team broadly bear this out; nevertheless, it sometimes shows some unreliability. Overall the hotel is well maintained and solid, but not outstanding. The hotel cuisine was once known as cosmopolitan and superior; today, however, it is no longer on the same level of glamour and elegance of the hotel as a whole. Currently the entire culinary offer is too much of a full board arrangement; mostly the hotel is missing a quality a la carte restaurant. The ambience of the restaurants needs to be addressed, as they feel too big and empty. The hotel catering in the conference centre is excellently run by experienced waiters; however they lack a little more flexibility and sensitivity to clients’ wishes, which is realistically expected from a 5 star hotel.
MAIN DISH - The hotel's congress services
In 2014, 52 hotel rooms and 6 suites were completely renovated. Well being in the hotel is good, both in terms of space and quality as well as the cleanliness of the premises surrounding guests. The older part of the hotel is probably a bit outdated and too heavy for today’s tastes. In 2002 the conference centre was added to the Hotel. At the time of construction, the conference centre was the first proper hotel conference centre, with a six hall capacity of up to 830 participants. It remains one of the best in Slovenia but perhaps the only drawback is the somewhat awkward entrance into the centre through the hotel reception area and a narrow corridor. The great advantage is its own parking garage with 200 spaces.
DESSERT – Extras
The top quality of the cosmetic and medical services and the wellness complex with thermal pools spreading over some 740 m2, including sauna and fitness. In addition, the largest ski centre in Slovenia with adrenaline, adventure and relaxation is a great offer for incentives.
FLOP – NEGATIVE SURPRISES
No “author” restaurant. The quality of the catering occasionally fluctuates.
OVERALL IMPRESSION AND CREDIBILITY
Hotel Habakuk is the leading conference hotel in the SE part of Slovenia. On entering the market it had a great advantage over competitors because of the vision of the owners and it still has good results to this day because of that. The hotel as a whole does not merit criticism. However, some adjustments that could put Habakuk amongst the top competition again will have to be considered. With the renovation of the rooms they have partially moved forward. The integrity of the accompanying offer on Pohorje makes it one of the best Slovenian incentive hotels. Whilst there are more beautiful, bigger, more seductive hotels, Habakuk is nevertheless one of the better ones, and it is skilfully navigating between the needs of different guests. Let’s hope it will stay this way after Russian ownership of the hotel, whose plans have not yet been disclosed to the public.