Once again, the husband and I went on another weekend adventure this past weekend! Now that the weather is warming up and summer activities are in full operation, I really wanted to see what all the craze was with "glamping". If you haven't heard of glamping yet, you just might be living under a rock! I would always see posts on Facebook about glamping, mostly in Slovenia and decided I would try it out on a long weekend one day.
So what is glamping you ask? If you haven't figured it out by now, glamping is a form of camping... but with luxury! Instead of pitching a tent and using basic necessities, you'll likely be able to sleep on a comfortable bed and receive services that you might receive if you were in a hotel or resort. It's not how I would always plan my trips but it was definitely something worth trying out and we enjoyed our time at Gostilna Bizjak near Preddvor, Slovenia.
Once I discovered what glamping was and the dates I wanted to try it out, I did a quick Google search for "Glamping in Slovenia" and decided to click on GlampingHub.com. There were only two listings available near Lake Bled for the dates I selected which were from Glamping Ribno Bled and Garden Village. They both turned out to be booked for the dates I wanted so I gave up on the search. A week or two later, I decided to search further out from Lake Bled and found that Glamping Bizjak near Preddvor was available. I hadn't heard about this location, maybe because it wasn't so close to Lake Bled such as Ribno and Garden Village. 23km from Lake Bled was close enough for me, so I decided to book right away before I lost my chance!
At first, I was a bit sketched out. I don't typically use Booking.com but when booking the dates, this was where the website redirected me once I clicked to book. I received a confirmation email but was not charged for the stay. I'm used to paying up front, if not, then I get nervous that the reservation was given away and I wouldn't want to show up without a reservation. I ended up reading the small print which mentioned that payment would be done during check in or check out from the property. Sure enough, once we arrived, they knew who we were and were able to make the payment at checkout!
Driving to Slovenia from Germany
Tips for driving to Slovenia: Search ahead of time where the last ESSO station in Germany is at so you can pump gas with US average gas prices. Since the ESSO app no longer works, you can Google "ESSO station near ____" and then locate on the map the closest station near the border. The one that came up closest for me was at Bergen on Autobahn 94, it's about 25km before the Austrian border.
Another tip is to purchase the vignettes ahead of time instead of making several stops. A vignette is a road tax (for the motorways) in the form of a sticker that you would place on your windshield. Not all countries in Europe require this sticker but Austria (even just passing through) and Slovenia require the vignette if you are driving on their motorways. You can order vignettes online and have it delivered to your house within a few business days. Just be sure they are valid for the time period you are making your trip. For most countries, you can purchase them for either about a week, a month or a year. Switzerland only has vignettes with the length of one year. I've also heard that you can purchase vignettes through ADAC, but personally I just buy them ahead of time and have them delivered to my home. If you don't purchase them ahead of time, don't fret, you'll just need to stop at a gas station near the border to purchase the vignette in person. For Austria I purchased a 10-day vignette for 9 Euro and and got a 7-day vignette for Slovenia which was 15 Euro.
In addition to the vignettes, we also had to pay toll roads on the motorway while driving through Austria. Depending on which section of a certain motorway you're driving on, you may have to pay for tolls even if you already have a valid vignette. There were two stops we had to pay tolls. One stop was near the Austrian/Slovenian border and that was 7,20 Euro for cars weighing up to 3,5t. Another toll that we stopped at was in the middle of our drive from Germany to Slovenia and it was 11,50 Euro. Both tolls (and I want to say most or all tolls) accepted card! Which was super helpful because I was not expecting to pay tolls and didn't have much cash on me.
One last tip for the drive, and not necessarily a tip but a requirement, is to be 100% sure you have your travel documents with you. So that includes a valid passport, SOFA status - whether its a SOFA card or No-Fee passport with the SOFA stamp inside (Active Duty do not require that since they have orders), PCS orders, and your Military ID.
I've heard so many people say they've never been stopped while driving and crossing borders around Germany which is fine but there are definitely pop up border check points and you don't want to risk not having the right documents on hand. On our way back to Germany, the Austrian border had a check point where they were randomly stopping drivers to check their documents. We didn't get stopped but we felt the effect of the check point with the traffic it caused. So again, always be sure you have the proper travel documents on hand.
Once we pulled up to the property, we noticed there was not only one wedding but two weddings going on! We walked into the restaurant/reception area and were immediately greeted by the owners Rudi and Veronika who were both so pleasant to be around. This couple is the true definition of #MarriageGoals!
Veronika asked for our passports and documented our information while Rudi asked us if we wanted some "medicine" which from my understanding were fruity schnapps. He welcomed us to Slovenia by saying "na zdravje" as we clinked our glasses together.
The owners asked us if we had any food allergies or certain foods that we do not eat and if we would want some coffee or tea for breakfast. I appreciated that they asked us first because I wouldn't have wanted them to serve me breakfast and we couldn't or wouldn't eat it. They also asked us what time we wanted breakfast delivered which was awesome because we were able to eat on our own time and the breakfast set up was too cute!
Once we were checked in, Rudi showed us to the glamping site and where we would be staying at. He also mentioned that if we wanted to use the hot tub (extra 20 Euro), we would have to let them know at least 4 hours in advance as that's how long it would take him to heat up the water! We made sure to utilize the hot tub before our stay was over! It was well worth the wait!
He walked us over to our private bathroom which was only meters away from our miniature cabin. The bathroom was very clean and had a lock which we were given keys for access.
First off, hear this: For two nights glamping at Gostilna Bizjak was only 120 Euro and that included breakfast. Breakfast was delicious and kept us full until at least mid afternoon.
The glamping site also has a sauna and a private hot tub at an additional cost. We did not use the sauna but we did use the hot tub, which as mentioned earlier in this post, needs to be requested for use at least 4 hours in advance for heat preparation.
The room itself was small but comfortable, for us at least. The room came with a full size bed (a crib can be added if traveling with small children), two night stands, free wifi (connectivity was either a hit or miss), 2 European outlets, and a heater.
One thing I want to point out is that the room gets stuffy when the door is closed. The temperature dropped to the low 50s while we were there but still were so hot at night that we ended up cracking the door open each night for some fresh air. The room does not come with air conditioner, so that may be something you want to consider if you're staying during the warmer months.
Overall, my husband and I had a pleasant stay at Gostilna Bizjak. We felt that the owners were very hospitable, we enjoyed the food at their restaurant, and was not too far to the sites of Lake Bled and other surrounding areas. If we end up doing another glamping trip here, we would book through the owners instead of a third party website. Rudi had mentioned that he's had people stay at his site and left without paying or even communicating with him. I believe Rudi was a great host and didn't deserve that. If you're interested in hearing more about my stay, shoot me an email or send a message!