Kempinski Palace Portoroz

best bed: Kempinski Palace Portoroz, Istria, Slovenia

Kempinski Palace PortorozThe Palace Hotel was THE place on the Austrian Riviera… so called because the royal and rich, politicians and artists of the Hapsburg (Austrian-Hungarian era) Empire flocked to its shores. They came for the warm weather, spa-ing and to be seen. It was an instant hit when it opened in August of 1910, becoming the most important coastal resort. Istria is one of those places everyone wanted… the Romans, the Venetians, Napoleon and of course the Hapsburgs. There is a lot of history and empire leftovers. The Palace was still the place to go in the 50’s & 60’s when Orson Wells and Yul Brenner were regulars. The following decades were not kind. By 1990 it had fallen into disrepair. The hotel closed and many of the original charming details disappeared. Jump ahead to a new century and a new era. The Kempinski group took over the rehabilitation. Not much of the building could be saved apart from the original façade, a wonderful staircase and some great bones.  They decided to restore what they could while adding a separate but connected super modern addition. Lucky guests can now choose between the period charm of the classical building or the stunning contemporary new one. I personally prefer the “old” wing even though all the rooms are new. Sitting out on my small balcony watching the sunset I felt part of history. While all the rooms are generously sized it is worth paying up for a view over the beautiful surrounding park with its historical rose garden (Portoroz means Port of Roses) and the Adriatic.

Number of Rooms: 181

Sweet Suite: For old world glam, I love the Presidential Suite in the classic building, its huge but what makes it truly special is the large, covered balcony overlooking the gardens and the Adriatic. You know this is where royalty watched the regular people go by below. If you prefer something a bit more modern, the two Lagoona Suites fit the bill. They are located in the new building and comes with open air Jacuzzi’s on their private roof top decks.

Favorite Thing: The Rose Spa… regularly deemed the best in Slovenia, their treatments are world renowned. I only had time for a pedicure…but what a pedicure…calluses and rough spots gone…I floated out with baby soft feet and polish that lasted weeks. Next time I will book in advance for a full body makeover!!

Near By: beach, Piran (2 miles away you can walk, boat or cab to this charming old Venetian town), bike riding (along old railway lines all the way to Trieste), hiking, salt flats, vineyards, olive tree groves, paragliding, diving, boating, golf, The Rolling Stones Museum (seriously! It’s dedicated to the band)

Amenities: indoor/outdoor pools, spa, private beach club ,fitness center, 2 restaurants, Crystal Hall dining room for breakfast, private beach, valet parking, swim-up bar, boutiques, room service


The Kempinski Palace Portoroz is a Virtuoso Hotel…when you book through a Virtuoso Advisor, like me, you will receive special complimentary amenities.



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