“ Address: Dalmatinova 15 / 1000 Ljubljana / Slovenia / Tel: +386 1 239 00 00 „
City Hotel is a large hotel about 10 minutes walk from the train station and about 5 minutes walk from the old town on a fairly quiet street.
We stayed in the City Hotel in Ljubljana for three nights in August 2009. We were travelling from Zadar in Croatia and we chose the hotel on the basis of a quick look at the descriptions and reviews on the web (as accessible from a mobile phone), but we talked about the room and the price directly with the hotel via phone: we requested a large double room for a family of four (with a cot for the 3 year old and a space for the mat for the 8 year old).
We arrived late in the evening and although the member of staff at the reception expressed a slight bafflement at our request of a "double room for four people" we reassured him we knew what we were doing and were fairly efficiently booked in. We were quoted a price of 99 Euro for the room, breakfast included, and considering prices in other places in Ljubljana it was a reasonable deal (although by no means fantastic). After having a look at the hotel folder in the room I worked out that we were given what the call a "superior" room, although we didn't pay the quoted rack rate despite there being more of us.
The room was quite spacious (the dooyoo picture shows a room just like ours), with a large double bed (two mattresses on one base). The bed was very comfortable, and enough pillows was provided. I normally like duvets much better than sheets and blankets, but in this case it was the middle of the summer and even with the air-conditioning working at full blast we only needed sheets, and I took the duvet covers off (I used the duvets to pad the bigger one's mat, so they did came in useful).
There was enough space to put a travel cot (provided by the hotel), lay out the mat for the elder child and still have a bit of walking space.
The decor, as elsewhere in the hotel, was clean, colourful, modern and attempting a funky twist. The room colour scheme had a predominance of orange, which worked rather well.
Most pieces of furniture were fixed to the floor or wall (the only one that wasn't, apart from the chair, was a bench/coffee table like object at the foot of the bed). I liked that as it limited the amount of mayhem the children could cause.
The furniture was a bit sparse, though: despite it being a double room, there was only one chair of any kind ( a bucket chair, usable by the desk too).
The bathroom was also good sized, very clean, orangey-yellow and equipped with towels and decent soap/shampoo in a dispenser rather than those silly little bottles. The shower was very spacious (I think it was a wheelchair-accessible room and a bathroom too, in fact) and the only problem was that it had a curtain and not a door/screen which meant one had to be careful not to flood the rest of the floor.
I was happy with the size of the room, but I gather from reviews that not all rooms have air-conditioning and that some are significantly smaller than others: I suggest if possible ask for a larger room or request to see it first.
The lobby of the hotel was a spacious if a somehow busy space, mostly open-plan, but divided by partitions into different functional areas: the reception proper, the lifts, the brakfast room/restaurant, the bar and cafe part and adjacent to this the Internet desks. T
I had an impression that City Hotel tried to be many things to many people, from business to family and although probably not excelling at any, had a decent stab at most. The dcor and ambience presented a rather curious mixture of funky and bland, which at first seemed a bit pointless but with time actually grew on me with time. There was a real olive tree growing in the middle of the lobby (the birds were colourful ceramic, though). Big white cuddly bear sat on a Daliesque lip-sofa in front of the entrance (and another one, dressed up ready for the beach, stood by the reception desk: ours and other children loved them). There was a very pleasant area called "library" with comfortable wicker armchairs and selection of books in various languages (travellers were invited to swap books).
There was even a small children's corner with a Wendy house, a couple of trikes and few other toys. My son delighted in tricycling round the whole lobby during the morning when we tried to plan the rest of our journey in the Internet cafe (free to hotel guests, though the Internet was down one of the evenings).
We didn't use the restaurant or bar (the bar did seem pretty deserted every evening we looked), but we had breakfast every day of our stay. The breakfast room (i.e. the restaurant) was quite large and very busy but on all days there was enough food and enough space for us. The selection of food provided at breakfast was ridiculously large: cooked eggs, bacon, sausages, pancakes and delicious falafel-like patties (as well as what seemed to me like whatever was left form the previous day's dinner, e.g. vegetables or pasta); cereals and toast; cheese, ham and salamis; many kinds of rolls and bread, yoghurt, cakes, pastries, jam, honey and fruit (fresh and dried). The coffee could be better, though (filter coffee only) and there was no real fruit juice, just a selection of nectars and squashes.
Everybody in Ljubljana seemed friendly and the same applied to the City Hotel staff: all people I interacted with spoke good to excellent English, were helpful, friendly and willing to help. All the reception staff on the day shift were great!
My daughter mislaid her toy cuddly animal on our way out and we only realised it a couple of hours later on the train. We thought she had left in the taxi and phoned the hotel on the off-chance the taxi driver might have brought it in. We phoned the hotel with a query and within five minutes we were phoned back: they searched and found the creature on the pavement just outside the hotel. It was posted to our home address in the UK and arrived within a week.
Bottom line: Very decent three star with good facilities and helpful, friendly staff, good for centre of Ljubljana. Make sure you get an air-conditioned room if you stay in the summer.