“ Address: Ziherlova ulica 22 / 1000 Ljubljana / Slovenia „
To many the term 'guest house' to describe Ljubljana's Guest House Martin' will be something of a misnomer: I've stayed in some dive-y hostels where I felt more like a 'guest'. Still with hotel rooms shooting up in price and hostel rooms non existent due to the final stages of the European Basketball Championships in Ljubljana recently we bagged one of the few remaining cheap rooms in the city.
I wouldn't recommend Guest House Martin to Ljubljana first-timers. It's not that it is far from the attractions but it is quite tricky to find and you can pay just a few Euro more to be more central in a nicer pad. The owners live in part of the house and rent a few rooms. We arrived last so ended up with the room with the bunk beds. After a few beers and 14 hours travel, we didn't really care but if you book this place and really don't want bunks, you should stress this when booking and ask to have one of the other rooms reserved.
First impressions aren't great although the house is at the end of a lovely quiet lane. The garden is a bit scruffy and the car port roof is badly in need of a major clean. It does look a bit tired and run down. The paving stones leading to the guests' entrance were uneven and the sensor lights had a mind of their own so tackling the path in the dark was a bit awkward. The owners have a dog which I'm sure is friendly but it gave us quite a fright when it leapt out onto the first floor balcony to bark when we arrived.
The room was clean though it was in dire need of some refreshment in the decoration. The walls were rough and badly painted and the cheap furniture knocked about. The carpet didn't meet the walls and was shabby. In the shared bathroom the walls had clearly been painted over and over with whatever paint lay around at the time. The shower ran off the taps over the bath tub; the bath tub was very deep and this made climbing in and out very tricky because I have short legs and also because there was nothing to hold onto. The water took a good couple of minutes to reach a temperature warm enough for a pleasant shower. Small towels were provided in our room in spite of the website I booked with saying they weren't.
While this 'guest house' could do with an upgrade in terms of furnishings and decor, it did have some advantages. At Euro36 for two people we couldn't really get too vexed about the short comings: a tourist tax of Euro1.01 was paid in cash to the owner at the time of departure. They also have free wi-fi in the rooms and this ran quickly and without interruption.
All of the rooms have a little balcony with views over the back and side gardens which are much nicer than the one at the front. The landing has a sofa on it but it's not really a place you'd go to sit and relax in; for one night we didn't mind but there is no real communal area so those looking to meet other travelers may find this place a bit disappointing. I found the owner a little abrupt and less than friendly but ultimately we didn't have to engage with her much so this wasn't a major issue.
Breakfast is not provided but there are bakeries and cafes close by in the Trnovo district. If you want a meal but don't want to go far there's a restaurant just at the entrance to the lane. A shared kitchen is listed on booking sites but this was not pointed out to us so I can't comment on the facilities.
Guest House Martin is very basic. That said we had a good night's sleep and there was hot water. As we know the city well we were happy with the location; in fact it suited us better than being in the centre as the bars and restaurants here are cheaper and you mix more with the locals. The heart of touristy Ljubljana is ten minutes walk away.
I wouldn't stay at Guest House Martin again but I would recommend it to someone on a really tight budget who doesn't want to stay in a conventional hostel.
We booked through booking.com. The guest house does not have its own website.