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Hotel Kocar Štefan Private Rooms (Lendava, Slovenia)

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Address: Glavna ulica 57, SI-9220, Dolga vas

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      31.01.2011 22:17
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      Budget accommodation in Lendava

      By the time we'd decided that we were definitely going to spend a night in Lendava we were certainly in need of a holiday. We'd spent a couple of hours trying to find a way of getting from Maribor in Slovenia to Varazdin in Croatia without going through the Croatian capital Zagreb; on the map it is nothing but we couldn't determine whether, once over the border, we could pick up some public transport to Varazdin. Nobody was answering the phone at the Varazdin tourist office and we were sitting in the very new and rather pleasant "Isabella Food and Wine" in Maribor drinking delicious Humanfish beer while refreshing the page and hoping that some in Croatia would reply before our netbook battery died. In the end we decided just to go to Lendava instead; I won't say much about the place here, just that it is a medium sized town in the far east of Slovenia a stone's throw from the borders of both Hungary and Croatia - and it is not blessed with hotels aplenty.

      There is no dedicated accommodation website in Slovenia but the rather good national tourism office does list a good deal of the available accommodation on its website. The horrible looking glass box that is Hotel Elisabeta was centrally located but way over-priced and so the only other option that could be considered without a car was Prenosisca Stefan Kocar, situated in the village of Dolga Vas, about two kilometres from the centre of Lendava.

      "Prenosisca" (pronounced "preh-no-shee-sh-cha", once you've got that one try "slascicarna"- it's a cream cake shop and ice cream parlour) means simply overnight accommodation, usually very simple and often part of the owner's home or, in this case, rooms above a pub or restaurant. We telephoned that evening and an English-speaking member of staff confirmed that there was a double room available and took my name for the reservation. Five minutes later I called back to confirm the price (Euro11.50 per person) and to check whether breakfast was available (yes, at an additional cost of around Euro.2.50 per person but it could be requested on the spot).

      The "complex" (for there is more than one building) is set right on the main road that passes through Dolga Vas. If you're walking it's about fifteen to twenty minutes uphill from the centre of Lendava, if you're driving there are plenty of car parking spaces. The buildings are painted a sunny yellow colour which is not only visually appealing, but helps to make the place easy to spot.

      We went into the "gostlina" - the restaurant/bar - and explained to a member of staff that we had a reservation; this lady didn't speak English but (seemingly grudgingly) agreed to communicate in German. The lady seemed rather sceptical about our claim to have a reservation but disappeared into the kitchen for a moment and, on her return, asked for our passports. We were given a key and a hand was waved vaguely to indicate where we should go; clearly she wasn't going to show us herself.

      We found our room quite easily; up a single flight of stairs on the outside of the building to the first floor where there were about six or eight rooms off a single corridor. Our room was at the very end and was at the front of the building, right next to the main road which we thought might be a problem though we decided not to ask for a different room, preferring to believe that we wouldn't have been given the room by the road if others had been available.

      The room was surprisingly good. It contained one double (with two mattresses and two sets of bedding) and one single bed. There was a small wardrobe, bedside tables, a couple of chairs and a small table, and a small cupboard on which sat a television set: all this and there was still plenty of room to move around. Everything was in good condition and the furniture appeared to be fairly new. The bedding and "pretend" curtains (for there was only window dressing and not curtains that would block out the light) were colourful and fresh and the room was cheerful and bright without being garish. The only flaw was the fact that the wall clock did not work which was a bit annoying in the morning when we had to jump out of bed in hurry.

      An en suite shower room and toilet was similarly well presented and maintained. It was scrupulously clean and although it was small it couldn't justifiably give any cause for complaint. There was one medium sized bath towel folded and placed at the bottom of each bed.

      We only grabbed a few minutes of television news while staying at Prenosisca Stefan Kocar, but were able to find a couple of international news channels including one in English. As it was winter the dark night drew in early and it stayed dark until after eight o'clock in the morning but it would have been nice to have been able to draw the curtains when going to bed; unfortunately the exterior blind which can be operated from inside the room was not fully working and only came down part of the way. When we got back to the room in the evening the road was very quiet but got busier again after seven a.m.; this was not such a great problem for us as we wanted to be up and about fairly early.

      As we wanted to get into town to see a few things before heading back to Maribor we decided not to have breakfast downstairs but to stop at one of the cafes on the way into town to grab a coffee, so I can't comment on the breakfasts. However, with regard to other meals, the restaurant starts serving lunch quite early and serves meals in the evening too. The bar is open all day for alcoholic drinks as well as coffee and soft drinks. If you want to take meals at the restaurant and stay over, half and full board deals are available and are excellent value.

      A different lady was working the bar when we went to pay and check out; she was much friendlier and spoke reasonable English too. Having said our goodbyes we set off to trudge into town and seconds later we heard a voice asking us to wait - we had forgotten to pick up our passports so we were very fortunate that this lady had spotted this. In my delicate condition I would not have wanted to travel back to Maribor, then back to Lendava to collect them.

      Prenosisca Stefan Kocar is very simple accommodation with few frills but it is excellent value for money and is the only budget option close to the town centre. It is perfect for anyone looking for budget accommodation, or for anyone touring the area by car needing little more than a bed for the night.

      Glavna ulica 57
      Dolga Vas
      9220 Lendava

      +386 2 5771313


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