Blog: Hotel Sunrose 7

An early morning meditation on the delights offered by the new Bohinj luxury hotel

I open my eyes in the middle of the night, feeling a clear need to go where even the king goes alone. Did I have one too many glasses of excellent Sutor at dinner, and has this prevented me from sleeping through the night? The elegant velvety red wine with a bouquet of ripe fruit, including plums and even jam, went well with the pearl barley, vegetables, ginger, tarragon, horseradish and smoked Bohinj trout. With a series of inspiring culinary creations, chef Jože Godec, the man at the forefront of the Sunrose’s award-winning gastronomy, helped to bring a wonderful end to our actively spent day. Apparently, however, a little too much of that good food was partly responsible for kick-starting the early morning programme in my brain.

I am one of those people who is fully awake by the first morning light, so, in almost complete darkness due to the curtains being closed, I use my phone to light my way to the toilet. I wonder how I would light my way if I left my phone at the reception desk. Last autumn, the hotel offered additional benefits to their guests if they chose to leave their phones in storage. I must admit I’ve never encountered a hotel that takes the boutique offer of digital detox to such a level. But after a few days’ stay here, Lili and I have become well acquainted with this philosophy and I can safely say that we both like it very much.

While in the toilet, my thoughts start leapfrogging uncontrollably, as is often the case in the twilight period between sleeping and waking. Franz Ferdinand was not yet an emperor, but he was an heir to the throne. And he also probably looked for the toilet one night within these walls, during his visit to this hotel with other members of the Austro-Hungarian royal family in the early 1900s. The famous Hotel Markeš was the predecessor of Sunrose 7 Heritage Boutique Hotel Bohinj, and also enjoyed an exceptional reputation and fame. Well, now they’re also hosting us, I think smugly, as befits this period of early morning ruminations.

Perhaps it wasn’t the Sutor wine, but the water we drank with the food. Excellent Bohinj water, which I would bring home if I could. I look towards the shower and am reminded that in three or four hours I’ll be getting some cool refreshment. Not in a glass this time, but courtesy of a morning cold shower as advised by the legendary Dutch motivational speaker, Wim Hof.
I open the window before I return to bed and then wrap myself in a soft blanket up to my neck. I know that it’s made from natural materials without anyone telling me. It’s breathable, so it doesn’t make me sweat. I snuggle into its comforting softness.

WELCOME TO THE WORLD OF DIFFERENT SCREENS

There’s no noise from the street and there’s no sound in the room. There’s no buzzing and no stand-by lights. There’s no TV, router, hotel phone, radio or electronic multimedia in the room of Sunrose 7 Heritage Boutique Hotel Bohinj. There’s no minibar either, with a compressor switching on every few minutes. All of the above is actually quite unusual for a hotel room. Their digital detox concept responds to the challenges of our modern day, when we are spending increasingly more time before various screens. The hotel offers an answer for insomnia, a medicine for mutual relationships, and an opportunity to escape the everyday hustle and bustle. It invites guests to replace their screens with books, dive into themselves, set aside superficial relationships and embrace genuine feelings of reality.

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The hotel Sunrose 7 is special in many ways. Its website provides descriptions and comparisons of rooms not only in the sense of size and amenities, but also tells you in which direction the room is oriented, what can be seen from its balcony and even what can be heard from its window. All the rooms have soundproofed walls and command views of the Julian Alps, the botanical garden or the river. They truly know here that nature is our greatest ally when seeking internal balance. The rooms are equipped with unique furniture made from local solid wood. Rooms in the old section of the building are decorated in the Austro-Hungarian style, while in the new extension you can find rooms in which modern and local styles are intertwined.

The detox is firstly enabled by the equipment and architecture of this boutique hotel, as these create a sense of genuine homeliness and spontaneous connectivity. The restaurant is located in a modern, yet homely wooden extension and its exterior section is sheltered by the dappled shade of hundred-year-old chestnut trees. Hotel guests are welcomed by a friendly lamb in the lobby, and not far away, Stanko the stag overlooks the comfortable and well-stacked reading corner. By the way, I first thought that the library next to the reception desk was the result of the designers’ trendy inspiration, but then Lili told me that guests actually come here to read books. Some feel so much at home that they come in wearing their slippers.

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PLENTY OF RELAXATION, CULINARY AND OTHER DISCOVERIES

The Zlata vila wellness space offers seven relaxation elements symbolically integrated with natural features of the surrounding area. There’s the luxury of the refreshing ice-cold Grmečica waterfall for kneipping, a hot tub made of stainless steel in the shades of Triglav’s seven lakes, pearl bath therapy with the ionised air of the Pokljuka Plateau, a Finnish sauna with fully carbonated interior and aromatherapy with local herbs, the famous Bohinj rain with a hot-cold massage shower, sound therapy featuring the sounds of Bohinj forests, and the fire and love elements in the handmade lanterns. While Lili quietly enjoyed the hot tub, I joyfully screamed under the ice waterfall that followed a hot sauna. It was shocking and, of course, I had to do it again.

The Sunrose’s latest acquisition is the natural biodynamic pool that functions without chemicals and was set up at the edge of the garden at the start of summer 2023. We swam in it yesterday morning before breakfast, when the morning mist was still lingering over the garden. The earliest guests were watching us through the panoramic window of the restaurant. They were mostly foreigners. We probably didn’t seem anything special to them.

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When I turn to the other side under the blanket, I think – probably still under the influence of an excellent dinner – that their superb cuisine also enables genuine contact with nature. Although, Jože Godec told us that his cooking philosophy was actually very simple – as little complication as possible – his dishes are composed in an interestingly simple-complex way. And because he uses almost exclusively seasonal and local ingredients, his dishes tell the story of the best produce that nature has to offer in any given moment.

Perhaps my thoughts about cuisine in these early hours are not so much driven by yesterday’s dinner as by the approaching breakfast. I notice that I usually get bored of hotel breakfasts quite quickly… I’m impressed the first day, somewhat less the second day, everything seems the same on the third morning, and I’m craving my homemade breakfast by the fourth morning. During the first meal of the day at this hotel, you don’t have to hold back. In fact, it would be foolish to do so. Yesterday, I started breakfast with a fresh raspberry smoothie and finished it more than an hour later with a delicious coffee. I’d rather not say what I tasted and how much I ate during that hour. It’s no wonder that, along with all the possible certificates of excellence and sustainable management, they also received the Bohinjsko/From Bohinj certificate, which combines products and services of the highest quality with a geographic origin.

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Bohinjska Bistrica is an excellent starting point for trips in nature. Lili and I rode our bikes to the Voje Valley and then we rode a raft for an exhilarating experience on the Sava Bohinjka River. Many literary legends, including Valentin Vodnik, France Prešeren and Fran Saleški Finžgar, found their inspiration in these outstanding surroundings. In 1967, the Slovenian journalist and writer Jože Hudeček interviewed the renowned author of detective novels, Agatha Christie, right here, in Bohinj. I’m trying to imagine what ingenious scenarios were being constructed in her brilliant mind when she observed the mysterious morning mists above Lake Bohinj. In that year, in record time, she wrote and published the novel, Endless Night, in which the protagonist Michael Rogers stated, “I just woke up feeling happy this morning. You know those days when everything in the world seems right.”

As a new day dawns over Bohinjska Bistrica, the same thoughts awaken me. But I actually don’t want to be fully awake and start the day. Not just yet… I still can’t get my head around the idea of their digital detox.

GREETINGS FROM PARADISE ON A MORNING OF LUXURY

A retreat from electronics, screens, stress. Phew! At first glance, this doesn’t seem anything special, however… It’s not easy to give up the instant comforts of modern life. The first choice for a quick break is probably a couch for all of us and when relaxing on a couch, a mobile fits nicely in the hand, doesn’t it? It’s not so easy to switch it off and forget about it. Not so long ago, this electronic gadget didn’t exist at all and now it holds all our knowledge, half of our lives, and almost all our social activities.

What’s more, when you need something comforting for the soul, you tend to be more tempted to reach for an ice-cream rather than a natural and healthy smoothie. In the modern world, we simply have to work a little harder to regain what actually supports us. Such decisions are easier in Sunrose 7. New values are worshipped here. They ask you to switch off the screen and offer you a replacement. They present you with a new kind of luxury that is not about gold doorknobs, but comes from connectivity with oneself, other people and nature.

It seems that, with all these thoughts racing around my head, I haven’t slept for a minute, but when I open my eyes again, the clock shows a few minutes past six. Although this is the time at which I usually get up, I stay in bed. I think of the abundance and wellbeing I’m enjoying and feel gratitude for being able to stay here. When I get up, I feel rested and reborn.

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Lili has probably already ended her meditation. She’s setting up a space for yoga and is waiting for me to mix the Ayurvedic beverage with lemon, ginger and turmeric. There’ll be yoga followed by a cold shower and then the supreme Bohinj breakfast finished off with a delicious morning coffee. A double espresso for me. I discovered a fact that particularly cheered me up yesterday: the guests of this hotel enjoy an average of 3.4 cups of excellent coffee a day. I will certainly not worsen these statistics, but Lili undoubtedly will since she prefers tea. The breakfast may be followed by a debate on our old subject regarding which of these two beverages is more beneficial, in which I always yield as a gentleman at the end. (Although, it’s completely clear who’s right.)

I level the curtains and pause when looking through the window. The town is waking up in all its beauty. The summer is coming to an end and hundred-year-old chestnut trees next to the hotel are already donning their autumn colours. Sun rays and fleeting veils of white autumn mists gradually permeate their branches more and more as the days go by. The falling leaves that previously provided cooling shade to the guests of Kavarna pod kostanji coffee shop throughout the summer remind me that nothing should be missed out on in life. Many of them end up in the murmuring Belica Stream that flows past the hotel and takes the early autumn greetings from this paradise to who knows where. Probably all the way to the Sava Bohinjka River into which it flows below the Ajdovski Gradec Hill. Perhaps even further, to the Sava River. Maybe some of them even reach the Danube or the Black Sea. I imagine all of them making it. When we are connected to nature, when we become aware that it harbours endless wisdom and great abundance, everything’s possible.

Why is the Sunrose 7 Heritage Boutique Hotel one of the TOP 9 Slovenian boutique destinations

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