Unplugged bliss at Vila Planinka, Slovenia's new alpine retreat

A stay at a new Slovenian alpine retreat comes with the promise of spiritual and physical rejuvenation, in part because it is said to be surrounded by "four natural energy points" which, according to legend, were discovered by locals centuries ago.

But even those sceptical of energy points may find it hard to deny the rejuvenating effects of this boutique property in Jezersko, a valley in the snowy peaks of Slovenia's Kamnik-Savinja Alps.

A health retreat since the 16th century, the area, on the border of Austria's Corinthia, has largely remained an unspoiled gem. Two years ago, entrepreneur Marjan Batagelj who owns Slovenia's famous Postojna Cave Park, bought and completely rebuilt the old, rundown Planinka Hotel. The result is his unique, luxury eco inn, Vila Planinka.

During warmer months, the area is known for hiking, cycling and running; in winter, snow hiking and cross-country skiing on kilometres of well-kept trails. There's tobogganing as well, and ice-skating on Zgornje Jezersko, a picturesque lake.

Vila Planinka sits near the lake and a source of mineral water rich in manganese and ammonium substances, revered as having outstanding health benefits.

The hotel is built of native natural materials – mostly local larch and spruce. Rooms are named after local herbs, animals and plants and feature no electronic devices, though there's Wi-Fi in the lobby which can be connected in rooms on request. But keeping those positive energies as undisturbed as possible is recommended.

There's a sauna, lots of cosy corners in which to curl up, big starry skies and mesmerising nature views aplenty to restore body and mind, as well as cuisine based on organic foods harvested from nearby sustainable farms. Guests can get involved by fetching eggs from the neighbours.

All this unplugged bliss, and only 30 minutes from the capital, Ljubljana.

From about $302 (€186) twin share a night, including breakfast. Three-course lunch, $49 (€30) a person, four-course dinner, $73 (€45) a person.

See vilaplaninka.com/en/

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