Opening A Door To The Past
Decades of history envelope the stunning Hotel Palace; its grounds offer visitors a taste of the glamour and decadence of days past. Since its inception in the early 20th century, the hotel has welcomed tourists and statesmen alike. In its early days, the Portorož hotel was the preferred coastal getaway for the Austro-Hungarian monarchy. Even the Archduke Ferdinand spent time at the grand hotel. The Crystal Hall, now a popular venue for weddings, hosted diplomatic events and lavish galas.
Many things might bring you to Portorož. The coastal town’s rich spa tradition, stunning location on the Adriatic Sea, and unique cultural heritage drive much of the area’s tourism. A tour of the over 100-year-old Hotel Palace, however, unveils another layer of this cozy spa town.
A jewel of the late Hasburg rule, the hotel is a steadfast and poignant reminder of a dramatic century in
The Early Days
The hotel opened its doors in 1910 while under Austro-Hungarian rule and just before World War I. The Palace was designed by Johannes Eustacchio, an Austrian architect with Italian heritage. Eustacchio’s bold design mirrored the Venetian architecture, a nod to Istria’s past as part of the fallen Venetian Republic.
After opening, the Hotel Palace quickly became known as being one of the most superior accommodations on the Adriatic Sea. In fact, it was the second largest hotel on the Adriatic Coast. High European Society - along with a number of notable cinema stars - gave its seal of approval to the bustling spa resort. In 1912, construction of the hotel was finally complete, and prosperity seemed infinite.
A Century Of Turmoil
In 1914, the Archduke that graced the new hotel was assassinated, springing the Austro-Hungarian monarchy, as well as surrounding powers, into chaos. During the First World, the people living in what is now Slovenia suffered incredible losses, as they fought alongside the Austro-Hungarian armies. When the monarchy then fell in 1918, a period of frequent and volatile change began in Slovene lands.
After centuries of Hasburg rule, Slovenia, along with other Slav states, became part of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. This kingdom fell quickly as the axis powers took control of the land during the second World War. Slovene people fought in the communist resistance and became part of the Republic of Yugoslavia at the war’s end.
Throughout most of the 20th century, modern day Slovenia was held by Yugoslavia. A prospering center in the communist republic, Slovenia remained distinct from other states within the same rule. After several decades of communist control, Slovenia took steps towards democracy. In 1990, the state held its first democratic elections and was soon recognized by the European Union.
Just as Slovenia became independent of Yugoslavia, the era of Hotel Palace appeared to be coming to a quiet end. As time passed, the hotel began to weather, showing signs of both age and the turmoil of the 20th century. In the 1980s, the hotel briefly closed and then reopened. In 1990, the Hotel Palace again closed it doors to the public. It was during this closure that several parts of the hotel were named
cultural monuments, noted as important to the country’s dynamic past.
At the turn of the century, the sprawling Hotel Palace remained closed, despite the new and promising democracy of its home. In 2005, however, the Hotel’s fortunes turned, as renovations to bring the hotel back to its former glory began. In 2008, the Kempinski Property Group signed on to a 20-year contract with Istrabenz Hoteli Portorož - The Palace was back in business!