The regular readers amongst you will be familiar with my many laments at the parlous state of some of Bohinj’s iconic hotels, in particular the Bellevue, Ski Hotel Vogel and the Zlatorog. Having written at length on this blog regarding the shameless neglect and possible ways back from the dead, I have even fruitlessly penned a letter to the, at the time, appropriate member of staff at the Tourism Ministry. It has though recently come to my attention, a shock yes, a surprise no, that the Zlatorog, in its near derelict and unoccupied state has suffered a roof collapse, primarily due to the severe snow and ice storms that swept through much of the north and west of Slovenia in February. Whilst it can feasibly be argued that this could have happened to just about any property such was the severity of the weather, it does add not only insult to injury but also a greater financial cost to the already hefty bill that complete refurbishment would’ve entailed.
As an asset the Zlatorog has over the years been mercilessly sweated; PERHAPS the money it grossed was used elsewhere to prop up ailing holiday establishments or failing areas of the business. OR, perhaps the money was trousered with no thought to the future. I say PERHAPS and OR as I have no proof of where it all went wrong, and, I have no desire to be sued for incorrectly slighting past and/or present owners/operators. What though is irrefutable is that the Zlatorog has gone from hosting heads of state and having a virtual monopoly on 4-star accommodation at the Ukanc end of Lake Bohinj to being the derelict wreck it is today. The causes may be far more complex than the ones I have posited but undoubtedly, the future looks bleak and at best, uncertain. Why, oh why, Slovenia cannot move with the times and allow a reputable foreign hotel operator to overhaul and run the ‘Zlat’ I cannot say. If this is done sympathetically and within the strict guidelines that the Triglav National Park rightly impose upon new and existing buildings, I can only see a positive outcome for a country that, at the present time, needs all the tourist currency it can lay its hands upon.
The Gorenjski Glas(Voice) newspaper is an excellent source of information for the Bohinj area, and the province of Gorenjska in general. The link below will perhaps give you a greater understanding on this issue than perhaps I have done and whilst the website is in the Slovene language, you will automatically be offered an option to translate if for example it is viewed using Google Chrome. It isn’t a perfect translation but you will get the gist.