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After arriving at the small, stylish, and incredibly efficient Ljubljana International Airport, we picked up our bags while checking out the amazing views, and ordered a car to take us to our hotel.
We always start our cruises by arriving at least one day before embarkation. For trips with more complicated itineraries like those with international connections or only one flight per day, we consider arriving at least two days ahead. These pre-cruise nights can add considerable cost of your cruise vacation. How do we manage to keep these costs down? It’s simple – we leverage hotel credit cards that provide annual free nights to cover these stays.
This trip was no different. We planned to arrive in Ljubljana, Slovenia approximately 24-hours prior to our embarkation aboard Oceania Vista just across the border in Trieste, Italy. This meant that we needed to stay overnight somewhere between Ljubljana, Slovenia and Trieste, Italy. A quick search showed that there was a nearly new Intercontinental Hotel in the heart of Ljubljana. We happened to have an IHG free night certificate expiring later this year that could cover the cost. It didn’t hurt that the Intercontinental Ljubljana is the nicest points hotel in the city.
The Intercontinental Ljubljana is a sleek five-star hotel located in the heart of Slovenia’s capital city, Ljubljana. It’s also the tallest hotel in the city. Its prime location allows for easy exploration of the city’s historic sites and offers stylish dining and entertainment options. The hotel boasts an excellent rooftop bar (trust us) as well as a Michelin-listed restaurant – B-Restaurant.
Going rates for the hotel over the summer average €225 per night or approximately $260 USD as of the publication of this post. For a hotel of this quality, the price is fair and a relative bargain compared to a comparable hotel across the border in Italy. What did this room cost us? The only cost to us was the annual fee on our IHG One Rewards Premier Credit Card which is currently $89/year, though Chase recently announced the annual fee is going up to $99/year. While not the best redemption value for a free night certificate that we’ve ever had (you’ll have to wait until the end of the series for that one), this still presented solid value. The IHG Premier card also comes with Platinum Elite status, which provides a host of benefits including free high-speed internet and a Platinum Elite Members’ Welcome Amenity choice which can include breakfast or drinks in the bar.
The Intercontinental Ljubljana provided us with a box of welcome truffles as well as two vouchers for beverages at the rooftop bar. We enjoyed the drinks and views of the capital city before heading out for a visit to the city’s hilltop castle and dinner.
Our room was upgraded to a higher floor 1 King Classic room with excellent views of the city. The room and bathroom were well-designed and spacious. The bathroom had both a bath and a large walk-in shower as well as a dual vanity.
What really stood out was the friendliness of the staff. The gentleman that checked us in was incredibly friendly and helpful, providing lots of information on how best to enjoy his city. The bar staff were equally friendly sharing tips on their favorite bars and restaurants in the area.
After dinner we settled in for a deep and restful sleep and set our alarms for an early morning departure to Trieste, but first a trip to explore Prejama Castle en route. – Michael
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