History

Early beginnings with thermal springs (1818-1900)

In 1818, two thermal springs were discovered on the shores of Lake Bled and were believed to have healing properties. The belief was confirmed by a chemical analysis conducted in Vienna in 1894; soon, Bled's first baths grew around the springs. In the same location on the shore, postmaster Hofmann built a hotel in 1850-1854. The hotel was later bought by Luckmann, a businessman who renamed it in honour of his wife, Luisa. Before the century was out, the Luisenbad hotel – the predecessor of today's Grand Hotel Toplice – had several owners, each of which expanded and renovated the building.

Between the wars (1919-1940)

In 1919, the hotel was bought by a Slovenian – Jula Molnar, a local who soon turned out to be a particularly shrewd and conscientious owner. She renamed it Hotel Toplice. At around the same time, King Alexander I of Yugoslavia declared Bled his summer residence and visited the town for the first time. This meant that a considerable portion of political and diplomatic life transferred from the heat of Belgrade to Bled and Hotel Toplice was filled with politicians and diplomats. Having been thoroughly modernised, Hotel Toplice was considered the country's most luxurious hotel.

In the storm of World War II (1941-1945)

During World War II, Grand Hotel Toplice was used as a German army headquarters. According to stories told by the employees of the time, the Germans celebrated every victory with champagne and songs in the hotel bar. The interesting thing is that the German army settled the bills on a weekly basis for every rented room and office.

The post-war boom (1946-1960)

At the start of the tourist season in 1946, the hotel was reopened to guests. In the summer of 1948, the diplomatic corps of Yugoslavia returned to Bled to stay at the Grand Hotel Toplice. Once again, the hotel served as a setting for important political events, diplomatic receptions and delegation visits.

A calm period in the best company (1961-1989)

In the 1960s, when Marshal Tito's summer residence moved to the Brijuni Islands, the diplomatic hustle and bustle at the Grand Hotel Toplice died down, but culture and sports events and activities developed rapidly. During the PEN International Congress in 1965, Grand Hotel Toplice hosted Arthur Miller, who was the then-President of PEN International, as well as two other winners of the Nobel Prize in Literature, Ignazio Silone and Pablo Neruda. 1966 saw Bled organise its first World Rowing Championship. In this period, guests at Grand Hotel Toplice included Franz Josef Strauss, the minister-president of Bavaria, King Hussein of Jordan, Willy Brandt and the famous heart surgeon Christiaan Barnard.

One of Slovenia's top hotels (post-1990)

After Slovenia gained independence in 1991, diplomatic activities were revived. Diplomats returned to Grand Hotel Toplice – including Lord Carrington, who had just completed his mission in the Balkans, and Madeleine Albright, whose first stay in the hotel was as a 4-year-old with her parents. Grand Hotel Toplice was renovated and restored to its former glory. Today it is one of the most renowned hotels in Slovenia and a proud member of the prestigious »Small Luxury Hotels of the World» chain.