Bled’s Pristava complex to become luxury hotel

Bled – The abandoned and decaying Pristava mansion in Bled, which has been used for a number of purposes in its history of almost 100 years, is to be renovated and converted into a top-quality hotel by Slovenian businessman Otmar Zorn, who has made several investments in the Bled area in recent years.

The Pristava mansion in Bled was built between 1920 and 1940, primarily as an ancillary building for the Suvobor Manor, the predecessor of today’s luxurious Vila Bled. In its early years, the Pristava complex with its 15,000 square metres, two atriums and a big garden housed the stables and staff for the manor.

After the Second World War, the complex was nationalised, partially renovated and turned into an apartment building for working class families. After that, the building fell into a state of disrepair.

In 1987, Pristava was given to the trading company Almira Radovljica, which renovated the entire building through a joint adaptation scheme with almost 50 other companies and turned it into a department store complex.

However, that did not last long. In recent years, there have been some other attempts to revive Pristava, but the building mostly stood abandoned. It was purchased in 2018 by Otmar Zorn, who also bought Bled’s Hotel Jelovica around the same time.

Hotel Jelovica was renovated and reopened as Bled Rose Hotel in 2019, and now Zorn is looking towards new investments. But Pristava will represent a big challenge, said architect Monika Fink Serša, as its archaeological site and cultural heritage will need to be taken into account.

The cost of the investment has not yet been disclosed, but it is clear that it will be expensive, as the building will also need to be thoroughly renovated. The investors expect to receive a building permit later this year and to start construction in 2023.

Zorn is convinced that the five-star hotel in Pristava will enhance Bled’s reputation and the tourism sector. Bled Mayor Janez Fajfar and the communal administration director Robert Klinar were also delighted about the revival of Pristava.

“Bled’s tourism development goals are primarily five-star experiences, with preservation of authenticity and tradition,” said Klinar, who was pleased that this seems to be a goal pursued by Zorn as well, given the projects that have been set up.

Another of Zorn’s properties, Vila Podvin, which was vacated by chef Uroš Štefelin last year, is expected to open soon, as a new tenant has already been found and the restaurant is expected to reopen on 1 February. Zorn assured that it will be run by a top Slovenian chef who will work hard to defend Vila Podvin’s Michelin star.