New Year's Eve in a real eye candy hotel

In Slovenia, there is a tradition that on New Year’s the locals jump into the sea, despite its icy temperature. I always thought it was crazy, but my sister couldn’t wait to try. And what better than to combine business with the pleasure of visiting the hotel about which so much has been said? Grand Koper, the hotel which received the interior design title of 2021, awarded by the Slovenian architecture and design awards. The renovated hotel opened its doors at the end of May 2021 the process of renovation was mainly inspired by the building history.

The hotel was designed by AKSL architects with a collaboration with David Tavčar, who oversaw the textile design and graphic design.

When we arrived at the hotel, we were mesmerized by the modern hotel lobby: the trendy terrazzo floor, the soft shapes of interior, the colourful arches. My favorite was the mirror in the ceiling, because it gives the space another dimension and it makes it appear larger. One can really notice that there are many elements inspired by the Mediterranean and cultural heritage.

The kindest staff greeted us with huge smiles and escorted us to our rooms. Every room and every hallway had different details. What appealed to me the most (since I am a graphic designer by trade), were the realistic vintage-style sea graphics drawn by David Tavčar. From Crabs, starfish, shrimp, to goats, printed on carpets, curtains, boards placed around the hotel.

Upon entering our rooms we were greeted with more beautiful modern tiles, a welcome sign of our names on the TV screen, and a lovely panettone, wrapped in a red packaging. We absolutely loved the gracious welcome, it added a personal touch to the room and really made us feel special.

Each room also had a tablet, which could be used as a phone, for ordering room service, listening to the radio, controlling the TV, or learning about activities and sights in Koper.

What made the room especially cozy were peach-coloured arches, located behind the bed heading complimented with lighting, which made a theatrical atmosphere. This feature continued behind the oval shape holding the TV screen.

For most of New Year's Eve, we decided to spend it in the restaurant called Capra, which in Italian means goat. The 4-course seafood dinner was a real treat as we are both foodies. My favorite was the tuna Tatar and the roasted octopus!

The restaurant had so many interesting features as well. The walls of the kitchen were decorated with hanging brass frying pans, which reminded me of French or Italian kitchens. The upper parts of the walls were illustrated with a series of goats, crabs, and other marine animals. The whole space was a mix of vintage and modern styles. Interesting combination of a glass chandelier, modern colourful tiles, marble tables, flower arrangements, wooden and textile chairs.

After dinner, we moved to the hotel lobby which acts also as a bar for a quick gin and tonic before midnight. The bartender made delicious citrusy drinks garnished with dried hibiscus petals. We managed to get to the beach the last few minutes before midnight, a few yards from the hotel. There we waited for the fireworks display, which was not clearly visible because of the thick fog. In the morning we enjoyed a generous buffet breakfast in the hotel restaurant and we also had a quick tour of the hidden gems of the hotel.

Overall this was definitely one of my best stays, we were really impressed with the friendliest staff we have ever encountered. One can really see they are trying to make your experience the best as possible. The hotel was such eye candy, the rooms, the lobby all design elements are just divine and I really recommend you to visit Koper and treat yourself to a stay in this mix of modern design and heritage.

To end my story, our beautiful trip ended with my courageous sister who jumped into the sea at 11.7 degrees Celsius. Surprisingly not complaining at all, and me just soaking my feet and making a few steps in the sea before jumping out in pain. In Slovenia, it is also said that the first day of the year defines your year. So if this means that I will be enjoying myself in beautiful spaces, eating great food, and making crazy bold choices I am happy with this superstition.
It’s a crazy start to the year that I will certainly not forget.