In the gorgeous Upper Savinjska region, surrounded by nature
In the gorgeous Upper Savinjska region, surrounded by nature, more precisely in the town of Ljubno ob Savinji, the runner-up of the Slovenia GREEN destination competition, hides a boutique hotel and restaurant Planinka, whose story is more than a hundred years old. The conservation of tradition and the revival of an aging hotel seemed important to Helena and Tomaž Žerovnik, which is why they bought the property in 2009, reconstructed the hotel and opened it for guests in 2011. Together they thought up the entire architectural image of the hotel and restaurant, guided by the idea of preserving and including peculiarities that express the region’s character. The hotel is one of the first boutique hotels in Slovenia, made entirely out of wood. The exterior and interior are intertwined – with the usage of timber, sourced from the Upper Savinjska valley, (considered the best the Slovene market can offer), and the inclusion of handmade clay products in details such as lights.
All of the ingredients used in their masterpieces are from the local environment
The inspiration for the restaurant and the menu is drawn from the environment in which they create and work. All of the ingredients used in their masterpieces are sourced from the local environment, which not only supports the local producers and respects their tradition, it also guarantees the sustainable development of the region. In this way, they can also provide for the wishes of the most particular guests.
On their menu, one can find trout from the nearby fish farm in Braslovče, while the cheeses and vegetables are procured from smaller local producers. The geographically protected culinary specialty of ˝Savinjski želodec˝, a pig’s bladder, filled with bacon, pork, and herbs, is also on the menu. All of the dishes are garnished with fresh herbs, which grow in the restaurant’s herb garden.
The dishes do not mean much on their own – transforming a meal into a culinary masterpiece is the job of an excellent chef. The master of creative recipes, chef Zdravko Robič, has been blessed with the full support of the kitchen and the owners for the past four years. According to him, the owners grant him the creative freedom, with which he can place Planinka into the very top of the culinary map of Slovenia.
Chef Robič and Michelin restaurant La Truffe Noire from Brussels
Love knows no bounds, and chef Robič truly embodies that thought. His passion for cooking already emerged when he was a child, and in his later years, he only built on his love, gathering experiences at home and abroad. In the end, his passion introduced him to the world of high cuisine. It is this world that inspires, motivates, and poses new challenges to him even to this day.
During his rich culinary experiences he met with many master chefs, but probably got most inspired by the cooperation with the Michelin restaurant La Truffe Noire from Brussels and their chef Eric Lindelauf, with whom they keep in touch, constantly exchanging ideas, experiences, and new recipes. Eric also visits Planinka, where they make culinary magic happen together.
Chef Robič might be the master of the kitchen, but it is Igor Dorner Radosavljevič who is the master of service – he is a 3rd level sommelier, who has experience working in upper-tier restaurants such as JB and Strelec. He makes sure that the selection of wines, which he prepares himself, is always in sync with the seasons, as well as the tasting menu. The list is filled with a careful selection of Slovene and foreign wines, sparkling wines, and champagne.
Visiting Planinka is a guarantee for an unforgettable experience. Be it discovering hidden corners of the countryside during the weekend, or just a romantic dinner, you will happily return to Planinka hotel and restaurant.
Photo by Dubokovic
Products made with love in Slovenia
Products made with love in Slovenia