This breathtaking destination just outside of Bled described itself as 'Heaven on Earth', and after visiting in person it's difficult to disagree. Originally opened in 1937, when Slovenia was part of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia (hence the name), location was selected by the king as one of his official summer residences. In recent years Royal Bled has undergone extensive renovations, and is now a luxurious resort destination with dining and accommodation options, as well as being one of the premiere golf courses in Europe.
Royal Bled Golf Course
The course was redesigned in 1972 by famed golf architect Donald Harradine. In recent years it's undergone extensive improvements and upgrades, bringing to it a world class standard fit for royalty. The 18-hole Championship King's Course is quite challenging and plays host to a number of tournaments and other events during the season, while the 9-hole Lakes course is an easier option for those whose handicap doesn't make the cut, or whose wallet would prefer the lesser green fee. Club membership is invitation only, but the courses are regularly open to the general public with advanced booking, and playing a round here should be on any golfers bucket list.
Hidden away from the hustle and bustle of Bled's lakeside, Restaurant 9 has quietly become one of the region's top culinary destinations and is worth making the short trip to Royal Bled to experience for yourself. The kitchen is run by Mirko Stojić, who was coaxed northward from one of the top restaurants in the Serbian capital, with the menu featuring modern interpretations of Slovenian, Balkan and international dishes. As would be expected, the service is fit for royalty and the glass-walled dining room offers breathtaking views in all directions. If your visit to Bled coincides with one of the regular Chef's Dinner events, don't miss the chance to book a table.
King's House Royal Bled
Recently renovated under the direction of Slovenia's most well-known architecture firm, Sadar+Vuga, the aptly named King's House at Royal Bled Golf Course is the perfect place to stay if playing a round or three at the spectacular course is your main purpose to visiting, but it's also a great option if you're the kind of traveller who values refined luxury and/or a peaceful beautiful view from your window. A small boutique hotel by any definition, the King's House boast ten unique rooms on the top two floors of the clubhouse, while the Lake House offers another four in a separate building a few hundred metres away. Facilities include a fitness centre, sauna, brand new outdoor swimming pool, and of course the immaculate 18- and 9-hole golf courses just steps away.
Royal Bled Golf Academy
Whether you're novice interested in learning the basics, an amateur looking to get to the next level or even a professional who'd just like an excuse to spend some more time in beautiful Royal Bled, the course's Golf Academy can arrange a suitable programme for you. Learn from a PGA professional with state-of-the-art equipment and technology, which can track your swing and every movement to learn what you need to do to improve your game. Standard instruction is €60 per hour, but there are lots of packages available, such as individual or group introductory lesson, and you can even have a pro accompany you on a full round of play. Check the official website for more info.