Thursday, September 17, 2015

Hotel for Sale

Not that I’m looking to become a hotelier any time soon, but an ad in The Economist for a hotel in Rogaska Slatina, Slovenia caught my eye.

It’s a 13 room (31 bed) 3-star hotel that’s nearly 150 years old, so it “benefits from many original features.” Living in a home of the same vintage, I can read between the lines on what “many original features” might mean. All I can say is that you have to take the good (charm and character) with the bad (no insulation and a continual battle against the depredations of old age). In this case, I suspect that there were further depredations stemming from the fact that many of those years were under Soviet domination.

Here’s a bit of the charm:

Vila Anan

And here, I suspect, is some of the Soviet era look and feel, maybe with a bit of modern slapped on.  (In case you’re wondering, this is a bathroom shot.)


As is befitting a 3-star hotel, it’s minimalist and not very expensive. (Recent rack rate: $69/night per person. Breakfast included.)

But you wouldn’t be coming to hang around the Vila Ana Hotel for its comfort and joy. You’d be coming to Rogaska Slatina for the waters, as the towns a mineral water spa. Or, if you were a mass grave buff, for the mass graves. There are a couple of them in town, full of folks slaughtered after World War II was over, but, apparently, before all the scores were settled. One of the mass graves is located in a ravine behind a hotel. Fortunately, not the Vila Ana.

The “Vila Ana is the only small 3-star property in Rogaska Slatina, and does not have any direct competitors.” From a business perspective, I do have to say that it’s not necessarily a good thing to have no direct competitors, as it does seem to suggest not much of a market. In any case, there are plenty of choices to pick from along the star scale. If I were going to Rogasks Slatina, I might notch up to 4 stars for the occasion. I so do not like the looks of that bathroom.

It’s also noted in the ad that “Russians and Italians comprise 57% of arrivals to the town.”

Whether this is a come-on or a caution, I don’t know. But Vila Ana must not attract many of the Italians, as Italian is not one of the languages that their staff speak. They do Russian, however, and English.

The asking price is 500,000 Euros, which sounds like a bargain. Until you start multiplying number of beds times rate.

It would take an awful long time to pay off a 500,000 Euro mortgage.

But maybe someone who likes to take the waters will pick it up and convert it to a single family. Maybe a low-end Russian oligarch.

Anyway, I always browse The Economist’s classifieds, and this was the most interesting one I’ve seen in a while.

It must be the inner B&B-running fantasist in me.

Although why someone who hates to cook would be interested in running a B&B is beyond me. I do like to do laundry, so I’d have the first B covered. For the second B, Cheerios are in the cupboard. Help yourself.

If you’re interested, offers are due by October 20th…

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