The "Chocolate Village by the River" opened in December 2019 is a luxurious glamping resort in the Podravska region in northeastern Slovenia (Lower Styria). The Chocolate Village is unique, in the middle of the hills of the wine region on the Drau, and offers a wonderful view over the landscape.
In the village everything revolves around chocolate - from the cosmetic and hygiene products to the welcome basket, which consists of chocolate beer and chocolate snacks, to the chocolate massages and workshops in which you can create your own chocolate.
The Chocolate Village is a project of the Maribor entrepreneur, Uroš Mlakar, which he runs together with two partners. The story began with Teta Frida, a chocolate factory with a chain of cafes serving natural and handmade ice cream and desserts. The popular café Teta Frida, which he runs, ultimately led to the construction of the glamping resort on the river Drava.
The entire area around Maribor attracts people from the city who come to relax and unwind in nature. The existing story of Teta Frida and the chocolate factory is recorded in the property, so that guests have the opportunity to enjoy a sweeter stay as well as the idyllic surroundings.
ArchitectureThe huts are placed between tall trees and offer a unique view of the river and the hills on the other side of the river. Those responsible at the resort tried to connect the glamping huts with nature, which is why a special team of architects was hired. Local wood and sustainable materials were used almost exclusively to preserve the natural environment. All huts have floor-to-ceiling panoramic windows, which creates a special bond with the surrounding nature. The light-flooded treetop houses offer unique impressions as soon as you wake up at the first morning look out of bed amidst the trees and birdsong. The decor is modern, minimalist and close to nature, and the rooms follow a uniform style. Dark shades were used to reflect the cocoa as well as the chocolate. The “cocoa concept” can also be found in the naming of the individual glamping accommodations, which all go back to popular or rare cocoa varieties.
FoodIn addition to a chocolate breakfast, the Chocolate Village by the River offers its guests a nutritious breakfast with exclusively local products (yogurts, muesli, eggs, sausages, spreads and home-baked bread). Vegetarians and vegans will also find delicious alternatives here.
EnvironmentThe biosphere reserve around the Drava is one of the few nature reserves in Europe that is particularly known for its biodiversity. It is part of Natura 2000, a network of protected areas within the European Union that protects particularly endangered flora and fauna. Therefore, for the Chocolate Village, sustainable wastewater treatment and waste management are an elementary component of the nature-loving accommodation concept. The glamping resort recycles all rubbish and tries to avoid rubbish as much as possible. For example, breakfast is served in small reusable boxes that are a replica of the actual huts. In addition, the huts have their own water purification system and care is taken to only buy from local producers in order to avoid long transport routes or excessive packaging.
Well-BeingChocolate workshops and massages, a pool, huts with private whirlpools, a wellness hut with whirlpool, sauna and outdoor fireplace and sound baths offer guests a unique range of relaxation options in the midst of the Lower Styrian nature of Slovenia. In addition, guests can borrow electric bicycles to explore the natural landscape on the nearby bike path. There are several forest hiking trails within the nature reserve. In addition, kayaks, stand-up paddling boards and paddle boats are available to borrow.
Living in a chocolate retreat may sound like the makings of a storybook, but it’s very much real in this luxury camping resort in Slovenia. Located just three miles from the city center of Maribor, this riverside retreat is surprisingly quiet—thanks to its beautiful setting at the Natura 2000 Park. With the famed Drava cycling route, Drava river, Mariborsko Pohorje Ski Resort and hiking trails nearby; you can run, hike, sail, ski, plus enjoy lots of outdoor activities.
Being covered in melted chocolate and massaged at 8.30am is not my usual Wednesday morning routine. But in Chocolate Village by the River, in northeast Slovenia, it seemed like the natural thing to do... And while the concept might sound too sickly sweet for some, the resort’s peaceful setting on the Drava River, and the attention to detail in the lodges themselves, stops it from being simply a gimmicky marketing ploy.
The Chocolate Village is about 6 km outside of Maribor. From Graz you need about 1 hour to the Chocolate Village (77 km). It takes about 3 hours from Vienna (266 km), from Munich a good 5 hours (460 km), from Venice just under 4 hours (372 km) and from Ljubljana it takes about 1.5 hours (130 km). The exact address can be found on the website.
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