The official opening of Jama hotel
Six years after Hotel Jama had closed its doors somewhat ingloriously, its doors were open again on thursday. Even grander, more elegant, more homey and more ʽcave-likeʼ than before. The iconic Hotel Jama is back and has had a suitably grand opening.
Several hundred guests – mostly friends and partners, the official opening was a business affair after all – were able to see what the hotel is capable of. It offers 80 elegant rooms, two multi-purpose halls – the Dance Hall and the Tartarus, which can combined accommodate up to 600 people and are thus an excellent choice as venues for conferences, corporate events or special occasions – the à la carte restaurant “Magic Garden” with its state-of-the-art kitchen, and even golden cutlery for events at the highest state level.
THE CAVE TRAIN, BABY DRAGONS, STAND UP, VIDEO PRODUCTION, A VIRTUAL CAVE TOUR…
The main focus of the opening event, which had been carefully planned, was on the hotel in connection with the cave, it is called Jama (i.e. cave in Slovenian) after all – it is all in the name. At the beginning, the guests were shown the rooms in a different and entertaining way, a result of our own video production, the amazing cave images have been taken by a drone using the latest 4K-technology; and the guests also had an opportunity to try their hand at driving the cave train and – in line with tradition – had a photo taken to remind them of the event. The opening event also featured our latest marketing product, a model of the real cave train, and a ride with it in a virtual environment (a 360° video). Additionally, live footage of our baby olms was shown on the screen in the Tartarus Hall.
A DECISION AND THE JOURNEY TO MAKING IT HAPPEN
Two years ago, a difficult, yet a right decision was taken, one that the company’s managing director, Marjan Batagelj, says had been in the works for a long time, i.e. to bring the hotel back to its former glory. Without demolishing the hotel building, but by respecting the architecture and the people who had created it. Therefore, the decision was made to renovate the hotel, but by adopting modern solutions. Energy efficiency, glass, indigenous materials, wood, stone and warmth are the most characteristic elements of the eight-million project, which they are extremely proud of. Only a team that has a clear goal is able to pull off something like this in such a short period of time. This is without doubt one of the largest investments in tourism in Slovenia this year. And as far as tourism-related investments are concerned, Slovenia has a long way to go.
VINTAGE AND TRENDY
The hotel first opened its doors in 1971 and even back then it was the herald of something big. It was a time of hope and rapid development, and over the years, the hotel built up a fine reputation and gradually became synonymous with the hotel industry in Slovenia. Its many famous visitors turned it into an iconic hotel. Every local of Postojna knows what it was like to stand at the foot of its enormous inviting staircase and stare at the magnificence it boasted. However, the way the hotel was managed was no match for its fame. It kept losing its glamour, it became increasingly mediocre and was eventually driven to bankruptcy. Although it went to rack and ruin, it retained something priceless. Nothing has been able to destroy its soul – one million recorded overnight stays. And this is what the renovation was based on. The original chairs, old chandeliers, paintings, photographs and the exterior name sign from the old days give the hotel just the right amount of the vintage touch, which – paired with modern, trendy interior design, i.e. clean, minimalist elements – creates magic. Magic and a pleasant atmosphere, which can be felt in Postojna Cave as well.
BRINGING THE LEGEND BACK TO LIFE
With his speech, written at the time of the hotel’s first opening and accompanied with the film about the Slovenian tourism from the 1970s, the Chairman of the Management Board of the company Postojnska jama pointed out that the former goals are still relevant. For some time, the guests did not even realize that he was actually reading a speech written 45 years ago, as it is in fact about the very same things. Investments, employment, a successful business performance and prudence work at any time and in every place; what is needed is consistency. He also pointed out that tourism is a serious industry and that the people who are involved in it should not behave like tourists. And also that one person alone is unable to achieve such high goals. She or he can merely be the spiritual leader in teamwork, where tasks and the decision-making are delegated beforehand. Last but not least, he thanked the employees, designers, contractors and members of the Management Board who were part of “bringing the legend back to life”.
FULL STEAM AHEAD
By opening this top facility, which complements and rounds off the range of services offered in the Postojna Cave Park, thay have achieved the initial hotel industry breakthrough and entered what is, for them, a new part of tourism-related activities. They have already made plans and have ideas for where they want to take the story of the iconic hotel in the future. Congress tourism is certainly a part of these plans. With the hotel’s wonderful ambience and both world-famous tourist attractions, Postojna Cave and Predjama Castle, they can offer what only few others in the region can. Now, there is a lot of marketing- and sales-related work to do, as they aspire to become the best in these two fields too.
Photos: Iztok Medja in Valter Leban for Postojna Cave