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Ortenia – Apartments in Nature, Promoting Cultural Heritage.

Ortenia – Apartments

In the very East of Slovenia, not far from the River Sotla which borders Croatia, is the village of Podčetrtek and home to Ortenia – Apartments in Nature. First certified in 2015, the eco-designed luxury apartments provide a natural retreat in Slovenia’s thermal spa region.

With Podčetrtek Castle watching over from it nearby hilltop position, Ortenia’s apartments are designed using the principles of innovative sustainable construction. The carefully considered selection of natural materials, along with sustainable principles of its operations, brings Ortenia’s guests into direct connection with nature.

From its inception, Ortenia – Apartments in Nature aimed for the highest ecological standards. In 2014, Ortenia was awarded the Green Pencil Award, by the Chamber of Architecture and Spatial Planning of Slovenia (ZAPS). In that year it was the only project in Slovenia to receive the award in recognition of its original and sustainable architecture and was recognized by the City of Ljubljana, as one of 45 most beautiful wooden designed homes in the world.

The exteriors of the apartments are made of Forestry Stewardship Council’s (FSC) certified wood, with cellulose fibre as insulation material inside the walls and fitted with natural sealing materials. The facades, clad in wood, are built using the diffusion-open wall construction, allowing the building to breathe. Humidity in the interior is balanced by clay plaster.

The furnishings of the apartments and common areas are of solid, untreated oak and beech wood from a Slovenian manufacturer. All the fabrics used are of natural origin, and the towels are made of organic cotton. The rooms are adorned with hand-made decorative items and accessories created by creative Slovenian designers. Water for the apartments is pumped from a depth of 80 metres. The water tank collects rainwater from the roof, which is then used to flush sanitary appliances and irrigate outside areas.

Ortenia – Apartments in Nature encourages visitors to connect with local culture and heritage and has a co-promotional agreement with the famous Minorite Olimje Monastery, located just 3km southwest of Podčetrtek. The Monastery was built as a Renaissance-style castle around1550 and holds one of the largest baroque altars in the country and the ornate Chapel of St Francis Xavier.

Visitors are also kept up to date on local festivals that are an important part of the cultural activities of Kozjansko Regional Park, one of the oldest and largest protected areas in Slovenia. The Park is also a significant site of biodiversity covering the pre-Alpine Posavje Mountain Range, hills, and plains along the River Sotla.

Ortenia constantly promotes local, with local companies hired for services including major maintenance. Guests receive small gifts supplied by local entrepreneurs and these businesses are actively promoted via brochures and pamphlets. Most of the fresh food is bought from local farmers and businesses. Ortenia also provides discount vouchers to guests that can be redeemed at the nearby thermal spa Terme Olimia.

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