Hotel Matija Gubec Stubličke Toplice Reviews
Hot Mineral Springs, Open at Night Mar 04, 2009
This is the site of hot mineral spring baths in the countryside north of Zagreb. I didn't stay at the hotel, but visited the baths.
According to Wikipedia, Matija Gubec was the leader of the Croatian peasant revolution in the 1500s, who was drawn and quartered after being forced to wear a hot iron crown after his defeat here at Stubicke Toplice. Marshall Tito later took up his identity for the communist Partisan revolution after WWII.
The hotel-resort is seemingly caught in a 1960s Yugoslavian timewarp - you expect to see James Bond exchanging briefcases in the coatroom or sitting with Balkan beauties in the dimly lit outdoor pool, decorated with rock islands and plastic palm trees.
I visited on a cold winter night in February, suffering from a cold. The steam formed a warm, soothing blanket over the water, despite the chilled wind and cold rain falling.
The facilities are meticulously cleaned, and thorough showers and foot cleanings are required before entering the baths. A long, covered tunnel lined with giant radiators leads to a tent with stairs leading into the water through slotted plastic drapes. As you enter the hot mineral pool and your eyes adjust to the dim lights, you notice other scattered patrons, mostly elderly women with shower caps there "for the bones", along with athletes and occasional young couples, all enjoying the healing waters.
There is a mysterious cycle to the various hot waterfalls, underwater jets, and hot inlets of various temperatures, which start and stop according to some complex algorithm that only the elderly ladies seem to understand. They move from place to place in groups, jealously guarding the prime jets in anticipation of the next cycle..
There is also an indoor bath that looks a lot like an olympic swimming pool - a very hot swimming pool.
From what I understand, this is a place to visit during the winter. There are a series of 7-8 huge pools open during the summer, but it's crowded and the hot water isn't as comfortable in the hot weather. I'd recommend going at night, and my friend says it's especially nice when it's snowing.
Part of the Winter in Zagreb travel blog
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