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26 Cesta Svobode, Bled, 4260, Slovenia

If you believed in vampires, this is where they would have their country home, and yet it’s the opposite of gloomy: a sun-drenched town clustered around a brilliant blue lake, at the center of which is a fairy-tale island with a church, set upon in the summer months by boats bearing brides and their grooms. The Vila Bled served as a summer residence for the Yugoslav royal family and then for Tito, and the hotel staff is happy to show you through his quarters, a maze of polished oak cabinetry and floors with an incongruous number of coat hooks and a wall of sheer curtains overlooking trees and lake. A mural in the villa’s music room depicts the revolution, culminating in a mother with a child on her shoulder—a kind of socialist-realist Madonna and Child—muscles rippling, eyes radiating joy and purpose, waving a banner with a red star, an iconography that seems both thrilling and sad, coming as it does in this building at the end of a long columned driveway and a parking lot dotted with late-model German cars.

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Hotel

Vila Bled

If you believed in vampires, this is where they would have their country home, and yet it’s the opposite of gloomy: a sun-drenched town clustered around a brilliant blue lake, at the center of which is a fairy-tale island with a church, set upon in the summer months by boats bearing brides and their grooms. The Vila Bled served as a summer residence for the Yugoslav royal family and then for Tito, and the hotel staff is happy to show you through his quarters, a maze of polished oak cabinetry and floors with an incongruous number of coat hooks and a wall of sheer curtains overlooking trees and lake. A mural in the villa’s music room depicts the revolution, culminating in a mother with a child on her shoulder—a kind of socialist-realist Madonna and Child—muscles rippling, eyes radiating joy and purpose, waving a banner with a red star, an iconography that seems both thrilling and sad, coming as it does in this building at the end of a long columned driveway and a parking lot dotted with late-model German cars.