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The Mattei family, our loyal guests

Kurt Mattei has been returning to Šmarješke Toplice with his family for 50 years!

Plenty of our guests have been returning to Terme Šmarješke Toplice for many years. Among them is Mr Kurt Mattei from Munich, who initially came to visit us to treat his insomnia, but now has been visiting us for half a century! During this time, he took only a two-year "break" from our spa health resort. On his return visit in August this year, we chatted with him and his wife about their fondness for Šmarješke Toplice.

As far back as 1973...

The Mr Mattei's first visit to Šmarješke Toplice was in 1973 when his doctor referred him to us because of insomnia which was the result of the stressful responsibility of working in one of the largest companies in Europe.  And whenever we sit on the hotel terrace having coffee, he reminisces about the room back then that welcomed him to Hotel Toplice. He always says it was like a barracks: a modest wooden bed with a pillow, sheets and a thick blanket at the foot, and instead of a wardrobe, just a shelf and three hangers.

Walking and therapy, which at that time was only practised in Frankfurt, Munich and – Šmarješke Toplice

His first stay here lasted four weeks. He underwent as many as six treatments each day, from doctor's appointments and massages to various therapies, and plenty of exercise. Most memorable to him was the hiking and cycling in the surrounding area. Every day, he and his trainer walked from 15 to 20 kilometres – the longer hike was to Novo mesto, the shorter to Trška gora, Škocjan or Šentjernej, and they also cycled to the Krakov primeval forest, Kostanjevica and Mokronog.

The health service in Šmarješke Toplice was already using vacuum therapy, the so-called vacusac, which effectively promotes lymph circulation and has also been used successfully for muscle relaxation. As Mr Mattei tells us, in Germany at that time it was only used in the most eminent hospitals in Frankfurt and Munich.


At Šmarješke Toplice he was impressed by the success of the treatments and the quality of the treatment. But what impressed him even more were the people – both employees and locals. He says they are warm, kind and welcoming.


Schnaps instead of coffee

He also recalls that coffee was extremely rare here in those days, and not as readily available as it is now. He laughs and comments that that probably also contributed to the success of his insomnia therapy. At breakfast, instead of coffee, you would be given a shot of homemade plum schnaps, which, as he says again laughing, was a great substitute for coffee.


After just four weeks, he began to sleep like a baby

The success of the therapy was immediately apparent. Mrs Mattei says, also laughing, that it worked, because when her husband came home, he slept "like a baby" most nights – and in spite if having a newborn and another child at the time.

And so, the following year, all four of them came to Šmarješke Toplice. And every year since then – later they came with their younger daughter, and now often the whole extended family comes, as they are happy to be joined by their granddaughters.

Socialising with the locals

Mrs Mattei recalls watching them rebuild the wooden swimming pool or the spruce planks of the pool, curiously watching to see if they could see the hot spring bubbling underneath. At the resort, they forged genuine friendships with the staff – she mentions the cooks, waitresses and laundresses on several occasions, and recalls the neighbourhood children selling beautiful bouquets of wildflowers and meadow flowers in front of the hotel and at the bathing area. Some of these children were later employed at the spa, she says, and she is even able to name a few of them.

Their children spent their days here with the local children, with the two parents knowing that they would be safe, away from the noise of the city, and well cared for.

They socialised at the cast-iron fountain, which was still standing by the Toplice Hotel, but is now situated a little further away in the park, and played hide-and-seek among the bungalows that stood on the hill below the present-day Vitarium Hotel.

A special energy that brings peace and tranquillity

In the 1980s, many Austrian and German guests holidayed here, as the prices were very reasonable – in the beginning, they spent between 5 and 10 Deutschmarks per day for a full-board holiday. In 1983, they stayed for the first time in the newly built Šmarjeta Hotel. In Room 110, with views of the park, flowers and greenery. And they still stay in this room almost every time – its appearance has changed over the years, but, as they say, it has retained a special energy, because the view from this room brings a real peace and tranquillity.

Food of the gods, which could pick themselves and the chefs prepared for them

Enchanted by the richness of nature here they used to pick herbs and mushrooms here every year, and they always mention how many Caesar's mushrooms they picked in these forests and that the cooks would then prepare them for lunch or dinner. They are known as a first-class delicacy, are very rare and are now even protected in Slovenia. Abroad, they say, they were considered the food of the gods, so it was unthinkable for them to be able to pick them themselves.

A clean country with beautiful scenic routes

They also talk about how they travelled to Šmarješke Toplice. It used to be quite a journey, not least because they travelled part of the way from Germany and through Austria by car-train, and for the first few years they even travelled through Italy, as the drive over the Ljubelj Pass was too adrenaline-fuelled for them. Over the years, however, newly built tunnels and motorways in Austria and Slovenia have made the journey easier.

In Slovenia, there are always admired Slovenia's rugged landscapes, beautiful panoramic trails, cleanliness and cleanliness. They say that wandering around the wider surroundings of Šmarješke Toplice and around Slovenia is very easy and carefree, which is why they used to come here by car until a few years ago. But now they come by plane, as it is more comfortable as they have got older.   


Mr Kurt is a cosmopolitan, having travelled to more than 400 different cities, including many world capitals, due to the nature of his work. But he is still drawn back to Terme Šmarješke Toplice – for the experiences and memories he has here.



We are honoured and very happy. Every year we eagerly await their arrival and wish the Mattei family to visit us for many years to come! 


3. 1. 2024–12. 1. 2025

Excellent food, thermal wells and top quality wellness service.

More about the package

  • Relaxing thermal pools
  • A world of saunas with rich daily sauna rituals
  • Vitarium Spa & Clinique with quality wellness services
Relaxing in the middle of nature
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10000 EUR

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