It’s now been over half a year of running the guesthouse. Something we had to jump into in February having no such experience before. We had somewhat busy lives in Slovenia, working in the film, event, and culture industry. We used to come here during holidays and help out my mother-in-law where needed, but it wasn’t what we were planning on doing for a living.
But we’re still here, still alive! The house is full of life and guests keep coming.
Three years ago, when the house was re-built on our land, it was made to be a guesthouse. But before we took over it served mostly as a bar and traditional restaurant. This summer we’ve had visitors sleeping over on a weekly basis. We’re excited to see most people enjoying the place: they love the food, have fun with the goat kids, relax with some beers and books, and just breath the mountain air. We’re receiving guests that have never visited us before, many cheery new faces. And more and more of these people are returning. For that we couldn’t be happier.
This summer we’ve also had a few visitors coming via couchsurfing. Especially during the off-season we invite people to visit us and stay for free, in exchange of some light work in the house or with the animals. This is one way we’re trying to really keep our doors open to all. We also enjoy spending time with people from all over the world. When possible, we visit the local festivities and places of natural beauty with our guests.
My husband is in charge of the kitchen, cooking most dishes from scratch. He also takes care of any building, renovation, and repairing that needs to be done. He chops the wood, mends the fences, does the heavy chores with animals, too. My area are the rooms, it’s up to me to keep the place looking cosy and neat. I clean the goat’s house and feed the donkeys, and its my job to see they’re all familiarised with people – hopefully to the point of accompanying guests on their hikes in the years to come. I run the Facebook page and plan other marketing actions. And of course our daughter is with us, so we’re busy taking care of her, too. Together we come to decisions about everything around here and make plans about the future. We’ll be building a sauna and a playground for adults and kids. We’ll mark hiking and biking routes in the woods. There’s a zillion things to do, really. All in good time.
Although vast majority of our guests seem to be happy with our services and prices, there was an unhappy customer once, posting comments on the Facebook page such as: “Five star prices in an ordinary cottage”. (I had to check: the general prices for overnighting in a 5 star place in the region is minimum over five times our prices, enjoying a lunch or a dinner is easily triple the price. So no, it’s not five star prices.) But it got us thinking, of course. And even though we greatly regret not pleasing every single customer, we came to two clear conclusions.
This ordinary cottage is our livelihood
This is an ordinary, old fashioned, traditional Bosnian cottage. It’s over a 100-year-old log house, it’s heated with wood alone, the rooms are cosy, but extremely simple. It’s a small house with an intimate atmosphere.
We have to put a price tag on our services, but we try to keep it affordable to everyone. The thing is, of course, we have to buy the food stuffs, prepare the lunches and dinners, use fuel, electricity and fire to make all this happen, and clean the dishes afterwards. To keep us in business we need to have the house nice and warm, the road open in the winter, and buy new items whenever something gets broken. Hence the dull fact: food at our place costs a little more than groceries at the market.
We have prices for our services because this is our livelihood, our job. We’re not pursuing the riches, but we are trying to make a living.
We invite you into our lives
Our aim is to serve, and we put ourselves into this. We hope people are happy here. Well rested, well fed. It’s also a place where we feel at home, it’s a place we’ve come to love. We offer nothing but the simple pleasures of the mountain life. We take pleasure in living here, because it’s an ordinary log cottage – a rarity these days, in fact.
We want to share this place with our friends and customers (that often turn out friends along the line). It would be unjust not shared. We want people to be able to participate in our lives, in the slow life of the mountain. We take time to sit down with whoever visits us, have a chat, introduce to the place and the numerous animals living on the farm, and point to the best hiking routes.
We invite you to come, share a moment in time with us, and return if it’s pleasing to you. Our doors are always open. Blessings from the mountain.