Big Berry

We sat back in our bubbling, soothing jacuzzi, shielded from the pouring rain by our covered terrace. As the last bit of travel stress evaporated into the night, we opened a bottle of Modra Frankinja from local winery Malnarič, and listened to the rain drive into the Kolpa River at the Big Berry Resort in Slovenia.

Life, in this moment, was good.

Big Berry Resort: river in Bela Krajina region

After a week road tripping the entire northern section of Italy, we needed a break. A break from our car, a break from the road race that is the Italian autostrada, a break from the city crowds.

We needed Slovenia.

Big Berry Resort: the keys to our luxury mobile home

Big Berry Resort: Brownberry mobile home

Big Berry Resort: the living room of the Brownberry home

After our recent springtime visit, Slovenia shot to the top of our favorite European countries, packed full of surprises and natural beauty around every corner. It was with comforting familiarity that we navigated to Big Berry, our Slovenian home for a few days, surrounded by gently rolling hills, vineyards, farms, and a picturesque river.

The Big Berry Resort calls itself a ‘Luxury Landscape Resort,’ a title that perhaps needs a little explaining.

The resort consists of luxury mobile homes (which are also available for purchase, in case you really fall in love with the resort), accommodating 2-6 people per home. The design is modern and light, with huge windows, a full kitchen, a bathroom with rain-head shower, and even a private terrace containing the aforementioned jacuzzi, overlooking the river.

The grounds are spacious, and the homes are spread out, allowing for sufficient privacy. A covered barbecue area, complete with a massive grill and couches, heavenly daybeds strewn about the property, free canoes for drifting down the Kolpa River, and even a beach volleyball court await the guests of the Big Berry Resort.

Big Berry Resort: the barbecue area

Big Berry Resort: canoeing down the Kolpa River
Big Berry Resort: the local honey maker and his bees

But unlike many “glamping” resorts (which, for the record, we love), which offer a luxe experience in a camp setting, Big Berry is has a more ambitious goal. They want the Big Berry experience to not just focus on the property, or the amenities, but to provide an authentic view into the local area, the Bela Krajina region of Slovenia.

Big Berry wants guests to connect personally to the area, use locally made products, eat local food and get to know local producers.

To achieve such ambitions, they have managed to foster relationships with over thirty vendors in the region, from linen makers to furniture manufacturers to honey producers. The mobile homes are custom made, and many of the furnishings are not just picked from a nearby Ikea, but rather, made by real people in Bela Krajina.

Big Berry Resort: the welcome basket from the Big Berry team

Big Berry Resort: the pogoča bread made locally by Mojca

Big Berry Resort: the daily breakfast basket

Thoughtfully left on our terrace table each morning at 8am, the breakfast basket was a perfect example of this dedication to community.

Every morning we were treated to local produce, yogurt, milk, apple juice. A quarter loaf of pogača bread, a focaccia-like bread that is an EU-protected Slovenian speciality, made by the gregarious local baker Mojca (who showed us her crazy custom-built motorcycle her husband built!) was tucked in as well.

Big Berry Resort: the local honey maker and his bees

Big Berry Resort: the honey liquor

Big Berry Resort: cookies from local baker Mojca

Big Berry Resort: Mojca's custom built motorcycle

Big Berry Resort: wine from local producer Malnarič

On a free afternoon, Alberto from the Big Berry Resort drove us around Bela Krajina introducing us to several of the local partners who contribute to the resort. We had a snack and some freshly baked cookies with Mojca, tasted homemade honey liquor made by local honey makers Čebelarstvo Veselič while surrounded by thousands of (apparently chilled out) honeybees, and popped in for an evening wine tasting at the winery Malnarič.

Our interactions were utterly genuine. We went to their homes, joked, talked, and listened to their stories. For a brief moment, we were part of the community, too.

Big Berry Resort: waterfall near the resort

Big Berry Resort: natural beauty around Bela Krajina

Big Berry Resort: wild flowers around the resort

Alberto even took us to a few secluded spots along the way, hidden gems down dirt roads and narrow rural lanes, that showcase the natural beauty of this area of Slovenia. We hiked up an ancient street, its stone barriers still visible. We saw the perfect picnic spot, but abandoned the idea when it started to rain.

It would be easy to just wax poetic about the luxury camp, about the fantastic mobile homes, about the riverfront setting, about the jacuzzi, or about the generous breakfast basket. But that would be missing the bigger picture.

Big Berry is about all that, but it’s about showcasing Bela Krajina even more.

The concept of Big Berry Resort, with its luxury landscape resort lifestyle, can be replicated anywhere, but no matter what, Big Berry Kolpa River will always be unique to Bela Krajina. A Big Berry in Norway, for instance, would not include the same local ghee or delicious pogača, but rather artisanal smoked seafood, or local rye bread. The amenities and features of the resort would be the same, but the experience in the region would be totally unique to that location.

Big Berry Resort

And that is what sets Big Berry apart from so many other similar destinations. There are plenty of eco-friendly “glamping” resorts out there, but I have yet to discover one so connected to its neighbors.

And the guests of Big Berry resort get to benefit from those relationships, allowing for a truly unique experience in Slovenia.

Logistics

The Big Berry Resort is located in Primostek, Slovenia, along the Croatian border. It is about a 90 minute drive south of the Slovenian capital of Ljubljana and about 90 minutes from Zagreb, Croatia. The daily rate is €200/night for one of the mobile homes, including the generous breakfast basket. There are a few restaurants within a 10 minute drive, but don’t forget cooking in the fully equipped kitchen. There is free wifi around the property, but it can be a little spotty in areas.

We were guests of the Big Berry Resort, and our stay was complimentary. As always all opinions are our own, though now we’re considering tiny house living in the future. Seriously.

Big Berry Resort

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  • September 22, 2016

    I *just* heard about Big Berry for the first time – now I really want to visit! I guess I’ll just have to come back to Europe next summer too!

    • September 25, 2016

      really…who did you hear it from 🙂 Definitely should make it to Slovenia at some point, in general, because it’s amazing. Hope you enjoy Germany…have a pint or three for me!

  • September 24, 2016

    What a great experience! Those bungalows look so comfortable and luxurious! The countryside around Big Berry is so nice too, with many activities! I love your photos!
    Chrysoula recently posted…Rooftop dining at the Acropolis museum restaurantMy Profile

  • September 24, 2016

    Ah we just stayed here last week and had a fantastic time! It’s a great place!

  • September 25, 2016

    Looks so pretty. Love it. I would also like to have some of those sweets.

  • September 25, 2016

    The property truly looks de luxe. It looks like a place to stay put and catch up on ones writing. Whew! those are real honey bees!

  • September 25, 2016

    This is great! A really authentic and original lodging review that truly makes me want to check it out. Of course, the Big Berry Resort sounds pretty unique, but your write-up is really highlights the area.
    Tara recently posted…Island Hopping on Lake Champlain with Vermont State ParksMy Profile

  • September 25, 2016

    Oh, I’ve wanted to visit Slovenia for a while and almost did this summer! Now, you’ve stirred up my wanderlust again. Big Berry and the countryside looks like a fantastic way to glimpse the local way of life. This is certainly my type of camping experience.
    Jackie Sills-Dellegrazie recently posted…Everything You Need to Know for Your First Visit to New York CityMy Profile

    • October 1, 2016

      Slovenia in general is amazing and worth a visit. Big Berry isn’t too far from Ljubljana either, so it’s an easy side trip for a few nights. Slovenia is now one of our favorite countries in Europe. We can’t get enough of it!

  • September 25, 2016

    We stayed at big berry for two weeks last May, in the exact cabin you did! We loved our stay and the whole team behind it. Such a wonderful experience it looks like you had as well!

  • September 26, 2016

    Great photos !! Loved reading the post. I hope you had a great fun in the resort with berries all around 🙂

  • September 27, 2016

    Lovely pictures. The dessert makes me swoon 🙂 Great choice for a luxury holiday. Many people will love it.

  • September 27, 2016

    It seems that you had great break from road tripping. I would like to go to Slovenia. I have heard many good stuff about it and seen many beautiful pictures. Local products look great.

  • September 30, 2016

    Hi Drew,

    I love the connection aspect of Big Berry. Whether Glamping or traveling anywhere, the connections we make with locals and other travelers makes traveling worthwhile. Without connections we have nothing to share. Boring, for the most part. But when we interact with other human beings we optimize our experience. Or we just have more fun LOL.

    Thanks for sharing Drew 🙂

    Ryan
    Ryan Biddulph recently posted…Are You Ready to Build a Successful Work at Home Business?My Profile

    • October 1, 2016

      Thanks! Glad you enjoyed the article. It is definitely a unique concept, with such an emphasis on their local producers. Really hope the project takes off and heads to other parts of Europe!