Posts Tagged ‘Croatia Hotels’
Don’t you love hotels with sleek, new amenities and facilities? Now that Istria has been annointed must-see-must-go-destination-of-the-year by a swarm of publications in 2011, local hotels are scrambling to present the finest accommodation experience. Millions of kuna are flowing into the coveralls of builders and architects to get Istrian hotels shiny and ready for this year’s expected influx of visitors. Here’s a look at some of the changes:
Hotel Histria: Pula‘s finest hotel will be even better after a 185-million-kuna investment by Pula’s Arenaturist. I stayed there last September and liked it as is but starting around May when the renovation is complete the hotel should be extraordinary. It will have four stars and be known as the Park Plaza Histria Pula.
Punta Verudela: Also on Pula’s woodsy Verudela peninsula, this two-star hotel and apartment complex needs a renovation and will get one. The exterior won’t change but expect more modern and spruced-up apartments.
Hotel Sol Garden Istria: Here’s another great family hotel in Umag, ready to improve with the construction of a whole new pool, water slide and entertainment area for kids. I can tell you from experience that this is a very lively kid-centric resort.
Hotel Melia Coral:Ready to leave the kids at home? This hotel is Croatia’s first for adults only. Enjoy the renovated night bar, beach club and the new sports playground for adults. It’s also in Umag.
Mobile Homes Park Umag: This luxury four-star camping resort will receive 22 new mobile homes. Stay here and avail yourself of three swimming pools and free internet access.
Hotel Neptun-Istra: This is the premier hotel on Veli Brijun, the inhabited part of the Brijuni Islands. It is currently receiving a six-million kuna upgrade and should be good to go for the summer season.
Hotel Velanera: Located in Sisan, only 8km from Pula, this brand-new four-star boutique hotel is surrounded by a huge landscaped park. The decoration reflects the latest in Italian design and of course you can expect a swimming pool, jacuzzi and fine restaurant.
See my choice of the Best Hotels in Istria
The World Travel Awards are like the Oscars of the travel industry. Voted on by travel agents worldwide, the Dubrovnik Palace Hotel, Conference Center and Spa in Dubrovnik has been anointed Europe’s Leading Resort. Can you imagine the competition? There are a lot of resorts in Europe!
So why the Dubrovnik Palace? Well, the location right on the sea with a private beach helps. Also, there’s a scuba diving center based in the hotel, perfect for learning to dive or perfecting your technique. Or perhaps you prefer jogging? There are jogging paths just outside. Naturally, there’s spa splendor in the form of an indoor pool, fitness jacuzzi, steam and sauna facilities. That and all the other five-star amenities–free wifi, luxury toiletries, five restaurants, a shuttle bus from Lapad to Dubrovnik’s old town–insure that the Dubrovnik Palace has well-earned their award.
What is a “design hotel” anyway? I know that was my first question before checking into the Hotel Lone in Rovinj. Will I need a user manual to turn on the faucets? Will my eyes open each morning to garish and puzzling paintings?
The answer to both questions at this remarkable new hotel is a resounding no. As the Hotel Lone explains on their website, a design hotel “nurtures the concept of interesting and functional spatial design”. Put simply, the Hotel Lone is beautiful in every way and its beauty encompasses ease, comfort, and the simple luxury of exquisite good taste.
Located within the Zlatni Rt forested park, a few minutes from Rovinj’s town center, the Hotel Lone is surrounded by old growth pine trees with the Adriatic glimmering a few hundred meters away. Now how do you create a thoroughly modern hotel in harmony with a wooded landscape? Why, you think of a cruise ship floating on the sea of course. The curving lines and stacked white balconies recall the prow and decks of an ocean liner floating on a sea of green.
For the interior of this 248-room hotel, the designers turned back in time for inspiration. The Croatian coast is dotted with massive but somewhat bland hotels built in the 70s to cater to package tourists.
The Hotel Lone design team used the spacious lobbies from that era but replaced the boxy look with an exciting and contemporary organization of space. The public areas incorporate three restaurants, a conference center that can seat 600 people, a night club, children’s club and a wellness center all organized around an atrium that stretches up six floors. Despite the size, the clever arrangement of furniture and decoration makes the lobby a comfortable place to relax.
The white, black and lustrous oak of the lobby area is carried over into the rooms each of which has a park or sea view and a balcony. Sure there are all the bells and whistles of a five-star hotel: plush bathrobes, top-end toiletries, flat-screen TV, free WiFi, separate tub and shower. But what really stands out is the sheer beauty of the design. Floor to ceiling mirrors are placed to reflect the outdoor scenery. A fabric wall covering illuminated from behind softens the bed area. Oak shutters separate the bathroom from the room which allows natural light to penetrate the bathroom while preserving privacy. The effect was soothing and I didn’t need to stress about how to regulate the AC, make a phone call or change channels on the TV. Everything was logical, well-explained and un-fussy.
Chain hotels have their place, but when I’m away from home I want to experience the country. Perhaps the most exciting aspect of the Hotel Lone is that it showcases the very best of Croatian artists, designers, architects and materials. The oak is from Slavonia; the architectural team is Zagreb-based 3LHD working in conjunction with the design team, Numen/ForUse; young Croatian artists Ivana Franke and Silvio Vujčić contributed sculpture and decorative elements. Even lamps, chairs and desks are designed and manufactured in Croatia.
I could have spent a week in the Hotel Lone. Soaking in the wellness center, swimming in the pools (outdoor and indoor) strolling the grounds, sampling the restaurants or just gazing at the view from my balcony would have been enough even without nearby Rovinj and the magnificent Zlatni Rt park. Alas, it was time to move on and all that was left was a memory. But what a memory.
The Villa Dubrovnik closed for three years to renovate and the result is spectacular. The architecture seems to capture the sea and sky and bring it into the splendidly appointed rooms. Some rooms have private jacuzzis but, if not, the wellness center is there for the ultimate in pampering. The indoor pool makes the hotel the ultimate Adriatic experience even in winter and the two restaurants are first- rate. Find out more.
Yet individual pleasure-seekers with a taste for the finest in decor, gastronomy and pampering will find plenty to write home about. This is a “design hotel” in the best sense of the word.Croatian architect Silvije Novak designed the hotel to resemble an ocean liner with echoes of 1970s hotel style, prevalent along the Croatian coast. Large glass walls integrate the interior space with the magnificent Golden Cape park extending out from the hotel. Room furnishings reflect cutting edge design and public spaces are awash in multimedia installations and modern art.
Pleasures of the senses are not forgotten either. The seven restaurants and bars are top-notch and offer different culinary styles with a choice of 200 wines. The Wellness Center is top-of the-line with a choice of all types of face and body treatments, massages, exotic baths and different saunas. . The offerings are varied including facial and body treatments, massages, invigorating baths and sauna with scented steam, Finnish, Turkish, salt and infrared sauna options. The most original is the “sunken room” where guests float on special hydra-massage beds.
Of course, there are indoor and outdoor swimming pools, all manner of fitness machinery, tennis courts, bikes and pretty much anything else you can dream of. Plus, the hotel is only a fifteen-minute walk from central Rovinj and a beach. You don’t need to be The Amazing Kreskin to predict a great future for the Hotel Lone. See what guests say.