I can’t be negative about a hotel that claims to be nothing more than a 2 star hotel because it is exactly that. As people have written before, it is looking old, doesn’t benefit from air conditioning and is a bit of a concrete monster. Its lower ground floor rooms are cavernous and I couldn’t help thinking that it must be rather like the Shining hotel during the winter months.
The outdoor pool was small, so it was really a question of finding a suitable place on the rocky beachfront for sunbathing.
I want to try and be useful and so just a few things that I hope are of interest about the area and the hotel.
Firstly, if you want a ‘coolish’ room – try and get room 174 – or the equivalent on the floors above (r.h corner of the building as you look out to sea). These have a second room and so benefit from a second window – providing a good breeze through the night (I was there in August). It felt perfectly safe to leave them open. Not only that, it had a lovely view of the sea from the balcony.
If you are looking to relax around the pool, I recommend going to the Hotel Histria nearby. This is by far the best of the hotels in that area – has a very relaxing and cool terrace and lovely pool with terrific views. As with all the Pulan pools, the water is salty, which was a shame. I suppose if you all take my advice, the Histria may start to wonder why there are so many people around but no one ever approached me or wondered why I was there, so shouldn’t need to worry on that front.
The Histria area of Verudela also benefits from a better and less crowded beach. Having said that, the bars at the beach by the Brioni are lovely and have tapped into the Café del Mar feel and are open until 2am. Very mellow and atmospheric.
So whatever the Brioni lacks, it makes up for by where it is and what surrounds it. If all you want to do is sleep and not worry about its 2 stars, then it is functionally fine.
As for Pula, the Ampitheatre is amazing. Elton John, Michael Bolton had recently played there and I was lucky enough to be there when Swan Lake was being performed. Unless you want to spend money on going to one of these events, I recommend walking to the left side of the Ampitheatre, going up the hill to a bar which overlooks (through the ampitheatres’ arches) everything going on inside.
I loved the main street for its rambling, its bars and shops. Often there are bands playing outdoors and it has a very friendly, fun atmosphere.
Sadly one negative but has to be written so that you keep your money..The transport from the airport isn’t good and you will probably have to rely on a taxi. My taxi man started the fare on 100 kuna (which is about 8 quid I think), which was outrageous. We argued the whole of my journey about the price. He even threatened to dump me on the side of the road in the middle of the countryside (I was being v diplomatic, I promise!). He had said there was a traffic jam going into the main part of Pula and so would take 2 hours (it’s only about 5 miles) – so he would take me a longer way round. This was still only about 10 miles but he charged me 350 kunas. This is extortionate. I felt a bit stupid of course but incredibly annoyed as well. The Tourist Office confirmed that they are notorious cheats and that the charge to the hotel should have been 220 at most (and 120 to the centre of Pula). The initial charge should be no more than 30 kunas, not the 100 I was charged (that is for waiting for an hour).
I did actually make a beeline for him at the airport when I was leaving and found him slinking further and further down into his seat. After another firm but diplomatic argument, I did manage to get the outstanding amount back, as I had written proof from the Tourist Office. They recommend always getting a receipt. I was no doubt naïve but glad it got resolved. And my mistake means you don’t have to be conned!
That was the only negative on what was a lovely 4 days in Pula. I highly recommend it for its historic buildings, lovely weather, atmosphere and friendly people.
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- Also Known As:
- Brioni Hotel Pula