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“Island Escape" by Pete and Bev” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Island Hotel Istra

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Island Hotel Istra
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Crveni Otok 1 - St. Andrea, Rovinj 52210, Croatia   |  
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Hotel amenities
Special Offer
Touch of beauty
Ranked #7 of 23 Hotels in Rovinj
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Bracknell
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Island Escape" by Pete and Bev”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 15, 2008

My wife, daughter, fiance and I have just returned from Hotel Istra (half-board) and found the accommodation was of the highest standard. Clean, tidy, modern and fresh.
The location is fantastic and the hotel grounds and public areas are kept immaculate.
The hotel lacked any real entertainment on site, I put this down to our trip being taken at low season, but this was not an issue with us, we often took the boat accross to Rovinj to visit the various bars there.
Bar staff were extremely efficient and friendly, as were most of the reception staff (except the grumpy nightporter !)
The only criticisms were that the quality of the Buffet food served did not live up to the standard of the hotel, particularly breakfast. As others have commented, brussels sprouts and broccoli are not on my normal breakfast menu!
We took lunch on 2 occasions at the Lavenda Grill situated on the adjoining island, and the food was excellent and resonably priced. We ate once at the Lanterna a la carte restaurant and had a very enjoyable experience, despite certain items not being available on the menu.
Overall, a very pleasant 7 day holiday

  • Liked — Cleanliness
  • Disliked — Not enough English TV !
  • Stayed June 2008, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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535 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (155)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Polish first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Dunfermline, Scotland
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 7, 2008

If you want a relaxing week away from traffic noise etc, then this is the place. Almost every room has a lovely view from it's balcony. The rooms are basic, but very clean and cool, and why stay in the room anyway?
There were a lot of children, but they all seemed to be busy attending various organised activities and not getting bored or grumpy - ie not bugging couples like us without children.
The pool area is nice but very busy, the usual 7AM towel laying nonsense to reserve sun loungers; we're not into that at all so just walked a couple of minutes along the shore to find a spot to sun bathe. You have to pay for sunbeds away from the hotel pool area, I don't remember exactly, about GBP3.50 equivalent for 2 beds and a parasol for the day which I thought was fine.
The staff don't seem to be able to smile at all, but if you need anything they are helpful enough.
The shoreline is rocky all around this area, on the mainland aswell as the Island the hotel is on, not good for building sandcastles, but good for snorkeling or diving. Just get some cheap water shoes for your feet.
My wife and I thought the food was pretty good, we were there for 7 nights and the selection changed every evening. We got a "free" meal at the ala carte restaurant; the restaurant looks nice, but guests with free meal vouchers are treated like some kind of second class citizens with just a choice of "meet or fish" dish - don't bother with it unless you want to pay for your meal.
There's a nice outside bar area next to the sea where a selection of local musicians play on a stage, the perfect way to chill out with a few drinks at the end of the day.
We found the ferry to and from the mainland an enjoyable experience except for about 11AM - 1PM when a lot of non-hotel guest visitors are trying to get to the island, a lot of pushing and shoving. But fine at other times.
Rovinj (pronounced a bit like "Ro'veen") is very nice, a bit crowded in July, but very scenic. I liked it best in the morning with quite a lot of activity around the harbour - the large fast ferry to Venice leaving, fishing boats coming and going, etc and not yet crowded. It's also lovelly in the evening, but very crowded in the nice water-side bars and restaurants. I think these would be better enjoyed out of the peek-season.
I'm not one for returning to the same place every year, but will definitely go back before long.

  • Liked — Location
  • Disliked — Midday rush for the ferry
  • Stayed July 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
West Sussex
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 6, 2008

We loved it! We have twins and nothing was too much trouble for the staff. The location was superb and very restful. Food excellent and a big plus was the free beer/wine/soft drinks with dinner.

Very charming staff and incredibly helpful.

The only draw back - the Russian parents who left their children all day! Accidents happen and the international language only goes so far when a child needs his mum.

  • Liked — The staff
  • Disliked — the crowded ferrt
  • Stayed August 2007, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York
1 review
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed November 24, 2007

My husand and I visit our family in Croatia every year. This time I wanted to do something special and visit a different city. It was also our anniversary. Rovijn looked nice on the internet and was only 30 minutes from where we were staying. So I wanted a spa hotel so my husand and I could get massages together. I also wanted a 4 star hotel. Well, we're from New York and this was definitely NOT 4 star for New York standards. I quess 4 star has different meaning depending on what country your in. This was 2 star the most where we come from. We could not book the room directly from the hotel. The hotel uses a separate company which could not answer any of my questions and told me I'd find all the information I needed in my package that will be sent to me. So I took a chance and booked it relying on the "4 Star " status and it was the only spa in Rovijn. The information I recieved did not provide us with any reservation information for the spa and no phone number for the hotel!!! When we arrived we scheduled a massage as soon as we checked in. The room was 2 star quality and we realized the price DID NOT match the room or the grounds. The pool looks beautiful on the internet but it was full of children when we got there. I was under the impression that there was a separate pool for children. This is definitly a family hotel. There is nothing exceptional about our culinary experience. There is nothing sophisticated about a family hotel with children running ramped. So much for a "relaxing spa experience"! There is nothing elegant about the so called sophisticated terrace. My husband is an executive chef and I am a general manager of a restaurant in New York City and have 15 years experience in the hospitality industry. I have never been so decieved by a so called 4 star hotel. To top off our waste of money we recieved a phone call at 7:30 AM, yes very early in the morning, to tell us that they could not honor our appoinment for the spa at 11 AM. Not only did I book this hotel for the soul purpose of its spa but this was part of my gift to my husband for our anniversary and we were checking out at 11am. They did absolutely NOTHING to rectify this. Another reason why this hotel is no where near 4 star status. Do not waste your money. It turns out that there are such cute and quaint hotels in Rovijn with much better service and food to offer for half the price. Give your money to the local businesses. It turns out Hotel Istra is not a Croatian company. I believe its based in Switzerland. Oh and by the way there is a complaint log that businesses are suppose to allow you to write in upon request. The manager would not give me the log. Hmmm....I wonder why?

  • Liked — Cleanliness
  • Disliked — Customer Service and price
  • Stayed August 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bern, Switzerland
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed October 31, 2007

I had a chance to look at other Rovinj hotels while our bus was picking up people for a tour of Zagreb. I must say, Istra is probably the best choice location-wise. It is on a separate island, far from the noise. Most, but not all, rooms have a view of the see. There is an easy boat ride to the mainland available.

The staff, however, is not very friendly, and the management resembles the times of the Iron Curtain somewhat. For one thing, it is prohibited to bring bags to the dining room because the management is afraid people would steal food. Instead of politely asking not to do that, there is a staff member at the entrance to the dining room not letting people with bags in. The food, by the way, is so-so.

They have some "shows" where the hotel staff is trying to dance, sing, and god knows what. Don't go there. It is pathetic.

Most things for the beach you have to pay for, including umbrellas, cabanas, etc. Worse than that, you cannot put the charge to your room. They require you to pay in cash on the spot. Why would they want you to carry cash to a beach on the island? Almost all the beaches on the island are rocky, so do not expect lying comfortably on a towel. You would also do good to bring rubber slippers with you (you can buy them at a gift shop though).

The maids are unprofessional too. One day a maid forgot to lock the door to the room. In fact, she did not even close it. Another time, the maid did not replenish liquid soap in the bathroom. I asked the receptionist to bring us new soap. In some time, a maid knocked at the door and suggested me to attach a new soap bottle! I was forced to ask her to kindly do it herself.

About the reception: at check-in I asked (maybe somewhat silly on an island) a room with a sea view. The receptionist answered: "All our rooms have sea view" and proceeded to give us a room... with a wall view. We could see dirty roofs of some auxiliary buildings and a wall from our window. Yes, they changed the room upon request. But didn't I ask sea view in the first place?

The island with the hotel buildings is connected to another island reserved for nudists. Depending on the wind direction, staying on the main island is not always an option. But do not be afraid to enter the realm of naked people. The shore is mostly rocky with huge rocks creating kinda isolated compartments. If you are in one of them, you are not seen from the trails and you do not see others. Still be prepared to withstand some amount of nakedness. Unfortunately, some nudists should not be nudists for aesthetic reasons.

  • Stayed June 2005, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Calgary, Canada
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed September 25, 2007

Ok...where to start. We decided to go there straight after our wedding for a shosrt break. we told them everything, and they didn't give us any welcome, I know in other 2 * are giving at least some fruit or a flower... ok, let's go on...
we took a luxury packet, and it wasn't so cheap for 2 days...
we went straight into the wellness and we wanted to go to the pools and stuff, but, the air conditioning was about on 22, it was so COLD, and the water in the whirlpools also, totally cold, actually we got COLD,after that we were so disappointed that they had so little to offer, only 2 types of saunas and 2 whirlpools, of which 1 has already green in it and it works only 10 minutes and 50 is off.
as we were a bit tired we went into the relax room, where werewarm also only the beds, we were really relaxing, when I heard some bad noise, something was falling and the noise was coming next to my husband. there was some big metal picture on the wall and it fell just 2cm away from his head. IT WAS A HORROR!!! we told everything to the girls there, they couldn't even say sorry or something, she was laughing. we came in the room where was also freezing, and called the reception to get to the menager. they've sent us a radiator, and the hotel menager did NOT also say sorry or anything...
we stayed there cause we were to tired to go home to the mess that was waiting for us. the next day we had this spa treatments and it would have been great if it wasn't so cold. you are supposed to be relaxed and warm without clothes, but we were totally FROZEN. we tried to call the menager agagin, as it was a deal from the previous day, but he wasn't there. we got to the assistant menager and he was suprised as nobody told him about us and the problems we were having. he was the first and the only one to apologize, and he was also suprised as nothing was waiting for us in the room on our arrival. he called us a few minutes later to apologize again, ask us to come back, and giving us 50% of discount...
but there was no end. that evening we had a romantic dinner in a castle, it was all part of the package we choose, and I ate the fish menu, after which I was sick with temterature the whole night. but this is something we didn't say, as we felt really bed on how it went...
probably if we told them, theyyy would again say nothing and that they were only workers, and that it all on menagement.
it is a pity, as the island is beautiful.

  • Liked — my husband
  • Disliked — almost everything
  • Stayed September 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Island Hotel Istra

Address: Crveni Otok 1 - St. Andrea, Rovinj 52210, Croatia
Phone Number:
Location: Croatia > Istria > Rovinj
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Rovinj
#4 Family Hotel in Rovinj
#5 Romantic Hotel in Rovinj
#6 Luxury Hotel in Rovinj
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4 star — Island Hotel Istra 4*
Number of rooms: 326
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Hotel Istra is an island of its own, a traffic free oasis of sea and sun, private beaches and secluded spots, a ten minute boat ride from Rovinj. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Istra Hotel Rovinj
Hotel Istra Rovinj

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