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“Lovely Hotel” 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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Ranked #7 of 23 Hotels in Rovinj
Worcester, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
79 reviews 79 reviews
41 hotel reviews
Reviews in 50 cities Reviews in 50 cities
69 helpful votes 69 helpful votes
“Lovely Hotel”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 22, 2010

I don't normally write reviews although I use T/A to research hotels before booking. Reading the previous review though made me want to put pen to paper so to speak!
Yes the staff can seem quite abrubt at times especially at Reception but a lot could be to do with the language barrier, to liken them to prison guards is very over the top!
The Hotel is very modern inside and spotless, the rooms are on the small side, but with everything you need, the only let down was the air con, the coolest we could get the room was 24 C as it was humid and 35C + outside it got a little warm in the night.
I would recommend this Hotel without any hesitation.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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526 reviews from our community

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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 (152)
Date | Rating
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English first
Horsham, United Kingdom
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 20, 2010

I'm in the 4 days into a two week holiday here and it's a bit like staying at a luxury gulag. The staff are still fighting a cold war and it's got the emotional warmth of a Siberian prison camp.

The location and amenities are great, except they have a faulty fire alarm which goes off for a number of hours during the night. The poor old night porter clearly hasn't been trained in customer care or in how to deal with a fire alert. The management and staff a clearly gulag guards in disguise though my wife tells me off if I mention it too loudly. The food is fine. In fact everything is wonderful until you meet the staff here. And then your summer holiday experience just freezes over and you know you'd rather be on the commute to work or stuck in a queue in Tesco's than be here.

Which is a shame because we've been looking forward to this holiday for a while and the location is idyllic! What a wonderful place just 2 hours out of Gatwick! The only place I have ever been where the forest literally goes into the crystal clear sea...

2 hours on a charter flight it might be, but it's 30 years behind in terms of the customer service levels we are just used to in the UK.

I hope this hotel is unique and it isn't symptomatic of Croatia at all, though I'm afraid it might be. In a desperate bid to escape we have hired a car for a number of days and we'll try to explore and find the real Croatia because this Hotel is not Croatian; I hope...

We'll see. Anyway 4 days in and my advice if you are considering to come to this hotel...don't. Which is sad because the place is really lovely....

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 18, 2010

We stayed here the first two weeks in August and i have to say the location is stunning. Here's a few points.

1. The hotel...a lovely clean hotel with a nice reception/lounge area. The staff were all friendly and polite.

2. The room...we had 2 rooms which overlooked the front of the hotel,probably the best view we've ever had on holiday. The beds are firm which i'm not used to and this led to a few unsettled nights at first. Rooms were clean and comfortable but the A/C was very noisy during the night. Bathrooms were roomy enough,ours had a shower only but the connecting room had a bath with a shower over it with lots of hot water and it was powerful. We emptied the mini bar and put our drinks in it....no problems.

3. Pools...these were a good size and i didn't notice any broken tiles at the bottom....maybe they had been repaired. Plenty of sunbeds and parasols, we always managed to get 5 beds everyday, anytime between 8am & 10am depending on what time we got up.

4. Animation team...these were great people,always very friendly and chatty. Waterpolo was every afternoon,rifle shooting and pistol shooting during the mornings and volleyball late afternoon. My hubby & teens enjoyed them and joined in everyday. There were fireworks out at sea one evening which was great but apart from that the evening entertainment was fairly low key.

5.Food...the food was ok...i wouldn't say it was great but i wouldn't say it was bad either. I'm not a fussy eater so i could usually find something nice to eat. The restaurants were clean, bright and comfortable. We used the restaurant in the castle one evening which was lovely....the wine and food was much nicer....it's included in the price with Thomson.

6.Money...i umd and ard about what to take and in the end i took the advice on the forum. I took sterling and changed it at the banks or the money exchange place as the rates were far better than here in the uk.

7.The Ferry...this could be crowded at times but it was a good service. It leaves the island on the hour, the town stop @ 20 past the hour and the Delfin stop @ half past. The Delfin is usually the first stop after leaving the island, you don't have to get off here as you can stay on and go to the next stop in the town. Be aware it's a free for all getting on the ferry at the Delfin & town stops....on the island there's a queue system but some people just walk up and jump the queue.

Overall the hotel was good and Rovinj was a beautiful place to visit, unfortunately we didn't do any trips as we got lazy round the pool. I was going to do the Venice trip but it was a 5am start and a ferry journey of 3hrs there & 3hrs back. The island was lovely but i did feel a bit trapped at times or should i say tied to timetables....this didn't bother the rest of my family as they were happy to stay round the hotel most of the time.
Hope this review is of help to anyone.

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 17, 2010

The teenager club was very well run. The staff running it were very friendly and nothing was too much trouble. As a parent you could relax knowing the children were in good hands and having lots of fun.
Even though we were there at height of the summer season you could always find a space on the beach/ or the rocks away from everybody, Sun loungers were always easy to come by too. There is a lovely garden area with sun loungers with bushes and a few trees for some shade quite near to the largest of the swimming pools....This has not been shown on the photos and is really lovely.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Belgrade, Serbia
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 17, 2010

I have spent ten days in this hotel with my wife and son and I must say that it was probably the best summer holiday we have ever had. The hotel is located on the small island ("Red Island", "Crveno ostrvo" in Croatian) not far from Rovinj (10 minutes by boat). The island is slightly bigger than the hotel itself, so you'll have to leave your four wheels in Rovinj (the hotel has its own parking lot). It also means that your small kid is perfectly safe on the island, you don't need to worry about cars, bikes and traffic in general.

The view from the hotel room is worth a million: lovely landscape with a clear blue sky, a number of small islands here and there and the city of Rovinj just over the patch of sea. Everything else in the hotel is pretty much on the same level of quality.

The room is clean, perfectly maintained and big enough. Nothing special in it but, at the same time, nothing important was missing. It looks like a four or five star hotel room, but the view from the balcony will help you appreciate your accommodation even more. Small objection: there are no beach towels in the room, something pretty much standard in Greek hotels of the same class (you'll have to give a 15EUR deposit to get one, and some extra money whenever you replace the towel with the new one).

There are two big pools just a few steps from the sea (one with sea water), and a number of smaller shallow pools for kids. There is no big sandy beach on the Red Island, there is no such thing in whole Croatia I think, just a number of small areas covered with various sized pebbles. At least, it looks natural and just feels good. You will have no problem with sunbeds and umbrellas so you'll feel comfortable wherever you choose to stay for a day.

The hotel restaurant is big enough, with a great selection of food (including delicious fresh fish every day) and unlimited quantities of wine, beer and soda. I had a great pleasure to speak a number of times with Dalibor, the restaurant manager, who was extremely helpful and kind (not only to me). He has a very simple philosophy how to run a good hotel restaurant: be as helpful and professional as possible, but at the same time don't try to be too familiar with guests, just let them enjoy their meals in full.

You will spend a lot of time taking walks on the island which is certainly small, but has its own charm of rough, unspoiled Adriatic nature. Next to the island, connected with a small, narrow pathway is another island (St. Andrew) which is slightly smaller but helps to make your walks a little bit longer. Of course, you will spend much more time in wonderful Rovinj, enjoying its history, monuments, architecture and restaurants. If you want to see the beautys of Istra, there is no better place to start your exploration.

And if you stay a little bit longer, consider taking a round-trip by a boat to Venice. It takes slightly less than three hours to cross the Adriatic sea to get there, but impressions you will get from there will be a perfect addition to your holiday in Rovinj.

Finally, I don't agree with other reviewers who say that the biggest problem on the island is the boat, just because "other nations do not know how to wait in line quietly". First of all, the boat is very reliable, it comes and goes right on schedule, so you can plan your time easily. It's true that you'll have to wait in a long queue from time to time, but no one was ever left behind. And it certainly isn't "every man for himself" kind of situation, even small kids will have no problem to get on the boat. So just relax and try to enjoy those "other nations" as much as I did.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
The Netherlands
Top Contributor
61 reviews 61 reviews
22 hotel reviews
Reviews in 30 cities Reviews in 30 cities
46 helpful votes 46 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 14, 2010

We stayed in this hotel in the month of July with our son of 9. Once you arrive in Rovinj you need to drive to the harbor and there is an office from this hotel. If you arrive by car you need to park your car or at the harbor's hotel office or at another parking place owned by the hotel. Both parking places are secured and they bring you whenever you want in free shuttle buses to and from your car. After this you go by boat towards the island where the hotel is located. The boat trip is around 10 to 15 minutes. The boat leaves every hour until 01.00 from the island and from the harbor the last boat leaves at 00.30 towards the island. The hotel itself has several swimming pools, both salt and sweat water, but all pools definitely need to be renovated. the small tiles inside the pools are loose, my son collected a huge pile of them as all children did. The sun beds at all pool areas are for free, but at the beach side you need to pay for the sun beds and for the parasols. This hotel is a real family hotel and full of children. If you are not into this, skip this hotel. Further the hotel has a spa, which we didn't visit, a fitness room and several restaurants. The rooms are modern furnished, but small. We paid Euro 210 per night and we didn't had sea view. The air condition in our room made a lot of noise and after a while this get very annoying. We slept in a two person room and our son slept next to us on a sleeper chair. This makes the room very small and you hardly have space to access the balcony. The hotel doesn't provide you with beach towels, so make sure you bring your own beach towels. For internet access you need to pay and they don't have WiFi. At the buffet restaurant, which can be visited for breakfast, lunch and dinner you are not allowed to take food out of the restaurant. They have a girl at a desk checking this ! Some people needed to open their bags and she controlled them ! When we checked in they provided us two plastic credit card type of rooms keys. Once we left one key in our room and the cleaning lady took this card with her. We went to the reception to ask for a new room key and they told us that they just give one room key per room. We told her that we had two keys, but that the cleaning lady took one with her. Than the girl told us that they didn't had any more room keys ! When I told her that this is impossible, since people who check in need a room key she called her manager and after discussing with him we got a new second room key. Overall all hotel employees are quite rude and the majority tells you that their salaries are very low. I'm sorry for them, but we were on holiday and we didn't wanted to hear all those complaints from the hotel's staff. The beaches are not from sand but from small stones, so you need to bring or buy beach shoes. If you don't you can seriously hurt yourself. This hotel is overall not a 4 star hotel. I rather would say a 3 star hotel.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
40 helpful votes 40 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 11, 2010

We have just returned from the wonderful Hotel Istra where we had the most enjoyable holiday. We decided to write our review based on things that we would have liked to have known before our trip, so here goes:
1. The air conditioning displays the current room temperature, in order to reduce the temperature (some previous reviewers have mentioned that it is only 1 degree lower than the outside temperature) keep pressing the down arrow until you reach the temperature you require. There is a preset lowest temperature but we found that 19 degrees was low enough.
2. To work the awning on the balcony there is a switch behind the curtains where the patio door opens. Press this twice to lower and twice to retract the awning.
3. A previous reviewer has mentioned that the room service prices are the same as the bar which is correct, however, there is a 30kn surcharge with each order so beware!
4. Do buy your water from the supermarket as a 1.5 litre bottle there cost 5.99kn whereas as the bar it costs an astronomical 30kn. We noticed quite a few people taking empty water bottles into breakfast and filling them from the dispensers there which is even cheaper.
5. On each floor by the lift to the Wellness Centre there is an ironing board and iron (we only discovered this on Sunday and I know that someone else has mentioned it too).
6. If you want to sunbathe on the balcony by the indoor pool use the lift by the Wellness Centre as it saves you walking all round the houses and up and down several flights of steps.
Ok so that's all the business out of the way so now to let you know what a fantastic time we had in this idyllic location.
Our room was spotlessly clean and very comfortable, yes it wasn't enormous but once everything was put away it was more than adequate with a lovely bed and the best pillows ever.
Our bathroom was immaculate but with no bath which was a bit of a niggle with me as I do like to have a soak after a hard day catching rays. The shower was very powerful, easy to work and provided endless, instantly hot water.
The public areas of the hotel were clean with a lovely relaxed atmosphere. It was perfectly acceptable to sit in the lobby bar without purchasing anything from the bar.
The pools were spotless and well maintained with plenty of (very comfortable) sunbeds and umbrellas available.
The boat can be a pain especially as other nationalities do not seem to understand the concept of queuing like us, be prepared to push, it's every man for himself unless you want to get left behind!
I understand what previous reviewers have said about mealtimes and on some days I found myself having carbs and carbs as unfortunately none of the meat appealed to me. On other days I would have meat and meat as the polenta just didn't do it for me but I never went hungry and the free drinks were an added bonus.
You must eat at the Lanterna restaurant as the food there is inbelievably good. We went twice and yes, the drinks are expensive but we had the most delicious wine (Matosevic Aura Chardonnay) that it was worth it. On our second visit there we had filet mignon cooked at our table and it was out of this world. That meal cost us 733kn which is nearly £100 for three courses including the wine so we felt it represented good value for such excellent food.
St Andrews and Red Island are delightful, a small oasis in a hectic world. We loved it at the Hotel Istra and unless we can find somewhere that offers more (more what I'm not sure), we'll be back next year.
Hope this helps and enjoy, I'm jealous already!

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
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
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 Luxury Hotel in Rovinj
#5 Romantic 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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