First impressions of the hotel Katarina were very favourable although it left us a little confused as the ferry dropped us off at the service landing stage on the wrong side of the island, not the normal ferry stop. This left us wondering where to go as there were no directions and the only other people went directly into one of the annex buildings and we were left trying to get into reception at a rear door that was locked. Once into reception, the area was clean, smart and welcoming, and we were dealt with quickly & efficiently. The room was clean although a little dated, and we had a balcony where we had a partial view of the town. Because we arrived late in the afternoon, we just had enough time for a brief look around the hotel & immediate grounds (again very favourable) before going into the dining area for the evening meal. All the evening meals (and breakfasts) were excellently displayed and tasted great and there was generally plenty to eat and a good choice, but food could be cold.
After our initial enthusiasms for the hotel, things went downhill. I always say that any hotel has to get the basics right, then the little things do not matter much. Here the basics are fine (good food, good staff & hotel in superb location), and if you can name a couple of niggles it does not spoil your holiday. But if there are 5 or 6 niggles, or in our case you could easily run off a dozen without even thinking too much, then I would not recommend this hotel to anyone else unless you are a family with small children. There were so many things that were not right (some small, some not so) which lead me to think that this hotel is not run very well. The issues are too numerous to mention here but here is a small selection:-
SMELL – Sewage. Smelt awful at times. By day 3 they brought across a vehicle on to the island to remove it. By day 5, the smell was back again. Below our room were two tanks buried into the ground with green lids on the top, and every day these leaked what looked like soap suds. They definitely had a drainage problem or two.
NOISE – 3 floors below us was the laundry. From 07:00 to 19:00 every day was the noise of industrial washing machines doing the laundry with a constant humming, except for the time when it was on a spin cycle and then it rattled the place. An afternoon nap was out of the question.
KIDS – I knew the hotel had a kids club (June & July only) but by going in September I thought there would not be any there or only a few. Wrong. Up to the first weekend there were about 30 to 40 small kids (aged between 3 – 9 years) running around the dining room each night and apart from noise & the danger of getting something hot spilt on them, it just was not a relaxing way to have a meal.
RUN DOWN FEELING – There were so many little things that needed attention. Sink useless, taps where you needed 2 hands to work them, outside paths needed repairing, there were lights on the paths but most did not work, the area’s away from the main blocks called a botanic garden were just overgrown and in desperate need of attention, and a couple of disused building that either need sprucing up or knocking down. There were loads of other things I could mention where I would expect a German run hotel where its main cliental were also German, would & should have been better managed.
Overall the hotel was a bit of a letdown which is a great pity because it is in a superb location and has great potential if it can be managed better and have a bit of investment.
The journey in the mini bus could have been far more relaxing. Because we were on a 2 center holiday we flew into Slovenia and were transferred to Rovinj and then for the second week were taken back the same way to Lake Bled. The journey both ways was with the same driver who looked like he should have been on a skateboard park instead of driving us. He drove way over the number of hours that is safe for any driver let alone a bus driver, and was getting through about 6 cans of red bull on each trip to stay awake. He left Venice at 04:00, picked us up in Rovinj at 07:10, the airport by 10:45 where he had a wait until 11:30 before repeating the whole journey again in reverse.
The town of Rovinj is an excellent clean friendly place for a holiday, and although there are quite a lot of bars (not the noisy type – just nice relaxing ones), there is lots to see & do. It’s an excellent place to wander around or go on one of the several walkways outside of the resort and down the coast.
Finally, must make a comment about the Holiday Options rep. I have seen many reps in my time and attended loads of welcome meetings, but this one could not be faulted. He kept the welcome meeting brief, informative & relevant and gave loads of useful advice and did not push day trips at all. At the end of our stay he was waiting on the quayside to help us off the ferry and show us to the mini bus even though it was only 07:10 am.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Situated on a beautiful island, a stone throw from the Rovinj City centre, Hotel Katarina is a romantic getaway surrounded by a lush 19th century garden that offers perfect vistas of the Old Town and Punta Corrente Park forest. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Katarina Hotel Rovinj