We stayed two nights in August 2012 at the height of the European tourist season and the hotel was full. Read crowded. A hotel can be full but not feel that way, but here it was very much in evidence. We arrived at 2 PM and had to wait an hour for our room to be ready--not surprising and no big deal. We went to the dining room for lunch and when we asked about reservations for dinner we were told that the entire restaurant was given over to "Latin Night" with an outdoor barbecue and a multi piece band. That left us with no other choice but the other a la carte restaurant which entailed a ten minute walk (in 104 degree temperatures) to an indoor-outdoor seating arrangement overlooking the small stone beach. However, the restaurant itself that evening was superb and the service excellent. As soon as the sun went down a breeze came in and made the evening tropical. A lovely view of the sea and the Slovenian coast added to the charm. We shared a 2 kilo branzino baked in salt which our server filleted after releasing it from its thick salt casket. It was remarkable. He was very knowledgeable about Croatian wines, introducing us to their "orange wine"--a blend of Pinot Grigio and Sauvignon Blanc with the must allowed to stay with the grape skins an extra day, giving the wine a distinctly orange hew and a very interesting taste. The experience was so good we made reservations for the following night and were just as pleased with the other choices of fish we had. While the menu had a good selection of meats as well, overlooking the sea it seemed a sin not to go with the fish. The breakfast buffet was extensive with different cuisines, many choices beautifully presented, but like the rest of the hotel, it gave the impression of trying to impress with more rather than with better. Our room was modern and spacious but the multi page room menu offering different scents for the room, different oils for the bath, and two pages of pillows was a little over the top as were the push button open/close drapes, the flush tv in the bathroom mirror and the spa offerings which included a cooling cabinet with tiny ice cubes which we didn't care to try. The poolside was a madhouse of people, many with children, understandable at this time of year, but with no lounges avaiable except two (one broken) next to a kiddie pool. It did not make for a great experience. Nor did the equally crowded conditions at the small beach. One felt as if every last person was being squeezed into the hotel at its peak just for that extra kuna or, more like it, extra hundreds of kunas or so. If a hotel aspires to excellence as the Kempenski chain does (we have stayed in several others which have been top notch) the true test comes when it is fully booked. On that basis THIS Kempenski rates a C at best. The hotel is located in what can only be described as the Croatian hicks and there is no place else to go, even with a private car and that too I suspect ,adds to the attitude problem that seems to exist with the staff. When we checked out we were billed for parking even though we had no car as our registration no doubt would have revealed. Perhaps for the many Russian oligarchs who were there and their trophy wives, this hotel fulfilled their fantasies. There is a quiet and discreet luxury that some of the finest hotels in the world reflect and there is the loud and ostentatious bling that shouts money and wealth. This Kempenski is still ringing in our ears.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Thank you very much for choosing our hotel and for taking your precious time to post your feedback on TripAdvisor, as constructive dialogue is the best way to improve our services and to stay on the right track.
July and August are our peak months where not only our hotel, but the entire Adriatic coast is swarming with tourists. In fully booked city hotels the guests mainly go out during the day, while in resort hotels they tend to stay on the hotel’s ground, enjoying the many services available. High occupancy was not the reason why you had to wait 1 hour upon check-in for your room to be ready, as our check-in time is from 3 pm (stated also on your booking confirmation), while unfortunately you arrived a little bit earlier, that is at 2 pm. Of course, whenever possible, we try to accommodate our guests in the shortest possible period, but as you noticed yourself, the hotel was fully booked.
In regards to the food & beverages offer, on the night of your arrival the weekly Latino evening was taking place at our main restaurant Dijana. Nevertheless, you were offered a very nice alternative, which you utterly enjoyed for two nights in the row - our charming Istrian-style restaurant Kanova, located on the top of our conference building on the beach. The restaurant is not really at a 10 minutes walk (actually it is situated at 350 m from the hotel), but considering the fact that it is dislocated, we offer complimentary transfer to our guests with our two Mercedes vans. I am very pleased to hear that you enjoyed the ambiance, service as well as the unique view over three different countries our restaurant Kanova offers: the Slovenian, Croatian and Italian coast. Thank you very much for the nice words describing the food and the service. I will share your positive impressions with my staff. Our culinary philosophy is to prepare fresh, local and seasonal dishes, while the spices used by our chefs are from our herbs garden.
The Kempinski Hotel Adriatic is one of the most state-of-the-art hotels in Croatia, a proper “smart hotel”. Of course, some people like the modern technology, other prefer to keep it simple. That is purely subjective, as well as the location and destination itself, described by yourself with a rather inappropriate term “hicks”, while Lonely Planet and the National Geographic listed Istria as one of the 10 must seen places in 2011 and 2012. It is a pity you didn’t contact our concierge who would then suggest you a nice discovery tour, inclusive of transfer.
I am sorry to hear that initially the parking fee was listed on your invoice. Unfortunately, involuntary mistakes can always occur, and that is why our modus operandi is to present first to our guests the info check, giving them the possibility to go through each single cost and correct it if needed. Thus in the end the receptionist kindly amended your final bill and you were not charged the nonexistent garage parking. I apologize once again for any possible inconvenience this might have caused to you.
Finally, when travelling during peak season, one unfortunately cannot expect to experience the same calmness of the shoulder season months, especially considering the record number of tourists visiting Croatia this summer. The Kempinski Hotel Adriatic, with its elegant, high-tech, but at the same time sober architecture, surrounded by unspoiled nature, century old vineyards and olive groves, offers different dimensions of leisure, in harmony with the seasons, from the quite, relaxing weekend spa & golf getaway to the vibrant and exciting family summer destination, or the perfect staring base for discovering the most famous autumnal Istrian treasure: his majesty the white truffle.
Thank you once again for sending us your comments and for choosing our hotel as well as other hotels belonging to the Kempinski group. We sincerely hope that you will come to visit us again, maybe in spring or autumn, in order to discover the multiple facets of the Kempinski Hotel Adriatic and the Istrian region.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.