We stayed at "House Kovacine" at the Camp Kovacine campground. We don't camp, even in mobile homes, so this was a surprisingly great option. The Hotel Kimen (also on Cres) never got back to us, so we checked this out and I am glad we did. Here is a review:
1. The grounds: Stunning views, very clean, and quiet. Lots of shade under olive trees, and some rocky beaches. It was quite large, yet you could take a long walk to Cres Town if you really wanted to. We walked around a lot - but if you want to explore the island the only way (with total freedom anyway) is by car. You could bike if you are a semi serious cyclist. The roads are tiny with a lot of curves and fast cars - so novice bikers beware! We rented in Venice and drove over as the ferries don't run from Venice in Sept. (This was the best option for us as we got to see a LOT more of Croatia along the way).
2. The rooms: The rooms are extremely basic - more basic than a Motel 6. They were perfectly fine. However, the first room we stayed in had a serious mold problem, so bad that even my husband who does not have allergies could not bear to stay there. We slept one night in there (room 10) and then asked to change which happened with no problem. Room 2 was much bigger and more comfortable. For a simple room, we had views of the sea which was worth it!
3. The people: The other guests were all German as far as we could tell and we were the only English as a first language speakers there. We asked if they had Americans often and they said no. Perfect! (We are American:) The guests were all very pleasant and it seemed a nice mix of families and couples. We are not campers, however some of the campgrounds we have visited on day trips in the states had loud music, a lot of beer, and were more for partying. This was in NO WAY like that. People were there to enjoy themselves, play cards outside their campers, and maybe play some volley ball. Really nice.
4. The food: Plenty of options if you want to eat at the camp. Restaurant, little bar, and small pizza place all right there. Also a camp store that we went to everyday. They had everything you need and had the BEST bakery on site. We picked up pag cheese and fresh bread for our lunch on more than one occasion.
5. The staff: Hotel staff and restaurant staff were all fine. However, there is a diving school that advertises "introductory dives," on site. We asked about it the first day and they told us that the weather was not looking good but to stop back in a few days if it wasn't stormy. We waited out the weather and went back to ask if they would do a dive. They stalled and told us that it would be really difficult for them to do and when the instructor paused and stood there looking at us we said "that's ok then." She seemed relieved she would not have to deal with us. It was extremely frustrating that they advertised intro dives, and did not seem interested in running any. Meanwhile there were dives everyday for a group of people (not beginners) so it almost felt like they were just having fun with people who could dive on their own and we were left out. I am sure they would've spend more time instructing us, and the dives they preferred to do with more skilled divers were simpler for them. We got the vibe they were not interested - fine but don't advertise! We understand if it was not safe for a new diver, but when the weather was fine and she still gave us a hard time we just said forget it!
Overall a great jumping off point on the island and it was refreshing to stay outside of typical hotel.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The camping Kovacine is located on a beautiful peninsula, surrounded by clear blue sea, just a few steps away from the coastal town of Cres.Surrounded by untouched nature and spread over 23 ha, it really is an ideal place to spend a vacation for all true lovers of nature and freedom.Our camp Kovacine is a family camp, with 950 camping units and it also offers accomodation in 165 mobile homes as well as in rooms in the "house Tamaris", located right by the sea. ... more less