We wanted to fly direct from Edinburgh but not be restricted to staying in one of the many hotel blocks that litter the Istrian coast. We wanted somewhere quieter, somewhere that had a bit of character and style. We found Dva Baladura through flyglobespan. They offered a package of a week's stay with flights and transfers.
The night we arrived, as the transfer coach dropped others off at their hotels, we breathed sighs of relief as none of these appealed to us. Then the coach turned off the main road, in the middle of the countryside, up a beautifully lit long drive. Despite the fact that the man who showed us to our apartment (you can have a room or an apartment) couldn't speak English, he succeeded in making us feel really welcome. In the morning, we opened the shutters (traditional shutters on all windows) to see gorgeously converted farm buildings and a clean, beckoning pool. Breakfast was good and simple although after the first day, we ensured we had plenty of fruit and bread in so we could eat when we wanted.
For this hotel, a car is essential. There is a bus service into Rovinj but the only time we used it, we were less than convinced that we'd boarded the correct bus. It got us there but I'm not sure that it wasn't just a local bus driver being friendly! And there are lots of little villages in Istria so it's worth being able to take off and explore for part of the day then come home and chill out by the pool before dinner. In fact, dinner was the only part of this hotel that wasn't perfect for us. There was choice and what we had was fine but certainly not good enough to entice us to dine there every night.
The apartment was stylish and modern, with a small kitchen area, a dining area and a living room as well as separate bedroom and bathroom. The TV had English speaking channels, including football coverage.
The staff were all extremely friendly and welcoming although only one spoke fluent English. She was there every day on reception so there was never a problem and with the others, between us, we managed to muddle through.
As the nearest main town, Rovinj is perfect. A real picture postcard Old Town with cobbled lanes and a commanding basilica at the top, it has character, charm and plenty of eateries. The one thing I wouldn't miss out on if we were to go again was sitting on the rocks with our cocktails at Valentino's, watching the sun go down. We also had a delicious, upmarket meal at Monte's, near the top of the Stari Grad. A special occasion sort of place.
The hotel can book you on day trips and we decided to take advantage of the opportunity to see Venice. We only had a short amount of time there but I'm so glad we've seen such an amazing city.
If you're thinking of rural Croatia, go to Dva Baladura. It's lovely. Just hire a car so you can get out and about too.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The aparthotel « Dva Baladura» is located in the little village Pilkovići - peaceful green oasis, only 12 km from the famous tourist destination Rovinj. The apartments are suitable for two or four persons, rooms are exclusively meant for two persons. Stylish furniture, spacious rooms and fully equipped accommodation units will certainly satisfy every guests needs. For the pleasant moments of enjoyment and relaxation there is swimming pool and our mini wellness. In our restaurant you will enjoy tasting a variety of the local specialities and carefully chosen wines. ... more less