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“All we had hoped for and more...”
Review of Stancija Mani

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Stancija Mani
Vienna, Austria
Level 4 Contributor
23 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“All we had hoped for and more...”
Reviewed September 17, 2013

Having organized a 4-day weekend getaway from Vienna for my international group of 12 friends I feel like having hit the jackpot with choosing to stay at Stancija Mani. We thoroughly enjoyed the rustic charm of this gem of an Istrian country home. It was perfectly well suited to us enjoying a few relaxed days peppered with excursions throughout Istria. We appreciated its remote location off the main road in the heart of the peninsula, far removed from the hustle and bustle of the province’s overrun touristy coast. Everywhere around Istria is within easy reach by car, and the nearby villages of Kanfanar and Zminj offer opportunities for shopping as well as dining in cozy local restaurants. The property’s shared communal space (Konoba) with ample space, large attached kitchen, and cozy fireplace proved to be perfect for spending long evenings playing games, roasting marshmallows on the open fire, playing music, and even dancing thanks to the good sound system. Thanks to this people were free to socialize late into the night without disturbing anyone who felt like sleeping early. The hosts Zahra and Karin were fantastically hospitable and gave us lots of advice on where to visit, eat, and shop around Istria, pointing out less than obvious places that we would have otherwise missed. We appreciated their suggestions a lot and were not disappointed by any of them. As far as the rooms go perhaps one thing to keep in mind for couples/groups who want to share one of the larger houses is that privacy is somewhat limited due to the fact that the walls of the individual rooms don’t reach the ceilings on the upper floors of the buildings so noise can be heard and light can be seen from the neighboring “compartment”. All in all we were very pleased with our stay and will certainly consider it again as a destination for our next group journey.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank Lucas K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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21 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
2 reviews
Reviewed August 30, 2013

We had a lovely holiday; we stayed ten days (from 5 to 15 august) in apartment Rose with our children aged 2,3 and 5. We liked our apartment very much, because of its capacity to stay cool inside (when outside it would be hot sometimes), its design and nice furniture (simple and tasteful), the artworks, and its cosy interior; we felt very comfortable.

The whole estate is beautiful, with plenty of space and shade for everyone, and with the possibility to meet other guests (we met some nice people mainly because there is a very nice and airy common room/house with a big kitchen and fireplace you can use for cooking), but also enough private space in case you wouldn't want company.

We were especially happy about the warm welcome of the owners,They were very helpful with anything we would need. They came by regularly to see and ask if we were ok, and they were always available for answering questions. All of this with genuine hospitality, that made us feel at home from the very first day.

The area is perfect to explore, with small hilltown villages and bigger seaside towns, nice (pebbled) beaches, and a beautiful blue sea, all within a short drive.The best thing is that Karin and Zahra know the area very well, so they know restaurants/agriturismo's/beaches/villages some of which you would otherwise never find, and they are always happy to advice about where to go, with a special feel for picking places that are laid-back and not pretentious but with excellent food.

For the children there was quite a big paddling pool, and they had so much space to play outside that they actually didn’t need any toys to keep them busy, they just played with whatever there was on hand. This felt as a real relief, considering the amount of time we usually spend keeping all their toys together…

Everything is well thought of, perfect for a relaxing holiday. We really couldn’t have wished for anything more. All in all we had a very, very good time and we certainly hope to return.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank Josee K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Graz
1 review
Reviewed August 27, 2013

we were here for the third! time, understandig and loving the concept of easy/smooth living in the beautiful cottage of karin and zahra, who are very nice and helpful.
there are many places where you can relax, be undisturbed or meet other guests - even in the konoba, where you can cook, if you want, you will find a big kitchen with evrything you need, we had a fish-BBQ, talk to people from all over the world, or just check your emails.
the tourist guide leads you to the best places in istra! we have visited nearly every beach and every konoba...
thank you for everything, we will return soon...

Room Tip: kazun for adventures
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Vera Marija G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed August 18, 2013

We paid 1100 euro for a week here as part of a much longer trip - relevant as it was probably the most expensive place we picked. We selected it substantially on basis of Tripadvisor reviews so thought we should say how we found it.

The setting of the houses is very lovely and they look beautiful externally; inside they are carefully and deliberately crafted as pastiche antique which is fine especially if you like that, though not great for younger children. In general it's not really a place for children; there are no facilities for them beyond a half complete set of boules and a paddling pool. We noted it was dirty and were told we could clean it out. This turned out to be quite a task after borrowing a hose (and being asked to water the plants as well) - and not that pleasant when we discovered the dead frog in it.

Part of the vision for the place is the communal Konoba - again an attractive building well equipped for cooking, but not clean. The children pointed out the insect poo to us and the toilets had a broken seat and were full of webs and spiders. The concept though was an uneasy compromise with the small and not well equipped kitchens in the houses themselves - no kettle, no sieve, no cheese grater which left us and other guests shuffling between the two bases.

The vision, though, is not optional. When one of us was having the tiresome task of completing some left over work on a laptop at the front of the Konoba when everyone else was out this earned us a pretty forceful rebuke from one of the owners for breaking the house rule that the front of the Konoba was only for communal eating (even if it was not eating time and there was no commune there).

Rules like this might be all right if they were announced in advance or obviously necessary for everyone's welfare - or even if we hadn't paid over 1000 euros to be there on our holiday. But in this case it was plainly inappropriate and left a sour taste especially as followed up by continuing rudeness when we left as we hadn't immediately accepted our rebuke.

You might have a good time here if you don't want or expect anything from your hosts - and you make sure you are fit in with what they are expecting. But it wasn't for us.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank elneale
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
zahramani, Owner at Stancija Mani, responded to this review, August 28, 2013
Thank you for your account of your time at Stancija Mani! We're sorry you didn't enjoy your time here.

Much of your text is absolutely true: we really don't have piles of children's toys.

What we have is trees and fields, dogs and cats, stones and wood and balls of all sizes, and places to hide, read or run around.

It's true, too, that when you arrived I mentioned there were leaves in the paddling pool and that you were free to change the water. We would have been happy to clean the paddling pool and to remove the poor dead frog too, had you mentioned it! He must have jumped into the water at night, these things do happen in the countryside.

Our guests tend to enjoy watering the herbs in the terracotta pots in front of their houses (which were there for you to cook with!), so I'm also terribly sorry if that was an imposition.

It's also true that the konoba / shared space is there for everyone, and that there are some things that migrate between the semi-professional kitchen and the apartments. There are quite a few graters, sieves and kettles which we mentioned you were free to use in either kitchen.

Most people comment (positively) on the cleanliness here! Of course insects do come in at night if the lights are left on. The bathroom at the back of the konoba (for staff) is cleaned every day, and with 2 spacious bathrooms in your own house, you didn't have to use it.

It's also true that we have a sort of “vision” of how Stancija Mani works but that's just in the interest of our guests, who come here to enjoy their holidays and the authentic rural surroundings.

We offer wifi, and kindly ask everyone not to use it on the front terrace, where people prefer to grill, eat and talk. I did in fact ask you when you arrived to respect the culinary atmosphere and work, if necessary, indoors or on the other terrace.

I'm not sure where your idea of communes came in – not from us! It was just that the other guests here told us they did not feel comfortable sharing the culinary space with people who didn't reply when greeted, were busy completing tiresome work on the computer and were always annoyed with their children.

It's not entirely fair that you rent an 8 person house in August for a family of four and then complain about the price. We weren't hugely happy about the way you took valuable contemporary art off the walls to use as a cushion on the floor either!

Nonetheless, we're sorry that you weren't happy. We do actually go out of our way to accommodate our guests but each time I asked I was told you were having a marvellous time. It's a shame you didn't, and we wish you more luck next summer.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed September 2, 2012

After recommending Stancija Mani to my sister, who came here last month (I came last year just after they opened), I decided to stop by for a few days after a trip to Pula and Outlook festival. I love this place. The second I swept up their driveway, I was overcome with a great feeling of peace and relaxation. This is because the owners have built both of these things into the fabric of buildings. They are designed to take you away from the noise and the hustle and bustle, and to enable you to unwind, eat well, rest well, get to the beach and feel as comfortable as home.

What is not to like?

Ok, if you want bars, and tourists and places to go on your doorstep- then either dont come, or come and head into Ravinj for a night out, This place is rustic but to the highest spec possible. Walk in tropical showers, great beds, art everywhere and beautiful outdoor living spaces. This is the best place to explore the Istrian coast or just while away the time reading a book. The owners, Zahra and Karin can direct you to the best restaurants and beaches. You do need a car to get around and the mosquitoes are vicious (but that is everywhere in Istria).

It's got a great energy and this is why I am going to be coming back again and again. But Shhh! Don't tell anyone. I like it quiet.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled solo
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Helpful?
Thank EstherForeman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cambridge, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
19 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed August 16, 2012

We had a lovely time on our first family holiday together! We are a ragtag bunch, what is now commonly known as a blended family, with 3 girls aged between 8 and 12. This was our first family holiday overseas, first time on a plane and for my partner his first ever beach holiday! Stancija Mani did not disappoint, it's beautiful rustic charm suited us to the ground. We stayed in the larger of the three houses, with 3 lovely large bedrooms with 2 bathrooms with fantastic walk in showers and plenty of hot water. The hosts have built these recently but using traditional Istrian styles and stone, so you have this fantastic rustic feeling but with really modern touches. We we welcomed late at night, with provisions to get us through the morning, a bottle of wine, butter, tea coffee and juice for the children.

We had hired a car to drive from trieste, and you really do need it as the house is tucked off the main road. About 15 minutes drive from Rovinj and the wonderful Istrian coast, it is perfectly positioned off the beaten track but close enough that you can be somewhere beachy in a very short time. The hosts speak German, English, Croatian and Italian so they know a lot of local people and organise lovely trips and events for their families. We will definitely look to go back.

Be warned having swimming shoes really is useful -there are sea urchins (although we didnt step on any) but because the beaches are rocky the shoes are really good at protection soft feet.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank RForeman_12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Stancija Mani

Property: Stancija Mani
Address: Hrelji 45, Zminj 52341, Croatia
Location: Croatia > Istria > Zminj
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly )
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Specialty Lodging in Zminj
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Stancija Mani, holiday apartments in the secluded surroundings of our traditional Istrian country house near the historic towns of Žminj and Kanfanar, and close to Rovinj. The holiday homes at Stancija Mani are built according to age-old traditions using local stone, combining contemporary and ancient architectural elements, materials and aesthetics. Open all year round, the property is ideally located for a peaceful holiday in the countryside. It is close to stunning Adriatic beaches and is a good starting point for outings to the cities, villages and culinary delights Istria has to offer. ... more   less 
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