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“Faded charm harking back to a bygone age”

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Guest House Riviera
Ranked #25 of 31 Hotels in Pula
Reviewed August 20, 2013

The Riviera is in a beautiful old building, gone to seed, which is unfortunately hidden now by trees so you can't see the façade well. Inside it is rather gloomy and has undergone seval make-unders since its Hapsburg heyday, resulting in a post-communist budget lodging. This also adds to its 'charm' but is probably not to everyone's taste. Our room was on the 4th floor and was very large and spacious. It had a view over the sea as requested and a lovely little balcony to sit out on. The beds were quite soft but comfy. The room had a fridge (useful for cooling drinks in the hot summer weather), a fan (necessary as there is no air con) and lots of wardrobe and storage space. We loved the mix of original Hapsburg era / Yugoslav era/ post communist era features which made it quirky and charming, but again this would not be to everyone's taste. The breakfast was quite good, with a range of fresh meats and cheeses, fruit, yoghurt, different breads and pastries. The juices and hot drinks we not so nice, but no worse than in the other budget hotels we have stayed at in Croatia. The wifi works well, but is only available on the ground floor (reception) and first floor (breakfast area) but there are loads of places to sit in order to use it. There is a useful mini supermarket, one minute up splitska street. Location is good, on the front, 2 minutes from the giant amphitheatre and about ten minutes walk into the centre of Pula. All the old blokes who work on reception spoke good English and appreciated my attempt at speaking Croatian! We were there for the Pula film festival and the town had a real buzz. Watching a Croatian film 'Simon čudotvorac' in the amphitheatre at night was a real highlight. If you want a clean, boring, bland plastic hotel don't stay here, but if you like a bit of character, it is good value for money and quite an experience.

Room Tip: Ask for either a sea view or a view of the amphitheatre / top floor room.
  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank JonchikandChristophe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Arenaturist, Management at Guest House Riviera, responded to this reviewResponded August 28, 2013

Dear Guest,

Thank you for your nice review and for choosing our hotel Riviera for your stay. We are happy to hear that you enjoyed the room and that the hotel's design and architecture were also to your liking.
If you plan a future stay in our hotel, or in any of our facilities do not hesitate to contact us at: booking@arenaturist.hr and we'll be more than happy to help you!

Kind Regards,
The Hotel Management

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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42 - 48 of 150 reviews

Reviewed May 30, 2013

Huge rooms with a view (if you are high enough), great location and spotless bathrooms make up for the lousy mattresses. Breakfast was very nice but it's a crying shame that the lighting in the breakfast room reminds you more of a train station the pretty room it could really be. Little touches could do wonders for this place so please take this a s constructive criticism because it only takes a little bit to go a long way!

Room Tip: choose a room high up if you can as these have a view
  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled with friends
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2  Thank Laleh2008
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Arenaturist, Manager at Guest House Riviera, responded to this reviewResponded August 9, 2013

Dear guest,

We thank you for your review of our Hotel Riviera and are pleased to get to know you have enjoyed your stay at our facility as well as its location, cleanliness and food offer. We will indeed take your criticism about lightning as constructive and hopefully as you say go a long way for the next summer season.

Hoping to see you again soon somewhere within our Arenaturist hotel structures we send you our friendliest regards.
The Hotel Management

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Reviewed April 29, 2013

Nice old hotel on a perfect location with a nice view from the sea side rooms. Staff is very friendly and helpful. The rooms are a bit outdated, but the location of the hotel compensates a lot. Breakfast is also good. Overall good hotel for a fair price.

Stayed: April 2013, traveled with family
2  Thank VojinovicM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Arenaturist, Manager at Guest House Riviera, responded to this reviewResponded August 9, 2013

Dear guest,

We are very grateful you sent us a review about our Hotel Riviera and glad to hear you enjoyed the time spent at our facility as well as the sea side room, friendly staff, food offer and hotel's location.

Until your next visit we send you our best regards.

The Hotel Management

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Reviewed January 19, 2013

Great hotel just a 5 minute walk from the bus station. Literally 5 minute walk from everything once you get your bearings. SO grand and beautiful, with large rooms and updated bathrooms. We had 2 balconies overlooking the Adriatic to choose from. Great little breakfast on the large balcony was perfect for drinks before dinner. Only downside: mosquito issue was pretty frustrating, but keeping the bathroom door closed at night seemed to help. Impoverished nobility, perfect description!
Front desk was extremely service oriented, and very pleasant to deal with.

  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled on business
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1  Thank Tracey B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Arenaturist, Manager at Guest House Riviera, responded to this reviewResponded August 9, 2013

Dear guest,

Thank you for your review about our Hotel Riviera. We are pleased to know you have enjoyed your stay at our Hotel as well as appreciated our helpful staff, food offer and hotel's location.

Until we see you again within one of our facilities in Pula we're sending our friendliest greetings.
The Hotel Management

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Reviewed October 8, 2012

The building is really impressive as its terrace were in summertime you can have breakfast, gorgeous! you can almost feel how luxurious it was many years ago! The breakfast is OK, with some heathy solutions and you will not stay hungry. Rooms are OK in size but very very worn out, like 50 years old furniture as well as everything on the walls. The same feeling is at the reception. However you can see that it was nice long ago. But the view from our room was marvelous, straight on the Amphitheater. Just few hundred meters from the Amphitheater. The service is sort of OK, I'd say average and it still reminds of all socialistic style (pre-war) service. Helpful staff in its own way. We had our MC with all kind of extra equipment and they offered very good and safe parking spot next to the entrance although the same was not a parking place. This building has a great potential and its pity that it falls apart!

Room Tip: Ask for the room facing the Amphitheater, not sea view.
  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank LolaSweden
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Arenaturist, Manager at Guest House Riviera, responded to this reviewResponded December 11, 2012

Dear Guest,
Thank you very much for your detailed feedback! We very much appreciate your inputs and would like to underline how useful your comments are. It is a pleasure for us to read, that you enjoyed the breakfast on the terrace and the Roman Ammphiteatre view from your room. We are glad that you had a nice stay with us and that you found our staff friendly and helpful.
The Riviera is a historic building form the Austro-Hungarian period in Pula. As you have noticed, it needs to be renewed, but unfortunately for bureaucratic reason we are still not allowed to take any serious step to renew and re-modern Riviera. We hope to have the chance to have you as our guest again soon!
Best Regards,
The Arenaturist staff

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Reviewed October 1, 2012

This beautiful old five-story hotel, in the neo-Baroque style from the late 1800s, appears to be a work in progress for the hospitality company called Arena which has a dozen or more properties throughout the Istria peninsula.

Look one way and you see ornate public areas on each floor and a spacious breakfast room/ evening pub with a gorgeous terrace.

Look another way and you see a building badly in need of a several tubes of caulk and a many gallons of paint.

But if you like old hotels with a ton of character like we do, then you can put up with areas of shoddiness interspersed with splashes of beauty.

Our very large triple room (#409) had twin beds, a couch, desk and chair and a walk-out balcony with amazing views of the harbor and town. Also a mini-fridge and satellite TV.

For some unknown reason, the triple is priced the same as a much smaller standard double room (without balcony) at Euro 58 per night ($75). The oversized bathroom had an excellent shower and plenty of hot water.

Breakfast was included in the price and it was one of the best morning meals we've ever had in our travels throughout Europe. Eggs cooked to suit; potatoes; sausage, bacon, pancakes assorted pasteries, juice and a lot more. We were so stunned by the quality of the breakfast, we made several trip through the buffet!

A small grocery store was a block away where we picked up juice, snacks and beverages for the small fridge during our two-day stay.

The staff was exceedingly friendly, particularly the front desk employes. Arena HQ promptly answered all my email inquiries and my preferences and special requests were noted on the reservation form sent to me and the Hotel Riviera. And all requests (fourth-floor corner room, balcony and twin beds) were granted.

The Riviera is in the center of town, just blocks from the Roman coliseum and various other ruins. There are dozens of restaurants less then three blocks away.

I can't emphasize enough that this establishment (which is classified as a 'Guest House' rather than the next higher classification of 'Hotel') may not be suitable for a lot of travelers. Check out their website and, more importantly, the Trip Advisor reviews. Then you can make an informed decision based upon your style of travel.

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank D.Farkswald
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Arenaturist, Manager at Guest House Riviera, responded to this reviewResponded October 18, 2012

Dear D.Farkswald,
We would sincerely like to thank you for having written such a nice and positive review of the Riviera on Tripadvisor. We are incredibly glad that you liked the special historic atmosphere present in the hotel and that you enjoyed the breakfast served and the friendliness of our team.
Just as you noticed, the building is a very important historic construction from the Austro-Hungarian period in the centre of Pula, and as a company we have big plans to give back to Hotel Riviera the splendor it deserves.
We are always replying to the reviews of our guest to let them know that we did not forget this great building but, unfortunately for bureaucratic and legal reason we are still not allowed to take any step in the renovation of the hotel.
Once again, we would like to thank you all your kind compliments. Your praise is motivation for us to continue to do all that most possible to make our guests’ stay relaxed and.. memorable.
Kind regards,

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Reviewed September 6, 2012

We stayed one night at this hotel and couldn't get out quick enough. The positive is at its in a good location, easy to get to coming into town and close to the old city but that's where it ends. It looks like it was once a stately building but has definitely fallen into disrepair. No money has been spent on upkeep for a long time it seems. They don't turn on the lights in the foyer and passageways on some floors, I guess to save money.

The rooms don't have air conditioning so in warm weather it's stiflingly hot. Opening the windows doesn't help as you get overrun with mosquitoes and there's a night club near the hotel which ran from around 11pm to 3am. We had no hot water in the morning for showers and the bathroom smells bad.

I would recommend trying somewhere different as this does not deserve more than a one star rating.

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank jparker65
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Guest House Riviera

Address: Splitska Ulica 1, Pula 52100, Croatia
Phone Number:
Location: Croatia > Istria > Pula
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #25 of 31 Hotels in Pula
Price Range: $62 - $67 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2 star — Guest House Riviera 2*
Number of rooms: 82
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Riviera Hotel Pula

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