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“Didn't live up to expectations” 3 of 5 bubbles
Review of Island Hotel Istra

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Island Hotel Istra
Ranked #5 of 23 Hotels in Rovinj
Certificate of Excellence
Suffolk, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
65 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
“Didn't live up to expectations”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 28, 2012

Just come back from 2 weeks at Hotel Istra, Rovinj 11-25 Sept. 2012. First impressions Wow what a lovely setting. Worth every penny you paid for that view alone. No point in reiterating what the previous reviewers have said,which I have just read and found to be correct. However, the Restaurant was just awful. Can only be described as a works Canteen and was very noisey when full. Not the sort of place we want on holiday. Yes you helped yourself to free wine but that left a lot to be desired and that was not what we are used to either. We didn't bother with it after the first night as it was that bad. In actual fact, after the first few nights we went over into the town for our evening meal, more on this later. In the Hotel itself the rooms, although quite small, were adequate with enough storage space and were kept beautifully clean. It appeared to us that this Hotel was refurbished on a very tight budget. The bedroom furniture was very cheap and nasty. Having said that, the worst thing was in the Lounge/Bar/Reception area where the settees and armchairs, although very modern looking, were very uncomfortable. We often wondered where we would sit if we had had a real wet day. We found the best place to sit was out on the balcony from the lounge/reception/bar area but sometimes it tended to get chilly in the evenings. The other area we disagree with other reviewers is the friendliness of the staff and the Croatians in general. We found several of them quite rude. Maybe it's a language thing I don't know. This year alone we have been to the Carribbean, Cyprus and Bermuda and the people there all make you feel very welcome and make it known that they would love you to come back again. We certainly didn't find this in Croatia. Another thing I would like to comment on is the swimming pool. All very nice and clean etc but why so cold at this time of year. We understand that Croatia has had an exceptionally hot summer and just assumed the pool would have felt much warmer. We found the Thomson Rep to be very helpful. However, several times when we went over to Rovinj there were things going on which we felt she could have made us aware of by just putting a poster on her notice board. There was a music festival, a vintage car rally etc etc which we just found by accident. The restaurants we went to and would recommend were the Lantana on the island, Scuba in Rovinj and best of all La Pontolina in Rovinj. We also went to one called Dream but not quite so impressed with that one. Despite all the moans and groans we thoroughly enjoyed and holiday with the Hotel in such a glorious setting and we also loved the ferry ride to and from Rovinj which was all part of the holiday. Rovinj is really such a beautiful place.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Liz L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (241)
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Essex
Level Contributor
12 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 27, 2012

We've just returned from a week at the Istra Rovinj. It was a good holiday and the Hotel was spotless. The room was fine and we had taken note of previous reviews and booked a sea view room although to be honest not many wouldn't have had at least a partial glimpse of the sea. We were at the back overlooking the pools and the island and it was a lovely view. Previous advice of taking a travel kettle was much appreciated and £9.99 spent in Argos the day before departure was a good investment.(Take your own tea bags because my husband didn't have a decent cuppa all week) A 40 minute transfer from the airport and we were left in Rovinj with no instructions from the coach driver as to where to go and pick up the ferry. To be fair it was only a couple of hundred yards from the drop off point but if you don't know where to go it isn't obvious at first look. The ferry was there and waiting but I suspect that if we'd had any delay on the road it could have been a long wait for the next one. They always leave very promptly so don't be late!! Its only a short hop to the hotel and check in was very painless. Our room was ready even though we had arrived quite early. Having unpacked and after a cup of our own coffee we went off to explore. Had a very pleasant walk around the hotel and then on the island. Most unusual to find seagulls and pheasants strutting around the beach area. Lizards every other step and a different view around every corner. I got a bit of an "eyefull" when stepping out across the rocks on the island and found myself face to face with a couple of the naturists who bask at the bottom of it. Hadn't expected that!!! Rather them than me on those rocks. Those of us who prefer to stay at least partially covered up have the advantage of free sunbeds around the pool. We had no problem with finding a bed at any time of the day but we had the overall impression we were there a bit "after the party had ended" even though it was mid September. Some parts were closed down and we just felt something was missing. Dinner was adequate but again as previous reports have said it was rather like a works canteen and lacking something. Far better to get the ferry over to the mainland and eat in one of the restaurants there. Rovinj is very pretty and lots of backstreets and alleys to explore.Ladies, don't even think of wearing anything other than good FLAT shoes because the cobbled streets are very hazardous and slippery even if its dry. Got told off in one restaurant (The Konoba Taverna...avoid at all costs) for daring to just order a wine and beer plus pancakes. Very rudely told he was a restaurant and asked where we were from. He only had two other customers and they only had two coffees but for some reason we were not welcomed so left and had a meal along the seafront. Sunsets are a must to view from the jetty and the streets are lovely to wander around at night.
Breakfast is better although the same every day.
To sum it all up, you will have a good relaxing holiday and the food is ok but don't expect too much. Had a much better holiday earlier in the year, all inclusive, in Turkey for less money. Croatia still has a way to go to compete. A final tip....take your own hairdryer. The one in the bathroom is only a puff of wind and useless and for what its worth the water will give you "fluffy" hair throughout your stay so conditioner and hairspray are essential!!!

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Milly000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Warrington, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
27 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 27, 2012

This was the first time our group had visited Croatia, we arrived mid morning at the quay side at Rovinj, we were met with one of the most beautiful sights you could wish to see, you had the harbour full of fishing boats with a back drop of the old town of Rovinj and to your left hand side the Island of St Katarina. We were then transported by ferry (15min) to the Hotel Istra on the Island of St Andrija. The Hotel is the only one on the Island and the views are stunning you can walk around the Island and you will not see better sights anywhere in the world, The hotel has all the facilities you would expect from a modern hotel, the rooms are ok and in line with a three/ four star hotel, the let down is the food, it is not the best quality our group have ever experienced, but with a little bit of scouting around you should be able to find something, it does have a bonus you receive a free drink of Wine or Beer with dinner, the staff are very friendly throughout the hotel and rooms are cleaned to a very good standard. Within the complex is a old castle that has been converted into a, a la carte restaurant another beautiful setting, entertainment on the evening is as you would expect some good some not so good but once again provided at a fantastic location the Captains Club, to your right as you face the stage the Old Castle and to your left the Adriatic. The ferry to Rovinj is on the hour from 6.00am and the return half past the hour the last back is 12.30am, it is free provide you are staying in the hotel, I would recommend you visit some of the local restaurants in the town with some wonderful fish dishes and a tour round the town is not to be missed. My comments are that you must take this hotel as a package it's just the odd niggling little things that take the edge of it being perfect, would we return ? without a doubt, we are already planning our next visit.

Pool towels are not provide you can hire them from pool attendant, they only cover a half of a sun bed, so take your own if you have room in your case.

If you intend visiting Porec or Pula, use the local bus. Do not book a return ticket book single journey only, the reason being the Bus companies change during the day and will not recognise your return ticket, eg to Porec we paid 35Kuna out and 29Kuna return. Also check the time table for return buses. Buses from Porec are very infrequent.

Room Tip: 1. If your budget allows book a room with pool side view, you will not be disappointed
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Atherton85
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Warrington, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 26, 2012

We stayed at Hotel Istra for two weeks in September. The hotel is in a beautiful location, that is a 12 minute ferry ride from Rovinj. The ferry runs every hour, from early till late and it is a free service if you are staying at the hotel.
The decor of the hotel is very modern, (a bit IKEAish), but very clean. Check in was good even though it was almost a full coach from the airport. We paid extra for a sea room, which I think is well worth the extra. The rooms are spotless and there is a daily maid service. There are no tea/coffee making facilities in the room, so take a travel kettle if that is important to you. The restaurant is a bit like a canteen and can be very busy, as we were staying in September it got quieter as the holiday when on. The food was not the best we have every had and as my husband does not eat fish, there was not a lot of choice, but we never went hungry, there was always something we could find. Free drinks with your evening meal was an added bonus, although they had to be drunk in the restaurant. Breakfast was better, the lady that worked on the egg station took multi tasking to a whole new level - she is amazing!! The a al carte restaurant on the island was fabulous, we ate there twice, well worth the extra. We also ate at lunch times at other venues on the island, these were also good. We took our own beach towels, the hotel charge for theirs and charge again if you wish to change them during the holiday. The pools were good, but in need of a refurb and a little cold, but that could have been the time of year. We always got a sunbed, no matter what time it was, but there again, it could have been the time of year. The spa is ok, but again could do with a little spruce up. The season is a little short here, it ends the end of September and the hotel was starting to close some of it's venues down.
Rovinj is fabulous, we hired bikes and cycled round the parkland, its safe and the views are amazing. Ladies leave your high heels at home, Rovinj old town has cobbled steets so comfortable shoes are a must. You must go and watch the sunset. The area is paradise for photographers.
Everything considered we would return again, Croatia is idyllic, we have already booked for next year but further south.

Room Tip: Book a sea view its well worth the extra.
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank AJP567
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Beirut, Lebanon
Level Contributor
38 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 23, 2012

I stayed with my wife in Hotel Istra for one week in mid September. it was our first visit to Croatia and specially To Rovinj. Rovinj is an amazing small village with its small alleys, its church and small restaurants.
We decided to stay in Istra hotel after the good reviews on TA and we were not disappointed. The island is amazing and the hotel is very nice, Rooms are very clean and spacious. We had a sea view room and it had amazing views over the sea and the small islands in front. we were on B&B basis so we only tried the breakfast which was excellent with a large variety to choose from cheese & ham to french fries and sausages. You can find all tastes. The pools (both indoor and outdoor) were great and very clean. The sea is amazing crystal clear. The trip by the boat was always on time and took around 15 minutes to the old city. We tried the restaurants on the island. La Lanterna is an amazing a la carte restaurant that worth a visit much better than many restaurants in the village center. We ate there twice and both of them were very pleasant with nice food, nice wine and accepted value for the money. We tried the fuzi with truffles and it was excellent we also tried the mixed grilled sea food platter and was amazing too. We also went to the grill restaurant on the adjacent island and the food was also great. I recommend both restaurant even if you are not staying on the island. The reception staff was very helpful in anything we asked them about. My wife tried the wellness and it was very good.
The main disadvantage of this resort is the lack of the free WiFi which should be provided for the value you pay for the accommodation. Another disadvantage is the extras you pay like for the towels on the pool, the table tennis rackets, etc... . Overall experience was excellent.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank MichelMaya
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Doncaster, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
110 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 21, 2012

Hotel is very comfortable and clean. You would not stay at this hotel for the food but you would not starve either. Breakfast is much better then the dinner.
We had a room over looking the large pool & sea and the canopies that fold over the balcony are a real bonus to stop the sun beating in the room as the air conditioning is not that good. We left our balcony doors open every day and evening with no worries.
You can have a nice walk around the island and the small joining one is pleasant also - however this is a nudist beach on the far side out of view.
Pool was lovely and clean an reasonably warm but if you want a sun bed round the pool then you have to be up by around 7am (this was thumbs down to the hotel for us) you can get them off the pool and on the very small single beach but at a charge of around £3.50 each, the bar there is very nice for a lunch time pizza ( they are big )
There is enough seating in the lobby inside & out to relax.
Staff were very nice and friendly apart from a few on the reception who were not.
Thompson Rep was very pleasant and friendly but more info on arrival is needed as we were all left wondering what to do about collecting our luggage that arrived on another boat and as she just walked off leaving us and we had to go into reception to find her and then inform the other guests what was happening.
Ferry was always on time and took between 15-25 mins to the main land which is where we went most evenings as the food & drink is very nice and the view of the harbour is wonderful, not to mention much cheaper than the hotel.
Find Bruno's Bar for cheap beer (less then £2 for a pint and even cheaper wine "although I would not recommend the wine" and sports television.
We had lovely meals which varied in price and quality paying around £55 for two but the same for four including beer and wine.
Porec is worth a trip for the day
Rovinj is a wonderful pretty place and I would recommend a visit there regardless if you stay in the Istra or not.

Room Tip: Book a sea view before you go as you will pay more than twice as much over there. We did meet guests...
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank sheilan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Inverness, Scotland UK
Level Contributor
8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 18, 2012

My husband and I have just returned from spending a week at the Istra and we wished we could have stayed for another month. There is not one single thing that we could find to complain about - it was just perfection. It was spotlessly clean and the staff very friendly and helpful. The dining room although could get a little busy served an excellent choice at both breakfast and dinner and catered for all tastes. The fact that the Istra is situation on an island adds to the charm and we enjoyed the ferry ride most days over to Rovinj. My husband was very brave and tacked the rickety staircase up to the bell tower at the church! We loved the local atmosphere, especially as the sun was going down in the evening. We made the trip to Venice and although enjoyable we found it to be a very long day as the boat left Rovinj at 6 am. We loved Croatia and certainly intend to go back. We have great memories.

Room Tip: make sure you have a sea view - spectacular!
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank ScotlandUK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Island Hotel Istra

Property: Island Hotel Istra
Address: Crveni Otok 1 - St. Andrea, Rovinj 52210, Croatia
Phone Number:
Location: Croatia > Istria > Rovinj
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#5 On the Beach Hotel in Rovinj
#5 Luxury Hotel in Rovinj
#6 Family Hotel in Rovinj
#8 Romantic Hotel in Rovinj
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4 star — Island Hotel Istra 4*
Number of rooms: 326
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Hotel Istra is an island of its own, a traffic free oasis of sea and sun, wonderful beaches and secluded spots, a ten minute boat ride from Rovinj. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Istra Hotel Rovinj
Hotel Istra Rovinj

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