Croatia has always been a favourite of ours but we'd never stayed in Istria before. We'd visited Rovinj on a day trip during a previous holiday and decided it would be a great destination for a family holiday to celebrate our retirement. We travelled as a party of 8 viz Grandparents, our two daughters & partners together with our 2 grandchildren [aged 10 & 3]. We chose the Hotel Istra and weren't disappointed.
Manchester to Pula takes just over two hours with a 45 minute transfer to Rovinj before embarking on the hotel's boat, the Rubinum, for the 10 minute or so crossing to the Istra on St Andrew's Island. The hotel is modern and is no architectural gem but we found it to be clean, comfortable and spacious. Our rooms gave peaceful sleep quality and had great sea views, one faced Rovinj, the others faced the smaller Maskin Island connected to St Andrew's Island by a short causeway.
The guests included several nationalities: with similar numbers of British; German/Austrian; Italian, French; with some American and Japanese groups. This cosmopolitan mix didn't seem to have problems in the dining room - food was plentiful with a good choice, free drinks were available at dinner, not top quality but very palatable - we heard no complaints. The price of drinks and snacks at the bar were very good - much cheaper than one would find in the UK.
The facilities at the hotel were very good; plentiful sunbeds; 5 pools: 4 outdoor & 1 indoor; a good gym and a very good Wellness Centre. Our grandchildren loved the indoor play area and were very enthusiastic with the facilities at the outdoor equivalent.
Walking around both Islands took less than an hour even if you were just strolling; the flora & fauna were well managed and there were plenty of benches to sit and enjoy the views. Many people took to the rocks on Maskin to sunbathe.
We had read complaints in previous reviews about the hotel concerning the attitude of some of the staff - we found none of this and didn't observe any either. All staff were friendly and welcoming.
If there was one thing that could be improved it was the evening entertainment, or lack of it - with no alternative on the island we think this is a definite area for improvement.
We wouldn't want to end on a negative note so we would like to unreservedly recommend the Hotel Istra and Rovinj to would-be holiday makers - we enjoyed it - we hope you will.
- 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