We travelled to Amarin (couple with a 3yr old) and our friends (couple with 4 children) looking forward to a great family holiday. We booked into a new apartment and our friends booked an unrenovated apartment. To start with, I think the word "resort" and the resort video on their website are a bit misleading.
The location - is excellent, very close to the old city of Rovinj and has stunning views of the Mediteranean and Rovinj itself.
The resort itself - it appears the resort started out as a camping and caravan site and has grown from there. So alot of the facilities are old. This includes the volley ball courts, swimming and parking area. The central restaurant looks modern on the website but it has been renovated and shade sails added to look new. The beach has no sand, just rocks and pebbles. If you want to go swimming it is advisable to purchase swimming shoes. Although we were there in the middle of summer it was always possible to find a nice place to sit down somewhere on the beach.
The facilities - The swimming pool - has a large water slide attached and opens at 11am each day and closes at 8pm. There are a few problems here. Firstly unless you allow your children to swim in the sea kids must wait until 11am to swim (as the pool is drained at night and refilled with sea water daily). Secondly because there is only one pool, all ages swim in it. So for our little children it was impossible for them to have a safe area to swim and also no shallow area as it was about 4 feet deep everywhere with no toddler pool. Our biggest concern was that I never saw a staff supervisor at the pool during the whole week we were there. This means for all families, they need to continually supervise their kids rather than relax a bit.
Kids activites - the resort organises a kids club each morning and evening. To be honest we took our child to the morning activities and just saw kids colouring in while the staff didn't seem to do much. The evening activities included dancing and movies which were good but for our 3 year old, too late in the evening. The other free activities for kids is the swing and cubby house but there is only one.
Paid activities - the is a large selection of water sports you can do including banana boat, jet ski's and paddle boats. Mini golf and trampolines are avaiable but unfortnately very expensive. For example, for kids to use the trampoline, the price worked out at 24 euros per hour so needless to say it was empty 99% of the time.
The accomodation - we were very happy with the new apartment we booked. It had a stunning view over the sea to Rovinj and the balcony was a nice place to have a quiet drink. The room had air con which was definetely needed as the nights were quite hot. If i can find fault it was that there was no water kettle provided, no dishcloth, no tea towel, no dishwashing liquid, even though a coffee machine was there you need to bring paper filters for it. The refrigerator is actually sealed in the cupboard with no ventilation, so I actually had to remove the cupboard door so the fridge could work properly and cool itself, otherwise it struggled to get anything cold. (note to resort management, please fix this as the fridge is useless without ventilation ). We had cable TV and a telephone and wireless internet worked out to be 3 euros per hour (you have to buy a voucher from the main office). Our friends stayed in the unrenovated apartments and actually they were nice, clean and spacious with two balconies. However, because of no air con they slept terribly as it was very hot. I think the main problem is that the roof is black and has no insulation so it easily heats up the rooms. They also had no TV and no phone, so each time they wanted to contact reception, they had to walk about 15 minutes to the office.
The food - we booked with daily buffet breakfast. So each morning we made our way to the central restaurant. We soon realised that the kitchen makes the same food everyday. There is no variation. So sausages, scrambled eggs, boiled eggs, bacon, bread, spreads, cheese, cold meats, breakfast cereal, yoghurt, cakes and some fruit. The coffee was very nice but the juices are pre-mix and more like cordial. It appears that the resort uses a catering contractor who therefore provides the most cost effective solution. So the food experience is more focussed on low cost than a good customer experience.
This leads me on to the central restaurant. Again it would appear it is run by the same catering contractor. Let me also start by saying if you come to Croatia thinking the food will be cheap ITS NOT. For example, pizza's start at around 8 euros, only chips are cheaper. If you think you will eat outside the resort, the prices are EXACTLY THE SAME. It appears all the restaurants in the vicinity copy the resort pricing. And everyone offers pretty much the same, grill, fish and pizza. Ok, back to the resort restaurant. The food quality is poor. Rather go into Rovinj, pay the same prices but get significantly better quality food. One night my wife ordered the calamari/squid and I ordered the "deluxe" hamburger. The squid was overcooked to a crunchy state and my "deluxe" hamburger that worked out to be 10 euros consisted of a large bread roll, meat patty, one leaf of lettuce and a big squirt of tomato sauce, this came with a side of boiled potatoes and and handful of crisp chips (from a packet). The service was VERY average. One night our friends ordered a dish with the waiter but changed it at the same time. The waiter (who spoke good english and german) then proceeded to bring out both dishes. When our friend said he didnt want both, just the new one the waiter told him that it was his fault. Then the next night the same waiter made our friend look stupid when he ordered by repeatedly asking him "are you sure" when he placed his order. Unfortunately for food you are trapped with this catering company's offering unless you drive to another eatery outside the resort.
Safety - the resort is getting old. It's not like a western european resort where things are fenced off and things fixed. Tiles in the main swimming area are starting to crumble in some areas, someone removed the pool drain cover in the centre of the pool and I nearly twisted my ankle in the pool. As mentioned before, there is no supervision at the pool, so even though there is a sign saying no jumping or diving, kids and teenagers did what ever they pleased.
We did notice on the beach one supervisor in a tower but on the 15th of July there was very rough seas and that morning a crowd gathered on the beach. We were told an elderly man had drowned and they were still trying to find his body.
Overall the resort is ok, it just comes down to your expectation. I am sure if you are using the resort for camping it's just fine and what you'd expect for that style, but if your coming there for the nice apartments, that's the only new thing there. We noted most of the guests appeared to be from Eastern Europe so maybe its a good experience when compared for them.
Service - there is not alot. We were greated by the lady at the entrance and the lady at the restaurant entrance but most other staff just put their head down and got to work. When we went to checkout and pay and was presented with a bill for the full amount. When we told her we had paid a deposit and showed her proof she quickly apologised and gave us the reduced amount to pay. So we thought this was just an oversight until 30 minutes later they did the same to our friends. I did get the feeling though that the locals are there to extract as much money from the tourists as possible. For example, the fruit market in Rovinj is twice the price of Pula . Also I was short changed twice.
Overall - we would not go back to this resort. But as consolation, we nearly booked at another resort called "Splendid" operated by the same owner as Amarin which we went and visited and in comparisson it made Amarin look great. Splendid was too far away from Rovinj, built on the side of a steep hill, overcrowed pool, no beach. People were just jumping off the rocks into the open sea. It appears to have been a former communist resort in my opinion.
But Amarin markets itself as a family resort but I think maybe its better suited if you have older children or teenagers.
Tips - go to the local supermarket and buy food there. It's not cheap but cheaper than eating out. We brought a little BBQ so at nights this was very handy and allowed us to keep our costs down.
If you want to escape the tourists and go to a very local village, go to Bale about 20 minutes from the resort. A very beautiful old city. Pula is nice to visit and the food is cheaper.
The roads into the resort may not be listed on your GPS, on my new Garmin it was not so i had to add the co-ordinates in manually. Google maps also did not have the resort street name listed so test your GPS before you leave!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Cascading gently towards the rocky beaches and the turquoise sea, the Amarin Resort offers the privacy of your own home with a great view of the Old Town in lush nature just minutes away from the sea. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Expedia, Hotels.com, Booking.com, Hotwire, Orbitz, Travelocity, Priceline, Cancelon, TripOnline SA, Hotel.de and HotelQuickly so you can book your Resort Amarin reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- Resort Amarin Hotel Rovinj
- Tourist Settlement Amarin Rovinj
- Amarin Rovinj