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Hotel Astarea
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Reviewed August 15, 2013

I am completing my stay at this very poor hotel. It seems like they really work hard to avoid making any positive impression. Check-in was very cold and rather rude. Key from the safe was not provided – no apologies. Room provided was not cleaned with an ashtray full of cigarette buds although I asked for a non-smoking room. No apologies were provided either.
WiFi is yet another irritating thing – they only have it in the reception are but they have the cheapest router possible, which works for about 15 minutes max. I had to ask them re-load it five times in an hour!

Room was small. For some reason I had a double bed and another small bed although I asked for a room with a double bed only. Air conditioner did not really cool air much – it worked on its own agenda – going on and off, which really bothered me when I tried to sleep. Everything else in the room was ok but made an impression that they bought cheapest things they could get. Still, I never spent much time there. Room was cleaned very lightly - you hardly note it.

Breakfast was not too bad but it is surprising to see basically no fresh fruits or vegetables during the high season for it in August. Of vegetables we either had cucumbers or tomatoes – never both and for fruits – only plums and bananas!! Coffee at breakfast is not drinkable at all but you could have a bearable one at the bar near reception.

Restaurants of the hotel are also not impressive – opt for other local restaurants if you made that mistake of staying at Astarea. Fortunately there are several but not many relatively good options for eating nearby.

The worst thing is the personnel – they probably never heard of such thing as a smile and hospitality. Not coming back here again, sorry.

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank AndriyUA2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 10, 2013

we stayed at the Villas Mlini, which were newly built, with great views and position, but still lacking the finishing touch; we had problems with electricity, bathroom fixtures, curtains were dropping from their position, etc. But the villas are great, if a bit expensive. Service is very unbalanced, ranging from very helpful and smiling folks at the reception desk or swimming pool, to impolite mustache guy who was at the booking of shuttle bus.
Restaurant on the beach has limited offer with pizza's made of the cheapest ingredient, and veeeerrrrryyyyy sloooooow service. There was like 5 waiters for 20 usually empty tables, and you still wait quite a while to give order and get drinks. One girl there was smiling all the time, but most of the others were sleepy and uninterested. And not just older staff. There is still a lot of the 80's type of service, all around hotel facilities, especially at the restaurants.
And whats with the WiFi? I mean, is that so big investment for hotel, when most of the guest expects to have internet access?

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank djezbezina
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
mmatkov, General Manager at Hotel Astarea, responded to this reviewResponded August 10, 2013

Dear Guest,

thank you for writing review about hotel Astarea.
We are aware that we have had some preopening issues with new Villas but have to inform you that all issues are taken care and everythin is in order now.
I have to agree with your coment about WiFi and we are working on providing this service as soon as possible.

Beach Bar and Restaurant Oleander has become very shortly one of the best restaurnats in this area now, providing live music and entertaiment. Smile is there in the restaurant.

With best regards

Mario Matkovic
Hotel Astarea

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 5, 2013

Receptionist was so rude and unhelpful.

Breakfast is very poor if compare to other 3* we have stayed at Croatia.

Access to the outdoor swimming pool is so complicate and beach are is dirty seem they care only in front of the restaurant toward harbor. They do not provide extra towel for the pool. Cant rent.

There is no internet in the room, we have to come down to crowded lobby to use internet.

Seem management seems not care to make extra money or make client more convenience.

We were waiting to order at Restaurant near by the shore for hour but she did not come even we called and she gave us a sign to wait, but they have other a very lovely restaurant for dinner. Nearby the restaurant is small church and it has live music which we could hear from our restaurant.

Water sea was extremely cool, I could not believe it is Aug and water like Ice and many people just enjoy sunbathing and swim at the pool.

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
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1  Thank EurasieTravelAsia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
mmatkov, General Manager at Hotel Astarea, responded to this reviewResponded August 10, 2013

Dear Guest,

I would like to thank you for writing review about hotel Astarea.
It surely gives us no pleasure whatsoever to know that any guest is discomforted in any way at all during their stay with us. I can assure you that my team and I are taking all guests’ comments such us yours seriously.

Just to mention that there are three access to the outdoor pool, one from the beach, one from hotel and one for disable people whic are very visible.
For this year we do not provide towels on the pool but providins sunbeds and sun umbrellas free of charge.

We are aware that WiFI is needed therefore working on providing WiFi in hotel and pool area and hope this will be in function within couple of months.

I truly hope you visit us again and be our guest.

Kind regards

Mario Matkovic
Hotel Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 29, 2013

We are just back from our mini break at hotel Astarea. The hotel offered all what we expected from a THREE STAR hotel. If you are wanting big and flash and even more expensive probably best to stay somewhere else. The rooms are small, clean and basic but, a great location. Staff speak good english. Breakfast seemed to have more variety each day but, we found it quite adequate. Our room was a deluxe it was small, quiet and on 4th floor, side sea view, bed med/firm but, comfortable, we slept well. Wifi or hotel computer available in reception to use. Clientele seemed to be Russian, French, Spanish etc. The pool areas are newly finished with showers, adult and children's pool (cold but, refreshingly very cold) all building work completed (note the hotel, does not supply beach towels). Plenty of sun beds and umbrellas. The beach is clean, more stones than sand. most of the coastline, is rocky. The water is crystal clear, great for Diving so we have been told. Lifts are in the hotel, slopes everywhere if you find steps difficult or have a baby/Pushchair. The hotel is at the bottom of a steep slope from the road, but all walking access is via the rear of the hotel into Mlini village, children's play areas and lots of shaded areas and a few bars dotted along the seafront walk into Mlini. Shuttle service at hotel (payable to hotel) on request for airport transfers takes approx 10-15 mins. Shuttle service 50kn per person (bookable by reception) return trip to Dubrovnik takes approx 10-15 mins (WOW. What a place to see and do not miss it!) . Where hotel shuttle bus drops off, its easy to walk around Dubrovnik, good pathways within castle walls, lovely alleyways and architecture, restaurants and shops plentiful, not to be missed. There are steps into museum and churches. The castle wall walk is not for the less mobile! Castle walk Closes at 19.30 for last admittance. Cable car via bus number 10 as its up a steep hill to entrance. Boat trips bookable from the hotel or a short walk along the harbour in Mlini. Also lots of trips available and bookable in Dubrovnik itself. The three island tour on offer, we went on the Adriana, I must point out its a 30 min boat trip to Dubrovnik from Mlini harbour and then they transfer you to a larger island boat. tour starts about 10.30 pickup from Mlini and back via Dubrovnik to Mlini about 6.15 ish (a long day) If you only have time for one island, go to LOPUD. You wouldn't have missed much, on the other two. You could take the shuttle bus into Dubrovnik and pickup a tour from there. NOT TO BE MISSED THE ICE CREAM SHOPS. There are ATM's in Mlini village, along from the hotel by archway in dive centre and further down into Mlini. The Food we found to be excellent and we found a good mixture and variety. Overall we had a great mini break, plenty to see and do or just sit back and relax in this fantastic location. We would recommend this hotel for all, who want a nice hotel in a great accessible location. Tip. Don't bother taking Euro's unless your going to Montenegro.

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled as a couple
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7  Thank richardmanning1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
mmatkov, General Manager at Hotel Astarea, responded to this reviewResponded August 1, 2013

Dear Guest,
We would like to thank you for taking the time to review hotel Astarea on Tripadvisor.
We are glad to see that you enjoyed in your stay with us. Thank you for choosing hotel Astarea . We hope we will have the chance to welcome you again to our hotel.

Sincerely yours,
Mario Matkovic
Hotel Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 24, 2013

First off I'd like to start off with saying that the location of the hotel is magnifique, and there's a very short distance both to the swimming pool and the sea, which albeit somewhat cold (even in the middle of July), was crystal clear, and once you pass the rocks near the shore, there's nice sand to stand on, and if you're at least 170-180cm tall, there should be no problem standing on the sea-floor, even 30m from the shore.

Now for the bad things. The hotel is severely overpriced, it looks nice and have many good areas, but really when you go to the Croatia coastline, you want to enjoy the beaches and the sun, and for that purpose a private apartment would be a much better option for most people, and for all the money that you save, you could use for shopping or a 2nd vacation to Croatia!

When we arrived passports were quickly taken away from us from 'registration'. Apparently all hotels in Croatia have to register all names and snitch to the Croatian police. Not that we have a problem with making our presence in Croatia known. But handing passports over to strangers in a hotel is a definitive security risk, and such registration schemes as required by the Croatian government here is definately a violation of privacy. As long as visitors pay what the hotel cost, that should be the end of it.

Also the reception area is not always manned, so it's easy for a criminal to steal passports and carkeys that lies completely in the open in the reception. The reception area does not have air-conditioning, and thus was pretty hot.

Another really bad thing about this hotel is the lack of internet connectivity. Most people, when surfing online, like to do this in the privacy of their own room. But this hotel required you to go down to the reception were you had to ask the receptionist for a code to use the internet. In 2013, for a hotel of this cost, it's mandatory to have absolutely free and unrestricted Internet in all rooms in the hotel. The cost to facilitate this is negligible.

The breakfast at the hotel was nothing spectacular, so I avoided it and rather went to an outdoor restaurant nearby where you got sit close to the sea, and in fresh air, and had a breakfast pizza there every day.

In the reception there was a brochure on display informing about the different options available at the hotel. Like a sauna, ping-pong table, gym, massage and indoor swimming pool etc.

This brochure doesn't mention any costs at all, so you take it for granted that certain options, like the gym does not cost anything extra.

It's to be expected that you have to pay extra for massage, but at this hotel they even charge extra to rent rackets to a ping-pong table, but the icing of the cake was when you had to pay 50HRK to use the gym for one hour. If it was a proper gym with olympic barbells and plates and free weights, it would actually have been an option (although far too expensive), but this gym sported a useless smith machine that nearly broke if you stared at it hard enough, and the maximum weights of the dumbells were 14kg. Not even enough to break a sweat for any reasonable sized serious athlete. The gym was severely depressing. They had also tossed in a lot of useless workout machines, and I strained my back and hurt my shoulder from using their shoulderpress machine when the aparatus wents titts up, although I'm used to do millitary barbell presses almost daily.

To add insult to the history, the gym area was unmanned the first day we were there, so I just went right in for a workout, expecting it naturally to be without additional charge, as that's what you expect from every serious hotel sporting 'fitness rooms' like this one, and then the next day I had to pay 100HRK just to get in a very subpar workout, and they didn't have any proper equipment to work the legs. What they would need was a proper power-rack and some proper barbell and plates. But I guess that's nothing you will find in a 'luxury' hotel, so okay...

I asked about the sports massage, and I asked the person in the gym reception who was doing such massage, and the lady there said she was doing it, and I asked her how I went about ordering it. She claimed you had to order it the day before. As the area was very quiet, and almost nobody used the fitness room (most people were at the beach), and a massage lasted less than an hour, I couldn't possibly seeing a problem with being somewhat flexible and accepting a massage client on the spot if the availability was there.

It always annoys me with people that are not flexible, and esp. at such an expensive resort like this. For this price, the staff should literally brush the floor in front of your feet while you were walking there.

Add the charge for using this sorry excuse for a 'fitness room', and I lost all my motivation to put more money in their pocket, and a sport massage was out of the question for me at that moment in time. I even went up to the reception to complain about the issue, but the girl answering me just looked stressed out - and I asked for the manager, and she nervously said he wasn't there. Well, at such an expensive hotel - the manager should always be present - actually he/she should sleep at the hotel to be available for all guests and any complaint around the clock.

I left a written complaint at the front desk, directed at the manager, and I left both my e-mail and my phone number, but I received no communication from the manager, although I'm pretty sure he's going to respond to this review and say they're sorry my stay didn't meet my expectations, and that they're now happy to announce they've removed the charge from the fitness room, upgraded their equipment and merrily wishes me to get back to sunny Mlini at one point.

Paying this kind of money (ca. 1700HRK) pr. room pr. night. and getting this kind of slack service is inexcusable. At that point I stopped being polite to the hotel staff, and didn't care to greet them when I met them.

When we checked out, nobody asked me how the stay had been, how it was according to my expectations, and that they appreciated me staying there. We insisted that the gym charge (250HKR) be removed from our bill, since the fitness room was of very poor quality, and of such poor quality that you only got depressed from using it. First the receptionist claimed that this was impossible. But naturally it is not impossible, it's always a matter of human will.

If the manager had been doing his job, he would immediately have seeked us out, appoligized and offered us some kind of compensation.

Also the booking system for the hotel was really inefficient. In 2013, you expect everything to be integrated in easily administrated computer systems, that would make any booking, rebate or refund a breeze.

The parking spots outside the hotel was extremely narrow, and as a direct result of this, our rental car was damaged by another car that smashed their door into our car. Naturally they didn't leave a note, and we had to pay the car rental agency a fine because of this accident. The hotel should hire a security specialist company and set up cameras on the parking lot, then they would have a sufficient surveilance system to assist them in finding the culprint in cases like this, and immediately notify the police who could then fine/imprison the person in question who walk away from their responsibility.

At another point in time, we parked our car in an available spot very close to the hotel, but when we got out to use our car to drive to Dubrovnik, Two hotel cars were blocking our car, so we could not get out. We notified the reception, and they promptly removed the cars, but there were no apologies at all.

The parking area should be administered in such a way this doesn't happen for any guests in the future.

Also, there were a lot of construction work and noise going on while we stayed there in the middle of July 2013. Apparently they set up a fence along the sidewalk with the swimming pool. This work should've been delayed to the off-season, or room-prices should've been reduced while this construction work was going on. The fact that construction were going on while there are guests present means that the entire experience of the visit is reduced, and room prices should be reduced accordingly temporarily.

Your better bet if you don't want to waste money is to just purchase an air-plane ticket, and then get a local apartment once you get to Mlini. You will pay a fraction of the price, but the location would still be the same.

As much as the exterior and the location of the hotel is great, the lobby was not too great. There are a lot of chairs in yellow fabric, that's old and suck up all dirt from the guests sitting in them, and some people even sit directly in these chairs after coming directly from the beach or the swimming pool. These chairs should be removed, and some chairs that's much more easy to clean should be installed.

As for internet, be advised that unless the hotel upgrade access to internet, it's possible to purchase mobile internet that's not too expensive, but that some people might enjoy while staying there. You need a 200HRK usb device and a card to fill up credits. I think the cost pr. MB was about 0.05HRK, which sounds reasonable.

Also the hotel staff was asked whether there was any ATM's nearby, to which they didn't know. Walking alongside the Mlini pier, we quickly found that there in deed was an ATM accessible in walking distance from the hotel. It is a shame that hotel staff is this uninformed. All hotell staff should get to know the local area and know about everything that is of relevance to tourists.

We didn't try the food at the hotel for dinner, but we tried the restaurant that were close by and at which you could charge the food to your room. That's a nice thing to be able to do. And you even got a 10% rebate when charging it to the room. However, the food here was not super great, only ok, so we searched for other options, and if you continue walking to the right on the beach, until you get to a molo, and past a booking agency, there's an old taverna with a three growing through the roof (it's 150 years old, so they didn't cut it down when they built the house), and the food here rated a 6/6. It was superb, and the waiter was excellent too. This eatery along with the location (sea) made Mlini a favourite place of ours. It was also a very quiet place that's good for families and people who want to rest. There was relaxing music at the pizza bar at night, but no party factor.

The room we got was nothing spectacular. It was overcrowded with furniture, so we put some of it in the hallway to get enough floor space to move around. The bathroom was okay, and the tv was a standard small hotel tv, with a decent range of channels. There was a small balcony with a sea view, and the beds were decent. There was no mini-bar, if you want to store something cool in your room, you should bring your own travelling freezer. I'm not to sure if the hotel is too thrilled about you keeping food in your room, but you can't buy every little piece of snack you want at the hotel, as that will quickly empty your pockets.

After storing some fruit at the table in the room for a few hours, sugar ants came crawling. Very tiny ants. These are not dangerous, and I don't even know if you can expect a hotel not to have'em. But still not nice. But at that point I didn't care about complaining, as the gym incident elicited no response from the manager, I though it would be of no use to complain about this as well. And it was only a minor issue. We killed the ants visible and left it at that.

Entrance to the hotel was easy, and we could leave and come at any time as we pleased, the surroundings seemed very peaceful, and there was no security officers ogling you as you went around in the late evening. I noticed however that the emergency exit outside our room were open at night, which I deem a security issue. However as the hotel is in a relatively quiet and peaceful place, I didn't concern myself too much with this.

Be aware that the hotel has an old Annex, that has received numerous complaints, and that is several hundred meters from the main hotel, and it also doesn't have a manned reception. If you stay at Astarea, try to stay in the main building. They've also recently been making condo's that will be rented out, where you will have more privacy, and where you have a good view of the sea. We queried about these, but they weren't available for rental was the message we got, although we clearly saw someone use some of them.

All in all a very nice location, some of the nicest I've been at ever, and hotel staff was reasonably attentive, but for this price, you expect much better service than this when you leave this kind of money behind. To set things in perspective, one night at a room here costs about the same as 1/4th of the monthly wage of the average tourist industry worker in Croatia.

I suspect the cleaning crew don't earn much, so leave some tip for them at your room when you leave.

As a side story, there was a cat family living at the backside of the hotel, feeding off the garbage produced by the hotel. The kittens were tremendously cute, but I guess it would perhaps be in the interest of the hotel to cover up their garbarge better, and to feed the cats at a regular basis if they want to keep the cats.

Although it is very nice to have cats and dogs running about, one should be very careful to engage in contact with these animals, as they easily can carry bacteria they've received from garbage, waste and excrements. Once you get this on your hands, and subsequently in your mouth when eating and/or touching your face, don't be surprised if you come down with Diarrhea and stomach ailiments.

There's a very nice walk alongside the Mlini coastline, leading to Kupari which is a bombed out millitary resort that has not been fixed since the 1991 attacks and looting. At that area it seems more locals use the beach as well, as with the beach at Astarea, it seems like most people were tourists.

Since this place is quite expensive (I'd say overpriced), there's a few people of the sort that enjoy to be watched and enjoy to park their luxury cars as close to the reception as possible. So if these kinds of things are important for you, this might be a good resort facility for you.

All in all quite a nice place, except for the rooms which was nothing spectacular. The sea and the excellent tavern with great food made it a good place to stay, but if you're dependent on a proper gym like me, look elsewhere. Makarska have a great gym for WL'ers and PL'ers and is recommended over this place, but for shorter stay it might be a good option.

As I wrote in my complaint regarding the fitness-room to the manager, they should either upgrade the facilities or downgrade their prices, this also goes for their rooms.

Another plus is that you have a boat going to Dubrovnik several times a day, which makes getting to Dubrovnik a no-brainer.

We would definately go back to Mlini at one point, but not to this hotel unless they lower their prices significantly to reflect the real value you get from a stay there.

Room Tip: Get a room with a sea view, make sure you don't live in the Annex.
  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank VisitfromNorway
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
mmatkov, General Manager at Hotel Astarea, responded to this reviewResponded August 1, 2013

Dear Guest,
We would like to thank you for taking the time to review hotel Astarea on Tripadvisor. We are glad to see that you enjoyed in your stay with us.
Regarding your remarks, please let me explain you couple of remarks.
On each outlet, including our wellnes there is a price list where you can see what we are offering and how much does it cost. It is true that we do not put prices in brochures.
We are working to improve internet and speed was increased, as well as in near future we shall be able to provide wirelless internet all over hotel. As we speak we are doing cabeling work and than we shall install access points.
Once again, Thank you for choosing hotel Astarea . We hope we will have the chance to welcome you again to our hotel.
Sincerely yours,
Mario Matkovic
Hotel Manager

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