Having read some earlier reviews, I've been scratching my head for the last 5 mins wondering if this is the same hotel I have just returned from, following my one week Thomson AI package holiday.
Contrary to other reviewers, I found the hotel to be extremely welcoming with excellent service, fine cuisine and a wonderful range of activities; making this the best holiday hotel I have ever stayed in (by far!) Would not normally write such a long review but lots to comment on here and can hopefully 'right a few wrongs' in the process.
Hotel : - The hotel itself is nestled between a picturesque marina on one side with a scented pine forest on the other, offering stunning views from just about every window as a result. The rooms and public areas are contemporary, well maintained and decorated to a very high standard (think greens and purples, lots of high and low occasional chairs; all very chic and bang on trend !) There is free wifi throughout the hotel as well satellite tv in every room (which picks up BBC 1,2 and 3 as well as ITV 1 and 2, rather than just the usual 'rolling' sky news channel). With welcoming Indoor and outdoor pools, spa and fitness areas, beautiful herb and lavender gardens and plenty of outdoor 'double beds' and sun loungers, the stresses just slipped away within the first couple of days of being there!
Service:- True service with a smile. The staff were all friendly and genuine and couldn't be more helpful, offering lots of tips and suggestions to make the most of our stay. Despite being such a big hotel chain, the service was personal which i think helped to give this hotel it's own personality and charm. Special mentions go to Antonia and Darrio on guest relations (they really were magnificent; the true jewels in the hotel's crown), Dean and Dijana in the main restaurant and Anna at the pool bar.
Activities - The delightful Antonia and Darrio really know their customers and have put together such a well planned, thoughtful and comprehensive mixt of activities and, best of all, other than local bus and rental fairs they are all free. Not only did they save us a fortune whilst we there but they also showed us the best that the Istrian region has to offer. Wine tasting, olive oil tasting, island hopping (20 kn, about £3 for their local boat service) craft making, photography walks, cycling (30kn, or about £3.50 for bike hire!), Nordic pole walking through the forest, an historic walk into Pula (11kn, or about £1.30 for the local bus service).....fantastic, 10 out of 10! Thomson should take note of these two! Rather than offering trips tens of kilometres away, there is so much to do on the doorstep that they should be tapping into instead. Likewise, what a fantastic blueprint for other holiday hotels to follow, rather than providing holidaymakers with the usual mix of bingo, water polo tournaments and quizzes. I can not praise or endorse these two enough!
Resort / location -the hotel is about 5 miles from the historic old roman town of Pula with its impressive amphitheatre; taxi service into Pula roughly 80kn (about £10 one way), local bus service operates every 20 mins from resort and is 11kn (about £1.30 each way. Service operates 5, 25 and 45 mins past the hour). In the resort itself, lots to see and do. Aquarium (50kn), mini golf, tennis, diving, trampolining.....plus nice little mixture of shops, restaurants, ice cream parlour and a champagne bar! AI holidaymakers get one hour of each resort activity per day included ( though sadly this doesn't extend to the champagne bar ;-( ) The glass bottom boat from the marina deserves a note also. It's operated by a really charming character with lots of laughs from start to finish. A must for any holidaymaker and at 100kn, a real bargain too. Saw and fed loads of tropical fish!
Restaurant / bars - We were on the all inclusive package with Thomson, so ate mainly in the same buffet style restaurant each night and were not disappointed at all throughout the stay. Some of the fayre on offer included tuna steaks, roast med vegetables, shark steaks, wide choice of istrian dishes, carvery style meats, antipasto, cheeses in oil, cured hams, lots of local speciality salads.....absolutely delicious with something for everyone. I have to say, the vegetarian selections were exceptional too. Ai guests also get the option to eat either once at the taverna or once at the yacht club too as part of the package. We chose the taverna, which made for a real exquisite evening. Ai guests can select drinks from the main hotel lobby bar, pool bar or restaurant and again there is much to choose from inc soft drinks, house wines, local brandies and spirits, teas and speciality coffees and a few, but admittedly not many, cocktails; although the mojitos were rather moorish!
All in all, a fantastic and very memorable holiday. One to revisit again and again and again!
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- Also Known As:
- Histria Hotel Pula
- Park Plaza Histria Pula Croatia - Istria