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“Recommendable hotel with only minor reservations”

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Wellness Hotel Aurora
Ranked #2 of 13 Hotels in Mali Losinj
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 25 July 2012

Have returned yesterday from family holiday at Aurora hotel and overall feelings are mostly positive. I have stayed in Croatia several times during 90's, then after pause again in 2008 and returned again this year. I can compare Aurora to Valamar Club Tamaris which I stayed at back in 2008 from family holidays point of view. Both hotels are older buildings that underwent extensive reconstruction in the second half of noughties. Aurora has nice spacious lobby with reception and concierge desks, bar with plenty of seating options. We stayed at suite room which is the only option for families with 2 kids - there are 2 rooms, small anteroom, bathroom and relatively big balcony. All family suites are facing sea side westwards - but due to pine trees you don't see much water - not an issue for me, but if it issue for you, ask for the highest floor available. I would describe the room itself as satisfying - I have stayed in many better 4* hotels in terms of overall impression - don't expect Radisson Blu or other chain hotels level. I think selection of several materials during reconstruction was bit on a budget side (cheap looking laminate flooring, tiles in the bathroom, carpet in corridors, cheap looking chairs in the main restaurant). But don't get me wrong, there is nothing substantial to complain about accomodation and technically we can speak about "lower" 4* level in rooms and proper 4* in other areas. Compared to hotel rooms in Valamar Club Tamaris there are marginal differences in favour of Valamar. Cleanliness wasn't a problem though, our room was cleaned on daily basis.
Free wired and wireless internet are nice bonuses included in the price of stay which is still not standard these days even in more expensive hotels. Wired internet tends to be more dependable, with download speed varying typically between 3 to 5 Mbit/s, upload 300 kbit/s only. Wi-fi is available in lobby/bar area - speed obviously heavily depends on amount of people connected at the same time, making it literaly unusable especially in the evening.
Main restaurant is vast and tends to get crowded after 8am during breakfast and during dinner - but this is typical for all half board holiday hotels, so I wouldn't consider it disadvantage of this particular hotel. However food is in my opinion strong point of the hotel and I have to admit I am quite picky. Breakfasts are varied, you get typical choice of cold & hot buffet ranging from ham (even prsut - prosciuto type), cheese, pates, spreads, mayonnaise salads, smoked fish, choice of cereals, fresh fruits, full cream, semi-skimed and skimmed milk, yoghurt (although a bit sloppy), jam, not to forget grilled or cooked sausages, bacon, pancakes, scrambled and fried eggs. You could also have omelette made directly to your taste with choice of bacon, ham, mushrooms, capsicum, onion and cheese to throw in. Regarding the omelette preparation, there is some room for improvement - there is only one cook and one pan available and the same cook has to operate the grill with sausages & bacon and even giant pan for scrambled eggs at the same time! Which results in long queues and unpleasant delays for omelette lovers. I can remeber dedicated omelette cooks with either vast grill or at least 2-3 separate pans during my previous vacations in Turkey in recent years. Some might say I am
too fastidious, but it's these little details that make an overall impression. Nice bonus - you can have espresso/cappucino/latte machiato from La Cimballa self service automatic machine, again a feature not seen in many 5* hotels. The only letdown - they use rather cheap and thus not very tasty coffee beans. And the last word goes for "juices" - expect the usual sirup water dispenser - nowhere close to a real fruit juice.
Dinners were similarly nice with wide choice of dishes ranging from 2 soups of the day, cold starters to roast or grilled meats (pork, beef, poultry, lamb), various sides and desserts including ice cream (good point if you have kids). Negative details - there was only radichcio and lollo biondo available from fresh leaf salads constantly (where is ruccola and other memebers of this broad family?). Tomatoes were only sliced big ones (cherry or cocktail tomatoes would be wellcome enrichment). I have to make special notice on fish and seafood - there were always 3-4 different fish dishes every night including not only ordinary fried hake/cod routine, but also shark fillet, tuna, red dragon fish, fried squids, fish stews, cold octopuss, squid or tuna salads etc. As this is half-board basis hotel, be aware that drinks are NOT included and tend to be quite costly (nearly 3€ for 0.2l juice or 0.25l coke/fanta, over 3€ for 0.75l of mineral water or 0,5l bottle of local beer etc.) However, there is nice detail to mention - approximately every second evening there was a waiter at the restaurant entrance offering either a glass of free sparkling wine or local spirits (rakija, travarica) and orange/apple juice for kids (this time real juice). Talking about meals and nice surprises - as a matter of fact I celebrated my birthday during our stay at Aurora - this fact was met by a birthday card, bottle of sparkling wine and neat cake that awaited me in our room after coming back from the beach. Another fact that illustrates attention to details by the hotel management.
If you hesitate whether to pick Aurora or sister hotel Vespera nextdoors for your family holiday, go for the first one. Both hotels form one complex with Aurora being promoted as wellness/conference option and Vespera as the family hotel. But my brief impression is that Vespera tends to be more noisy because of sheer amount of families with kids. Even if you pick Aurora you can still hand your kids to hotel animators at designated times (10 AM and 2PM if I remember that correctly) and you can also use children's pools that lie between both hotels. However, if you still use a pram for your offsprings, beware - both hotels lie on a relatively steep slope with big amount of steps to climb from the beach to the hotel. (The same warning applies to disabled persons). Vespera hotel is less challenging in this respect - hillside flattens out towards the hotel and there is at least one path with ramp if I remember that right.
Which brings me to the sea and beach part of this review. First - if you have never been to Croatia, get prepared. There are almost no sandy beaches in this country, many of them are either gravelly or rocky, often finished with concrete and ladders to ease the access to the water. If you insist you have to bring home pictures of your child building a sand castle, look elsewhere. Beach called Veli Zal is not hotel-owned, it's accessible to public which makes it crowded especially on weekends. (But not worse than my previous Turkey or Greece experience). The very tip of Suncana Uvala (Sunny Bay) consist of gravelly section not more than 100 metres long, which is full of deckchairs and beach umbrellas, the rest of the beach is aforementioned rocky/concrete type. Which doesn't sound tempting, does it? But it's not that bad in real life, my kids are 7 and 5 yrs old and they weren't missing the sand for a second. Absence of sand has one big positive - the water is incredibly clear especially in the morning, colours ranging from turquoise to deep blue with breathtaking visibility underwater. You have to see it for yourself, Croatia prides itself on seawater quality. But there is a but - aforementioned tip of the bay tends to attract disgusting dirt (especially plastic debris) in approx. 5-10 metres wide belt along the beach. If you avoid this part, everything will be fine. As to deckchairs and umbrellas - they are free of charge (not that usual in Croatia). Sadly, you just have to forget your sense for fair play - if you don´t put your towel on a deckchair before 8:30 AM at latest, you will be lying on concrete or rock. I resigned on third day of our stay and did it the way everybody did. The hotel also boasts its' wellness part consisting of small outdoor saltwater pool and 2 indoor jacuzzi plus 20m pool which are freely accessible during the day. For saunas which are also included in the price you have to make a reservation - won't comment on this, haven't used them.
Hotel staff is mostly attentive, if sometimes lacking smile (common problem in almost all post-communist countries). But generally nothing to complain about, all requests were resolved quickly.
So to sum it up and add the comparison with Valamar Club Tamaris - although Valamar is all inclusive light which means full board and drinks during meals, it's not worth the extra money. I payed 1770€ for 8 nights for family of four, Valamar Club Tamaris would be approx. 3200€ for the same period. In other areas both hotels are very close side-by-side with price advantage lying on Aurora's side. The price/value ratio of this hotel is very good to excellent and you could spend similar money in Croatia on much worse hotel. Aurora is really recommendable choice with only minor reservations.

  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled with family
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3  Thank Martin_NR
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Losinj-hotels, General Manager at Wellness Hotel Aurora, responded to this reviewResponded 28 July 2012

Dear Mr./Mrs
On behalf of Hotel Aurora, and me personally, I thank you very much for staying in our hotel. Your comments are very important to us. They provide us with objectives and directions towards continual improvements.
Looking forward to meet you again.
Sincerely yours
Snježana Baljak
Hotel Manager

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122 - 128 of 423 reviews

Reviewed 24 July 2012

It was a really nice hotel at a nice location. Hotel has good service, nice staff, very good and wide range of food.
They are cleaning regularly the hotel and beach area (sometimes would need more often the sea because of waves taking the garbage). I have been to several 4 star hotels, but the buffet dinner and breakfast were the best here. I liked the most the seafood at dinner and the freshly made pancakes at bfast.

Room Tip: 4th floor seaview rooms are recommended
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  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Styke
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Losinj-hotels, General Manager at Wellness Hotel Aurora, responded to this reviewResponded 26 July 2012

Dear Mr./Mrs. Styke
on behalf of Hotel Aurora, and me personally, I thank you very much for staying in our hotel. Your comments are very important to us. They provide us with objectives and directions towards continual improvements.
Looking forward to meet you again.
Sincerely yours,
Snježana Baljak
Hotel Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 July 2012 via mobile

First night 22nd July first impressions very good location" Went into the main restaurant sat down no body came, so we waited ! Waiter came over we asked for wine menu waited again for ten minutes! No sign of him, decided to go for food still no sign of wine waiter, anyway by the time we received the wine we were on our deserts" not very good for a four stared hotel be ware!

  • Stayed: July 2012
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1  Thank Hempenstall
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Losinj-hotels, General Manager at Wellness Hotel Aurora, responded to this reviewResponded 25 July 2012

Dear Mr./Mrs
On behalf of Hotel Aurora, and me personally, I thank you very much for staying in our hotel. Your comments are very important to us. They provide us with objectives and directions towards continual improvements.
Looking forward to meet you again.
Sincerely yours
Snježana Baljak
Hotel Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 July 2012

Been here three times so far, and looks like I'm gonna return a few more :) Friendly staff, home atmosphere. Every detail is like it should be. Plenty of food choices, breakfast or dinner. Beautiful sea and pine shade. A lot of hiking trails nearby. Rooms are quite big and well maintained. Enjoyed the stay in every way. Warm recommendations.

  • Stayed: July 2012
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1  Thank gr8wanderer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 July 2012

This hotel I have visited at least eight times in the past 25 years. I have always loved him. Now fully refurbished and is beautiful. The best self-service restaurant for all meals. Food that is remembered. Scent of pine trees and clear waters indescribable.

Room Tip: Choose a room facing the sea and enjoy the sounds of waves and a view of the sunset.
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  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled with family
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1  Thank fiume051a
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Losinj-hotels, General Manager at Wellness Hotel Aurora, responded to this reviewResponded 24 July 2012

Thank you for your review. We are always improving our service and we are delighted to see how well we are doing it. We look forward to welcoming you again in our hotel, and I hope we make your next vacation in our hotel even better.

Sincerely yours,
Snježana Baljak
Hotel Manager

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Reviewed 23 June 2012

This hotel is fantastic. It is very clean and within a few steps to the beach. Hotel staff is friendly, helpful and very professional. I had a 3rd floor room with a great view. This is the hotel to book if you do not want to stay where there are lots of children. Although there were children, they were a bit older (8 and up) so not any screaming and running up and down the halls. Hotel was quiet at nice and during the day so if you need to take a nap you can without a problem. Breakfast and dinner buffet are super! Something for everyone no matter where you are coming from.

It would be great if the hotel shuttle came directly to the hotel instead of making a short hike up the hill especially when you have luggage. I would recommend no one park in front of the hotel allowing a bus to come down, turn around and head out.

Would be great to have half day excursions (8-12) without swimming. Also would be great to have one night of the latest pop-rock music with dancing.

I will stay here again when I come to Mali Losinj.

Room Tip: Ask for a sea view
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  • Stayed: June 2012, travelled solo
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1  Thank Darlean B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Management response:Responded 26 June 2012

Dear Darlean B,
thank you for your review of our hotel. We are pleased that you are pleased with us and we will be happy if we have the opportunity again to welcome you to our hotel.
Yours sincerely, Snježana Baljak

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Reviewed 5 June 2012

late may we spent a long weekend. room-suite- was okay,food also,but unfortunatelly no sea food. bike hire is more expensiver,than in the city and the biker aren't well maintaned. the hotel is really clean ant the hotel staff is absolutely friendly and helpfull. the hotel has a great location very close to the beach. trekking/biking path in the front of the hotel. outdoor pool seems to be a little bit small on busy summer days,was no problem in may.

  • Stayed: May 2012
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Thank pusztalangos
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Losinj-hotels, General Manager at Wellness Hotel Aurora, responded to this reviewResponded 7 June 2012

Thanks for your comment. We will be glad to visit us again.
General manager,, Snježana Baljak

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Wellness Hotel Aurora

Address: Sunchana Uvala 4, Mali Losinj 51550, Croatia
Region: Croatia > Primorje-Gorski Kotar County > Kvarner Bay Islands > Losinj Island > Mali Losinj
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Spa Hotel in Mali Losinj
#2 Luxury Hotel in Mali Losinj
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Mali Losinj
#3 Romantic Hotel in Mali Losinj
#4 Family Hotel in Mali Losinj
Price Range: £68 - £143 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Wellness Hotel Aurora 4*
Number of rooms: 393
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Hotel Aurora is located in the beautiful Sunny Bay, surrounded by the blue sea and green centuries-old pinewood. Situated only 50m from the island’s most beautiful beaches, we provide top quality service and comfort. The Aurora hotel is a perfect choice for family or wellness vacation, sport and recreation, conferences and formal gatherings. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Aurora Hotel Mali Losinj
Wellness Hotel Aurora Croatia/Mali Losinj, Losinj Island

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