We have just returned from a fantastic holiday in Bol, staying at the Hotel Riu Borak. After reading many excellent reviews of the hotel we decided to book 7 nights here and were pleasantly surprised to find that the hotel was just as good, if not even better, than the reviews had said.
We arrived in Split to find that it was incredibly hot (35 degrees in the shade) and it remained at about 35 degrees in Bol for the whole of our stay. If you don’t mind it being this hot then July is definitely the best time of year to visit Croatia as it is generally their hottest month.
We had a couple of hours to kill in Split whilst we waited to be transferred by Ferry to the island of Brac. The transfer takes about an hour but be prepared to have to wait around for a ferry as they do only run a few times a day. Split is a lovely historical city with lots of old buildings and monuments, café’s and restaurants. When we visit Croatia again we would definitely consider a longer stay in Split or even just a daytrip there to explore it properly. The ferry drops you off in Supetar and it was then a further hours drive to the hotel.
We found the hotel to be extremely clean and well-maintained. Our room was a decent size and absolutely spotless, we couldn’t fault it really, its one of the nicest hotels we have ever stayed at. As for the location, we couldn’t have picked a more perfect location! The hotel is in a beautiful and peaceful area, right on a beach, and is central to the famous Zlatni Rat (or ‘Golden Horn’) beach (about a 15 minute walk from the hotel) and Bol town (about 20 minute walk away) and there are mountains as a backdrop at the back of the hotel.
We were surprised to find that the hotel swimming pool was very quiet but we liked it this way. Most people either go down to the beaches or use the facilities at the neighbouring hotel, the Elaphusa, which you are allowed to use. The hotel has its own beach which we really liked, but there are plenty of other beaches within walking distance from the hotel which are even better, including the Zlatni Rat beach, and our favourite beach was next to the Monastery in Bol town. Our Thomas Cook Rep informed us that the hotel offered half price mountain bike hire, a free scuba-diving lesson (in the hotel pool) and an hour’s windsurfing tuition all included in the price, which was fantastic.
All the staff at the hotel were very nice and really friendly and most spoke Croatian, German, and English. We found there were not many English people staying at the hotel, it was mainly German and French people, but this was not necessarily a bad thing. The food in the restaurant was absolutely fantastic, and again, we couldn’t fault it. There was a great variety of choice for both breakfast and dinner, plenty of different dishes in the evenings, but perhaps the food was maybe catered too much towards pleasing the Brits and Germans (we would have loved to have tried more Croatian foods) but it was still beautifully presented and fresh, and tasted great all the same. There were two sittings for dinner and you had to pick which sitting you would like to come to for the week, early or late, but the seating arrangements were flexible if you were out all day and missed the first sitting, you could come to the later one. You were also given the same table to sit at each night and the same waitor, but we didn’t mind this at all. The waiters serve all your drinks at the table and if you ordered a bottle of wine but couldn’t finish it, they kept it for you for the next evening. We would recommend trying the local red wine – Plavac Bol.
The evening entertainment at the hotel wasn’t particularly good. It was mainly keyboard players and a singer and the hotel’s own animation team did try their best to keep evenings lively and entertaining, but we admit it was not to our taste. We really liked the hotel’s beach bar, an absolutely beautiful setting for a bar, and there is also a nice cocktail bar called ‘Bolero’ next door to the hotel where they serve a good selection of cocktails. If you want a livelier evening then Bol is perhaps not the best place for a wild night out but is brilliant if you want a great place to chill out and relax as we did.
There were plenty of excursions on offer in Bol. We definitely recommend the Brac island tour, a half-day trip by coach which takes you to all the best places on the island, including a fantastic view of the Zlatni Rat from the top of a mountain. We also took a trip to the Krka National Park – a really long day out which involves taking a Hydrofoil to the mainland but was definitely worth it for the amazing views and the waterfalls – it was such a beautiful day out.
For something a little closer to the hotel, a day on the Zlatni Rat beach is definitely a must, it’s worth visiting Brac just for this. The beach is great in the day - beautiful crystal clear waters and lots of water sports on offer but it is worth noting that the beach (in fact all the beaches) are not sandy, but have small pebbles. This wasn’t too much of a problem for us but we would recommend wearing scuba shoes when in the sea and to make it more comfortable when walking on the beach. Most of the shops in Bol sell these. The Zlatni Rat is best viewed in the evening however. The sunsets were absolutely amazing from here, we have never seen anything like it, and its perfect for a romantic stroll after dinner.
We also found the Taxi Boat quite useful in the day which takes you from Bol town to the Zlatni Rat and vice versa, it only costs 10Kn each way (about £1) and was really worth it just to get from one side of the beach front to the other quickly.
Overall, it was an amazing holiday, and we would recommend the hotel and Bol to anyone!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Set amidst a lush pine forest, Bluesun Hotel Borak is only 50 metres from a pebbly beach. The promenade that connects the centre of Bol with the unique Zlatni Rat Beach passes right by the hotel and offers its guests quick access to both of these attractions. You can taste refreshing drinks and cocktails from the pool bar and soak up the sun on the terrace with free loungers and umbrellas. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Bluesun Hotel Borak Hotel Bol
- Riu Borak Hotel
- Riu Borak Bol
- Bluesun Hotel Borak Bol, Croatia - Brac Island