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“An Excellent Three Star Family Hotel”

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Valamar Crystal Hotel
Ranked #6 of 33 Hotels in Porec
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 24 October 2013

This is an excellent 3 star family hotel - but definitely not the 4 stars advertised. However, we must say that we thoroughly enjoyed our stay here. We were a little disappointed with our initial reception. Arriving on a horribly early Thomson flight we were informed that our room wouldn't be available until 2 P.M. and that we could leave our cases behind reception and that we could use the toilets in the reception area. That was it! Certainly not as friendly as I would have liked and no offer of drinks etc. which would have been most welcome at that time in the morning! Our initial impression of the room (fourth floor overlooking the car park) was one of disappointment and certainly not what we would have expected of a four star property. The room was rather basic but I suppose it was adequate. The balcony overlooking the car park was not exactly enticing although as it turned out, we had no trouble with noises from cars.
The food was, however, excellent. Don't expect Cordon Bleu. It was extremely well cooked - most if it before your eyes at the central cooking stations - very fresh, Croatian style family cooking and was mostly delicious! The chefs were also very happy to cook something different for you if you asked! I was particularly impressed with the fish themed evenings (Fridays) and some of the food from the pasta station was excellent - particularly the truffle and anchovy raviolies! We did have to learn to time attendance at the restaurant however. Between 7 and 8 it was extremely busy with families and at these times it seemed a little canteen like. However, leaving it until 8:30 it was much quieter and the staff were very happy for you to stay well beyond the 9PM time that the restaurant service was supposed to finish. One other comment about the restaurant was that we found the local house wines to be both reasonable in price and of very good quality (and I'm a member of the UK Wine Society).
Whilst the staff all speak good English there were no UK magazines or newspapers available. Those which were in the shop catered for German, Italian and Croatian guests who formed the great majority of residents. The hotel has an excellent heated salt water pool and the adjacent bar serves very good and very reasonably priced food and drinks throughout the day. We never had any trouble finding sun beds or parasols throughout our two week stay.
Some practicalities: There are no kettles or tea making facilities in the room. The mini bar refrigerator will not allow you to store milk etc. The room safe is free to use. Pool towels are freely available at the pool by exchanging a token given to you at check-in (no payment or deposit required)
In summary, we thought that Croatia, Istria and Porec were stunning. The location of the hotel was excellent. Should we wish to return to this part of Croatia we would certainly seriously consider the Valamar Crystal again but we would know that we were going to a 3 star hotel and not a 4 star.

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled as a couple
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11  Thank FairwaysTraveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ValamarCrystal, Manager at Valamar Crystal Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 1 July 2014

Dear guest,
I’m sorry that you had to wait, but check out is until 10:00 and then our crew has to clean the rooms, for that reason we can’t check you in until later in the day. I do hope you will return and we will do the best to convince you that we deserve our stars.
Greetings!

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160 - 166 of 457 reviews

Reviewed 11 October 2013

In the front door, the hotel shows 4 stars, but inside you will discover a simple 2 stars hotel. The other Valamar Diamant Hotel is the real 4 star, but is next door. Things don't work exactly as you want it, but it is an average hotel. Do not expect much of it, at least, the village is a nice place.

Room Tip: If you want a 4 star hotel, go to Diamant Hotel next door!
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  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled on business
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2  Thank MauroFriedrich
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ValamarCrystal, Manager at Valamar Crystal Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 28 June 2014

Dear guest,
We assure you that we underwent a strict procedure, we match all the requirements and we are in fact a 4 star hotel. We are always improving and hope to have you soon again to disperse any doubt.
Cheers!

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Reviewed 8 October 2013

This review is going to be somewhat easy & short & sweet because I can't disagree with anything previous reviewers have said - it would just be repeating the obvious.
Just on a personal note, the atmosphere & relaxation at the hotel were just right for us (being in our late sixties but not yet ready for the pipe & slippers brigade) - good variety of food, reasonably priced drinks, & attentive staff. Just the job for the end of September, but next time (which there will definitely be one !) a little earlier in the year to get more sunshine & warmth. Other than that a lovely experience on everything. Thanks to all staff at 'The Crystal' for looking after everybody so well in every respect.

Room Tip: Sea view rooms are obviously the best.
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  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Ballcock
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ValamarCrystal, Manager at Valamar Crystal Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 28 June 2014

Dear guest,
Thank you for your feedback, it’s always interesting to hear how we are perceived by our guest.
We are pleased that you liked the atmosphere, and our staff. We are in June now, and is getting pretty hot and sunny, so I suggest you hurry back, we are eagerly awaiting for your return.
Greeting from sunny Poreč!

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Reviewed 8 October 2013

What a friendly place to be,so clean,so spacious, so convenant to the many sites.It is set in pinewoods, and is only about 50 yards from the sea, Porec,a historical,unspoiled fishing town is a short walk along the coast from the hotel.
The restaurant has so much choice of excellently cooked food,that even the most particular appetite should be satisfied.
Swimming pool,bars,scenery,walks,history,music-it has them all!
Fantastic hotel.

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled solo
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4  Thank Haydn15
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ValamarCrystal, Manager at Valamar Crystal Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 28 June 2014

Dear guest,
Thank you for this short but sweet review. We are happy to receive your praises, and invite you back for another vacation.
Greetings!

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Reviewed 28 September 2013

We have just come back from a week at the Valamar Crystal. It's a really nice hotel which has made the most of the communist Russia style architecture that you see around this part of Croatia. The landscaping is stunning, and the hotel is set in pine woods by the sea and it's a short stroll to Porec. Porec is beautiful, and is definitely worth a trip at night, the atmosphere was very chilled out. The food at the hotel is very nice, but I tend to agree with the other reviewers that a couple of theme nights would've been good. Having said that, in a week you could have a different meal every night as the selection was extensive. We are a couple in our late 20s/early 30s, and we think the hotel is probably more geared up for older guests, particularly in September, but this didn't spoil our enjoyment of the hotel - if we wanted a week of parties we would've gone to Magaluf! What makes this hotel deserve my 'excellent' rating is the staff - they are so friendly and helpful, even after the long shifts they seem to work. The restaurant did get busy between seven and eight, but we didn't have to wait very long at all to be served drinks, and we always found a table. Our room was nice and clean, but very small and over the car park, which actually didn't bother me at all, and someone has to be in that room anyway! It didn't ruin our enjoyment of the hotel at all. My only gripe is that tea and coffee making facilities in the room would've been nice as it was getting expensive to feed my caffeine addiction!

Steve the rep was very good and helpful. We went on two Thompson's trips - 'The best of Istria' and Venice. Both were fairly long days with a lot of travelling. Venice is not to be missed if you haven't been before. We spent 80 euros on a gondola ride, which was expensive but worth it as it was a 'once in a lifetime' experience. I'm glad I researched prices before I went so we could budget accordingly. I read elsewhere that the gondola rides got more expensive if you got one from the Grand Canal, or St Mark's Square, so we got ours from Campo San Barnaba, off the usual tourist trail. For lunch we had a takeaway pizza slice each for 6 euros altogether, which wasn't bad for Venice, and they were pretty big slices! I think it helps to eat away from the main tourist areas.

'The best of Istria' trip was good but a lot of travelling, and we didn't spend as much time in the amphitheatre in Pula as I would've hoped, but I think this was because I spent half an hour queuing for the toilet so missed the guided tour! The problem with guided trips is that you have to keep to a tight schedule, so in hindsight I probably would've prefered to go to Pula under our own steam. The hilltop village was stunning.

We also went on a local bus to Rovinj, which is definitely worth a visit, it's simply beautiful. As a previous reviewer has mentioned, the local bus isn't geared up for tourists - it seems that even if you buy a return ticket, this does not guarantee you a seat on the way back, you have to pay more at Rovinj to reserve a seat on the 3pm or 4pm bus. I think they do this as they don't have separate buses for school children, so the buses are full. If you do go to Rovinj on the bus, it's best to go to the ticket office as soon as you get there to reserve a seat on whichever return bus you want, this saves you queuing for a bus you can't get on.

All in all, we had an amazing holiday and the Valamar Crystal is an excellent base to explore from.

  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled as a couple
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8  Thank Ali82
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ValamarCrystal, Manager at Valamar Crystal Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 26 June 2014

Dear guest,
Thank you very much for an extensive review, it’s always nice to hear from a satisfied guest. We are happy that you liked Istra, Poreč and our Valamar Crystal hotel, and hope to see you return.

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Reviewed 27 September 2013

Stayed here for a week at the end of September. The hotel itself is part of three side by side, although not cluttered together. You have a 3star, then the valamar crystal which is the 4star and the 5star diamant. All look very much the same, modern and spotlessly clean. We stayed half board and found the food just average. Their was a varied choice of foods, but really it was pretty much the same day in day out. I would have preferred them to put on a theme night at each dinner serving and then serve the regular food along side. Breakfast was ok, no toaster though which I felt a bit odd. To toast my bread I had to quash it into a toasted sandwich machine which flattens the bread and gives it a crinkled appearance, nice if making a ham and cheese toastie, but not for toast to spread butter and jam on.

The orange juice was a bit lame also, the first morning it was so watery it was horrid. It did get better, but its not orange juice, more an orange drink. The coffee was fine for me, I didn't try the tea, but it was all their. You could have omelettes made to your choice and fried eggs cooked at your request, but there was only one person working the station that did the fried eggs, so they were very busy, cooking, sausages, bacon etc. the bacon was good but watch the little fatty spots it each rasher, I had to pick them out as they are chewed and nasty.

Evening meal starts at 7pm and goes through till 10pm I believe. Most go at 7pm so you can guess the chaos and stress on cooks to keep supplies replenished. What I had was nice, always 2or3 fish dishes and likewise meat dished and nightly a joint on the bone being carved, changing meat type daily, the beef was very good. A good array of cold salads, breads, soups on offer.

You have to pay for your drinks. We had each night a large beer for me and a bottle of sprite for the misses. That cost 48Kn or approx £6, which to me is quite pricey. The deserts are fine, nice mouses and ice cream and good cakes and fruits available.

The waitress staff in the restaurant were very good throughout our stay, very curtious and always pleasant and friendly and efficient, no complaints there.

The hotel reception and lobby area and bar area all spotless and nice, reception staff always willing to help and spoke good English, apart from one. My partner shut the toilet door in our room but it then would not open. So I called down to reception and was telling a male staff member of our problem, that we couldn't get in the w/c. His reply was that if I wanted two towels for the pool then I should go to the pool attendant and he would gladly provide then for me. But hey, I don't speak Croation and his English is better than mine. So I went down to reception and told someone else. It was fixed straight away. Also when we had an issue with the safe, it was also dealt with immediately, brilliant.

The room fine and modern and big enough for us. My one complaint though was that the room was too hot and whilst the aircon made a noise, I turned it down to its minimum of 5degrees which should of half frozen us to death, but it made no difference, so we then opened the patio door which automatically stops the aircon. This worked a cooled us down, but then the mozzies attacked with wicked vengeance.

The pool and pool area smashing. Salt water pool, jacuzzi, and daily animation team. The walk through the pine trees to the ragged coastline and into Porec loverly. Takes about 15 min leisurely, watch out for bicycle traffic. But a smashing walk, or you could catch the noddy train or water taxi near Alan's restaurant. No beach, but cleverly made crazy paving along the rocks and Amanda made beach of sorts.

For me the hotel was nice for a relaxing week at the end of their season. Personally I like a bit more atmosphere, but guess much of it was due to be end of season. In fact many shops and bars were closing down for the winter whilst we were there.

In conclusion, the Valamar Crystal is a loverly hotel, beautifully kept, as is Croatia as a whole, so clean and tidy, more than I have seen anywhere else I've been in fact. Close to Porec with a lovely walk through the pine trees. If you want beach, then this hotel is not for you, nor is Croatia as a whole, it's pretty much rugged coastline throughout.

Probably suited more to the more mature persons, for the twenty/ thirties looking for fun and frolicks, you will be dissapointed.

It is peaceful, quiet and relaxing and just nice. The Croation people are loverly.

Do visit Venice and Plitvice lakes whilst here. If you don't you will be sorry, sorry, sorry.

I hope my review helps, and thankyou all the staff at Valamar Crystal for making our stay great.

Stayed: September 2013, travelled as a couple
10  Thank elbatsnoc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ValamarCrystal, Manager at Valamar Crystal Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 28 June 2014

Dear guest,
Thank you for your review and for the good ideas we will take in consideration. The choices in dining hall are always hard because we have variety of guest who likes different things, so we try to satisfied them all with the best of our abilities. We agree that our staff is excellent, and we are very proud at them. One thing we disagree with you is your claim that we don’t have nice beaches. People in Poreč and in the rest of coastline Croatia are very proud to have some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. We hope you will return shortly so we can prove that for you.
Greetings!

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Reviewed 26 September 2013

Had a really relaxing 2 week holiday at the Valamar Crystal Hotel. A truly lovely hotel that only misses excellent by a small amount. I can recommend it. As previous reviews have stated, the hotel is set within a pine forest area with lots of the cutest, smallest squirrels we have ever seen running around (adorable). Lizards are basking in the sun in the hotels beautiful grounds.

The employees who work here are an absolute credit to this hotel - they will go out of their way to try to make your holiday special - it was an absolute pleasure to be around them - thanks to you all but in particular Jelena on reception who was so helpful to us at all times and a pleasure to deal with. The lovely Velemere who works both the restaurant and the bar (unsure of spelling). Teresa and the adorable new young lady who is an apprentice waitress (sorry I can't remember her name) both looked after us so well and had a good sense of humour.

We were on a half board basis with breakfast and evening meal. The food was plentiful and of decent quality. If I were being picky, It would have been nice to have had theme nights i.e., typical Croatian maybe, Italian (whilst there is a pasta bar which is nice it would be nice to have a more extensive Italian theme maybe, Chinese etc etc just to vary things a little. There appeared vary few meals including sauces.

We thought the alcohol was very fairly priced at approx. £2.50 for a large glass of house wine - which we thought was nice quality. Water was a different matter - I think that was over priced by the bottle - and as you can drink water from the tap in Croatia, it wouldn't hurt to put tap water in the restaurant during the evening. I should add, it was available at breakfast. Evening meals were served between 7 and 9pm which again as previously stated by other reviewers meant there was a rush between 7 and 8pm (bit manic), and then it went quieter - the problem then was that on a number of occasions particular items ran out - this wasn't helped by the fact there were a team of basketball players who were like human vacuums and literally hoovered up. One example (and there were many) was when they served cauliflower cheese as a vegetable option, but by the time those guys had taken 2 full plates each we were down to steamed cauliflower only for the remainder of the evening.

Our room was spacious, and kept clean by Marianna our cleaning lady. I thought it was fantastic that both Air con, plus your safe and if requested via reception WIFI are all FOC (you don't get that often). Our room was nice and quiet except from when there was live music and that would end at 11pm so that was never an issue.

Porec town is just a 15 minute walk through the pine trees and should be done to see what's outside. There are a lot of cyclists around and you do need to be aware of them because some are not too careful - my husband nearly got hit by someone going at quite a speed (he hadn't heard them coming) - luckily enough I had heard, and grabbed his arm and pulled him out of harms way. Just be aware as a trip to A&E wouldn't enhance your holiday any!. For those that don't wish to walk there's a small train that for 10 Kuna will take you into Porec centre.

A trip into the hill resorts are really worth seeing - we visited Motovun and Grosnia (unsure of spelling). Cobble streets, houses interspersed with shops that are really antique and the most amazing views and history. We also took a trip to Ravinj which has a lovely harbour. We took the bus which once you are on it is fine. However, buying the ticket and the return trip was a pain - you queue forever just to buy a return ticket - only afterwards did we find that that doesn't guarantee you can get on the hourly bus. After queuing for the return bus, at least 50 school children descended and pushed onto the bus in front of us (not much fun). if you missed the 4pm bus, - the next one was not till 7.30pm. I didn't particularly think the buses were tourist friendly, so I would suggest either go via a tour or hire a car if the bus isn't your thing.

If you want a peaceful relaxed holiday you will not go wrong here. There were no night clubs that we were aware of in town. Your evening would be more likely to be spent in a restaurant.

Please try Konoba Aba - we ate there 3 times - you do need to book as they have limited seating. Also, Restaurant Dali serves excellent pizza - I am not a pizza lover, but went because my husband is, and I can honestly say it was one of the nicest I have ever tried and for an enormous Pizza that was larger than we could manage, plus a side salad and 2 large glasses of wine for £15 - we were impressed.

Croatia is impeccably clean and without a doubt we would return - so, so glad we went.

  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank lyl0703
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ValamarCrystal, Manager at Valamar Crystal Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 26 June 2014

Dear Guest,
Thank you so much for you extensive review. May I say that you are pretty good at this. Maybe you should get pay and do this for a living? I know I would read your reviews. We are pleased that even a person of an impeccable taste was satisfied at our hotel. We are especially pleased for words of praise towards our employees. Sometimes carried away from quality of our food some of the guest forgets their manners, but surly that just shows the skills of our team in the kitchen. We are happy that you were all-round satisfied with Poreč, and are eager to host you again.
Greetings from sunny Poreč!

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Additional Information about Valamar Crystal Hotel

Address: Brulo 2, Porec 52440, Croatia
Phone Number:
Region: Croatia > Istria > Porec
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#3 Spa Hotel in Porec
#4 Romantic Hotel in Porec
#5 Luxury Hotel in Porec
#6 Family Hotel in Porec
#6 On the Beach Hotel in Porec
Price Range: £73 - £205 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Valamar Crystal Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 223
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A family hotel in Poreč giving you the perfect choice of entertainment and activities Guarded by the deep shade of pine trees, the Valamar Crystal Hotel and its great variety of family rooms, animation activities, playgrounds and innovative entertainment programmes represent an ideal choice for a fun packed family vacation. Take a short walk or a tourist train ride to the centre of Poreč to discover its rich heritage or relax by the pool or nearby beach while your children enjoy the wonders of Maro Club. For a great gastronomic experience visit the show cooking buffet restaurant. If you are looking for a new sporting challenge or would like to benefit from first-class wellness facilities, go to the nearby Valamar Diamant Hotel and treat yourself to our superb wellness centre or spend some quality time playing sport on the wide range of sporting grounds available. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Valamar Crystal Hotel Porec
Kristal Hotel Porec
Kristal Hotel Valamar Crystal

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