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“Good with a few contradictions”
Review of Island Hotel Istra

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Island Hotel Istra
Ranked #5 of 23 Hotels in Rovinj
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 31 October 2008

The sunsets in Croatia are magical, the scenery is really quite superb and the relative ‘unspoiltness’ of the country is refreshing in these corporate times. There are corporate elements to Rovinj as with other destinations but to me they appear to be promoting the area and its natural beauty more than taking it way. After staying in the Hotel Albatross in Cavtat a few years previously and receiving Gluten free cakes, bread and specially cooked courses I was hoping the Istra would be very similar.

Overall we enjoyed our two weeks at the Hotel Istra but, there always is a but, the hotel is a series of contradictions. From the variety of Star ratings in the brochures, some say 3, some say 4, some say somewhere in between, to the quality of service and final impressions. There are lots of positives but every now and again a little negative would come and nip you on the toes just to keep you good.

Location
The location is superb! Its just a 15 minute boat ride from Rovinj harbour which, I think adds an interesting twist to your holiday. My wife, who isn’t the best on boats, happily used the service without hesitation. The ride is very comfortable in the Maistra boat come mini ferry. The smaller boat can be challenging if it’s a bit choppy but on whole the experience is a BIG positive more than a negative. The hotel offers fantastic views of the Istrian peninsular and there are sea views in most if not all of the room, (I believe some views are obscured by trees). If you are facing back to Rovinj as we were you do not get the sun on your balcony which can be refreshing after a day in the sun but not so good if you are drying out wet gear. The pool side is all out sun, not good when you have been sitting in it all day… and yes it can get HOT! Personal choice really.

Cleanliness
The rooms are cleaned daily and are spotless, the bathroom, overall size of rooms, bed comfort and mini bar are all to a good standard.

Food
The food was good. With my gluten intolerance I managed to secure the services of the kind deputy Manager took me around each night explaining I couldn’t eat. This far outweighed what I could eat. However, the grilled fish and meat, veg, salad, rice, boiled potatoes and I when I was feeling brave I chanced the chips, were fine. After 2 weeks you can get a bit bored of it. Beggars can’t be choosers but I didn’t get any preferential treatment as with the Albatross. Breakfasts were a tad more difficult and fruit and bacon and eggs were the staple diet (I couldn’t bring myself to eat the boiled sprouts and cauliflower the morning) even though there was a good range of non GF on offer. It was a bit of a free for all at times. The posh Laterna restaurant on the island I have to say is poor. The food I received through the Hotel’s free voucher was not good. Admittedly I had to go Gluten Free and it was a free voucher… maybe if you paid to eat there things would hopefully improve. My wife’s food seemed nice though.

Hotel and staff
Half of the staff were great, positive and a joy to be around. However, some staff needed a bit of personality injecting into them (“Let me see your TICKETS!”). There was no shop on the island which meant you had to pick up supplies on your travels to the mainland. Another downside was the wasps around the restaurants on the island. They were unbearable and we stopped eating there after the 3rd or 4th day. I had an a major argument with the reception staff on the last day, they had overcharged me on the mini bar by a stack of money and wanted to charge me the full £75 day rate for the 5 hour room extension when I was quoted £15 the previous day! Its something you don’t need at the end of your holiday.

Facilites
Early to rise regime to catch a decent sunbed, nice pool, entertainment at Captains bar mediocre (wonderful setting though!) excellent walks around the island. Lots of watersports to purchase, smashing rope slide for the kids, 2 table tennis tables, indoor wacky warehouse.

Conclusion
I could go on with my little contradicting anecdotes but I feel I am already boring you. It’s a good hotel, excellent location, quite good food, family friendly and worth the bargain price I paid for it.

  • Stayed: August 2008, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Glutenfreefella
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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747 - 753 of 1,024 reviews

Reviewed 21 September 2008

Got a last minute cheapie to this hotel. Wasn't sure about Croatia as a holiday destination but as soon as we arrived any doubts we may have had dissapeared. Arrived late evening, restaurant closed but some food / soft drinks had been left in our room or our arrival which as much appreciated.
Room on 3rd floor was lovely. V.Clean, plenty of space for the 3 of us and wonderful views from our balcony. As far as we could tell, all rooms have sea views and another plus is that they don't charge for the room safe !
Food was v.good, restaurants never too busy & complimentary drinks with dinner.
Hotel grounds are immaculate. Never had problems getting a sun bed. Hotel is very European - Lots of Italians / Russians / Latvians there, only saw one other English family ( not a bad thing).
Rovinj is gorgeous. Cobbled streets ( wear sensible shoes !), street artists, lovely boutiques & craft shops. Many cafes/restaurants & ice-cream parlours, not at all expensive.
Everywhere seemed clean & well maintained and the Coatian people were very hospitable and most spoke several languages including English.
Did the Venice Trip and a boat trip to the Limm Fjord - both very enjoyable.
All said, we loved it and did not have a single complaint. Will definately return one day.

  • Stayed: August 2007, travelled with family
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Thank Chris B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 September 2008

this was an excellent hotel in every way. Food, cleanleness, staff, greeeeaat spa, big rooms...
in a short way, excellent. i havo no complains to that hotel.
it is worth every euro..

  • Stayed: May 2008
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Thank dejch83
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 July 2008

Just come back from a week here, and would love to return. The hotel itself was clean, spacious and contemporary. The staff were very helpful and accomodating. The view from our balcony was beautiful-really worth having a room with a sea view.
The food was good, with variety-the only drawback was that the dining area was chaotic-with guests getting up and down from the tables to get other courses from the buffet-no quiet meals! This was more noticeable when visiting restaurants in Rovinj and having a relaxing meal with conversation.
The boat to and from Rovinj was quick, regular and very reliable, and even runs in bad weather. Rovinj itself was lovely, with lots of character, cobbled streets, artists, restaurants cafes and bars. The water was turquoise, clear and beautiful for swimming.If you like plants and wildlife, the two islands have many species on them-lookout for the green headed lizards..
The sunsets are stunning, the area is peaceful and largely unpretentious. I will be back!

  • Stayed: July 2008, travelled with family
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1  Thank tezabel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 June 2008

we have been to Croatia and visited, many different places, over the past 10 years,the Istra, did not disappoint. Great location, friendly staff, and very good ameneties, four pools, plus indoor with jacuzi. Plenty of sunbeds and parasols. Restaraunt, was a bit dissapointing, could do with a good Maitre,d . Food was okay , but dining room, too big for staff, should have allocated tables for dinner. Free wine and beer was bonus. Would recommend for all ages, as night life can be found a short enjoyable ,free, boatride away. The views from any part of the island are stunning. Rovinj, is typical, very much influened by Italian architecture, and a joy to explore. Vist the Cafe Colombia for a pleasant drink with great hosts.

  • Stayed: June 2008, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank isundance
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 June 2008

My wife, daughter, fiance and I have just returned from Hotel Istra (half-board) and found the accommodation was of the highest standard. Clean, tidy, modern and fresh.
The location is fantastic and the hotel grounds and public areas are kept immaculate.
The hotel lacked any real entertainment on site, I put this down to our trip being taken at low season, but this was not an issue with us, we often took the boat accross to Rovinj to visit the various bars there.
Bar staff were extremely efficient and friendly, as were most of the reception staff (except the grumpy nightporter !)
The only criticisms were that the quality of the Buffet food served did not live up to the standard of the hotel, particularly breakfast. As others have commented, brussels sprouts and broccoli are not on my normal breakfast menu!
We took lunch on 2 occasions at the Lavenda Grill situated on the adjoining island, and the food was excellent and resonably priced. We ate once at the Lanterna a la carte restaurant and had a very enjoyable experience, despite certain items not being available on the menu.
Overall, a very pleasant 7 day holiday

  • Stayed: June 2008, travelled with family
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1  Thank WardyBracknell
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 June 2008

If you want a relaxing week away from traffic noise etc, then this is the place. Almost every room has a lovely view from it's balcony. The rooms are basic, but very clean and cool, and why stay in the room anyway?
There were a lot of children, but they all seemed to be busy attending various organised activities and not getting bored or grumpy - ie not bugging couples like us without children.
The pool area is nice but very busy, the usual 7AM towel laying nonsense to reserve sun loungers; we're not into that at all so just walked a couple of minutes along the shore to find a spot to sun bathe. You have to pay for sunbeds away from the hotel pool area, I don't remember exactly, about GBP3.50 equivalent for 2 beds and a parasol for the day which I thought was fine.
The staff don't seem to be able to smile at all, but if you need anything they are helpful enough.
The shoreline is rocky all around this area, on the mainland aswell as the Island the hotel is on, not good for building sandcastles, but good for snorkeling or diving. Just get some cheap water shoes for your feet.
My wife and I thought the food was pretty good, we were there for 7 nights and the selection changed every evening. We got a "free" meal at the ala carte restaurant; the restaurant looks nice, but guests with free meal vouchers are treated like some kind of second class citizens with just a choice of "meet or fish" dish - don't bother with it unless you want to pay for your meal.
There's a nice outside bar area next to the sea where a selection of local musicians play on a stage, the perfect way to chill out with a few drinks at the end of the day.
We found the ferry to and from the mainland an enjoyable experience except for about 11AM - 1PM when a lot of non-hotel guest visitors are trying to get to the island, a lot of pushing and shoving. But fine at other times.
Rovinj (pronounced a bit like "Ro'veen") is very nice, a bit crowded in July, but very scenic. I liked it best in the morning with quite a lot of activity around the harbour - the large fast ferry to Venice leaving, fishing boats coming and going, etc and not yet crowded. It's also lovelly in the evening, but very crowded in the nice water-side bars and restaurants. I think these would be better enjoyed out of the peek-season.
I'm not one for returning to the same place every year, but will definitely go back before long.

  • Stayed: July 2007, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank mipy012016
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Island Hotel Istra

Address: Crveni Otok 1 - St. Andrea, Rovinj 52210, Croatia
Phone Number:
Region: Croatia > Istria > Rovinj
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#5 Luxury Hotel in Rovinj
#5 On the Beach Hotel in Rovinj
#6 Family Hotel in Rovinj
#8 Romantic Hotel in Rovinj
Price Range: £62 - £139 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Island Hotel Istra 4*
Number of rooms: 326
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Hotel Istra is an island of its own, a traffic free oasis of sea and sun, wonderful beaches and secluded spots, a ten minute boat ride from Rovinj. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Istra Hotel Rovinj
Hotel Istra Rovinj

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