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“Stunning setting. Just dropped short of perfect.”
Review of Island Hotel Istra

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Island Hotel Istra
Ranked #5 of 23 Hotels in Rovinj
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 29 July 2014

Stayed here for 10 nights in early July with my husband and two teenage sons.
Very excited to get the ferry across to the island which was beautiful on first sighting.
Checked into our rooms, but have to say were extremely disappointed.
I had emailed the hotel prior to our stay to let them know that one room was for two teenage boys, and also that we would like a sea view. The reply came back that 'they would do their best to accommodate the request'.
The rooms (269 and 270) were both small (as other reviewers have pointed out). There is a double bed and a very small dressing table, but no room for anything else. Small, adequate bathroom with shower. There is no kettle in the room so take your own if you like a hot drink.
The size of the room really would not have been an issue, however, the hugely disappointing thing was the total lack of view from the balcony (see photo). The balcony side was high concrete with the aspect of a flat roof & the side of the hotel! We didn’t sit on the balcony once.
It has to be remembered that we paid a lot of money for this Thomson holiday in a FOUR STAR hotel on an island surrounded by water and the room and view just didn't justify the cost or rating compared with the other four star hotels we have stayed in. To be honest, it was more like you’d expect In a Travelodge & e definitely expected better. Also recent reviews have said that all rooms have a sea view, but this is definitely NOT the case.
Also, although the hotel knew beforehand that our boys were 19 and 16, they put them in a double bed which I found odd. When I challenged this at reception, they were dismissive and unhelpful, and said I could 'upgrade' to a twin, but it would be at an extra cost, and not next to us as we had apparently ‘only booked a standard room’. I then took it up directly with the Thomson rep whose solution was to provide an additional blanket - good job they get on! Again, I don't think this is the service of a four star hotel and I was annoyed that none of this was made clear to me when I emailed in plenty of time before our holiday. Be aware that apparently all Thomson guests get a standard room unless they specifically pay for an upgrade to a sea view or are lucky - seems a bit of an unfair system.
Found the room air conditioning to be fairly ineffective at night - it didn't stay cool enough and seemed to reset to 24 deg overnight..
The quality of the rooms definitely had an impact but decided to move forward so we could enjoy our much anticipated annual 10 day holiday. Unfortunately, the weather wasn't great and the lounge area got very busy when it rained, so a lot more time than we would have liked was spent in the room. We never used the balcony as it just wasn’t appealing at all.
On the positives, the hotel is spotless and the cleaning, catering, and bar staff are very friendly and helpful. Reception staff were sometimes a bit severe.
The food was excellent, especially considering the numbers – lots of self service choice at both breakfast and dinner and didn’t feel over-crowded. You get free wine/beer/soft drinks with your meal. The restaurant décor is a little stark and it is a shame that there is no al fresco dining in such a beautiful location. Also no coffee is provided with the evening meal but could be purchased from the bar afterwards.
Breakfast ended at 10am, which we found quite early on holiday. You really had to be down by 9.30 and our teenage boys missed a few. You don’t want to be setting alarms and rushing down to breakfast when you are on holiday to relax. They don’t have to set up for lunch, so even half an hour longer would make a difference.
We loved the tranquillity and beauty of the island (no traffic noise), and it was lovely to walk round in the evening and enjoy the sunsets weather permitting.
Nice big pools, but still a bit difficult to get sun beds if you’re a family. If you went down by the sea (very close to the hotel) you had to pay for sunbeds and umbrellas which we felt should be free for all hotel guests. They get a LOT of day trippers coming across to the island and I can totally understand charging them, but hotel guests shouldn’t be charged when the whole island is basically under the hotel’s management.
We loved going across to Rovinj on the hourly free ferry (very efficient and fun with excellent staff) – just beware if the weather is bad – we got stuck across in Rovinj one evening as the boat stopped running – luckily it managed to do a late run but it was touch and go and then a VERY rough crossing. Rovinj is a great place to go for a drink and wander after supper. Entertainment in the hotel wasn’t great and the outside bars were quite expensive and didn’t serve coffee, although the setting was glorious. Lots of good places to eat/drink on the mainland with a buzzy atmosphere.
Didn’t feel there was much for teenagers – more a couple’s/young families’ hotel. There was a pool table used a lot, (you had to pay for) and a football table which I never saw being used. They could do with getting rid of that and getting a table tennis table instead. Nothing really for the older kids to do when it rained.
There is Wi-Fi in the lobby area, but the lobby was always quite full and it was sometimes difficult to find somewhere to sit. – lots of teenagers using Wi-Fi and taking up the comfy chairs!
We went on two Thomson organised trips - The Best of Istria - long and tiring day but excellent - the guide Tin was especially good. Also went to Venice for the day - really enjoyed it, but the boat trip back took 5 hours (rather then 3) as one engine broke. They also ran out of water which was inexcusable - lucky they got the engine working again or we would have taken 7 hours with no water! Don't get lured into buying the extra excursions on board - you can get them cheaper once you arrive.
All in all we really enjoyed our holiday. The weather was disappointing with a fair amount of rain – not a fault of the hotel of course but bear in mind that it doesn’t get the same sort of climate that the Med does and it did mean that we didn’t get to enjoy the pool and evenings as much as we have done on previous holidays.
This was our first time in Croatia and we absolutely loved it – beautiful unspoilt area with lovely people and we would definitely consider returning. I would also love to go back to the Istra, but only if we could guarantee a room worthy of a four star hotel. Shame, would definitely have been five stars otherwise...

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with family
    • Service
2  Thank OxonLioness
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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418 - 424 of 1,043 reviews

Reviewed 29 July 2014

Beautifully clean, the most helpful and friendly staff, a heavenly setting and the food was very very good for a buffet, ie half board arrangement. The only criticism is that the restaurant is very brightly lit, ie no ambience and waiter stations tended to clatter cutlery which spoilt what otherwise is such a superb hotel. I stayed at Hotel Croatia in Cavtat last month and the food was not nearly as varied or nearly as good but it was superb to be able to look at the sea and the mountains and eat on a lovely terrace (some people ate in the brightly lit dining room but it really spoils a good ambience for dinner in particular). Hotel Istra were so accommodating, very trusting and as always the Croatian people were delightful. The island is beautiful and the 'free' ferry back to Rovinj whenever the need for shopping or a change of scene was superb, we loved the holiday and Rovinj really is a beautifully arty island and the journey from Pula an easy 45 minutes, well done Thomson Holidays again !!! Superb.

Room Tip: All rooms have a sea view but the rooms facing the pool are most sunny but extremely hot as there is...
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  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
3  Thank JulieHolidays22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 July 2014

This hotel is really good,very clean and modern. It is in a fantastic location and it is fun arriving by boat, however the boat service is a bit hit and miss on the timing as it's supposed to be at two places at the same time, also it should run more frequently than hourly, should be half hourly. The food is fantastic, fresh and delicious, I am a vegetarian and there was plenty to choose from every night. I miss the food already. I celebrated a special birthday during our stay and my fiancé arranged a personalised cake with champagne for me. Which he paid quite a lot for.The cake was really lovely and both arrived exactly on time, I just thought that maybe as the hotel knew it was my birthday they might have done something themselves, maybe a basket of fruit or a couple of flowers or something.
The beds are very comfy as too are the pillows and the bathroom we had was very big. The hair dryer was a little slow but adequate and saves taking your own. The only suggestion for the bathroom would be a bath mat, taking a shower in the bath was slightly treacherous.
I think the hotel on a whole needs more staff, our room was never cleaned before 2pm and sometimes there was a queue in the bar,due to lack off staff. Some of the staff are lovely but some are very miserable and unfriendly.
The island does get over run with day trippers from rovinj which can be a little off putting and crowded.
The beaches are very rocky and in the rocks in the sea there are urchins so would highly recommend taking some swimming shoes. The water is crystal clear and gorgeous.
Would love to return very much.

Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
3  Thank Libby B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 July 2014

We spent two weeks here in July 2014. This is our third time in four years at this hotel. When booking we were concerned that it may not live up to our expectations and considerd another part of Croatia but we loved this island so much on our other two occassions that we couldn't imagine going anywhere else, so booked again - we are so glad we did. It was another fabulous holiday (even though the weather was tempremental). The entertainment at night is lovely and not your usual run of the mill karaoke and quizes. The kids entertainment is seperate so adults without kids don't have to be subject to the 'mini disco'. We recognised nine families from our times there before so this hotel must be doing something right! A special shout out to Valentina (pool bar) and Boro (dining room) who made us feel very special.

Room Tip: All rooms have sea views - some better than others but for us the room is to sleep in and not for si...
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  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
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2  Thank JCOSRam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Maistra-Croatia, Public Relations Manager at Island Hotel Istra, responded to this reviewResponded 13 August 2014

Dear JCOSRam,

Thank you so much for choosing Island Hotel Istra for the third time, we are sincerely grateful for your loyalty to our hotel. A returning guest is a best reward for our efforts in making our guests feel welcomed and pampered. Valentina and Boro will be thrilled with such a nice recognition of their job well done.

Thank you once again for sharing your experience with us, we can't wait to welcome you back.

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Reviewed 21 July 2014

We stayed as a couple For one week 8-15 July. Our room was perfectly clean a little on the small side (bathroom) but not a major problem to us. The overall opinion we had was of an extremely well run hotel very clean and the food choices were excellent. Whilst we stayed the weather was a touch unpredictable and we had some hefty thunder storms but once it stopped the weather was superb.
The water taxi to Rovinj was very reliable and a pleasant part of the holiday (had a dolphin swimming along side us one of the days!)
The hotel manager clearly does an excellent job along with his great staff. we would especially like to mention Benjamin a waiter in the dining room a polite well mannered young man.
I would highly recommend this hotel and as our first taste of Croatia fear we may have had the best first.

Room Tip: We had a view of the rear and tennis courts rooms at the front have pool and sea view
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  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
2  Thank Jacqueline E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Maistra-Croatia, Public Relations Manager at Island Hotel Istra, responded to this reviewResponded 13 August 2014

Dear Jacqueline E,

We love hearing from our happy guests, thank you so much for a five star rating and a wonderful review. Your words of praise are a great source of motivation for the whole of our team. Benjamin will be thrilled to know that his hard work and friendliness has been recognized in such a nice manner.

Thank you once again for your compliments and recommendations. We hope to have the opportunity to welcome you again to Island Hotel Istra.

Best wishes

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Reviewed 20 July 2014

We stayed at the Hotel Istra for a week, having booked through Thomsons. Although not much to look at from the outside, the hotel is very comfortable and well equipped, and we particularly liked the grounds and the opportunity to stroll through the pine woods on this small island. Plenty of sunbeds at any time of day, the option to sit round the pool or on the grass (sun or shade) overlooking the water; excellent breakfast buffet and the evening meal buffet was as good as any we have had in similar "4T" hotels. The ferry service works like clockwork; you have accept that there is only one ferry to the mainland per hour (and of course one back again) but it adds to the fun of the holiday. Rovinj itself is beautiful, they say it is one of the most photographed towns in Croatia and I can see why.

Room Tip: As the hotel is on the island all the rooms have sea view on one side or the other
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  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
2  Thank MGB23
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Maistra-Croatia, Public Relations Manager at Island Hotel Istra, responded to this reviewResponded 13 August 2014

Dear MGB23,

You are most kind for leaving such a lovely review of your stay at Island Hotel Istra. We are truly delighted to read that we have been able to provide you with a memorable experience and that all the services and the facilities were up to your expectations.

We would be honored to have you as our guest again should your travels bring you back to our beautiful Rovinj

Warm wishes from Island Hotel Istra team

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Reviewed 18 July 2014 via mobile

Crowded place, unfrindly service. Went to Lavanda, it is more like a joke. Bed, unpleasant private boat service to and from the island. Very nervous ceptain made me feel sick. The only thing-good view. Also good tennis court and profesional service there.

Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
1  Thank Floral82
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Maistra-Croatia, Public Relations Manager at Island Hotel Istra, responded to this reviewResponded 12 August 2014

Dear Floral82,

I am so sorry to hear we did not meet your expectations on this occasion and from your feedback it is a bit difficult to understand the areas in need of improvement. I was surprised to read that the service was unfriendly as our staff often gets praised for their kindness and responsiveness. I hope that you will consider staying with us again so that we can have another chance to deliver the expected level of service and provide you with a memorable stay.

Best wishes from Island Hotel Istra team

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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: £87 - £347 (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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