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Island Hotel Istra
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Reviews (1,065)
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All reviewsevening mealcaptains barevery hourfree wine and beerfree ferrysea viewon tapday trippersalways on timelanterna restaurantidyllic locationminute ferry rideboat servicehalf boardcastle restauranthotel guestsboat trip
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Reviewed 29 July 2010

Booked early with Thomson and got a really good price for 2 weeks half board. Had read on Trip Advisor about the wait for the boat to the island but felt the rep should have told us about it. Room was always very clean - towels and sheets changed regularly only gripe would have been that the air con didn't work very efficiently (although it was mid 30s outside.) Yes, the food is a buffet and yes, it can be busy but we chose to eat in the smaller room which was much quieter. The quality of the food was excellent we looked forward to every meal. Our deal included free soft drinks, water, wine and beer at the evening meal which really adds to the value. The boat to Rovinj always ran on time and it was a pleasant town to wander through both at day and at night. We booked a day trip to Venice through Thomson and whilst it was a long, busy, hot day we thoroughly enjoyed it. The organisation and tour manager were excellent (despite his aged rock-star appearance!) We also hired bikes and cycled down the coast. We enjoyed the fact it was on an island as it was something a bit different but if you don't want to be restricted to getting boats to go out for meals then this isn't for you.

  • Stayed: July 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Cullenskink
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 July 2010

Just back from two wonderful weeks. The setting is superb, beautiful island, fabulous climate (a few storms but they added to the fun) and a lovely hotel.

The food was reasonable, it could be a little better, the fruit was often second class and desserts tended to be stodgy. Usually we could put together a good meal however, even the fussy teenagers!. As mentioned elsewhere, many of the German/Russian guests seem to have difficulty understanding aspects of common courtesy and don't improve the experience. Breakfasts were nice though.

Sadly all of the Med is now dying and the underwater life is disappointing everywhere. The sea itself however is as clean as anywhere else in the Med. The pools and shore were pleasant but it was often hard to get a space by the pool. We're not big pool people anyway so that wasn't much of an issue. The hotel was clean. The shops could be a little better given that you had to take a ferry to get into town with a 1-2 hour turnaround. We couldn't get 2 AA batteries for my daughter's camera. The islands were beautifull and we really enjoyed our evening walks.

Rovinj and the area were really beautifull and we loved visiting the town.

It has been mentioned elsewhere that the staff were unfriendly. We didn't find them actually rude but they really could do with some attitude training. You felt as if they had better things to do than deal with you but when they did it was done efficiently. There were some exceptions and some staff members were wonderful.

Overall though the holiday was great and we were very sad leaving. I would happily recommend this hotel to a friend.

  • Stayed: July 2010, travelled with family
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Thank Rincewind05
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 July 2010

Service: Staff were actually ok.. most were helpful although there seemed to be a lack of them during the day. For example, one day my partner and I wanted to get away from the children running around all over the place so went in the indoor pool which is for adults only and there are yet MORE children diving in, screaming and shouting. Whilst I dont dislike children, when Thomson advise in their brochure that the hotel is ideal for couples I didnt imagine having to compete for a place to swim in the pool with a child!!!
Room was fine... it was really clean and of average size. Very modren and the view from the room was stunning. The maids clean the room everyday so that was a bonus.
Pools were a joke. Went down to the pool several times around 830 to find all of the sun beds taken. Again, think hotel could do more to police this as it isnt fair on other guests. When there werent any loungers available, you could go and find a bed on the beach or around the island, so as long as you like the sea this is fine..otherwise its quite a walk back to the pool!
Food was really nice - not sure why people are complaining. Lots of choice although restaurant was always really hectic with people pushing and shoving.... think this is due to the guests the hotel attracts and not so much the hotel itself though!
Entertainment was pretty rubbish. Something you'd expect in a 2* hotel in Benidorm...again all aimed for children. Silly dances and games .. which is fine but when you're being charged and arm and a leg for drink you expect decent entertainment.
Rovinj itself is pretty tacky - loads of shops selling junk - fake football kits, fake hello kitty bags... the usual rubbish you find in resorts. The food in rovinj is also horrible. if you like grease then you'll be ok but we werent impressed at all. if you eat anything there - stick to pizza and avoid meat as it seems to be cheap fatty meat with loads of grissle.
Wouldnt go back to rovinj as thought it has sold out and the people (tourists not locals) are all rude arrogant.

  • Stayed: July 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank scouser_gal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 July 2010

My husband, three children and I have just returned from a week's holiday at Hotel Istra. I would like to be able to wax lyrical about this hotel, however, I'm afraid that despite its idyllic setting and beautifully-maintained outdoor areas, the hotel itself left me cold and with no desire to return. Our two bedrooms while clean and comfortable were nothing special and not what we would have rated as being four star - we had to call the staff to make up the sofa bed for our youngest child and get them to replace bulbs in our bedside reading lights on the first night - not a great first impression. We were staying on a B&B basis only, which turned out to be a wise choice for us as we found the whole buffet breakfast experience to be extremely unrelaxing; it felf as if we had descended into the seventh circle of hell on our first morning with hundreds of people scurrying around with plates piled full of everything from scrambled eggs to brussel sprouts and chips! It was hugely reminiscent of being back in my old school canteen with about five hundred extra people running around. Having been alerted to the sun-lounger grabfest by other Trip Advisor posters, we got up early each morning to nab some beds, however, our kids preferred to sit directly outside the indoor pool (which incidentally is great, very clean and extremely well maintained) and since it was blisteringly hot, we were quite relieved that they were spending time out of the sun's scorching rays. My main gripe concerns the cost of snacks, drinks etc - the hotel really does have a captive market and takes, in our view, full advantage of that. Maybe the half-board guests feel that they get better value for money, but we found just buying a sandwich (not made on the premises incidentally - we saw them being unloaded from the ferry, tsk, tsk!) for a family of five to be very expensive. Furthermore, we had just come from a week's stay in Lake Bled, which was comparatively much better value. And even the activities seemed to cost an arm and an leg - nothing seemed to be free. Admittedly, with a daily temperature of 35 degrees, we had neither the energy nor the inclination to do very much apart from going out on the pedalinos. That said, there wasn't a great buzz around the place and everything seemed to shut down around 11.00 pm. On the plus side, I can state that there was practically no noise at night, which given the number of guests in residence was amazing. You really can get a good, quiet night's sleep. We used the ferry service each night in order to eat out in Rovinj - some really good restaurants are Santa Croce (excellent), Veli Joze (lovely staff and quirky decor) and Dream (good Italian food). Avoid Giannino's like the plague - pathetic air conditioning, mediocre food and filthy loos) and can state categorically that the town is beautiful if full of tourists, but hey, that's exactly what we were, so we shouldn't complain! All in all, I just can't enthuse about the hotel - it just wasn't for us (although our youngest who is 9 loved it) and we felt that the place was very impersonal - we had practically no interaction with the hotel staff nor did we feel particularly welcome as guests. I suspect that this has more to do with the fact that we were there in high season and the hotel was very busy, however, I'm not so sure. To be honest, I was quite relieved to leave the island on our last day as traipsing over and back on the ferry was starting to pall plus I found the island to be quite claustrophobic after a few days. Three or four nights would have been perfectly adequate for us. I feel it's a bit of a shame as I really would love to be able to rave about Hotel Istra and encourage other people to visit it. If you are a total sun-worshipper and have plenty of cash to spend on extras, then you'll probably love this place otherwise I'd give it a miss. The day trippers are also a bit of a nuisance and the hotel should really try and control this - there were people going back on the ferry who had used the sunloungers beside us all day who were definitely not hotel guests. No hotel rep seems to be around during the day to prevent this - all a bit laissez faire. I just feel that this hotel lacks soul and ambience and is a bit brash - maybe it was us, but we just weren't feeling the love! Overall, a fairly pleasant if pricey experience and we have no burning desire to return.

  • Stayed: July 2010, travelled with family
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1  Thank supercritical
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 July 2010

If you are looking for someplace to take your kids, go here. There is a lot to do at all ages.

We had a great time. My only complaint was the food wasn't the very good. The cafeteria is just that, a cafeteria. Had lunch at the pizza place a lot and it's only okay. Definetely you want to take a ferry off the island and eat dinner elsewhere!

Have to say the staff was so friendly and spoke so many languages so well including spanish! In particular the head of the cafeteria had to be one of the nicest people we've met on a trip and it was always a pleasure to see him in the morning despite the food.

They charge for strange things like beach towels and wifi yet many other things were free. You can have internet in your room but they had no cables to connect.

  • Stayed: July 2010, travelled with family
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Thank SeattleMegs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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