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“A little piece of paradise”
Review of Island Hotel Istra

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Island Hotel Istra
Ranked #5 of 23 Hotels in Rovinj
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 2 September 2010

Beautiful holiday - our first impression of Hotel Istra as we arrived by boat was a little bit like a concrete block of flats, but step off the boat & into the lush gardens & you soon change your mind. The hotel was clean, light & modern. Staff mostley english speaking were very welcoming. The room s were lovely & clean with ample Air-conditioning. there was a safe & fridge in the room. The food was ample & of a very good choice. Yes there were sprouts & carrots at breakfast, which appeared to be popular with foreign visitors, but there was also bacon, eggs, sausage, continental, croissants, pancakes, cereals, fruit etc etc. Tea, coffee, hot chocolate & fruit juices, just help yourself. The wine & beer in the restaurant of an evening were also of a good quality. If you love puddings & fresh ice-cream you will be in heaven :) The drinks as you would expect are more expensive on the island & can be found much cheaper in Rovinj. The island has plenty of places to walk with lots of secluded areas to get away from people if you desire.
A really enjoyable holiday, we would definately go back again. Thank you Thomsons!

  • Stayed: August 2010, travelled with family
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2  Thank Harrigren
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 1 September 2010

I read some of the earlier reviews after I had made our booking and was a bit concerned about some of the comments. However, I think they were really unjustified. The hotel is definitely a 4-star standard and very clean. The pool area was very nice, always clean and tidy. Its fair to say that it was a little busy on some days, but then again, it was the middle of August! There were more children there than I had expected because I dont think its the most convenient place to be with children, given the boat journey etc. Staff at the hotel were helpful and not at all rude. I think some people may mistake their "reserved" nature as being off and rude.

I am not a real fan of buffet eating, but the food at the Istra was of a good standard and plenty of choice, including plenty of fish and local choices. I have been to some hotels where there is nothing but chips and more chips! This is not the case here. My suggestion for the restaurant would be to make use of the outdoor tables by the pool, this would have been a much nicer place to eat as the restaurant can feel a bit canteeny when it was busy. The complimentary wine with dinner was a very nice touch. Our one night meal at the a la-carte restaurant was lovely - we opted for the fish menu and it was very well presented.

We loved Rovinj and there are some lovely restaurants and bars to watch the sunset from. If I returned again, I think I would stay in Rovinj rather than the Istra but only because the novelty of the boat journey wore off after a while and we would have preferred to just stroll around without having to fit in with the boat timetable.

My husband used the gym every day and the facilities there were good. I didnt have any of the spa treatments as I did think they were quite overpriced. The walk around the island is well worth doing.

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

One thing that is not readily apparent from other reviews or the hotel's website, is that fact that the hotel is very large and mass-market, meaning crowded and catering towards volume rather than quality.

HOTEL

Large, lot's of people, lot's of people coming with tour agencies. Competition for pool and beach chairs, quite noisy near the hotel. If you're looking for peace and quiet, you'll have to explore the island to find it.

Be ready to pay extra for everything - towels, chairs, etc. Plus, being on an island, food in the various restaurants, while reasonably good, is quite expensive.

We stayed in the all-suite annex, which was much more private and quiet. Rooms were very nice, kept very clean, well-equipped...but not cheap. We saw the standard rooms in the main building and they were modern and clean, but small and packed together among hundreds of others.

Pools were not too cold, and quite clean, with the exception of the most crowded and largest non-saltwater pool. Seemed to be dirty every day, likely due to the volume of swimmers.

Beaches were very, very small, very limited space. You'll have to explore the islands to find some quiet spots, but be prepared to give up pebbled surfaces in exchange for large rocks and more rough water.

Service was generally good, staff friendly and helpful

ISLAND LOCATION

Lovely and much of it (away from the hotel) is peaceful and calm. Plenty of places to get away and relax, listen to the sea without blaring music and swim. You can walk the entire island in about 30 minutes. Easy access to Rovinj by regular ferry service.

ACTIVITIES

Plenty to do for kids and also water activities for all, but be prepared to pay extra for everything except the fitness center (even internet is an added charge, unlike most modern hotels)

FOOD

We've experienced the cafeteria-style approach once before, but were surprised by this one. The food areas are very crowded, very loud (staff working and piped-in Muzak) and the overall ambiance is very much like a school lunchroom. The quality of the food was very average - clearly not at the level we had expected. Limited variety, the vegetables and food not always the freshest, stale bread, and so on. If you view this as just nourishment, then okay.....Expect little and you won't be disappointed.

There are several restaurants on the island(s) as well -

Grill - quite good, fresh and quite expensive. A 10-minute walk from the hotel, lovely setting.
Pizzeria - decent food, mid-priced, near the hotel
Lanterna fish restaurant - quite good, fresh and quite expensive (can be charged to the room, and one hotel dinner exchanged for a 4-course meal here), next to the hotel, lovely setting.
Snack bar - low quality sandwiches and snacks, expensive

Be prepared to pay for everything extra, and as you are on an island, they really have you and will charge you high rates for everything. There isn't a shop on the island, so unless you are willing to pay 5 Euros for a bottle of water, bring your own.

SUMMARY

Overall, the island is lovely, the weather in late August fine and the hotel experience mearly average. If you are expecting privacy and space, or any sense of exclusivity, you won't find much of either in great supply. Additionally, with regard to the food and hotel, keep your expectations reasonable and you won't be disappointed. Perhaps our expectations of a four-star, based on previous experiences with four and five-star hotels, were too high. In any case, our children loved it.

  • Stayed: August 2010, travelled with family
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Thank MamasanPrague
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 August 2010

my husband and i had a lovely time at the Istra Hotel,, our room was of good size, with a good size bathroom with a bath, which i prefer !! we had a panaramic view at the front right side of the hotel overlooking the jetty where the transfer boats leave from,, so loads to look at, all the staff that we saw, were firstly very hard working and worked long shifts, and we found them to be friendly and helpfull at all times especially Carlios in the bar !!!! you treat them as you would like to be treated is all i have to say !!!,, 4 out of the seven day we were there were very hot, but we had 3 days of thunder and rain, and i we didnt really enjoy the white knuckle boat ride when the sea was choppy !!!, we found the food was fine,, and you can find areas in the restaurant where it was a litle quieter,, didnt know that you could do turkey and pork in such a variety of ways,, but very nice,again staff work hard ,and dont speak a lot of english,, but i think they have been taught to say "your welcome" everytime we say thankyou which was quite funny but sweet,

  • Stayed: August 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank j9strawbs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 August 2010

I stayed here at the same time as the previous 2 reviewers as we too experienced the fire alarm nightmare! but that aside the hotel was well run, clean, spacious and we found all the staff lovely and eager to please. Hotel is situated on its own little island with nothing more than a church and some restaurants for company. Idyllic location, always a quiet corner to go to to if you want space but the hotel is not at all noisy. Not many British guests when we were there, mainly Italian, Russian and Scandinavian and there was a nice cosmopolitan feel. Food was very nice, and free drinks with dinner! On first approach the hotel façade appears grey and dated, but inside it is very modern. There are 5 pools, 1 indoor, 2 outdoor salt pools and 2 freshwater pools. One is a kiddies shallow pool, which brings me to my only complaint. Lots of little loose tiles in the main pool which are uncomfortable underfoot (we did report) and too much black grime between the tiles in places (again reported) . There's obviously been alot of money spent on modernising the hotel but the pool area in general needs more attention, flaking paint etc.
Entertainment very good some evenings, and quite strange on others but they are catering for many cultures so i guess it has to be varied. Kids entertainers very good and very enthusiastic. Very young kids catered for and there are teenage activities during the day although we didnt see them (guess they went off to the tennis, volleyball courts etc) but our 8 year old found he was either too young or too old for the activities. Thankfully he loves being in the pool all the time and made lots of friends. Thomson organizs trips from the hotel but they are cheaper if you go into Rovinj and book them!
I would definately recommend this hotel. Rovinj is also lovely, see separate review.

  • Stayed: August 2010, travelled with family
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Thank lori555
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 August 2010

We have just returned with our family of 5 today after an eventfull 7 days.
Our daughter was taken ill on our first day ( nothing to do with the hotel ) but if you want to see a doctor you will have to take the boat to the mainland and go to the medical centre . They suspected it could be appendicitus which turned out to be a false alarm , but i do wonder what would happen if someone needed urgent medical attention at the hotel.
Also while we were there the fire alarm started at about 3am until 4.30 am, and as someone previously has said , the guy who was on duty at reception , didn't appear to know what to do.
Having said all of this, we all enjoyed our stay and we would return to the hotel again.
It is a beautiful location with some stunning scenery and walks with conveniantly placed bench seats along the paths.
We actually enjoyed the boat trips to the mainland and back and never experianced any hassle with queue jumpers. The guys who work on the boats have to be admired as it is a constant service from 6am until 12.30am and they were allways very helpful and polite to everyone.
Rovinj is an idyllic old town which seems untouched by modern life. There are some lovely restaurants and bars along the cobbled side streets where you can stop for a coffee or a beer and soak up the atmosphere.The nights we were in town,there were traditional musicians and dancers playing which was great.
There are lots of art shops there too.
Back to the hotel. The food can seem a bit like a school dinner hall or canteen, but there was allways plenty of variety and the drinks being free is an added bonus.
If we had known before , we would have brought our own towels as you are not allowed to use the hotels down at the pool. You can hire them at the sports centre.
In the evenings we used to enjoy having a drink and watching the entertainment at the captains bar down by quayside, which is a lovely setting.
All in all we would reccomend this hotel to family and friends.

  • Stayed: August 2010, travelled with family
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Thank katie186338
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 August 2010

I don't normally write reviews although I use T/A to research hotels before booking. Reading the previous review though made me want to put pen to paper so to speak!
Yes the staff can seem quite abrubt at times especially at Reception but a lot could be to do with the language barrier, to liken them to prison guards is very over the top!
The Hotel is very modern inside and spotless, the rooms are on the small side, but with everything you need, the only let down was the air con, the coolest we could get the room was 24 C as it was humid and 35C + outside it got a little warm in the night.
I would recommend this Hotel without any hesitation.

  • Stayed: July 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank jane53England
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 - £334 (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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