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Island Hotel Istra
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Reviews (1,065)
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Reviewed 12 September 2010

I travelled to Hotel Istra with my husband and daughter, aged 12, during the summer holidays. The transfer from the airport was great and we really enjoyed the ferry trip to the island. Stunning location and Rovinj is every bit a as beautiful as the pictures.

We loved the 'funky' (as my daughter put it) chairs in the reception and bar area. We had good service from the staff especially two of the waiters in the 'Aperitif' bar.

Our room and bathroom were kept immaculately clean. We had a fantastic view across to Rovinj. Unfortunately the air conditioning was noisy and ineffective.

If you want a sun lounger by the pool you have to be an early riser. It was a little annoying to find that some people put their towels on the loungers and then didn't appear until much later in the day. The pool was in need of a refurb - mind your toes on the bottom of the pool as some of the tiles were loose.
The sea was crystal clear and much nicer to swim in than the pool, however you would be advised to take some shoes to swim in as it was sometimes a little tricky negotiating the rocks on the way in and out!
BE WARNED - if you use a sun lounger outside of the main areas, including the adjoinging island, you WILL BE CHARGED!

The food served for breakfast and dinner was much better than we expected, having read some other reviews. Yes there is sometimes sprouts at breakfast time also there was sweetcorn and courgettes but you don't have to eat it!! There were also fantastic homemade sausages, bacon, good scrambled egg, fried eggs, yogurts, fresh fruit, a brilliant selection of bread, salads, cold meats, cheese, cereals ........ need I go on. Dinner was also a chance to try new things. For the first time ever I ate, and thoroughly enjoyed, squid and baked fennel. You will still find a good selection of food for those who don't like squid! The big downside of the hotel for me was the canteen atmosphere of the restaurant. It is situated in inside which seems such a shame when you have the beautiful scenery and weather.

Rovinj is beautiful and felt incredibly clean and safe. We spent many hours just wandering through all the little alleys and found some amazing little galleries and brought home some unique art, unfortunately we also left a part of a piece in the gallery!

Overall it is a beautiful part of the world and the hotel is a good place to start your journey.
We will definitely go back but not necessarily to this hotel.

  • Stayed: August 2010, travelled with family
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3  Thank NellieK8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 September 2010

We stayed at the hotel with our child aged 8. Short transfer time from airport. Boat service runs every half hour (even spotted dolphins!). The hotel is not particularly attractive from the outside, but interior is better.

The island itself is stunning. The hotel has 3 swimming pools, although you have to be up early to reserve a sun lounger. Activities for children and adults throughout the day and evening entertainment was ok. The rooms were adequate and beds comfortable. I found the staff to be very friendly. Our child did not attend any of the kids clubs as there were enough English children at the resort for her to play with. The beaches are OK (and please dont expect sand!) and the sea is wonderful and clear but water shoes must always be worn!

There have been many mixed reviews about the food. Admitedly, the restaurant does resemble a school canteen. We did have breakfast in the restaurant but only ate in the restaurant in the evening twice. There is a wide choice, but its very noisy and hot and lacking ambience. The restaurant will always receive mixed reviews as each persons taste and expectations are different. There is a pizzeria next to the hotel which is OK and the Laterna restaurant which again was OK. We therefore chose to catch the boat to Rovinj (which takes 10 mins) to eat in many of the superb (and inexpensive) restaurants, serving wonderful fish! The town of Rovinj is bustling and has a fantastic atmosphere without any drunken yobs!!!

I would definitely recommend this hotel. We will be returning to Croatia next year but would like to venture to a different location.

  • Stayed: July 2010, travelled with family
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2  Thank poshblondy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 September 2010

Overall we had a relaxing week at this hotel in May 2010. The location is wonderful - the boat trip seeming to add something to the holiday. The hotel is clean and modern and the rooms were good - nothing exceptional, but adequate size, good facilities and lovely views from the balcony. Pool area was attractive and not too crowded in May.
Dining was the poorest part of the experience - the food was generally mass market cafeteria style and at times it was difficult to find a seat. And somehow the international nature of the food did not seem to work - sprouts for breakfast for example!
But it says something about the overall location and experience that the poor quality dining did not detract from the overall holiday or our good feelings about the hotel

  • Stayed: May 2010, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank WychwoodWanderer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 September 2010

We loved our stay at the Istra. As a family consisting of a 2YO, 7YO and 16YO the Hotel had everything we needed. The bonus for us was lots of other English children holidaying at the same time; which took them off our hands but I accept may have felt for other guests like the kids were commanding the pool.

I'll review our trip in 3 sections: Location, Amenities & Food.

Location-wise the Istra is a jewel in the Adriatic. You feel privileged to be staying on your own private island surrounded by natural beauty and wayfarers anchoring by now and then. When the sun is shining (we did have rain for 2 days) there's nothing better than to lounge by the pool or stroll the mile and a half track round the island. Swimming in the sea is easy to do from the Hotel with a huge inflatable water-park for the more daring/older kids. The Grill restaurant on the smaller of the 2 islands is even more secluded but beware of swarms of wasps which ruined a meal for us.

Amenities inside the Hotel are what you'd expect. There is evening entertainment every night of a decent quality and non-stop waiter service for food & drinks. The staff are very helpful & efficient. I'd maybe like to see free WIFI which I think should be standard in a hotel like this. The gym, pool and small shops are very well equipped & stocked for most needs. My favourite was the pool bar. I must admit I found it unusual to be allowed to take glasses from the bar to the other end of the pool. A bit of a safety hazard I think but I wasn't complaining...

I loved the food. It's true to say the main restaurant is a canteen but I expect this from a Hotel of this size that caters for families and relies on the young locals to work there. For me the quality of food on offer at breakfast & dinner was superb. Breakfast is the same every day but there's probably everything you can imagine on offer (apart from Black Pudding). Dinner is much more varied with a good cycle of menu options. I know this sounds gluttenous but when you're on holiday it's nice to try a bit of everything which I often did and wasn't disappointed. Once you've found a table which are always spotlessly changed by the young staff then you're off. Take as long as you like and enjoy the free house wine & local beer which is certainly palatable.

We really enjoyed the hotel and Rovinj and will definitely go back.

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