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“Amazing Location, Astounding Promise, Dismal Failure, There is Hope”

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Island Hotel Katarina
Ranked #10 of 23 Hotels in Rovinj
Certificate of Excellence
Level Contributor
12 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
“Amazing Location, Astounding Promise, Dismal Failure, There is Hope”
Reviewed 24 June 2011

Rovinj is an incredibly worthwhile destination. After traveling for two weeks through Croatia and making our way north to the amazing Istrian corner of the country, seeing Rovinj's spire appear at the terminus of the endless stretch of highway was like seeing a Balkan El Dorado.
No less impressive was the incredibly romantic and atmospheric (two words that Rovinj continually evokes from even the lesser poets amongst us) boat ride from the mainland to Katarina's Island, where the Hotel Katarina is, logically, located. It was dark, the only lights coming from Rovinj and guide lights from the island. We alight, walk up a hill to the hotel. Visually this was a tourist's dream come true. It was only after getting to our room that this castle in the air began to crash to earth.
The hotel is a grand structure set on amazing grounds, with a view of Rovinj across the the harbor to match. The rooms, though, are a world weary throw back to a simpler and more disadvantaged time. The first thing which strikes you is the synthetic vanilla and floral smell of a funeral parlor moonlighting as industrial chemical factory. Not someone's idea of a pleasant spray-can smell with which they got carried away, but a full tilt assault on your nasal membrane and tear duct integrity. Even after a day with the windows open, the smell brought tears to our eyes.
The carpet and bedding were shabby and worn, but clean. However the bathroom had a penitentiary quality with garish fluorescent lights, stained flooring and mold and cobwebs at the ceiling
There was no wifi available in the building, which in most modern traveler's life is a necessity.
And last on list of dislikes about this hotel was the breakfast, which leads among the worst I've experienced in my travels. Only the eternally optimistic expect much from a breakfast which is included at any hotel. But this one was literally inedible. Whole groups of guests would pile our plates from the truly vast assortment of options at this buffet only to pick amongst them for something we could swallow. Finally giving up, table after table would leave uneaten plates upon the table. And the coffee, ah the machine-tortured coffee: a dilute battery acid would yield a better morning experience.
The double tragedy in this is that, for two weeks, Croatia granted us a great series of breakfast options: pastries, meats, cheeses and even some fairly good coffee. This place was truly the outlier in that regard.
So I write this review, not just for the catharsis of venting my spleen, but hopefully to help the Hotel Katarina right it's course. The physical location is brilliant and with modest investment they could make this place truly special.
Here are my recommendations:

• Install wifi. Make it free. This is all but standard in Europe (and Croatia) these days.
• Update the bathrooms immediately followed, over the course of several years, the
carpeting and bedspreads in the rooms.
• Improve the breakfast. This could easily and cheaply be done by shrinking the number
of options but by improving the quality of what was presented. The coffee machine
should be replaced with the means of making a decent morning cup.
• Get rid of the fragrance tsunami that is wielded around the property. A clean room is
it's own olfactory reward, especially with a nice sea breeze from those lovely open doors to the balcony.

Good luck Hotel Katarina!

  • Stayed June 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
13 Thank Mark R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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208 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
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auckland
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 November 2009

Rovinj is a great place to visit and we are very glad we put it on our itinerary. The hotel was clean the staff were very friendly and able to talk in 3 different languages. They were helpful suggesting local events and things to see. Breakfast was very good.
The only thing which would have been better would have been on site car parking.

  • Stayed August 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank We2kiwis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
israel
Level Contributor
8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 June 2008

the place was recommended in our travel guide book
the katarina office is near the park hotel in front of the marina
they arranged for us the room and we took the boat there
they have parking arrangements for free
the place is rated 2 stars, they have new owners
we stayed on a half board basis for one day and received a beautifful balcony room overlooking rovinj cathedral
the food was perfect , the staff very kind
the room nice and clean and the surrounding area very very romantic
what else can you ask for a 2 stars place???
Monica and Daniel Fridman
Israel

  • Liked — the whole place
  • Disliked — transport
  • Stayed June 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank deny55
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Northamptonshire England
Level Contributor
31 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 62 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 October 2007

First impressions of the hotel Katarina were very favourable although it left us a little confused as the ferry dropped us off at the service landing stage on the wrong side of the island, not the normal ferry stop. This left us wondering where to go as there were no directions and the only other people went directly into one of the annex buildings and we were left trying to get into reception at a rear door that was locked. Once into reception, the area was clean, smart and welcoming, and we were dealt with quickly & efficiently. The room was clean although a little dated, and we had a balcony where we had a partial view of the town. Because we arrived late in the afternoon, we just had enough time for a brief look around the hotel & immediate grounds (again very favourable) before going into the dining area for the evening meal. All the evening meals (and breakfasts) were excellently displayed and tasted great and there was generally plenty to eat and a good choice, but food could be cold.
After our initial enthusiasms for the hotel, things went downhill. I always say that any hotel has to get the basics right, then the little things do not matter much. Here the basics are fine (good food, good staff & hotel in superb location), and if you can name a couple of niggles it does not spoil your holiday. But if there are 5 or 6 niggles, or in our case you could easily run off a dozen without even thinking too much, then I would not recommend this hotel to anyone else unless you are a family with small children. There were so many things that were not right (some small, some not so) which lead me to think that this hotel is not run very well. The issues are too numerous to mention here but here is a small selection:-
SMELL – Sewage. Smelt awful at times. By day 3 they brought across a vehicle on to the island to remove it. By day 5, the smell was back again. Below our room were two tanks buried into the ground with green lids on the top, and every day these leaked what looked like soap suds. They definitely had a drainage problem or two.
NOISE – 3 floors below us was the laundry. From 07:00 to 19:00 every day was the noise of industrial washing machines doing the laundry with a constant humming, except for the time when it was on a spin cycle and then it rattled the place. An afternoon nap was out of the question.
KIDS – I knew the hotel had a kids club (June & July only) but by going in September I thought there would not be any there or only a few. Wrong. Up to the first weekend there were about 30 to 40 small kids (aged between 3 – 9 years) running around the dining room each night and apart from noise & the danger of getting something hot spilt on them, it just was not a relaxing way to have a meal.
RUN DOWN FEELING – There were so many little things that needed attention. Sink useless, taps where you needed 2 hands to work them, outside paths needed repairing, there were lights on the paths but most did not work, the area’s away from the main blocks called a botanic garden were just overgrown and in desperate need of attention, and a couple of disused building that either need sprucing up or knocking down. There were loads of other things I could mention where I would expect a German run hotel where its main cliental were also German, would & should have been better managed.
Overall the hotel was a bit of a letdown which is a great pity because it is in a superb location and has great potential if it can be managed better and have a bit of investment.
The journey in the mini bus could have been far more relaxing. Because we were on a 2 center holiday we flew into Slovenia and were transferred to Rovinj and then for the second week were taken back the same way to Lake Bled. The journey both ways was with the same driver who looked like he should have been on a skateboard park instead of driving us. He drove way over the number of hours that is safe for any driver let alone a bus driver, and was getting through about 6 cans of red bull on each trip to stay awake. He left Venice at 04:00, picked us up in Rovinj at 07:10, the airport by 10:45 where he had a wait until 11:30 before repeating the whole journey again in reverse.
The town of Rovinj is an excellent clean friendly place for a holiday, and although there are quite a lot of bars (not the noisy type – just nice relaxing ones), there is lots to see & do. It’s an excellent place to wander around or go on one of the several walkways outside of the resort and down the coast.
Finally, must make a comment about the Holiday Options rep. I have seen many reps in my time and attended loads of welcome meetings, but this one could not be faulted. He kept the welcome meeting brief, informative & relevant and gave loads of useful advice and did not push day trips at all. At the end of our stay he was waiting on the quayside to help us off the ferry and show us to the mini bus even though it was only 07:10 am.

  • Liked — Its location.
  • Disliked — The place was packed with too many noisy kids even in September.
  • Stayed September 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
10 Thank Dudley-Diane
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level Contributor
44 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 August 2007

We stayed at Hotel Katarina for three days earlier this month and thoroughly enjoyed our stay there. The hotel is located in an ideal spot across from Rovinj town, the rooms are fairly sized (although the bathrooms could do with a bit of modernisation) and staff are very friendly and helpful.

Would recommend this hotel to families, as very child friendly.

  • Liked — Location and friendly staff
  • Stayed August 2007, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank Joe64
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Switzerland
Level Contributor
14 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 May 2007

We stayed here for 5 days, which included a long weekend at the start of the season, and really enjoyed it. The island access is by boat only. The hotel staff were alert to our arrival when we got to the harbour looking for the departure point for the boat. They have a shuttle service which takes you to a location where cars can be left. The ferry to the island just takes 5 - 10 minutes and runs each hour from morning until fairly late in the evening. All transport on the island is by foot but it is such a small island that this presents no problems and the absence of cars is a great bonus.

Our tariff included buffet breakfasts and dinner which we found surpassed our expectations. The variety and quality were both good. There was plenty of seafood on the menu which pleased us and there are loads of resteraunts on the mainland in Rovinj if you do want a change.

We had a suite with a balcony that looked over the garden and the sea, but the rooms on the other side would have had a view to Rovinj, which is very pretty town. Our room was of very good standard. The problem for us was the bed, which were two single mattresses pushed together and made up separately which seems to fairly common in Austria and Germany. The mattresses were good for lying nicely still but not for assisting the fulfilment of what the fantastically romantic setting could lead to. This would suit some people no doubt.

The mix of customers was fairly broad but seemed to be mostly German speaking. Families and young children for the first few days, but the mix changed after the weekend and there were mostly couples of all ages, but probably edging toward the 35+. Happily for us, there was not a lot to do on the island except relax, sunbathe, read and swim, either in the sea or in the pools. There was a volley ball net and a mini golf course. The hotel did post a list of daily events in German. There was a pilates class one day for 10euro. There was a free short tour of Rovinj, conducted in German, which was worthwhile. There is a beauty salon and a Kids Club located on the island but we didn't use either of these services.

We enjoyed our stay here and would recommend for a stay of similar duration. There seemed to be a necessity to pay the account in cash (?) and yet the hotel did not have change which surprised me. This did not overly detract from our experience but did strike me as unusual.

Stayed May 2007
Helpful?
8 Thank EarthTraverse
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bedfordshire
Level Contributor
11 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 October 2006

I have just returned from 2 weeks at this hotel and rate it highly. I would imagine my experience was enhanced by going out of high season but we found the hotel facilities and staff all excellent. The island itself is a wonderful, peaceful place providing space and peace. There are bathing points around the island and many private places to sunbathe. The swimming pools are varied and good and were never busy but were cold. We always had a good choice of sunbeds to use. The hotel provide further sunbeds amongst the trees looking out to sea - it really is very beautiful. The food here is good with plenty of choice. The wine may or may not have been expensive by local standards (I didnt check) but was always good and we paid around £15 per bottle. Accommodation was fairly basic but everything was in good condition and clean and the views great (even with the trees). We went with our two children and I would particularly recommend this hotel for families. If you are going without kids I suggest you find a corner of the restaurant to chill out in because children tend to take centre stage here. We will definately return next September to enjoy the hotel again and Rovinj which is also wonderful.

  • Liked — Having a seperate (attached) room for the kids was great
  • Disliked — No bath
  • Stayed September 2006, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
8 Thank KCollins
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Island Hotel Katarina

Property: Island Hotel Katarina
Address: Otok Katarina 1, Rovinj 52210, Croatia
Phone Number:
Region: Croatia > Istria > Rovinj
Amenities:
Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Free Breakfast Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#7 On the Beach Hotel in Rovinj
#8 Family Hotel in Rovinj
#10 Romantic Hotel in Rovinj
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:3 star — Island Hotel Katarina 3*
Number of rooms: 120
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Situated on a beautiful island, a stone throw from the Rovinj City centre, Hotel Katarina is a romantic getaway surrounded by a lush 19th century garden that offers perfect vistas of the Old Town and Punta Corrente Park forest. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Katarina Hotel Rovinj

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