Rovinj – Croatia’s Coastal Gem

A long weekend on the Adriatic Coast’s newest luxury destination…

Travelling to a new destination can be a mixed-bag of surprises, especially if, like me, you are the type to do things at the very last minute. As much as I try and do a little bit of research before making a booking when I go away I failed to manage it this time. So of course, the only thing that gave me confidence in my choice of destination was the fact that it was in Croatia and, more mportantly, it was by the sea. What could go wrong?

Thankfully nothing went wrong! And, my recent trip to the small seaside town of Rovinj on the west coast of Istria was without disappointment and in fact surprisingly pleasant. We flew into Pula with Ryanair, which is a half-hour drive from Rovinj, and the destination itself is well connected by a number of other airports within easy reach (Trieste, Ljubljana, Zagreb and Rijeika). Venice is only a two-hour boat ride away, and makes for a great day out.

Our hotel was the Monte Mulini, a new-build five-star property (the only one in the area) that opened in March of last year. It’s part of the Maistra Group which has a string of other hotels and properties in the region and throughout Croatia. It seems they play a big part in the local economy, being one of the main forces behind its tourism industry. However, the Monte Mulini is the jewel in the crown of their hotel portfolio. The hotel has a total of 113 rooms and suites and is situated on top of a small bay surrounded by a nature reserve. The architecture and its style are both modern and contemporary, with a dramatic entrance and an enormous glass fronted atrium spanning three levels. The use of space, colours and natural light tends to be the running theme and is well utilised. All rooms have fantastic sea-facing views and a private balcony, which looks down on the outside pool and gardens and further out onto the sea and marina towards the town.

Watching the sun rise and set is pretty cool and makes for a picture perfect romantic setting. Rovinj is a small town, and walking to
the centre takes 10 minutes from the hotel. On a summer’s evening this is really pleasant as it’s along the coastline and is a great way to take in the views and the sea air. As you enter the town by the marina you are hit by an explosion of audible noise coming from the numerous bars and restaurants dotted along one after the other. There’s music and laughter and the unmistakable drone of
hundreds of voices all chattering away in unison, which is broken by the occasional gasps and cheers coming from those that were glued to the many large-screen TV’s watching the first round of games in the World Cup…

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