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Client Blog: Simone and Julian's return trip to Rovinj in Croatia

Simone and Julian first contacted me several years ago, after a relative had told them about my services. I have since had the pleasure of looking after their travel needs, and after sharing my adoration for Croatia with them, they too fell head over heels for the country. Simone kindly sent me a great review of their most recent visit...


After Susan had arranged an action-packed, brilliant cruise around the south of France, Barcelona and Gibraltar for us, and with a week’s summer holiday still available, we decided that a break staying in one place would be relaxing.

A previous superb Susan recommendation began a love affair with Croatia, resulting in several holidays to Dubrovnik, Lopud, Split and Hvar over the years. This time, we opted to return to Rovinj, slightly further north up the coastline and with an even more relaxed atmosphere from the locations further south.

We had previously stayed at the Hotel Lone and whilst there noticed that in between the hotel and the old town was a huge space set aside for what appeared to be an impressive new hotel being built on the hillside.

We made a mental note that next time we were undecided on a holiday, this new place would be it, and lo and behold, it turned out to be The Grand Park Hotel, part of the same group as the Hotel Lone.

We booked a night at the Hilton Stansted, our go-to hotel for this airport as we like to get the early morning Jet2 flight, after the obligatory breakfast fizz, to be in Croatia by mid-morning and have virtually a full day to kick off our holiday.

Susan always arranges transfers for us - there is something comforting after collecting luggage to find your driver with a name board ready to usher you to a comfortable, private car whilst everyone else is wandering around looking for solutions.

The drive along the coastline to Rovinj is straightforward and 25 mins after leaving Pula Airport, we arrived at the uber-cool entrance to the Grand Park Hotel.

The WOW factor hit us as soon as we entered the reception!

With the hotel set into the hillside, you are met with three floors of ground to ceiling glass, providing stunning views of the sea sweeping round to the old town bathed in sunlight. It really is quite something and kept us captivated for the entire stay.

Being mid-morning, our room was not quite ready, so we ventured to the bar and enjoyed an even better view of the old town and the yachts in the new marina below and soaked up the absolute peace and tranquillity of the surroundings.

We had opted for a suite with a bedroom and separate living room area combining into an extremely wide space with floor to ceiling glass and huge sliding doors.

The curtains that covered this entire area were operated by remote control! The luxurious bathroom was also huge with a separate free-standing bath, a double shower, his and hers basins with Molton Brown amenities and everything made from stone.

After unpacking, sampling the showering and dressing room facilities and having a change of clothes, it was time to excitedly venture into town for dinner.

Rovinj’s old town consists of a network of narrow streets and shiny cobbled paths packed with tiny tucked away gift shops, cafes, bars and restaurants.

Over the course of the next seven days, we enjoyed some wonderful restaurants, a couple we had visited before, along with a few new ones - all superb. Simple fresh and local produce is the theme we find, from great seafood to steaks. Highlights included local oysters and a stunning seafood platter at the Hotel Adriatic, who even offered to drive us back to save us walking. That’s customer service!

Along with the fantastic food, the wines are the best that we have sampled throughout the world, especially the local ones - we simply have not found one we don't like.

Most waiters are quite knowledgeable about the wines and will offer great suggestions without pushing the most expensive bottle.

Croatia is not in the Eurozone - its currency is the Kuna and prices for food and drink are comparable to the UK but the quality is higher.

Back at the hotel, breakfast did not disappoint, with anything you could want on offer, whether from the buffet or cooked fresh to order and it all comes with the stunning views of the old town.

This theme continues with the outside area and an infinity pool stretching out to the sea.

The predominant view from the pool is the marina and several afternoon plans were postponed in order to watch the comings and goings of the superyachts and the magical setting of the sun right in front of you.

There are plenty of excursions available if you want them, including vineyard visits, boat trips and cycle hire.

The Grand Park was superb, and we highly recommend Rovinj for a wonderful holiday experience. Croatia combines cool and stylish without being over-commercial, a blend that has kept us returning many times.


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