Perched on the west coast of the Istrian peninsula, the enchanting fishing port of Rovinj is one of the jewels in Croatia’s crown.
So charming is Rovinj’s old town that you could quite easily spend your entire time ambling around its cobbled streets in a heady daze of wonderment. But tempting though this may, you’d be missing out on everything else that makes this achingly pretty town, with its eye-catching Italianate-influenced architecture, so special. No surprise, also, that the town caters superbly for its visitors with a dazzling choice of accommodation options, ranging from boutique hotels to beachside retreats to expansive family resorts. Here’s our pick of the 10 best places to stay in and around Rovinj.
Inspired by the shape of a cruise ship with curved balconies reminiscent of boat decks, this design-led hotel attracts a mix of trendy partners holidaying solo and families who refuse to compromise on style. Situated a 15-minute walk along the coast from the Old Town and overlooking the turquoise waters of Lone Bay, the hotel showcases cutting-edge Croatian design, characterised by elegant minimalist architecture, contemporary furnishing and artworks, and a chic on-site boutique. Guest rooms come with quirky design details, with abstract paintings above each bed and private terraces, some with their own plunge whirlpool. Communal spaces centre around an oval atrium, where guests can relax while enjoying ocean and woodland views. Outdoor pools set amid towering pine trees and featuring whirlpools, waterfalls and geysers, a state-of-the-art spa, tennis courts and a selection of three enticing restaurants complete the hotel’s line-up of enticements.
Family Hotel Amarin
A common grumble among more design-conscious parents is that when it comes to their own tastes, all-inclusive often equals ‘tacky’. Step forward Family Hotel Amarin, a brisk 40-minute walk north of the Old Town, which bucks that trend in a serious way. Set amid pristinely landscaped gardens dotted with playgrounds and scooters, and just seconds from the beach, this is a hotel that takes all that is kid- and adult-friendly and meets harmoniously in the middle. Rooms and suites are thoughtfully laid out for families, with interactive headboards with moveable maze-like pieces providing the perfect pre-bed wind-down fun. Add to this three swimming pools with a lazy river and waterslide, an all-day kids’ club segregated by age, evening talent shows and movie nights, a gaming room with wall-mounted X-Box screens, a kids’ zone in the buffet restaurant, and obsessively popular blue netting in the lobby/bar area that lets grown-ups to socialise over drinks while the little ones run riot and you have just a taster of what makes this one of the best family hotels in Europe. During the summer months, the hotel’s private boat makes shuttle runs to and from the town for an extra charge, or throughout the year there’s a slower bus option that’s free.
Tucked down a quiet cobblestone lane in the heart of the old town, this restored four-storey townhouse is one of Rovinj’s most stylish boutique-style hotels. The intimate hotel boasts colourful interiors with Art Deco posters, design-style furniture, and faux foliage adorning walls and ceilings. Guest rooms offer high-tech gadgets including Krups coffee machines and Marshall speakers, with Olivetti typewriters lending a whimsical touch. Decorative in-room details like accent walls in vibrant graphics, colourful throw pillows and design-style lamps add to the fun and stylish aesthetic, and some rooms also include a terrace with ocean views. Dedicated concierge services are on hand to offer recommendations for curated local experiences like wine and olive oil tastings, island hopping and truffle hunting.
Island Hotel Istria
Delivering a true sense of remoteness, this is the only hotel occupying the otherwise uninhabited island of St. Andrew (aka Red Island) on Rovinj’s archipelago. Reachable via a quick boat ride from Rovinj port, the idyllic island retreat feels a world away from the dense crowds of the nearby town, but with all of the trappings of a lavish upscale resort. Stylishly decorated guest rooms and suites come with a private balcony serving up picture-postcard views. Elsewhere, guests can relax on the sun terrace, sink into indoor and outdoor pools, walk to any number of beaches that envelope the island, stroll around the Mediterranean gardens, indulge in a wellness or spa therapy, choose from four ocean-facing restaurants, and then burn off those vacation calories in the fitness centre.
Boutique Hotel Lili
One of the newer additions to Rovinj’s array of accommodation offerings, this modern boutique hotel is ideally located for those who’d prefer to be based a little away from the hustle and bustle of the old town. Situated inland, about a kilometre from Rovinj marina and a 15-minute walk from the historic centre, the brightly designed villa has just 20 guest rooms, each equipped with a flat-screen TV and some offering a patio area too. Elsewhere in the hotel, there’s a large summer terrace that’s ideal for pre-dinner drinks or a nightcap and guests can also hire bikes directly at the property.
Monte Mulini Adults Exclusive Hotel
Boasting its own gin library, a French-inspired Chef’s Table experience, a beach club serving exotic cocktails, and a blissfully tranquil wellness and spa centre, it’s easy to see why the adults-only Monte Mulini is the Rovinj hotel of choice for partners seeking that heady mix of serenity and romance. Enjoying a waterside location, set into the hillside on one side of a bay and surrounded by lush trees, the hotel instantly captures the attention with its light-flooded foyer featuring glass over three levels and a large fireplace in the central atrium. Venture further into the hotel’s inviting, expansive confines and you’ll discover four outdoor infinity pools, two a la carte restaurants, and guestrooms exuding warm, earthy tones, with specially commissioned artwork adorning the walls. If the inclination to leave all this behind takes hold, the delightful Old Town is a leisurely 15-minute walk away.
Nestled on the fringes of the town’s eastern borders, about a 20-minute walk from the old town, this 3-star guest house combines affordable prices with a peaceful setting away from the main hubbub, while still being within easy reach of the town’s main attractions. Guests with their own transport can make use of the free on-site parking and then drive into the historic centre, if they prefer. Other notable features include a pretty garden and terrace where guests can socialise and unwind. All units come with a TV and fridge, while the apartments have the additional benefit of a dining area and fully-equipped kitchenette. For local amenities, there’s a shop and a restaurant reachable in just seconds on foot.
The original 19th-century façade and interior spaces have been lovingly retained at this historic boutique property, which lays claim to the title of Rovinj’s oldest hotel. Set in the Old Town in a building dating back to 1892, it attracts a steady stream of visitors keen to immerse themselves in the building – and island’s – rich heritage. Featuring just 18 guest rooms and suites, each with high ceilings and old-fashioned cornices, whitewashed walls with big mirrors, and wooden parquet flooring, the hotel boasts a retro-chic look and feel. Wall art by international artists lend a contemporary edge and a hip seafront café-restaurant, lined with potted olive trees, helps generate a buzz that runs all day and night.
If you like the idea of the quaint charm and unique personal touch offered by an upscale Bed & Breakfast, Residence Vaal won’t disappoint. Situated 500 yards from Cuvi Beach where the pebbled shore is surrounded by shady pine trees, the property has a terrace and bar, as well as free on-site parking. Buffet breakfasts are served each morning in the B&Bs dining area. Guest rooms offer a flat-screen TV and either a balcony or terrace with outdoor furniture. Both bicycle rental and car rental services are available are the property, too. The compact old town is about two kilometres away.
Villa Comfort Exclusive
For something akin to a homestay experience, then this small family-run property would be hard to beat. It combines the intimacy of a quiet, independent guest house with a prime location just a stone’s throw from the nearest beach and an easy walk to the vibrant town centre. Clean, cosy and comfortable, the residence has a terrace, free parking and breakfasts served daily. They also run transfer services to and from the airport and for excursions. Sprinkled around the property are several restaurants, as well as convenience stores including a supermarket and pharmacy.