The zeitgeist of luxury tourism in Istria
The spectacular, terraced hotel is located at the entrance into the Monte Mulini area, which has now, with the completion of the hotel, become a complete architectural and urban entity. Together with the new ACI marina, an extraordinary space has been created, which impresses with superb planning, the horticultural arrangements, the urban equipment and the well-thought-out details. The premium architecture speaks for itself, but it also says a lot about the investors and the kind of attitude they have towards their own history and environment. The Grand Park Hotel is proof that taking the local context into account pays off. In the Adriatic this year, we are richer for a hotel that will, in our opinion, end up on the list of the most prestigious hotels in the Mediterranean.
The western coast of Istria, where Rovinj is located, is easily accessible and the road infrastructure is excellent. Another advantage is the proximity of the airports in Pula and Trieste, as well as Ljubljana and Zagreb. Airports have been recording a rapid growth in passenger numbers, which is favourable for the further development of meetings tourism. Most of the guests, however, come to Rovinj by car, and they are well catered for at the new hotel. A large garage and valet parking are considered as a standard for a hotel in this category. That said, Rovinj is a town where the landmarks can be reached on foot, and this is something we strongly recommend. There is also a good taxi service, as well as Uber.
COLD APPETIZER - Architecture and Aesthetics
The hotel can be considered as the most ambitious architectural project in the Adriatic at the moment, both in terms of its architecture and in terms of the urban arrangement of the entire Monte Mulini area. The new plaza that was created in front of the hotel will become a venue for socialising, games and gatherings. The architecture feels organic, as if it has been there forever. Every detail counts, no matter how small. Take the corridors, for instance; these are usually the boring parts of a hotel, but here, they have become interesting spaces in their own right. The architectural studio 3LHD has done an amazing job, and in addition to everything else, the hotel is an affirmation of the excellence of Croatian architectural and design scene.
WARM APPETIZER - Staff and catering
The added value is the youthful staff—eager to please and very nice. We can only hope that this pioneering spirit is retained in the future. One of the quirks are the staff’s charming casual uniforms.
Bound to play a crucial part of the story is the five-star culinary experience. Mere days after the grand opening, we can already see the outlines of what is one of the most ambitious hotel stories of the Adriatic. We tried the main hotel restaurant Laurel & Berry. We can already say that the wine selection is superb—in accordance with the philosophy of the hotel and the Adris group—and the innovative menu and breakfast meet the expectations for a five-star level. There is no doubt that once the hotel takes off, the individual restaurants will be contending for a spot in prestigious culinary guides.
MAIN DISH - Conference hotel service
The way that the rooms integrate into the hotel fabric makes the gorgeous Rovinj vista seemingly omnipresent. Further increasing the spacious feeling is the panoramic window and a pleasant terrace that allows you to spend the day outside. The floor is treated with a special coating that gives a welcoming and warm impression despite the industrial look. It also nicely complements the raw concrete wall that seems organically connected with every single piece of furniture. Separating the bathroom from the bedroom are semi-transparent glass panels giving a refined and minimalist look. The hotel room is a balm for both body and soul and will delight the hearts of curious explorers.
The central hall, which was still under construction at the time of our visit, holds around 250 people and can even admit vehicles. Complementing it are three smaller halls and a charming library. All the halls are superbly appointed according to the current trends in meeting design.
DESSERT – The extras
The Infinity pool on the fifth floor is the hotel’s speciality. The view of St Euphemia’s church from the pool is sure to become one of the most desirable locations for guests seeking that perfect Instagram shot. Perhaps it will even be possible to rent it for events.
FLOP – NEGATIVE SURPRISES
Some inconsistencies that result from the team not having had the time to settle into a routine yet. We are certain that they will be corrected within a few weeks of the opening.
TOP – POSITIVE SURPRISES
The project itself is thoroughly described in what is, in my view, the best hotel guide I’ve ever seen. More than a mere guide, it is actually a sort of an omnibus of stories about Rovinj and about the artists who helped create the story of the hotel.
OVERALL IMPRESSION AND CREDIBILITY
One might say that, considering how vast an investment the project was, the hotel had better be something special. But it’s not just about the money—it’s the really well-thought-out tourist story that is at the very top of what the region can offer. There are numerous exciting details, but the best reason for optimism is the staff: they are proud of their work with the hotel and put in an enormous amount of effort to ensure the guests’ satisfaction.
Even though the meetings offering had not been finalised at the time of our visit, we hope that it will include the numerous public spaces and special venues that seem to be a perfect fit for organising events.
In many respects, the hotel is quite simply the most modern in the Adriatic, and once the minor initial flaws are remedied, it will also be among the best. Yet even now, the end result is an immensely convincing hotel that really makes an impression.
FINAL GRADE: 4.87 GOLD RESORT MEETING HOTEL
GOLD final score from 4.81 to 5.00
SILVER final score from 4.61 to 4.80
BRONZE final score from 4.41 to 4.60