We must admit that the Czech investors JTH Holding chose a superb location for the hotel. It is perched on a marvellous spot, with all rooms overlooking the Gulf of Kvarner. A location right by the sea has its perks, including a secluded private beach stretching 200 metres. The hotel is embedded into the steep hillside and does not appear too colossal from the entry side. What is essential to the eye is hidden on the side facing the sea. A diverse and rich hotel offers await on several floors. The tranquil location between Preluka and Kantrida seems a match made in heaven for such a resort.
Hilton Rijeka Costabella was constructed precisely halfway between the centre of Opatija and Rijeka. Both destinations are seven kilometres away. Guests arriving by car will appreciate that the highway is just a shot away. Parking is well-taken care of; however, be prepared to pay 20 EUR per day for the outdoor parking and 30 EUR per day for the garage parking. Rijeka’s airport is only 30 kilometres away, while Pula Airport is located 100 kilometres from the hotel. During the summer, both airports have relatively good flight connections internationally. Nonetheless, during winter days, one will have to make way for airports in Ljubljana, Zagreb or Trieste. Rijeka’s public transport is exemplary, whilst the taxi service is good considering the developed tourist offer. If you are fond of walking, we recommend taking a stroll down the seaside promenade leading to Opatija.
COLD STARTER - Architecture and aesthetics
The hotel architecture is two-fold. What guests see when arriving from the Preluka – Kantrida road is the hotel’s functional architecture that will not excite them significantly. The resort’s essence is tucked away on the side overlooking the sea, where the architects succeeded in creating a pleasant and elegant Meditteranean resort. It features villas and apartments that follow the logic of Meditteranean cities with tiny streets and hidden passages. The elegant oval structures on both sides of the hotel blend in seamlessly with the surrounding greenery. Interior, on the other hand, is far more eye-catching. From any room in the hotel, one can see spectacular views of the Kvarner Gulf. Particularly striking is the blown glass lighting and a whole series of designer pieces. The meticulous attention to detail and architectural consistency is hard to come across in similar new hotels. Altogether, guests feel welcome throughout the resort.
WARM ENTRÉE - The staff and the culinary experience
It is hard to find the words to describe the gastronomy run by the Michelin-star awarded young chef Dani Srdoč. Likewise, it is baffling to write about the hotel restaurant led by the excellent chef Miljenko Kosanović. We did not visit Dani’s restaurant Nebo, considering that after he was announced as a Michelin-star chef, it became impossible to visit his restaurant without prior reservation. We were, though, blown away by the cuisine of chef Miljenko in his restaurant The Kitchen. His dishes go far beyond hotel standards. Excellent execution, and appealing daily dishes such as the fish stew accompanied by a delightful wine selection, make his cuisine unforgettable. The breakfast follows along the same lines and deserves high praise. We want to highlight the local gastronomy delicacies of the family company Buretić Bregi. The staff is extraordinary, and we have become fierce advocates of the hotel’s restaurants. Foodies will be flabbergasted.
MAIN COURSE – The meetings offering at the hotel
All rooms offer seaside views. We tried out the deluxe room on the fourth floor. It is characterised by gentle pastel cream colours. The wood-like tiles appear pleasant to the eye. All pieces of furniture are massive, durable and aesthetic. A spacious balcony is a huge advantage, whilst the blown glass lights above the bed, and the lighting, in general, will enchant you. The classy experience continues in the bathroom with the well-functioning rainforest shower and select cosmetics and towels. You will be, above all, satisfied by the excellent bed and bed lining.
The smaller conference centre is situated on the ground floor and features five smaller halls. The surface area of the conference centre is 438 m2, with the largest hall capacitating up to 140 attendees in a theatre setting. Due to the low ceiling and lighting, the halls serve more for seminars rather than demanding event productions. Nonetheless, the daylight coming into the halls make it a perfect choice for workshops and smaller meetings.
DESSERT – The extras
The holistic wellness centre Eforea Spa & Health Club stretches on 3000 square metres and is one of the hotel’s greatest assets. Next to massages and a variety of body and face treatments, you will be able to unwind in the Himalayan salt room and Finnish sauna. One of the largest and most modern fitnesses in the region awaits guests.
FLOP – NEGATIVE SURPRISES
Considering the hotel’s potential, the congress centre is relatively small, but investors surely know best. We believe it would be much easier to attract congress and incentive groups if the centre offered greater capacities.
TOP – POSITIVE SURPRISES
Hilton’s smart labelling with recommendations regarding directions and anti corona restrictions is highly effective and exemplary.
FINAL IMPRESSION AND CREDIBILITY
If you desire to stay in touch with tourist trends, you must keep a watchful eye on what buyers want and what the competition is offering. The Czech investors, in combination with Hilton’s knowledge, succeeded in doing just this. Moreover, the holistic offer of the resort, the superb location and the world-class level of service has significantly contributed to the evolving offer of both Rijeka and Opatija. All hoteliers in this part of Croatia can consider Hilton the newest benchmark.
The hotel leaves a lasting impression with its spaciousness, attention to detail, quality materials and elegance. Our only complaint goes to the, in our opinion, small congress capacities. Since the hotel seems almost tailored to incentive groups, event organisers of small congresses would immediately fall in love with it if the capacities were larger. In any case, there is an abundance of opportunities for incentive groups and privatisation, and we are convinced that the hotel will develop accordingly. Hilton might not be the first five-star hotel in the Kvarner region. Nevertheless, it exceeded expectations upon opening, even if we consider the high standards associated with the Hilton brand.
FINAL GRADE: 4.85 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