Grand Hotel Adriatic is situated far enough away from the hustle and bustle of Opatija, yet close enough for you to take a stroll to all the city’s landmarks. The legendary meeting hotel is well-known to all regional event organisers. The list of regional events that have taken place in the conference centre is endless, and there are many memories linked to it. In recent years, the hotel has thoroughly changed its look. The owners have entirely renovated the central hotel building (Grand Hotel Adriatic), thus giving rise to an attractive, Instagrammable hotel. The largest hotel complex in Opatija has now become even more likeable, sitting in an excellent location and offering mesmerising views of the Kvarner Gulf.
As is the case all around Opatija, guests arrive at the hotel predominantly by car. Grand Hotel Adriatic Opatija awaits them with a spacious parking garage. Arguably giving the most added value to the hotel is its welcoming porter, who is, in fact, the face of the hotel and deserves a five-star rating. The hotel is situated a stone’s throw away from the nearby highway and is impossible to miss. Walking is the best way to get around town both from the aspect of healthiness and practicality. Strolling along the legendary Lungo Mare is a must for any visitor to Opatija. Taxis and public transport function flawlessly. Airport accessibility, on the other hand, is complicated in the winter, albeit excellent in the summer. Rijeka Airport is 35 kilometres away, whereas the airport in Pula is situated 100 kilometres from Opatija. Guests will very likely have to opt for airports in Ljubljana, Trieste and Zagreb. Our only remark concerns the hotel’s lack of electric mobility.
COLD STARTER - Architecture and aesthetics
It is unbelievable how ruthless or favourable times can be to architecture. In the case of Hotel Adriatic, the architecture has withstood the test of time and still caters to the needs of modern event organisers. Elegantly modern in a way, the architecture that resembles brutalism has been scaled down by recent renovations, yet it remains futuristic. The hotel appears somewhat hipster and, at the same time, modern and progressive, showcased by the intricate, narrow and space-like corridors that resemble a space station in Earth’s orbit rather than a hotel. The recent interventions were nonetheless generic, including the refurbishment of the reception. It appears welcoming, partly due to the colours. However, as soon as one steps into the corridors, the dark shades become tiring and heavy. The interior is perhaps not refined enough. Given that it is a work in progress, the final image will be visible once the renovation concludes.
WARM ENTRÉE - The staff and the culinary experience
The experienced personnel is one of the hotel’s crucial advantages. They strive to be professional at every step. Nevertheless, we came across a member of staff who seemed to find his work to be a burden and negatively impacted the overall impression. The hotel’s staff could achieve a world-class status by being more coordinated.
Having breakfast is an experience on its own due to the imposing view. Not every day does one have breakfast in a banquet hall serving marvellous views. The quality and selection of food were excellent and could easily fall into the category of five-star hotels. A detail here and there is what separates the hotel from perfection. The espresso, per se, should have been exquisite, yet its resemblance to the taste of a coffee from an old coffeemaker was uncanny. The service should have run smoother. The hotel bar is noteworthy, offering a wide selection of beverages, live evening music and views of the aquarium with sea bass. On this occasion, we did not try the room service.
MAIN COURSE – The meetings offering at the hotel
The rooms have become more spacious and elegant following renovation, even though they remain relatively small. They were optically enlarged with countless details in black contrasted with the wallpaper in beige, the bright flooring and marble elements. A stand-out feature is the array of large round mirrors combined with the designer couch in ochre colour. The undeniably great bed ensures a good night’s sleep. The cushioned wall behind the bed appears mighty and luxurious, while the lighting seems unpretentious and suitable. The black and white story is continued in the bathroom that features an extravagant black toilet seat. In our opinion, the bathroom only missed a rainforest shower. The renovated rooms are pleasant, elegant and offer breathtaking views (reserve a room with a sea view).
The heart of the conference centre is a classic amphitheatre hall that can capacitate up to 550 attendees. Seven smaller conference halls complete the centre. The largest one can accept up to 150 attendees in a theatre setting. Such a combination is ideal for smaller scientific congresses, which have taken place in the hotel countless times. The list of congress references is a testament to the history of meeting tourism in Opatija. Enabling smaller accompanying exhibitions to be held, the foyer of the conference centres is particularly praiseworthy. Likewise, the banquet hall is spectacular and represents the greatest advantage of the meeting offer.
DESSERT – The extras
The sauna overlooking the entire Kvarner Gulf is one of the most photogenic saunas in the Adriatic. Combined with an infinity pool and spectacular views, this part of the hotel’s offer is of utmost freshness and attractiveness following the renovation in 2019.
FLOP – NEGATIVE SURPRISES
When the hotel is fully-booked, the wellness centre and the saunas can be overcrowded. The capacities are not suitable for a hotel of this proportion.
TOP – POSITIVE SURPRISES
The futuristic hotel terrace before the entrance into the conference centre is a mesmerising space for coffee breaks and a highly appealing special venue. We can easily imagine it as a space turned into an unforgettable story with the help of video mapping.
FINAL IMPRESSION AND CREDIBILITY
As a holistic entity, the hotel proved to be tough competition against more renowned hotels in the Opatija Riviera. It stands out because of its conference centre and the solid balance between price and quality. However, that is true only in pre-season. One can easily overlook certain compromises that concern tiny details and drawbacks. The hotel is comfortable, well-equipped and offers a trusted service aligned with its categorisation. If you are looking for prestige, we recommend looking at higher-ranked hotels. Still, you will not find a meeting hotel with such capacities in Opatija. Meeting planners may not be impressed at first sight; however, I do not doubt they will be convinced upon further inspection, particularly because of its value for money. Either way, there is plenty of room for improvement, and we are sure the hotel’s Zagreb management will elevate the hotel experience.
Note: We evaluated the renovated part of the hotel, alias Grand Hotel Adriatic. The banquet hall and conference centre are located in the old part of the hotel, which is categorised as a three-star hotel. Together, both hotels offer 317 rooms.
FINAL GRADE: 4.74 SILVER 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