meneghetti_wine_hotel
Photo Credit: Meneghetti Wine Hotel & Resort

LOCATION

On the Istrian peninsula, the terms stancija and vila were introduced when the southern part of Istria was governed by the Venetian Republic, while Austria-Hungary ruled the north. The terms denote a large, interconnected estate. The Meneghetti Wine Hotel & Winery, a century-old estate, sits in the vicinity of the picturesque village of Bale in the very heart of Istria. Upon our first visit to the boutique hotel, we praised the offer concentrated around the flawlessly renovated villa and its surrounding facilities. At the time, the estate stretched 12 hectares, while today, 42 hectares of land is home to olive gardens and vineyards. The offer has recently been enriched by six rustic villas, additional pools, a wellness centre and, not least, the Menghetti Winery, which opened in 2022. The hotel has cemented its position as the most polished and complete boutique Istrian hotel. At the same time, its superb winery with an accompanying tasting room has become one of the most sought-after and unusual regional event venues. Since its inauguration, the excellent location and authentic story have convinced event organisers who seek a genuine and, most importantly, world-class experience.

meneghetti_wine_hotel
Photo Credit: Meneghetti Wine Hotel & Resort

ACCESSIBILITY

A few kilometres off the beaten Istrian track, you will find yourself in the middle of a paradise. Co-owners and project masterminds Miroslav Plišo and Romana Kajfež oversaw the hotel construction. Miroslav is a partner in the esteemed Zagreb-based Law Firm Marković & Plišo; Romana is a biologist with her own medicine testing company and the daughter of Franjo Kajfež, the man who invented Apaurin (anti-depressant). To reach the estate, guests have to make a little effort, but the reward is worth it. Famed Istrian cities, including Rovinj and Pula, are only a half-hour drive away. The hotel offers a private shuttle that takes guests to a secluded private beach nearby. Roads around the estate branch off in every direction and present the perfect opportunity for exploration with bicycles or on foot. Intertwined and labyrinthine, the dusty roads will reward you with impressive views of the colourful Istrian interior, where dinosaurs once roamed.

meneghetti_wine_hotel
Photo Credit: Meneghetti Wine Hotel & Resort

COLD STARTER - Architecture and aesthetics

The timeline of the estate’s architectural evolution spans twenty years. Its result can inspire investors who wish to develop original boutique and luxury hotels. The one-off estate will undoubtedly convince event organisers too. Architecturally, the complex follows the story of the stancija, embodied by white Istrian stone, covered terraces, open fireplaces and antique furniture. The interior design boasts a typical rural style in its most luxurious version: imposing antique furniture from the 18th and 19th centuries, select designer pieces and excellent lighting. Within the villas, authentic details dominate, including an antique clock atop the fireplace in the living room or a garden table made from a weatherworn door. What will convince meeting planners most is the awe-inspiring horticulture. Strewn with aromatic Mediterranean herbs and hidden spots, the garden seems ideal for organising outdoor events.

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Photo Credit: Meneghetti Wine Hotel & Winery

WARM ENTRÉE - The staff and the culinary experience

Staying at the estate is a unique experience from start to finish. Guests are pampered every step of the way, and gastronomy is no exception. Chef Damir Pejčinović, a known name among gourmets, prepares superb food. Simple Istrian dishes, such as ravioli with truffles, turn into phenomenal Michelin-worthy plates due to precise execution and fusion of flavours. Understandably, all pasta is handmade in situ. The interpretation of Istrian dishes is impressive and has been recognised by several culinary guides. What makes the flavours stand out is the excellent wine companionship of Menghetti wines, not to mention Menghetti olive oil. Simple and fresh ingredients are incorporated masterfully into each dish. A regular feature of the estate remains the concept of breakfasting, through which guests can taste and get acquainted with the culinary philosophy over the course of the morning. The service is, as one would expect, highly professional. The staff seems proud to work in a hotel that belongs to the distinguished international chain of hotels – Relais & Châteaux. We had the privilege of testing the 5C concept. In essence, this means the hotel boasts Courtoisie (courtesy), Charme (charm), Charactere (character), Calme (tranquillity) and Cuisine (gastronomy). All this awaits guests, alongside the story of excellent wine, in the heart of Istria.

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Photo Credit: Meneghetti Wine Hotel & Resort

MAIN COURSE – The meetings offering at the hotel

Hotel rooms

We stayed in a two-story hotel room in the old building. Our room featured traditional, high-end furniture that goes hand in hand with ocher-coloured walls and wooden flooring. Wooden trams render the room truly memorable and connect the room with the historical tale of the estate. The rustical style appears modern and traditional at the same time. Select furniture pieces are custom-made or produced by the best manufacturers. The bed is exceptionally comfortable, also due to the Frette luxury bedding. As expected, the bathroom and refined Croatian cosmetics amazed us. Unparalleled views of the vineyards, of course, come with the room. Likewise, the newer, modern residences, boasting grey, white and blue colours and industrial details, serve fantastic vistas. Guests of Meneghetti Wine Hotel & Winery can choose three types of accommodation. The rooms and suites fall into the first category, followed by residences, suitable for family stays, and luxurious villas to suit the needs of the most demanding guests.

Meetings centre

The estate is a truly extraordinary venue. Hence, do not expect classic conference halls. Although they offer a small conference hall, events in the outdoor area or the restaurant are much more appealing. The most demanding guests can privatise the entire estate, which can host up to 120 guests in warmer months and 50 guests in colder months. Meneghetti Wine Hotel & Winery can transform into an ideal place for wine teambuilding programmes. Such experiences are its trump card. The common thread throughout the estate is intimacy at the highest level.

Another inviting event space is a robust table under two centuries-old oak trees, wherefrom guests can admire the vineyards. On the whole, the estate exudes the feel of an island amid land, where time stops. The service oozes the feeling of heartfelt hospitality and professionality. The hotel itself appears to be a perfect destination for boutique business meetings or social events.

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Photo Credit: Meneghetti Wine Hotel & Resort
meneghetti_wine_hotel
Photo Credit: Meneghetti Wine Hotel & Resort

DESSERT – The extras

A guided wine tour of the newly-opened winery is an eye-opening experience. Following the wine tasting, do not overlook the charming culinary shop where you can even purchase Menghetti branded Cuban cigars, handmade chocolates or Istrian gastronomical delicacies, such as dulce leche from goat milk.

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Photo Credit: Meneghetti Wine Hotel & Resort

FLOP – NEGATIVE SURPRISES

Staying at the Meneghetti Wine Hotel & Winery is not inexpensive. The excellent level of service offered by the hotel is costly. Meeting planners with a tight budget for an event may find a different location preferable.

TOP – POSITIVE SURPRISES

Boho Beach is a private beach that is open in the summer months. With a bit of effort, you can privatise the venue for your guests. It is only three kilometres away from the hotel.

SUSTAINABLE ENDEAVOURS

The zero-kilometre philosophy is adhered to in the restaurant and the winery. We relished the exquisite wines and olive oil grown and produced at the estate. We were pleasantly surprised by their farm-to-fork concept, and now, we await to see the hotel acquire an official certificate for its green culinary endeavours.

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Photo Credit: Meneghetti Wine Hotel & Resort

FINAL IMPRESSION AND CREDIBILITY

The Meneghetti Wine Hotel & Winery was designed to capture your heart and excite your soul. It is a hotel where everything is top-tier, leaving no room for mediocrity. In the category of boutique meeting hotels, it edges out its competition with its inspiring wine story and outdoor event space. We are probably not far from the truth if we say that Meneghetti is not for everyone. One must certainly be a gourmet and wine lover to fall in love with such an unusual hotel. Guests are willing to forgive or, at the very least, compromise for accessibility, given the exceptional offer. Event organisers will see their event turned into a truly magical experience here. There is nothing to criticise, apart from the fact that such hotels come at a high price. Otherwise, attendees and event organisers will have no reason to complain – at least those who know what to expect of a top-notch hotel.

FINAL GRADE: 4.97 GOLD Boutique 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

CATEGORY 5*****
OPEN FROM 2005
MEETINGS STAR Boutique meeting hotel
STANDARD Hotel with conference facilities
NUMBER OF ROOMS 39 units (rooms, suites and residences)
MEETING ROOMS3
TOTAL EVENT SPACE406 sqm
MAX. CAPACITY THEATRE168
INTERNET PRICE443 – 2514 EUR (single use) / Booking, December 2022
ADDRESS:Meneghetti Wine Hotel & Winery
Stancija Meneghetti 1
Bale, Croatia


T: +385 91 243 1600
E: sales@meneghetti.hr
W: www.meneghetti.hr

FACILITIES
  • Meneghetti Restaurant
  • Oliveto Restaurant & Lounge bar
  • Boho beach club by Meneghetti
  • The Lobby bar
  • Meneghetti Spa centre
  • 3 Indoor and outdoor pools
  • Paradise garden for events
  • Fitness
  • Meneghetti Winery
SPECIALS The wine complex, opened in 2022, is part of an extraordinary additional offer that will thrill event organisers. Wowing guests with its spectacular design, the winery crowns Meneghetti’s wine story. The wines from the estate are considered one of Croatia’s very best.
meneghetti_wine_hotel
Photo Credit: Meneghetti Wine Hotel & Resort
RESULTS MARKS
1. LOCATION 4.97
2. ACCESSIBILITY 4.68
3. FIRST IMPRESSION5.00
4. LOBBY5.00
5.  EMPLOYEE ATTITUDE5.00
6.  RECEPTION 5.00
7.  HOTEL ROOM 5.00
8.  HOTEL BED 5.00
9. BATHROOM AND RESTROOM4.95
10. HOTEL BREAKFAST 4.98
11. BARS AND RESTAURANTS 5.00
12. CONGRESS HALL 5.00
13. ADDITIONAL OFFER  4.98
TOTAL:   4.97