I have seen mixed reviews of this hotel including several from people who stayed the same time as us. Some loved it and some clearly hated it – it just goes to show that we all like different things and you can't please everybody all of the time. Anyway I shall split my review into different headings to make it easier to read…
Hotel – Set in private grounds within a fenced compound (better than it sounds) and card-operated gates, so is safe and secure which means you can be happy leaving your belongings around the place without any fear of having them stolen. Being All-inclusive also means you don't have to carry any money with you around the hotel grounds so, again, you can feel relaxed on this score. Brilliant to have no children although there is some noise from families on holiday elsewhere in the general area and a little noise one evening which apparently some people heard from a bar nearby. Very, very clean, well furnished, lots of seating, both in Lobby Bar and the Red Lounge where alot of the entertainment takes place. All areas are light and airy and air conditioned including main restaurant and Lobby.
Rooms – Our room looked over the car park so our balcony wasn't very private and we didn't sit out there much, but it was adequate and we had chosen not to pay for a seaview room so got pretty much what we expected. Bathroom was gorgeous – fantastic walk-in shower with additional body jets and large shower head which was wonderful. Bedroom wasn't huge and there is no space to hang full length dresses in the wardrobes, although we pack very carefully these days and don't take excessive amount of clothes on holiday with us anymore, so we had plenty of room. Decent size fridge but it does not get stocked at all and you only get one bottle of water on arrival. Tap water is lovely and drinkable so this isn't too much of a problem, but if you're going out and about it would be handy to have the availability of bottled water. If you order packed lunch you'll get a bottle of water each so hold on to those bottles and problem solved. Room serviced well every day of 2 week stay and absolutely no complaints there. Could do with an extra bin in the room as only one small bin in bathroom. We didn't use the tea & coffee making facilities as the coffee machine downstairs was always on at 7 am and serves good coffee.
Sunbeds – Loads of them, all padded plus quite a few double beds dotted around the grounds with pillows and towelling covers which you can get from the pool guys. Some people did reserve their sunbeds at around 7.30 am but when we went to breakfast most mornings at between 8 and 9 am, there were always loads of free beds and umbrellas. Pool towels are available too. You'll be given a token each when you arrive and you use these to get towels. Change them when you want to and give the tokens back at the end of your stay. Easy.
Entertainment – The resident duo DNA (Alec and Danny) were excellent and have a huge repertoire of all sorts of music. They also do requests if they can. Alec sings and plays the saxophone and Danny sings. We enjoyed them very much and would say they are the best we have ever seen at these sorts of hotels, much better than the usual piano bar music where couples waltz the night away (very boring in our view but great if you like that kind of thing). Each of them also performs randomly on the terrace during the day which was rather a nice touch. The other entertainment wasn't great – the Croation dancers were not our favourites!. The 70's theme band were pretty awful too and should be replaced. Daytime entertainment was low key as expected and thank goodness no water polo/volleytball. Only saw aqua aerobics once during our stay and there was yoga/stretching every mid-morning which seemed popular. None of these activities were forced on you and didn't intrude into the relaxing lifestyle that the hotel exudes. I found the Red Lounge a bit depressing after a while and the chairs are mostly the same as in the dining room so not very comfortable. There are a couple of settees and a few tub chairs but I think there should be more. Also pillars can obstruct the view of the stage and dance floor.
Food and drink – Always a tricky one this! There wasn't a huge choice as you often find at larger hotels but there was certainly enough. My main disappointment was the fish (nearly always un-filleted so lots of bones). There also weren't as many vegetables as I would have liked but the daily roast joint was SUPERB as were the potatoes – their potatoes are to die for, be they mashed, crushed, roasted, chips or whatever. Lots of fresh fruit, lovely ice cream, variety of other deserts so I had no complaints. The worst food we had was in the packed lunches. They really need to look at these. One day we had a hard pear and hard peach which were inedible. Another day there was an orange which isn't practical as so messy to eat out. Sandwiches were always bread-crumbed fried chicken in white bread which personally I couldn't bring myself to eat. During the day you can get coffee, cappucinos, tea etc and alcoholic and soft drinks from self-serve machines close to the pool area, or you can go to the main bar. Another area which the hotel really needs to improve on is the quality of the drinks. The white wine especially was undrinkable and warm and didn't improve much after an apparent change of supplier. For a country which prides itself on its lovely wines, this was shameful. Also the mixers were all very sweet and only one diet drink (Zero Coke) available. As is often the case abroad, the spirits/mixers taste different to in the UK so don't expect to get UK quality drinks. If you like brandy you might like to try the Medica, a honey brandy which is included in AI. Bar closes at 11 pm which is a little early but on the other hand who wants to wake up with a hangover every morning?
Staff – We found them all lovely. Holiday Rep Shirley was probably the best rep I have ever come across. Very knowledgeable, welcoming and spoke fluent Croatian. Helped me with a small personal matter for which I was very grateful. A real asset to Thomson.
Trips out – We have mobility difficulties so couldn't manage Rovinj or the hilltop town trips but did do Venice, Porec, Opatija/Kastav and Lake Bled. All worth doing but be aware – the hydrofoil to Venice doesn't take credit cards so make sure you take enough euros and kuna to buy what you need. Return transfers from the port into St Marks Square will set you back £60 for two, and a taxi boat tour another £60 for two. Lake Bled took 5 hours on the coach each way which was very tiring but worth it in our view.
Location – I didn't see much of the surrounding area as too hot for me to walk about much but I gather there are lots of local walks both into Medulin itself and down by the sea/marina. Lots of local bars and restaurants as well if you fancy a change from hotel fare and all prices reasonable – mostly cheaper than UK I would say.
Conclusion – We had a lovely relaxing holiday and although the world is a big place, this is one place we think we will probably return to as long as the price is right. We paid just over £850 each for 2 weeks, plus trips etc which are reasonably priced for a change. This is a low key resort where most guests are retired so don't expect to be clubbing or dancing the night away.