Valamar Crystal Hotel

Star Travel Rating

5/5

Review type

Accommodation

Location

Valamar Crystal Hotel

Travelled with

Wife

Product name

Product country

Product City

Reasons for trip

Walking

Date of travel

May, 2013

This was our first time in Croatia & we were pleasantly surprised. The hotel was very nice & spotlessly clean (the only thing I had to clean was the T.V control, which is not unusual). The staff at the hotel were all so friendly, everyone speaks English & everyone will greet you. The hotel has been recently refurbished thus all the furniture etc was in excellent condition. The bedding was changed every three days, the towels daily if you wish. The towels were not thick luxury ones but they were all new, more than adequate & a good size. The hairdryer was not wonderful the standard dryer/shaver but the wife said it did the trick. There is no tea/coffee & although I took my travel kettle which I used, after about 5 days a new information file arrived in the room which stated no household equipment to be used, not sure if that statement includes travel kettles since they are not technically household!!! We had room no 436 with a balcony which was very nice & not overlooked, the only issue if you are a sun worshipper would be that you did not get the sun! There was an excellent table & 2 chairs set also a fixed rail for drying your bathers etc. The room was not large but again adequate & included a mini bar whose door did not open fully but into the bed, not a problem but not much space between the bed & fridge either. The bath could also pose a problem if you have mobility issues as it was quite high to step into & too small to bath in if over 5’3”. The shower is over the bath, would be better/safer as a wet room, all very nice & new though, although the temperature was up & down (hot & cold in the same shower!!!). The location was stunning with all the pine trees & wildlife; we saw red squirrels, wood peckers, Hoopies & Jays. Rooms at the rear have the view over the park/gardens. There are no sandy beaches but they have overcome this by laying lots of paved areas where you can sunbathe should you wish. The food was very good with plenty of choice, the only complaint would be the restaurant opening time of 7pm, they did try to open a little earlier but it meant it got very busy very quickly. There was no problem at all with the service it was excellent i.e drinks were served very promptly & the rest is self-service. When busy it was a bit like a feeding frenzy!! Luckily we were out of season & this only happened a couple of times. The walk into Porec is along a beautiful path with the sea on one side & the trees on the other takes approx. 20 minutes, but if you have mobility issues then the train is great at just 10 kunas each, the train (small lorry towing wheeled carriages) will also take you in the the opposite to Zeana Laguna which is also a pleasant journey. Coffee & cakes were sadly amazingly cheap 2 lattes & 2 cakes for around £5, we found a wonderful café/bar Café du Mar right by the sea & the cakes were amazing! There is also an excellent supermarket not far from the train stop where you can stock up on water or wine then get the train back to the hotel (the prices are amazingly cheap). There are several tours on offer most of which include food & drink. We did The Plitvice Lakes which were so beautiful & well worth the effort ( a long day by coach), The best of Istria again excellent with a fabulous lunch out in the countryside, The Hilltop tour with amazing scenery & The fish barbecue cruise which also serves chicken. We stayed 11 nights (Thomson Holidays) so these trips broke it all up very nicely & gave us a great insight to Istria. Just a quick one about Pula airport, all the prices are in Euros & not Kunas although they accept both. To summarise this really is a beautiful location, excellent value for money & with so much to see & do so go & do it I am sure you will not be disappointed!!!

Judith Lightfoot

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