Monte Mulini is the first five star hotel in Rovinj, a slice of Italy on the western coast of the Istrian peninsula on the north Adriatic coast.
Nestled in between pine trees and right on the coast, Monte Mulini has 99 rooms and 14 suites, all with private glass fronted balconies offering fantastic views over either the sea or expansive Zlatni Rt National Park. The rooms are contemporary and decorated in muted colours.
The Wine Vault restaurant at Monte Mulini has undoubtedly the best wine cellar in the region, all carefully chosen by internationally renowned sommelier Emil Perdec. The food is also fantastic and head chef Tomislav Gretic creates delicious menus that perfectly compliment the local wine. Eat in either the Wine Vault restaurant for an intimate setting, or Restaurant Mediterraneo for spectacular views over Lone Bay, and, as the name suggests, serves Mediterranean cuisine.
The recurrent theme of wine continues in the spa - why not try a vinotherapy facial? Vinophobes need not worry, there are a range of treatments on offer, as well as a swimming pool, saunas and a fitness centre.
Rovinj is just a 15 minute walk from Monte Mulini, where the Italian influence is dominant in the restaurants, and furthermore in the historic sights in nearby Pula. Wander around the cobbled streets of the Old Town, explore the open air markets and while away the hours in a café on the harbour watching the fishermen tending to their catch.
For the real deal, Venice is just a short 3 hour ferry hop across the waters.
Why We Love It
Because this is the nearest you'll get to a chic boutique hotel in Istria.
Housed in a 700 year old building, Hotel KÄƒstel has recently been refurbished and is now the place to stay in the hillside town of Motovun.
There are 33 rooms, as well as one apartment, at the family run Hotel KÄƒstel. All rooms have great views of the surrounding scenery, including the Mirna River Valley and the infamous Motovun vineyards. Opt for an Exclusive Double room for a balcony. Since the renovation, mod cons such as satellite telly and central heating feature throughout.
The restaurant serves authentic Istrian cusine in a stunning setting - the restaurant spills out onto a terrace which, shaded by chestnut trees, has spectacular views. Try BoÅ¡karin (a beef speciality), Malvazija and Teran wines from the neighbouring Motovun vineyards, and of course local truffles (Motovun's claim to fame is that the largest ever white truffle was found in their woods).
A new addition to the hotel is the spa, complete with pool, two saunas and Kneipp baths. There are also treatments available, and a stunning garden overlooking the hills perfect for a bit of down time after a treatment.
Located just outside the town walls, Hotel KÄƒstel is in a perfect position for exploring the town and surrounding Istrian countryside. Motovun itself was fortified by the Venetians in the 14th century, and inside its walls the town is made up of Romanesque and Gothic buildings, as well as old artist's studios. Brimming with history, the charming town and even more charming hotel are a perfect alternative to coastal Croatia.
Why We Love It
The hotel has its own art gallery, adding to the already extremely cultural repertoire of Motovun.
Voted the best boutique hotel in Croatia multiple times, the San Rocco is a slice of family run heaven in northern Istria.
Located in the vowel deficient village of Brtonigla surrounded by olive groves and vineyards, San Rocco is an elegantly converted manor house with thick stone walls and exposed beams.
There are just 14 en suite rooms which are on the whole small but perfectly formed. The best are on the top floor as they have the best views and lovely beamed ceilings in the eaves.
The Fernetich family, who own the hotel, are passionate foodies, and the restaurant serves beautifully cooked local specialities accompanied by a bewildering selection of local olive oils and wines. In summer there is an outdoor terrace where diners can eat and admire the views of classic Istrian hill country.
The hotel's pool is also open in summer, and there's an all-year round spa centre as well.
Why We Love It
It's all about olive oil in this part of Istria, and that's no exception at the San Rocco with an olive oil sommelier on hand to advise which variety to accompany your food, and several of the spa treatments using local oil as well.