Istria, the biggest peninsula and westernmost region in Croatia is a true gem of the Adriatic coast. This Mediterranean blooming garden is a unique region of Croatia surrounded by crystal clear Adriatic sea and imbued by endless vineyards and olive tree fields in the heart of this magical land.
The Queen of the Adriatic Sea
Istra has always cherished its historical values and the natural resources provided by its urban-coastal surroundings. One of them is a pioneer of Croatian tourism, Opatija. Set on the eastern coast of Istria and below mountain Učka, Opatija is a true tourist paradise. With its mild climate, more than 2200 sunny hours in a year, and breathtaking views it has become a centre for luxurious tourism.
Opatija’s story began in the 15th century with the establishment of the benedictine monastery, but quickly became a vacation area of the rich, thanks to its vicinity to major European cities.
The modern Opatija that we know today started in 1844 with the construction of the first luxurious vacation mansion open for visitors, Villa Angiolina. This marked the beginning of fast tourist development, investment in treatment centres, luxurious hotels, and infrastructure, keeping Opatija at the very top of the tourism industry in Istra.
Opatija is home to luxurious hotels and villas and we have selected a few to showcase how serious Istrians are when they reach 5-star status. Enjoy!
Hotel Ambassador & traditional elegance
Remisens Premium Hotel Ambassador is a fusion of tradition and elegance. Refurbished in 2019, Ambassador now has 243 spacious and luxurious rooms and suites with a brand new ‘Executive Floor’ at the top with a view of the Adriatic Sea.
The hotel is centrally located but still offers privacy with its private beach, exterior pool, and access to 12 kilometres of charming and iconic Lungomare promenade.
The hotel features a luxurious spa centre, Five Elements. Restaurant, lobby, and the bar have recently been completely redesigned. Visitors can taste a rich menu with the finest Meditteranean dishes and wines, with an emphasis on local products and the highest quality. Find out more at Remisens Premium Hotel Ambassador.
Design Hotel Navis
The hotel is located in a beautiful and small Prelukbay, 10 kilometres north from Rijeka, just where the Istrian peninsula ends.
This unique luxury hotel close to Opatija has an unprecedented style, first-class service and an unforgettable gastronomical experience. Hotel Navis is built on a cliff, facing the Adriatic which guarantees a sea view from all 44 rooms.
The design of the rooms match the exterior; being a step away from the sea, architects wanted to achieve a connection to the endless body of water in front of the hotel, accomplished by wall-to-wall glass windows.
Sleeping so close to the sea and listening to the waves hitting the rocks creates a specific, peaceful and harmonious feeling.
The materials used are a mix of modern, sustainable materials and designer furniture, accenting functionality and comfort. The hotel offers bed selection depending on guests’ preference, twin or a king-size.
To complement the luxurious comfort of the rooms, Hotel Navis has a Spa Centre featuring unique rejuvenation programs for body and mind.
The hotel’s exquisite à la carte restaurant is recognised as the best in the region and features breathtaking views of the Kvarner archipelago. Sunset captures a dance of colours and creates a remarkable holiday experience. The renowned Croatian Chef has created a special menu that complements the atmosphere of the hotel, offering the best of Meditteranean and Istrian cuisine. The menu is strictly seasonal, ensuring the freshness of each meal. Starting in 2020, the restaurant introduced a Japenese-Meditteranean fusion Fusion by Navis. The main dish is sushi made of local top-quality ingredients and prepared with a unique Japanese ingredient treatment technique. The same year, a proof of prestige came from Michelin by adding the restaurant to their Guide Selection. The restaurant terrace is beautiful and ideal for private and special events offering intimacy, an unforgettable view, and top-notch service.
Find out more: Design Hotel Navis
Ikador luxury boutique hotel & spa for modern hedonists
This boutique hotel is situated in Ika, a charming fishermen’s town where composers Puccini, Kahlman, Mahler and Lehar found their inspiration. With hedonism as a design guide, Ikador Luxury Boutique Hotel & Spa is a place where relaxing is simple, yet sophisticated.
This Meditteranean oasis in the heart of the Opatija’s Riviera features 16 rooms and the biggest and most luxurious suites, with views of the Kvarner Bay. Each room was carefully designed, the materials used are of the highest quality and the accomplished harmony of styles gives a sense of splendour and contentment. When in a full capacity which means 32 guests, the staff of 45 is at service.
Restaurant Nobilion proudly promotes its gastronomic journey and seasonal dishes. The creative menu, made of locally selected produce ingredients and the best wines. This fine dining restaurant has tailor made menus in a prestigious Riva Privée Chef’s table, carefully selected by the Chef.
Ikador hotel is a proud partner of iconic Italian brand Riva, with both concepts represented: Riva Lounge, and Riva Privée with Chef’s Table in the Nobilion restaurant. Both areas were designed by Italian designers where fans of the brand can enjoy the same furniture and style used on the legendary Riva Yachts.
The docked Aquariva yacht with a private skipper is always ready for hotel’s guests and visitors. Guests also have access to a private entrance to Opatija’s famous Lungomare Promenade.
Ikador’s luxurious Spa Centre Ikalia takes up the whole floor and offers special balancing treatments using sound, amber, and spring water therapy as well as access to a fitness centre, spa suite and an exterior pool with salty and fresh water.
Find out more: Ikador Luxury Boutique Hotel & Spa
Amadria Park Hotel Milenij
Amadria Park Hotel Milenij was originally built as a villa in 1908 by Carl Seidl, in Habsburg style and reflecting Austrian luxury. The southern part of today’s Milenij Hotel dates back to 1836, and was a villa as well, now it is a cafe named after its most famous visitor Prince Umberto.
The iconic cafe is famous for its magical and colourful gardens, the terrace and breathtaking views of Kvarner bay.
Amadria Park Hotel Milenij has 96 extravagantly equipped rooms. The design is a combination of modern and traditional accents, reflecting the building’s history.
Hotel Milenij is home to restaurant Argonauti and the iconic cafe bar Wagner, famous for its hand made sweets. Menus are rich with exquisite delicacies, prepared with local ingredients. Since their founding, these locations were the centre of the city’s social life.
Find out more: Amadria Park Hotel Milenij
Hotel Bevanda Relais & Châteaux
Hotel Bevanda has a 40-year tradition, initially launched as a restaurant but through the expansion of services in 1971, turned into a hotel, today featuring ten lavishly equipped rooms. It was the first five-star hotel in the area, today a proud member of Relais & Chateaux association.
The legendary restaurant offers gastronomical quality at the highest level with over 600 options for wine and champagne. The hotel also has a cigar and lounge area with the helping hand of experts eager to suggest the right combination of cigars and drinks!
Inspiration for the hotel’s design came from Opatija’s cultural and social scene which always carried a dash of luxury and highlife. Rooms feature high-end furniture, custom-made towels, and vanity sets provided by a renowned brand Lavin.
Architectural design is signed by the studio Dražul-Glušica and the goal was partnering with Croatian companies. Windows and doors were constructed by a company called Sinago from Zagreb following the creative designs of a Kuharić- Matoš Studio.
Find out more: Hotel Bevanda
Amadria Park Hotel Saint Jakov
In 1886 Austrian doctor and scientist Julius Glax came to Opatija and decided to construct a beautiful and luxurious villa, known today as Amadria Park Hotel Saint Jakov.
The architecture features an original style with authentic details of the Habsburg period which is particularly visible in the hotel’s restaurant.
Doctor Glax was one of the founders of medical tourism in Opatija, thus Hotel Sveti Jakov today is the centre of therapeutic treatments.
Today, the hotel offers 26 spacious rooms and has been recently refurbished with historical charm and wonderful views of the gardens and the Adriatic sea. The interior design revolves around mesmerising golden tones and the crystal chandeliers that once decorated this historic building.
The menu is based on traditional Mediterranean dishes, grilled fish and meat, with the Chef especially recommending lobster and scallops. Find out more: Amadria Park Hotel Sveti Jakov.