Hotel Lone is the latest addition to the extensive facilities of the Monte Mulini hotel and conference complex on Croatia’s Adriatic coast. ITCM’s Michelle Chenery was one of the first to stay thereJust 20 minutes drive from Pula airport and we were in the picturesque town of Rovinj, Croatia, outside the latest property of the Maestra group of hotels. It is called Hotel Lone and it is Croatia’s only member of Design Hotels.
On entering the hotel the immediate impression is of the clean lines of the architecture and the sense of space and light. The décor includes wall hangings that you just want to go up and touch and have a good feel to try and work out how they have been made and of what material. The seats and chairs everywhere just beg you to sit on them to check if they are as comfortable as they look – and, yes, they are.
Wherever you look in the hotel there is a feast for your eyes, either from the outside views or the greenery that runs throughout the interior.
Designed as a contemporary expression of the classic Croatian resort of the 70s, the Hotel Lone has sea-facing terraces and large lobbies, based on the Y plan layout. All facilities are functional and easy to find. Everything is based around the central 5-storey high atrium.
All 236 guest rooms and 12 suites are decorated with muted and darker warmer colours in contrast to the bright white stone of the main areas. All rooms have balconies looking across the sea of over the Golden Cape Forest. The walls are fitted with mirrors, giving reflections of the greenery outside. The theme is continued with small glass panels on the dividers between the bathrooms and the sleeping areas, so that wherever you are the outside is brought inside.
Room sizes range from 33sqm for a superior room up to 72sqm for an Executive Suite. The Presidential Suite measures 129sqm, comprising two bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms, an extra guest cloakroom, a dining room and a living room. Each of the rooms has a king-size double bed and a private terrace. There is individually controlled air conditioning, direct dial phone and high speed wireless Internet; there are also an electronic in-room safe that may be used as a laptop vault and living room corner seating for two. A well-stocked counter mini-bar, three LCDs with satellite TV channels and pay-TV and sun chairs on the balcony are at your disposal. An outdoor massage bathtub is located on the largest and centrally located joint terrace.
In-room amenities for all rooms include individually controlled air-conditioning, direct dial phone and high speed wireless internet, an electronic in-room safe and a living-room corner, in-room LCD with satellite channels, pay TV and a well-stocked mini-bar. Spacious and bright bathrooms include a bathtub and a walk-in monsoon shower, a double wash basin, hair-dryer, underfloor heating and a heated mirror and towel rack.
Deluxe rooms come with a private Infinity Pool, massage bathtub on the balcony and a view over the forest park.
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The hotel has 10 multi-purpose meeting rooms all equipped with the latest a-v capabilities, able to host from 60 to 200 delegates theatre style – plus an Auditorium to seat 650. The Hotel Lone forms part of the Monte Mulini complex that is able to host events for up to 3,000 participants.
The Monte Mulini Congress Centre consists of the Lone, the Monte Mulini, the Eden and the Park hotels.
It is the MICE flagship of the Maistra Group and the best equipped conference centre in the region. It comprises 20 halls, the largest of which is in hotel Lone, while the total capacity of all of the auditoriums in the area is almost 2,000.
The spa spans over 1,700sqm and connects to the wellness centre of Hotel Monte Mulini, creating 2,500 sqm in total.
Spa treatments at the Hotel Lone specialise in facial and body treatments, including massage and scented steam sauna, Finnish sauna and infrared sauna, fitness gym, relaxation room, indoor fresh-water swimming pool with hydro massage effects; and two connected sunken rooms offering the opportunity to float and relax on hydro massage beds and chairs. There are eight multi-functional treatment rooms some of which have glass walls affording views of the surrounding national park, all using Bioline and Comfort Zone products.
I enjoyed a full body massage in the largest treatment room I have ever come across and felt very refreshed and invigorated after an hour long treatment. Communication, which is vital during massage, was no problem as everyone’s English was good.
Dining and entertainment
The hotel has three restaurants located on three separate floors, named appropriately so that they spell out LONE when they are put together. Each offers a mixture of Croatian and Mediterranean fusion-style food with wine lists featuring many vintages from the surrounding region of Istria.
Restaurant (L) is an à la carte restaurant, located on the ground floor making use of the gardens and outside decking area. Restaurant (ON) is a less formal dining experience and, finally, (E) is the hotel’s seafood bar. With the lobby bar, Conference and Vitality Bars dotted around the hotel guests can find plenty of places to relax and enjoy a drink.
The nightclub features performances by international and domestic artists and can be hired for exclusive use.
Breakfast is served in Restaurant ON with a very comprehensive buffet service. Every meal I ate consisted of at least 4 courses, with a never-ending selection of rolls and different olive oils on the table, wines to complement every course and unbeatable food. I was quite glad that it was only the luggage that had to be weighed for the return flight!
Our batana was tethered to a buoy alongside another batana so that we could enjoy some local wine and home baked biscotti en route. Our tour continued on foot once we were back on dry land, from the central square with lively cafes and restaurants, along the sprawling cobbled alleys lined with Venetian roofed houses, filled with galleries and shops full of local arts and crafts, passing through many of the old city gates before reaching the 18thC Church of St Euphemia, the building that dominates the town’s skyline.
It is also possible to hire cycles from the neighbouring sister hotels, which is exactly what I did. The cycle route has you following along the coastline with ocean views along the way and stop-off points where you can take a quick dip to cool off or lie on the rocks to relax. Or you can stop off at one of the many cafes along the way for either a soft drink or a nice cool beer and watch the world go by.
Other local excursions that can fit into a leisure or incentive programme include trips to the olive groves where you can sample many of the different olive oils produced locally; and visits to local vineyards for tours and wine tasting.
Radisson Blu Hotel Stansted
With an early morning flight to Pula I did the sensible thing and stayed the night at the Radisson Blu Hotel Stansted. It is the only hotel linked directly to the main airport terminal, rail and coach stations via a covered walkway. The hotel offers 500 rooms including 20 suites, which are designed in three unique different styles.
There are 3 restaurants to choose from offering everything from Italian dishes to New York steaks, with artisan sandwiches, gourmet pizza and pasta and other delicious light meal options available in the Angels Tower Wine bar. This features the Wine Tower, home to 4,000 bottles of wine.
The ground floor of the hotel offers 26 meetings rooms covering over 1300sqm of fully adaptable meeting and event space. Rooms can cater for numbers from 2 up to 400 delegates.
For further details visit www.radissonblu.co.uk/hotel-stanstedairport
For further information on Hotel Lone visit: www.lonehotel.com