Stay The Night: Hotel Lone, Istria

The classic Istrian hotel of the Seventies was the unlikely cue for this high-design property. Karen Glaser explains

Croatian contemporary design? No one visits Croatia for contemporary design.

Not until now – for the new Hotel Lone, set in a forest on the Istrian coast, is going to change all that. This is the republic's first high-design hotel and it has just put Croatia on the serious hotel architecture map. Equally gratifying for its owners, Lone is also the first Croatian member of Design Hotels, the holy grail of design-conscious luxury resorts across the globe.

The location of this building, which on first sight suggests an enormous ocean liner, is not a first, however. This stretch of the north Adriatic coast – rocky coves, lush Mediterranean pastures and an impossibly blue sea – is no hotel virgin. Bourgeois Middle Europeans have been unwinding on this peninsula for decades, supping and quaffing in the peasant-style restaurants and wine farms of its rolling green interior.

In fact, the classic Croatian hotel of the Seventies, with its sea-facing terraces and enormous lobbies, was the scheme's design cue, says the firm of architects responsible, 3LHD. Given that the practice and, indeed, the entire creative team, right down to the fashion designers behind the staff's sharp threads, are 100 per cent Croatian, this indigenous inspiration is hardly surprising: recently independent, formerly Communist Croatia is fiercely patriotic.

In this instance, patriotism has served the cause of design very well. From the dramatic Y-shaped floor plan and enormous, six-floor atrium at the heart of the building, to the exquisite interior palette of rich oak and white stone, and the endless mirrors and windows that pull the outdoors in, this destination hotel is a design delight.

The rooms

If you like guesthouse intimacy and breakfast conversation with fellow travellers, this 248-room hotel is not for you. But if you are a sucker for high-design luxury, you will want to move in. My favourite design feature was the private pool set in the decked terrace at the foot of my room, which cantilevers, after a couple of no-go watery metres, with negligible deflection, off the edge of the building: a very clever flowing space. I was also impressed with the sleek engineering that turned the gargantuan bed, desk and shelving into one seamless slab of Slavonian oak. Plus, it was pleasant to stand in the bathroom and look directly at the horizon – courtesy of two glass walls and some artful wooden slats.

The food and drink

The Adriatic Sea is both the provenance and the inspiration for many of the dishes at the hotel's three rest-aurants: Croatian-Mediterranean fusions such as scorpion fish and shrimp ragout, octopus baked in merlot, spicy oyster, and thick clam and bacon chowder. The other prized local foodstuff is the truffle, which appears in various dishes on the menu. A three-course meal costs around 268 kuna (£31) a head.

The extras

It's two-wheels-good, four-wheels-bad, in these parts, and a bike ride on the gladed cycle path that runs along the coast beckons. (Free bike hire from neighbouring Hotel Mulini). The ancient hilltop town of Rovinj is a 10-minute stroll away. Back at the hotel, head for the large spa and its scented-steam unisex sauna. Unless you want to appear stand-out British, wear your birthday suit. Then, float like a water lily in the very still sunken pool.

The access

All areas of the hotel are connected by spacious lifts, making it easy to navigate a wheelchair. In addition, five rooms are fully adapted for people with disabilities. Children are welcome and catered for with a daily kids' club.

The bill

Rooms cost from €€102 (approx £89) per person per night, including breakfast.

The address

Hotel Lone, Luje Adamovica 31, Hr-52210 Rovinj, Croatia (00 385 52 632 000; lonehotel.com).

The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations

Sport
Laura Trott with her gold
Commonwealth GamesJust 48 hours earlier cyclist was under the care of a doctor
Life and Style
Upright, everything’s all right (to a point): remaining on one’s feet has its health benefits – though in moderation
HealthIf sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Arts and Entertainment
Peter Griffin holds forth in The Simpsons Family Guy crossover episode
arts + ents
News
Orville and Keith Harris. He covered up his condition by getting people to read out scripts to him
People
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
France striker Loic Remy
sportThe QPR striker flew to Boston earlier in the week to complete deal
Arts and Entertainment
Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman
arts + entsFilmmaker posted a picture of Israeli actress Gal Gadot on Twitter
Sport
Vincenzo Nibali rides into Paris on the final stage of the 2014 Tour de France
Tour de FranceVincenzo Nibali is first Italian winner since Marco Pantani in 1998
News
Bryan had a bracelet given to him by his late father stolen during the raid
people
Arts and Entertainment
Chris Pratt stars in Guardians of the Galaxy
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
Pedro Pascal gives a weird look at the camera in the blooper reel
arts + entsPrince Oberyn nearly sets himself on fire with a flaming torch
News
Danny Nickerson, 6, has received 15,000 cards and presents from well-wishers around the world
newsDanny loves to see his name on paper, so his mother put out a request for cards - it went viral
Arts and Entertainment
Zoe Saldana stars in this summer's big hope Guardians of the Galaxy
filmHollywood's summer blockbusters are no longer money-spinners
Sport
Red Bull Racing's Australian driver Daniel Ricciardo (C) celebrates with Scuderia Ferrari's Spanish driver Fernando Alonso (L) and Mercedes' British driver Lewis Hamilton
sport
Arts and Entertainment
comedy
Arts and Entertainment
Public vote: Art Everywhere poster in a bus shelter featuring John Hoyland
art
Arts and Entertainment
Judd Apatow’s make-it-up-as-you-go-along approach is ideal for comedies about stoners and slackers slouching towards adulthood
filmComedy was dominated by the romcom at its most insufferable
Sport
Tour de France competitor Bartosz Huzarski’s legs have highlighted the gruelling nature of the race, after he posted a picture on Facebook showing extremely prominent veins stretching from his feet and all the way up his legs
Commonwealth Games
Life and Style
Elle Kaye demonstrates the art of taxidermy
food + drinkFood revolution taken a step further in new ‘edible taxidermy’ class
News
A rub on the tummy sprang Casey back to life
video
Sport
Halsall broke her personal best in the 50m butterfly
Commonwealth GamesEnglish swimmer is reborn after disastrous time at London 2012
Arts and Entertainment
O'Shaughnessy pictured at the Unicorn Theatre in London
tvFiona O'Shaughnessy explains where she ends and her strange and wonderful character begins
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Life and Style
Workers in Seattle are paid 100 times as much as workers in Bangladesh
fashionSeattle company lets customers create their own clothes, then click 'buy' and wait for delivery
Arts and Entertainment
Red Bastard: Where self-realisation is delivered through monstrous clowning and audience interaction
comedy
Arts and Entertainment
booksForget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Voices
The Express offices in the 1930s when writers (such as Orwell) were paid around £2 weekly
voicesWebsites offering your ebooks for nothing is only the latest disrespect the modern writer is subjected to, says DJ Taylor
Life and Style
A cut above: Katy Guest at The Ginger Pig
food + drinkThe Ginger Pig's hands-on approach to primary cuts
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    C++ Software Engineer - Hounslow, West London - C++ - to £60K +

    £40000 - £60000 per annum + Pension, Healthcare : Deerfoot IT Resources Limite...

    VB.NET and C# developer (VB.NET,C#,ASP.NET)

    £30000 - £45000 per annum + Bonus+Benefits+Package: Harrington Starr: VB.NET a...

    Visitor Experience volunteer

    Unpaid voluntary role: Old Royal Naval College: To assist the Visitor Experien...

    Telesales Manager. Paddington, London

    £45-£55k OTE £75k : Charter Selection: Major London International Fashion and ...

    Day In a Page

    A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

    A new Russian revolution

    Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
    Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

    Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

    The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
    Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

    Standing my ground

    If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
    Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

    Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

    Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
    Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

    Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

    The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
    The man who dared to go on holiday

    The man who dared to go on holiday

    New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
    Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

    Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

    For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
    The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

    The Guest List 2014

    Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
    Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

    Jokes on Hollywood

    With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
    It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

    It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

    Voted for by the British public, the artworks on Art Everywhere posters may be the only place where they can be seen
    Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

    Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

    Blanche Marvin reveals how Tennessee Williams used her name and an off-the-cuff remark to create an iconic character
    Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

    Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

    Websites offering your ebooks for nothing is only the latest disrespect the modern writer is subjected to, says DJ Taylor
    Edinburgh Fringe 2014: The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee

    Edinburgh Fringe 2014

    The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee
    Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

    Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

    The woman stepping down as chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund is worried