Living the suite life: Dejan Lovren's new Hotel Joel
Though he's best known for his footballing skills, it turns out Dejan Lovren has a flair for design too. After co-creating a fashion label with buddy Lovro Krcar, the top-tier footballer announced his foray into the hotelier business, with a stylish new hotel on the island of Pag. It’s hard to feel sympathy for a Champions League player, but the life of a footballer must be a transient one. Travelling from city to city for games, for those in the uppermost echelons, success can also mean you're uprooted from the place you currently call home, transported to a different, bigger club, maybe in a new country, maybe with a different language. Dejan Lovren plays for the Croatian national football team, one of the heroes responsible for their recent success in the World Cup. His has been such a life. Having fled from war in his birthplace of Bosnia, and having moved from Germany to Croatia while still a child, a transient life is something that Dejan Lovren is perhaps more familiar with than most. Dejan Lovren has just built and opened a new luxury four-star hotel on the Croatian island of Pag. In doing so, it seems that the star defender, who currently plays for top Premier League side Liverpool, is ready to commit his long-term future to Croatia, no matter where his career or life may take him. When it comes to hotels, jet-set footballers know exactly what they want when travelling the world, far from the comforts of home. Joel is an exclusive hotel in Novalja on the island
Win a luxury four day break in Dubrovnik
We're offering you the chance to win a break in Dubrovnik with four nights in a superior double room at the Kazbek Hotel. This conversion of the Zamanje family villa (1573) is a five-star hotel of a dozen rooms, one suite, three restaurants and a beautiful outdoor pool with a bar beside it. A speedboat and yacht are on hand for guests' use. All you have to do to enter is like the Time Out Croatia Facebook page and share this post. The prize can be claimed at any point until June 26 2018, according to availability. RECOMMENDED: Dubrovnik in spring.
Design hotel on the Mrežnica River could breath new life into local tourism
Running through the heart of Karlovac County, the Mrežnica River stretches over 60km, flanked by bushy trees and 93 waterfalls. This undervisited destination will soon feature a fancy new boutique hotel, a cool ten-bedroomed building with a wooden and glass veneer. News of boutique hotel openings are increasingly commonplace in Croatia, but this site is interesting as its one of the first new developments away from Zagreb and the coast. Exclusive hotels like this could bolster Croatia's emerging river-based tourism industry in continental areas, offering swanky stays alongside adrenaline-pumped river rafting. Lotus Group Architecti Lotus Group Architecti Leading the renovation of the Old Mill hotel is Croatian architect Maja Bručić, CEO and founder of the company Lotus Architecti. Bručić and her team have tightroped the balance between tradition and swish contemporary aesthetics, using locally-sourced materials that compliment the original building. Within the wooden-clad stone walls, there are plans for a rooftop terrace, a pool, sauna and a spa. Lotus Group Architecti Lotus Group Architects The Old Mill is an easy five-minute drive away from the town Duga Resa and 20 minutes from Karlovac. RECOMMENDED: our pick of Croatia's best hotels.
Amazing castles in Croatia you can actually stay in
Ever wanted to stay in a castle without the cold floors and spooky noises in the night? How about playing king or queen for a weekend? In Croatia, there are some amazing castles you can actually stay in. Choose from forts, apartments from the 1700’s and gorgeous chateaus - some located near historical attractions like the Walls of Dubrovnik. We've rounded up the places where you can feel like lord and lady of the manor - until 10 am check-out, that is. RECOMMENDED: the best Croatia Airbnb stays.
The best Airbnb Croatia stays
Croatia Airbnb stays deliver incredible value for money, so why not go for somewhere with a wow factor? We've tracked down the coolest places on offer, from a 19th-century lighthouse to luxury beachside villas. Here are the most impressive Airbnb stays in Croatia. RECOMMENDED: more great hotels in Croatia
The most popular hotel destinations
The best Zagreb hotels
The problem with Zagreb hotels in the past was the dearth of venues between the bunk-bed and smoking-jacket ends of the spectrum. This is no longer the case, given attractive range of options available. As Zagreb continues to spread its wings as a destination in its own right – rather than a spot to lay over before the coast – hotel options continue to grow. Here are the best.
Recommended Dubrovnik hotels
It's hard to keep track of the ever-rising number of high-end Dubrovnik hotels, but the city also packs some impressive hostel and B&B options. As is common in Dalmatia, high-season prices are significantly higher than in spring or autumn, and some venues close at some point in the winter – though this policy is changing as Dubrovnik becomes a more year-round destination. Read on for your guide to the best hotels in Dubrovnik.
The best hotels in Rovinj
Rovinj’s tasteful but limited accommodation stock has been transformed by the maistra group, which has created gleaming, family-friendly resorts, turned whole islands into self-contained hotel complexes festooned with pools, spas and restaurants, and conceived two of the finest properties on the Med, one an architectural wonder. The lodgings in historic properties remain in place for those who wish a quiet stay amid the cobbled streets of the Old Town. RECOMMENDED: amazing things to do in Rovinj.
Zadar hotel guide
The Zadar hotel and accommodation situation in is improving in leaps and bounds, with the recent arrival of a brace of four-star hotels in the centre – the Art Hotel Kalelarga – plus the advent of designer backpacker digs in the shape of Boutique Hostel Forum. Elsewhere, the Villa Hrešć is a commendable apartment hotel. It stands almost halfway out to Borik, the tourist centre five kilometres north-west of town at Puntamika, a simple ride from Zadar on the No.5 bus.
Luxury hotels in Zagreb
Sheraton Zagreb Hotel
A true five-star on any scale, the Sheraton has 306 rooms, all with marble bathrooms, well lit and expansive living spaces, handsome wooden nightstands and desks, and high-speed internet connections. All in all, like a polished version of home – with turndown service. The lobby flows from the café bar across to the restaurant under cascading glass chandeliers and leather armchairs. There are 17 conferences rooms, a fitness facility, spa and indoor pool. When you factor in the location, service and level of pampering, it really is quite good value for money. Make sure you ask about weekend specials when prices can drop down.
Something of an urban landmark ever since it first opened in the 1970s under the Intercontinental banner, this cool five-star slab has frequently been the top choice for high-end Zagreb visitors: the Stones, Sophia Loren and Nick Cave have all graced its halls. In 2005, a €10-million renovation gave the hotel its contemporary feel and current 378-room, 13 conference-room look. The rooms come equipped with fog-proof mirrors and marble-effect bathrooms. The north-facing units have grand views of the Old Town and Sljeme Mountain. The hotel's 'Heavenly Bed' philosophy prioritises a good night's sleep with deluxe mattresses and pillows and high thread counts. The sparkling, jet-set-worthy fitness and beauty centre contains Turkish and Finnish saunas, cutting-edge Nautilus equipment, and massage treatments alongside pedicures, manicures and facials. The 17-metre pool is surrounded by tasteful wooden lounge chairs and black stones, bathed in an ethereal blue light.
DoubleTree by Hilton
Rising serenely above Radnička cesta, Zagreb's developing commercial and financial district, the sleek bronze block of the DoubleTree was the major hotel opening of 2011 and brings a new dimension of contemporary design and comfort to Zagreb's upper-bracket accommodation. All rooms feature a svelte mixture of charcoal, chocolate and ochre surfaces and fabrics; big windows provide both plenty of light and a a sense of outside bustle. Desks and luggage space are well provided for, even in the smaller 'standard' doubles. Wifi, and media hubs that allow you to play your gadgets through the hotel TVs and speakers, are standard throughout. Importantly, every room has a bathtub. Another major plus is the top-floor gym and spa centre, with a small pool on one level and a large exercise area just above it, big wall-to-ceiling windows offering breathtaking panoramas of the city as you pedal way or pump iron. Down on the ground floor, the the hotel bar and the Oxbo restaurant share a relaxing open-plan social space.
Panorama Hotel Zagreb
The phrase you hear thrown around with regard to this property is 'a good bang for the buck'. The re-named Panorama Hotel Zagreb is located next to the Dom Športova arena on the western edge of the city centre – five stops on the No.9 tram from the train station – and thus a favourite for those travelling to Zagreb for sporting events and various mid-sized-venue concerts. The 279 straightforward and ample-sized rooms are internet-ready and equipped with everything you would expect: tea- and coffee-maker, safe and satellite TV. The part you might not expect – how helpful and nice the staff are. Sweeping views from the upper storeys live up to the hotel's name.
Best hotels in Dubrovnik
Valamar Lacroma Dubrovnik
For once the slogan is right: this is indulgence on a grand scale. Here in lush Babin kuk is a state-of-the-art hotel with the Ragusa spa and its dizzying array of treatments (free with a minimum fournight stay), pools indoor and out (and separate kids' pool), fine dining Langosto luxury restaurant, cocktails in four bars – plus, of course, the guest rooms, 385 in all, plus 16 suites. There are also any number of conference facilities.