Downtown Pula has a handful of mostly rather modest hotels. The classy options are all 5km south of town in Verudela, which is accessible by bus Nos.2A and 3A, or with a 60kn taxi ride. Here the four-star Park Plaza Histria Pula, three-star Palma and a clutch of other resort hotels are run by local tourism concern Arenaturist For a more intimate stay, boutique B&B Valsabbion lies across the bay in Pješčana Uvala.
One of the best things to have happened to the central Pula accommodation scene in quite some time, the Amfiteatar offers smart, thoughtfully designed rooms in an informal pension-style environment. Only metres away from the Colosseum-like structure that it is named after, both the hotel and its highly regarded ground-floor restaurant succeed in delivering high levels of style and quality for a democratic price. Rooms are reasonably spacious and are decked out in slick but soothing shades of grey, green and yellow; bathrooms are modern and in most cases have full-sized tubs as well as showers. Flat-screen TVs and loungey furnishings strike a contemporary note, and wifi or cable internet comes free of charge.
This family-run upmarket B&B contains ten immaculately conceived rooms, half of which have sea-view balconies, all are equipped with fine taste. Of the rooms, six are doubles, with the remaining four providing suites of varying levels of space and refinement. The buffet breakfast is outstanding, although check to make sure the price is included in the rates when you’re staying as this changes during the year. There’s also a panoramic pool, fitness facilities and various beauty treatments.
Classic old Habsburg hotel whose grand façade and marble lobby belie the fact that its 65 rooms are in desperate need of renovation. The hotel is run by the Arenaturist hotel group but the building itself is owned by the Croatian Defence Ministry, neither of whom can decide on refurbishments – for the time being, the Riviera remains a charmingly down-at-heel blast from the past. It’s a handy base if you’re just in by train – the station is close – and want to see the amphitheatre and a few sights around town.
Handy cheapie in the centre of town, this is a Socialist-style guesthouse with old furnishings and light fittings, and a wonderfully weird breakfast room decked out with art and an aquarium. Nineteen quiet rooms and a pizzeria downstairs. Round the corner is the ten-room, three-star Galija (Epulanova 3, 052 383 802, www.hotelgalija.hr, €100).
Thoroughly renovated in 2010-11, the hotel features double rooms with sea-facing views in the main building, and self-catering apartments arranged nearby. Facilities include a circular outdoor pool, a heated indoor one – both with seawater – a sauna, gym and disco. Some 20 tennis courts and other sports pitches are nearby. It also has a casino and conference centre.