9 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
Spend a week in the Laguna Bellevue Apartments, and i wish i had read more about the area. The nearest town is Porec, small but nice.To get to Porec you can walk 25minutes, get a waterbus, or the little train which is in fact a tractor. The water bus and train cost 15kunas per person per trip. We walked several times and we got the waterbuses as well, good fun. Watertaxi is more expensive.
We rented a car for a day to explore inland, went to Venice on an excursion, went to Pula by bus and rovinj etc.
The beaches are very rocky, no sand to be seen.
The water is very clean and a very reasonable temperature. We had to buy watershoes otherwise you will hurt your feet. they cost about 55kunas in the local shop or 50 in Porec. If you want to sunbath you have to buy a padded cushion.
Our Studio was on the small side, the kitcken area was so small that we decided not to bother with cooking. Anyway if you are staying just for a week, and you have to buy the ingredients from the local shop you will not save a lot since food in the local shop is expensive, and there is not a lot of choice. We had breakfast at home every day but that was about it.
the was a microwave but no kettle or toster. there are pans, plates and the the rest. I always carry tea bags with me when i go on holiday and i am glad i did because there were none. no milk either.
air con works well.
Our Studio had not been aired for ages. We could not bear the smell of the cupboards so we kept them closed for as long as possible. We kept our clothes in the suitcase. There is a safe to keep your valuables which you paid 15kunas per day.
The cleaner brought us plently of nice towels and a chance for our bed on wed. She didn't changed the bed.
The floor was cleaned once only... there were aunts in the balcony and in the cooking area but i think the cleaner did not notice them.
the balcony is nice but forget see views. ground studios only get to see pleople walking around, very little privacy. the appartments are on a steep hill so if you have choice choose one that is not on the ground floor.
Staff in the reception was very helpful.
The food in the local restaurant was ok. staff in there were helpul.
overall if you can overcome the minus points the place it's ok. I think it's cheaper to stay in a hotel but my boyfriend didn't want to.
myself next year i will go back to Portugal. for me nothing beats a sandy beach and the food is much much better.
have a good time."
- Travel date: Fri 17th of August 2007
"i have just arrived home from laguna bellvue and it had some problems. We stayed in room 88 and you got your beds changed every 4 days but you have to make the beds up yourself and you didn't get towels on saturday. Behind the curtain was a wasps nest which put me off and the room had a bad smell. Around the pool area was quite dirty as they only wash it in winter. Beside the pool is an excellent service reastraunt with good food. I don't think ill be back"
- Travel date: Sun 22nd of July 2007
Room, bed & balcony - all in double!
"We stayed for a week at Laguna Bellevue, booked a 1 bedroom apartment with half board at the Hotel Mediteran (for 2 adults). The apartment was located on the 2nd floor, well equipped and surprisingly had two balconies, both with partial views to the laguna. Definately better choice than staying in a ground floor studio!
Because the apartments are located on a hill, walking up and down the long stairs several times a day is mandatory. The reception, bistros, pools, beach, mini-markets and also the waterbus & mini-train stops are all located either on the top or the bottom of the hill. Also, the Hotel Mediteran, where the buffet breakfast & dinner (70-90â¬/week/person incl. drinks) is served, is on the opposite side of the hill.
We learned that this week was the last of the season in Bellevue, which made the place very peaceful and quiet indeed. The downfall of that is that at the end of the season some services like waterbus and restaurants may suddenly close with no prior warning."
- Travel date: Sat 7th of October 2006
Bring your Kuna! (Cash)
"Just returned today from this massive resort, these apartments are 4star and part of a whole range of hotels and accomodation in and around the southern edges of Porec.-consisting of a series of rocky coves and headlands, lots of pine and oak trees everywhere. They are all run by the same company, but our experience has shown that they seem to strive to be separate - not a hint of lateral thinking from the parent company here!
We are a family of five, kids are teenagers, and the best bit was the great snorkelling and sea swimming. We had a day in Porec, a faded quaint sort of place with a lot of little shops trying to get your attention. Nice boats moored. Shoes were good choice and reasonable, however looking at shoes and clothes for 3 seconds and they'll be onto you in no time, "What size please?" You must see the rivalry of two ice cream vendors chucking balls of ice cream up and down in the air, unfortunately they are opposite each other!
Booking was difficult as prev. mentioned, when the confirmation email arrived they wanted a bank draft of 100EURo into their bank in Rijeka, to cost me Â£35 with my bank! No Thanks! But put this in an email to the head office who accepted the booking without deposit. If you go with an tour operator this won't be a problem of course. They will accept visa as final departure payment, but couldn't accept over the phone beforehand or any other way, which in this day and age is very surprising. The whole area seems very popular with Germans, Italians, their dogs, and to a lesser extent English, Dutch, Hungarian. Staff have just enough English to help you, they are better at German.
The apartment, like most of the others is at the top of a hill. Ours was meant for 6, 2 x twin, ( one ensuite) and using the sofa. We were lucky to have a very spacoius double balcony with very solid wooden furniture, and air con. The beds are very comfortable and the linen, bedding, towels etc white and pristine. They left a small tray of cakes as a welcome gift, and two bottles of water in the fridge. You are given a kitchen with coffee maker and microwave, 4 ring hob, 2 clean tea towels and ample ( very clean ) crockery, cutlery, tools and pans -minus side was minimal preparation space, in fact worktop space was exactly a tray size.Therefore take the tray outside and use it elsewhere if you plan to feed the family. If you like ground coffe bring your own blend,as the Croatian coffee is foul, or drink "Illy" out. We took the half-board option at the Hotel Mediteran, so I did little cooking. Clean towels arrived every day with a roll of loo paper!
Each hotel, village complex has it's own small shop, and sports kiosk. We brought our own tennis and table tennis equipment, and a basketball. Courts are clay, and tennis tables are concrete and outdoors. They will charge you to use them unlike in Slovenia, we found activities were included.They are tennis crazy it seems as there are many courts, mostly in Zelena Laguna ( 16!) two of us did the tennis coaching which cost 350 Kuna (Â£35, 250 for the coach, 50 for the court, 50 for the raquets and balls which were better than ours! Now when the kids wanted an hour on a court , or concrete table tennis...it cost 50 Kuna (Â£5) YOu'd think they'd not charge for a spot of basketball on a concrete court with your own ball, but it's show us your cash. again. We would have liked to use these facilities and charge to our room. Beauty and hairdresser, cash only, shop cash only. There is one cash machine in Plava Laguna, and two at Zelena Laguna where we were NOT staying. Ther "tourist train" as it is known, does the rounds of all the hotels and heads off into Porec center as it's circuit. One day we ran out of money, as is easy to do,and the cash machine had died for the whole day. No one knew when it would come to life again. So had to walk it to Zelena ( 1 hour round trip) as the train is Â£5 for all of us, for one stop, one way . (Children -50% under 10yrs) Round trip to Porec from Zelena Laguna for 5 adults is Â£20 or 200 Kuna. Please note Visa is NOT widely accepted in this part of the world, neither can do conveniently charge a round of drinks taken in the hotel to your bill, or even use the very nice pizza restaurant opposite reception, and charge a lunch to your bill. So again bring in the cash!
A note about the environment: In these apts. lots of steep steps to keep you fit, no sandy beaches, but the Croatians have "tamed" the shoreline with crazy paving, the concrete platforms are fine for getting in but bring swim shoes especially if you have children, it's all sharp pebbles and the odd sharp boulder. The water is wonderful though, and great when you are in, clear clean etc. You will need more than a towel to get horizontal and comfortable, sunbeds are Â£2/day which is ok, everyone seems to have bought padded mats at the shop for Â£5 - Â£7.50, (and you could see them bringing them home as hand luggage at the airport! added bulk or leave them behind) There is the odd crab, but we saw a cuttle fish posing as a rock ( they sting) and my husband brought it way out from the beach. There are ample playgrounds and sand pits for the young and they are free! A bonus to see are the red and red/black squirrels, scampering lizards, jays, if you like wildlife and birds, you will enjoy Plava Laguna. However, I was met last night by a thin black snake at the front door of our apartment, which I didn't appreciate and don't know if it would have bitten or was dangerous, it was over 2ft and it curled up zig-zag style when I approached. Would it have jumped at me? Dunno, but I soon made a noise much to the amusement of the family, and it slithered off.
As I said we did half board at the Mediteran and will write a different review for this as eating there is quite an experience!"
- Travel date: Wed 30th of August 2006
Fantastic apartments for active people
"Apartment was spacious, clean with a good sized kitchenette, terrace and bathroom.
Clay tennis 2 minutes walk away at Â£5/hour, swimming pool large and clean but got busy from 9am onwards.
We enjoyed the 20 minute walk along the coast to Porec every evening for dinner, and found a fabulous cocktail bar (Colonia) conveniently situated half way between the town and the apartments.
Porec is rather overun with German and Italian tourists, and we avoided the direct centre for eating out. I strongly recommend the Sofora (sea front), the restaurant in the 6th C tower, Ulixes and Paradiso (both just off the central square)
The basilica (and museum attached) in Porec is beautiful. Also recommend the aquarium and a glass bottomed boat trip.
We used buses (reliable about 80% of the time!) to travel to Pazin, Rovinj and Pula. Baredine caves also definitley should not be missed. Trip to Venice and Brijuni also highly recommended.
Have a wonderful time!"
- Travel date: Mon 24th of July 2006
something for everyone
"Just returned from an absolutely brilliant holiday and as my title suggests there IS something for everyne from the sporty and lively to the relaxing and lazing types. Everywhere is spotlessly clean and everyone is so friendly regardless of nationality. Restuarents applenty with wide and varied menus, basically something for everyone. Lots of interesting places to tour arround Istra and so much to see. Would definatley recomend a holiday here especially for families with early to mid teenage family. We found the local prices to be very similar to the UK but the service levels far exceed home. Special mention must go to bistro antonio for the superb meals and service throughout our holiday. Could go on and on but it might look like i am an employee of plava laguna. Please try as you will not be disapointed."
- Travel date: Wed 19th of July 2006
Centreparcs Croatian Style
"Apartments are located on a hillside with sea surrounding 3 sides and dotted amongst the numerous trees. Great setting & spotlessley clean everywhere you go.
Easy access to the ferry boat & tourist train that both go to Porec town 15 mins away or Zelena Laguna. 3 resturants on or near the complex plus numerous others in Porec itself.
Good sized swimming pool.
Reception staff very helpful
Apartments - comfortable with functional kitchen (no kettle or toaster though). Satellite TV (only CNN english speaking). Towels changed daily & fresh bed linen if you want it. One air conditioning unit which did the job.
Sports - Every water sport you can think of is available plus tennis, table tennis, basket ball, beach volleyball, cycles to hire. There really isn't much you can't do & if you simply want to sit in the sun there are the man made subbathing areas by the sea or on the grass overlooking the sea.
Weather - high 80's every day
Security - totally safe with security staff patrollong the resort even in the daytime.
Nightlife - a bit limited in that it is not very lively. Great sunsets though !
In summary - a bit like Centreparcs but better value !"
- Travel date: Tue 27th of June 2006
"Just to confirm every thing the previous entries say.
Went with our children, and they had a great holiday, and it is probably the first holiday (and we've had many), that we could actually relax and have a normal family holiday all in one (we usually come away from our family holidays needing a holiday!).
Truely a place to stay for absolutely anyone, any age, young couples, old couples, families, or groups.
What ever you are looking in a holiday, you will find it here, it ticks all boxes for all types.
we always check trip advisor before we go anywhere, and it certainly got it 100% spot on for us this time.
Book directly with them, and your flights seperately if you can, the accomodation is such good value, when of the cheapest we've had, and also one of the best value.
Definately going back in the spring."
- Travel date: Mon 16th of January 2006
A real find
"We booked this apartment independantly using the plavalaguna website after seeing a review on Tripadvisor. It took three e-mails, three telephone calls and finally a fax, to make the booking but it was worth the persistence. The site is beautifully placed amongst the fir and oak trees along a rocky coastline. The apartments are on a steep slope and it would be difficult for anyone of limited mobility, ( there is a roadway as well as steps, but if you go down to the beach, you have to come back up!) It is a very pleasant stroll through the woods along the coast to Porec - a lovely little town- or you can get the land train or water bus.
Our apartment was near the top of the site , handy for the little shop, pool or restaurant which provided good meals. The aprmt. was well equipped should you wish to self cater and there were fresh towels supplied daily.
We loved the site, it was quiet when we were there in late Sept. and was absolutely spotless and beautifully maintained. We paid a most reasonable rate by booking direct which was excellent value for money. Five days was not enough time, we would have like more time to explore further, maybe another year..."
- Travel date: Thu 29th of September 2005