Roam+Board :: Hotel Lone

[trip style = luxury + spa + foodie + sightseeing]

{Editor's Note :: Recently, Trip Styler's Fashion Friday contributor, Heather, visited Croatia. Here, she gushes about one of her favorite Croatian hotels.}

Croatia's first five-star design hotel rises from its lush forest setting like a gleaming white ocean liner. The minimalist, curvy waterfront hotel was conceived and crafted by Croatian creatives. Everything from architecture to art to furniture to light fixtures to uniforms are Croatian design. I was wowed from the moment I stepped inside, greeted by a two-story living wall and a 9-metre art installation.

While Hotel Lone is only a 15-minute walk from Rovinj {pronounced roh-VEEN}, one of Croatia's most picturesque hilltop towns, you may never want to leave the property. It boasts excellent restaurants {I highly recommend "L"}, a Croatian design store where you can find unique gifts for others or yourself, a wine shop, indoor and outdoor pools, full-service spa, Finnish-style baths, saunas and steam rooms. If you're not accustomed to European spas, take note: the saunas and steam rooms are co-ed and clothing optional {emphasis on the optional}.

Rooms are large, decorated with tasteful textiles and furniture in greys, greens and blues, and all have big balconies with ocean or park views. Sixteen rooms have their own balcony infinity pool. Forget never leaving the property; you may never want to leave your room! I confess that we spent one night in our room, wearing robes, eating room service and watching Italian television. Perfecto! Trip Styler approved!

The hotel is a short walk from the center of Rovinj on Croatia's Istrian peninsula. Rovinj is the country's most Italian city and only a three-hour ferry ride from Venice. If you're driving, it's 40 minutes from Pula or 3 hours from Zagreb.

A year-round destination popular with Italian, Slovenian and Croatian weekenders, Rovinj is hot -- both in temperature and busyness -- during the summer, but you can count on milder temperatures and smaller crowds in late spring and early fall. The hotel fills its 248 rooms with conference goers during low season. Foodies take note: October is white truffle season, with festivals and hunts celebrating the delicacy known for its aphrodisiac characteristics.

You consult the Design Hotels guide when selecting a place to stay. You appreciate a full-service resort that has everything you need, but doesn't feel like an all-inclusive mini city. You need a relaxing escape in the midst of your European vacation -- and you're not afraid of a nude spa.

Rates start around $150/night in low season for a premium double room {the same room will cost you up to $500/night during the summer}. Rates include full breakfast buffet, spa access, WiFi and free arrival-day minibar. Free street parking or paid valet. Note: single occupancy {vs. double occupancy} can save you up to $100/night.