Discreetly tucked down a narrow lane, The Melegran is a delightful 12-room boutique hotel in the old town of Rovinj, a hilltop fishing port on the west coast of Croatia's picturesque Istrian Peninsula.
Occupying an historic four-storey stone building, the hotel is the ideal base from which to experience the charms of this understated region, from wine and olive-oil tasting to truffle hunting, or simply swimming and sunbathing in one of the pretty coves of nearby Katarina Island.
There are 12 characterful rooms, each a different shape and size - some with their own kitchens - all with cheerful, modern interiors and amenities including Netflix, Marshall bluetooth speakers, Nespresso machines and Cowshed bathroom products. Fun Olivetti typewriters sit on desks that overlook the old town's cobblestone streets lined with wonky shuttered buildings and drying laundry. Air-conditioning, minibars, hairdryers, safes and Wi-Fi are included and, for those heading out for a swim, there's a towel-filled beach bag at hand. Plump for The Combo, in which two luxe rooms are connected by a private kitchenette on the hotel's light and airy top floor.
What's for breakfast?
The Melegran's breakfast offering is soon-to-come, but for now, the hotel provides the option for guests to dine at the nearby Hotel Adriatic, which serves an à la carte menu of the usual suspects including omelettes and pastries. For those booked in The Combo or The Studio, make use of the kitchens to whip up your own brunch.
How about lunch and dinner?
Some of Croatia's best seafood restaurants are right on your doorstep. After a day spent swimming and sunning yourself on the rocky beaches, head to the eateries that tumble from the coastline and tuck into fresh seafood dishes with a glass of wine. For night out, meander to Rovinj's newly developed marina and promenade, where there is an array of dining options backdropped by the sparkling Adriatic.
Is there a bar?
The hotel's hole-in-the-wall reception pulls double duty as a streetside bar, which serves beautifully concocted G&Ts, making it a great preprandial stop.
The Melegran might be small, but you won't fall short when it comes to convenience, comfort and experiences. Outside of the activities that highlight Istria's main draws - such as olive oil, wine and truffles - the hotel has a stash of bicycles, offered on a complimentary basis with direct bookings, while other experiences include jazz evenings and island hopping on speed boats.
Things you should know
While The Melegran's location in Rovinj's old town provides the best seclusion and culture, if you are going to make your way into the interior to experience truffle hunting or olive oil and wine tasting, then make sure to plan it on the same day, as most of these experiences are in the same direction, about an hour's drive from The Melegran. The old town does not allow cars past a certain point, but the hotel has its very own buggy that can come collect you (and your luggage) when you arrive.
Within a short walk, you can find…
A web of steep, cobblestone streets and small squares, punctuated by a tall church spire at its highest point, with views of the sparkling Adriatic Sea and beyond.