If you're taking your time on a trip through Croatia, you'll want to head to the Istrian peninsula. Its food, wine, and culture make it the ideal stop for hilltop towns and long, leisurely dinners, especially in the fishing port of Rovinj. Wander its labyrinth of cobblestone streets and Venetian-influenced architecture before you retire to one of these elegant hotels.

If you want to stay within the town center, you can choose between a contemporary art-inspired stay or cozy boutique. Venture further out toward the Punta Corrente Forest Park (also known as Zlatni Rt) for larger, luxurious options.

Hotel Adriatic

Photo courtesy of Hotel Adriatic

The Hotel Adriatic sits right in the center of Rovinj's pedestrian zone, with history, convenient restaurants, and shops just outside your door. Its recent renovation brings together everyday life in Istria alongside contemporary art created exclusively for the hotel. When it's time to explore, the beach, port, and attractions of the Main Square are just steps away.

Take in the view of either St. Katarina Island or the rooftops of the Main Square from one of its boutique rooms. Enjoy one of the largest selections of whiskey in Croatia at the Caffe Bar Adriatic or settle in for a meal of modern French and Croatian cuisine at Brasserie Adriatic.

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The Melegran

Photo courtesy of Hotel Melegran

Another option in the center of town, this award-winning boutique hotel has charm to spare. The intimate accommodation has just two rooms per floor, ranging from cozy bedrooms with colorful accents to the spacious Luxe Suite with its sea-view terrace.

"Melegran" means "pomegranate" in the Istrian dialect and is the symbol of Rovinj, echoing the owners' love for the city and shared cultural stories. Each room even has its own typewriter for you to contribute a story of your own. The local staff are happy to set visitors up with wine tours, wellness excursions, and recommendations for the best food and drink in town.

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Hotel Monte Mulini

Photo courtesy of Hotel Monte Mulini

Take in the sea views extending from every angle at Hotel Monte Mulini, one of the area's most high-end hotels. It's a bit outside the center of town, but still close enough for an afternoon stroll and far enough to feel outside of the bustle at a 15-minute walk away. In the other direction away from town is the Punta Corrente (Zlatni Rt) Forest Park, ideal for hiking and biking.

Between the three restaurants, including the Wine Vault that was named one of the best in Croatia, and the three bars, including the Gin Library and a swim-up pool bar, you may not ever want to leave the property. You'll also find a private beach where you can participate in stand-up paddleboard yoga, a spa with saunas, and bicycles to borrow for when you want to explore.

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Hotel Lone

Photo courtesy of Hotel Lone

If you want the feel of a large luxury hotel, the Hotel Lone is for you. From its large sweeping cruise-ship-like exterior to the wireframe sculptures hanging from the ceiling, the design was inspired by contemporary art museums to encourage exploration. There are 248 impressive rooms on the property, including 16 with private plunge pools, and all have balconies with views of either the ocean or neighboring forest park.

It sits about a 15-minute walk from the center of Rovinj, but there's plenty to keep you entertained on the premises. Multi-level sun decks surround the outdoor pool, and if you're feeling peckish, try the in-house Japanese restaurant or the rotating specialties at the balcony Lobby Bar. Mulini Beach is also just a short walk away, where you'll find sun loungers, SUP and kayak rentals, and even a cocktail bar. If you're lucky, you may even catch a performance in the nightclub or at the poolside stage.

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