When it comes to location, hospitality company Maistra could not have picked a prettier spot for its new flagship property, Grand Park Hotel. Set on the yacht-speckled coast of Croatia’s Istrian Peninsula, just across the bay from Rovinj’s charming old town with its jumble of red roof buildings, punctuated by the spire of St Euphemia church, the 209-room hotel is the latest addition to the group’s luxury collection and only strengthens its foothold in the region.
Local firm 3LHD – who is also behind Maistra’s nearby Hotel Lone and Hotel Adriatic – has smartly created a cascading, terraced building – interspersed with pine, cedar, cypress and fir trees – that slots right into the sloped landscape, seamlessly merging with its forest surroundings. ‘When designing the hotel, the goal was to have all the facilities focused on that spectacular visa,’ say the 3LHD architects. ‘At the same time, to secure a suitable view of the hotel from Rovinj, we needed to incorporate the hotel’s volume into the existing forest.’
Inside, floor-to-ceiling windows shed an abundance of light on lofty spaces that have been layered by Italian architect and designer, Piero Lissoni, in muted tones and a clean palette of natural stones and timber and dressed for their close-ups with standout pieces like the Audrey Chair for Kartell, Living Divani’s Lipp sofa – that takes pride of place in the Laurel and Berry restaurant – or the soaring steel shelving for Stilles.
Aimed at both private travellers and corporate bigwigs, the resort draws guests into the public spaces, not least its six drinking and dining venues, including the fifth-floor lobby bar with its spectacular sunset terrace, which features the largest champagne selection in Croatia, and the signature restaurant, Cap Aureo, which serves up dishes like the cauliflower with goats cheese and truffles against sparkling marina views.
Set on the newly constructed Lungo Mare Plaza, the city centre is a short stride away, but with a sprawling 3,800 sq m spa, extending over two floors to include two outdoor pools – an extension of the indoor pool – a sauna, two steam rooms, a cold plunge pool and series of treatment rooms, there really is no reason to leave. Make sure to sample the Olive Oil Press Ceremony, which includes a massage that uses pure extra virgin olive oil, and is inspired by the historic olive oil presses at the heart of every Istrian town. Also, as it happens, the perfect remedy for tired muscles after a hike around the scenic Zlatni rt forest park.