I Have Been To Croatia And I Loved It!, 7 Travel Bloggers Said

I Have Been To Croatia And I Loved It!, 7 Travel Bloggers Said

Croatia is a travel hit in the world! It was hard not to notice many articles being published around the blogs, renowned travel magazines suggesting locations one should visit in Croatia and a total hype being built around my beautiful home country. And now it is confirmed – the year 2016 was the best year for Croatian tourism

I wanted to start a year in that tone so I asked fellow travel bloggers about their experiences in Croatia. How can you get a better feedback than to ask a traveler directly about the places they visited, what they liked the most and what maybe was not that good? 

If you are deciding which places to visit in 2017 or planning your Croatian adventure, definitely continue reading!


Favorite Stop on the Mediterranean Cruise

The final (and my favorite) stop on a Royal Caribbean cruise around the Mediterranean four years ago was Split in Croatia.  From the moment I could see the shore from the ship, I found Split to be an incredibly beautiful city. Set among the 1700-year-old ruins of Diocletian’s Palace, Split was best viewed by climbing the Bell Tower of St. Domnius for a picturesque, 360° view of the city below. 

The historic narrow streets (fantastically pedestrian only) were busy and vibrant in the high season as I wandered them, perused markets and consumed coffee and gelato along the Riva. Croatia is underrated as a destination – gorgeous to visit with beautiful beaches and the value of the local currency (kuna) makes it economical to visit. One day was simply not enough and I will return.

 
I Have Been To Croatia And I Loved It!, 6 Travel Bloggers Said

Sarah in Split © Sarah Sees The World

I Have Been To Croatia And I Loved It!, 6 Travel Bloggers Said

Split from above © Sarah Sees The World

Croatian coast exceeded our expectations

Traveling up the Dalmatian coast in Croatia for ten days remains one of my finest travel memories. Even though I had high expectations prior to the trip, Croatia managed to exceed them. The stone walls and orange roof of Dubrovnik had wowed us; cycling around the Mljet National Park was an epic adventure, coupled with dips in the gorgeous lagoon.

Then we went onto the historic Split and sat under the Peristyle of a former Roman Emperor that lived thousands of years ago, sipping a cocktail and swaying to live music. We swam against the current of the Skradinski waterfall in the Krka National Park, grabbing each other in case one of us got wash away during our group photo. We took a boat trip to Hvar, admiring the stunning Adriatic Sea from the Spanish Fort. We braved the rain to Plitvice and was rewarded by the misty, out-of-this-world sceneries.

Last but not least, we visited Zadar, with its Roman Old Town blended with the modern seafront, watching as the sun set over the horizon and the Sun Salutation started glowing with the Sea Organ humming in the background. Our trip to Croatia had truly been a dream, one that I would never forget.

Nam from Laugh Travel Eat | Facebook | Pinterest 

I Have Been To Croatia And I Loved It!, 6 Travel Bloggers Said

Hvar © Laugh Travel Eat

I Have Been To Croatia And I Loved It!, 6 Travel Bloggers Said

Greeting to the sun in Zadar © Laugh Travel Eat

Active holidays in Paklenica National Park

My visit to Croatia involved traveling to the Paklenica National Park which is known for climbing and hiking.  The park is near Zadar and an easy place to get to via public bus. Within the park, you can easily stay in one of the comfortable mountain guesthouses where meals are included while you’re afforded with such lovely mountain views.

I hiked up the highest peak of the Velebit mountain range which took 11 hours.  The effort was worthwhile as I was spoiled by the spectacular mountain ranges.  While most tourists spend their time in the cities by the port, spending time in the mountains of Paklenica is definitely an authentic way get to know Croatia.  No need to do a tough hike like I did or rock climb as you can easily do a restful stay at the mountain guesthouses and enjoy nature without the crowd – a definite must do in Croatia.

Marinel from Brown Gal Trekker | Facebook | Twitter

I Have Been To Croatia And I Loved It!, 6 Travel Bloggers Said

NP Paklenica © Brown Gal Trekker

I Have Been To Croatia And I Loved It!, 6 Travel Bloggers Said

NP Paklenica © Brown Gal Trekker

A day trip to Elafiti Island from Dubrovnik

If you are staying in Dubrovnik there is one day trip I can highly recommend you take and that is to visit the Elafiti Islands. The Elafiti Islands are an archipelago of 13 large and small islands only 4 to 8 nautical miles west of Dubrovnik. We hired a boat and skipper for the day to take us on a sailing trip around the islands. We stopped at each of the 3 inhabited islands – Kolocep, Lopud, and Sipan.

We spent most of our time on Lopud which has a beautiful beach and a shallow bay to swim in. Get there by golf buggy as the bay is found on the opposite side of the island to the harbor and the path is rather steep. The golf buggy drivers are waiting to take you to the beach for a small charge. Once there we hired a sunbed and umbrella for a few hours.

Enjoy the views as you sail through the beautiful Adriatic waters. It is a beautiful trip and an unforgettable experience!

Tracy from Tracy Travels in TimeFacebook | Instagram

I Have Been To Croatia And I Loved It!, 6 Travel Bloggers Said

Elafiti Island © Tracy Travels in Time

I Have Been To Croatia And I Loved It!, 6 Travel Bloggers Said

Elafiti Island © Tracy Travels in Time

Fun on a Marco Polo’s Island

Marco! Polo!  Not just a fun game for the pool, but also a famous explorer!  Korcula Island is actually where he was born!  I took a ferry from Split for a week of scuba diving!  The diving was interesting, but the water wasn’t as clear like it was in the Caymans (Where I learned) or as much wildlife as the Great Barrier Reef, but I did see my first octopus! I’d say the most interesting part of the dives was a floating restaurant that had sunk! Of course, all I could think about were dinglehoppers like in The Little Mermaid.

The island was small and easily navigable.  You could rent scooters to go zipping around the island.  It was possible to get water taxis to take your across the Bay, or you could just walk it.  The land was basically a U-shaped bay, and the walk took maybe 20-30 minutes.  Along the way were fun little shops, restaurants, and even a little grocery store!  Hindsight, I might go down to just 3 or 4 days of diving and explore the island more, but it was a lovely time on a not well-known island.

Carly from Flight of the Educator | Facebook | Instagram

I Have Been To Croatia And I Loved It!, 6 Travel Bloggers Said

Korcula Island © Flight of the Educator

I Have Been To Croatia And I Loved It!, 6 Travel Bloggers Said

Korcula island © Flight of the Educator

Magical Plitvice Lakes

Ah, Croatia! I don’t know how to begin how much the country beguiled me. In all honesty, I’ve read tons of articles about Croatia and its growing popularity, and I was questioning if it is that beautiful in there. I gave it a try nevertheless, and I was in Zagreb at first, such an underrated city by the way, and I took a day trip to Plitvice Lakes National Park – just wow.

I was blown away at how beautiful the landscapes and nature of the country and as well how nice the locals are! Apart from these, Plitvice Lakes is like a dream, which I didn’t know I have, come true – the place is magical, and I was in awe of its beauty. No words can describe it! Also, have I not mentioned about Croatian food? No? Well, it is delish. I will surely come back that’s for sure, and it will be soon.

Evan Kristine from Pretty Wild World | Facebook | Instagram

I Have Been To Croatia And I Loved It!, 6 Travel Bloggers Said

Plitvice Lakes © Pretty Wild World

I Have Been To Croatia And I Loved It!, 6 Travel Bloggers Said

Plitvice Lakes © Pretty Wild World

Croatia is much more than sun and sea!

Croatia has long been in our hearts; it’s such a beautiful and diverse country. We’ve explored the coastline, traveled into Istria, discovered waterfalls in national parks and have sought out lesser-visited destinations in the interior. Our most recent trip took us to Zagreb, the capital city, and Osijek, a city in the eastern region of Slavonia.

It wasn’t our first trip to the thriving city of Zagreb, but it was our first time to the award-winning Advent in Zagreb celebration. The month-long festivities occupied squares and lanes all around the city. Holiday fare – sausages, fritules and piping hot mulled wine – were served from wooden huts and musicians and DJs took to the stages to provide a merry soundtrack.

When we weren’t perusing the Christmas markets, we were retracing our steps to some of the best sights of the city, like St. Mark’s Church, the Zagreb Cathedral, Maksimir Park, and the Dolac market. We were excited to see that the craft beer scene, which just started taking off in Croatia a few years ago, was alive and well. We sampled local brews at newly opened establishments and visited a few of our long-favorite spots.

I Have Been To Croatia And I Loved It!, 6 Travel Bloggers Said

Advent in Zagreb © Jetsetting Fools

I Have Been To Croatia And I Loved It!, 6 Travel Bloggers Said

Kopacki Rit © Jetsetting Fools

Unlike Zagreb, it was our first time visiting the city of Osijek and the Slavonia region. Located near the borders of Hungary and Serbia, Osijek is the 4th largest city in Croatia but sees fewer visitors than the cities on the coast. The reason for our wintertime visit was to attend the Osijek Advent festival. The event in Osijek felt more intimate than in Zagreb, like a small-town affair. There were nightly musical performances, plenty of mulled wine and wood burning stoves to keep attendees warm on the crisp nights.

During the day, we spent time sightseeing and biking through the city and then went further afield to discover the surrounding area. We got a good dose of nature in the swamplands of Kopacki Rit, tasted locally produced wine from the wineries in the village of Zmajevac and experienced rural life on a farm in the small town of Bilje. The scenery was stunning, but the real highlight for us was the local cuisine – and we ate our fair share of it! The hearty meals were rich in flavors – and traditions. Among our favorites were River Fish Stew, Goulash, locally raised cured meats and cheeses and farm-fresh roasted turkey and pork.

We look forward to a return trip to the Slavonia region to see the beautiful landscapes in another season!

Sarah from Jetsetting Fools | Facebook | Instagram

 Have YOU been to Croatia? Which place was your favorite?

 

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8 Travel Bloggers Share Their Most Memorable Hotel Experience

8 Travel Bloggers Share Their Most Memorable Hotel Experience

Falling in love with a hotel is a common thing among travelers. However, some hotels are more special than other ones. Some hotels become and remain our first love or our biggest love. The level of service, luxurious amenities, comfortable and spacious rooms, amazing pools as well as thousands little details determine how our hotel experience is going to be.

I asked Jaime and seven dear travel bloggers to share their most memorable hotel experience, anywhere in the world. Here is what they said.

Las Brisas Resort in Acapulco, Mexico

Jaime’s favorite hotel where we stayed together is definitely Las Brisas Resort in Acapulco. He is a huge beach lover so staying in a beach resort was a dream for him. A little bit out of the city, on the slopes of the hill and with the romantic views of the bay, Las Brisas offers you peaceful and private environment. Your private buggy is just a call away to take you to the private beach club. Beach chairs, a pool bar, and fancy restaurant is all you need every now and then.

Our casita (little house) had a private terrace with views to the entire Acapulco bay and a shared pool. However, the neighboring casita was empty so the pool was only ours. Everything was in white and beige tones, with few pink surprises, perfect for a romantic getaway. We spent the evening chilling on the terrace, enjoying the stunning views and comfy lounge chairs. Well, I did. Jaime was admiring the views directly from the pool. 

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Travel Bloggers Share Their Favorite Hotel Stay | Mexatia Las Brisas Acapulco Mexico

Travel Bloggers Share Their Favorite Hotel Stay | Mexatia Las Brisas Acapulco Mexico

Pangkor Laut Resort, Pangkor Laut Island in Malaysia

Picture this; a private island, over-water bungalows, turquoise seas, a kids-free pool area and a spa where for every treatment you take 45-minute bath house ritual. Pangkor Laut is the epitome of Malaysian luxury and hospitality.

I was lucky enough to visit with my husband for our first wedding anniversary and from the first moment everything was perfect. We enjoyed relaxing in sublime surroundings, being pampered in a couples spa session and the absolute highlight- a private sunset dining experience on a secluded beach. Bliss!

Jess from Expat Getaways | Facebook | Pinterest 

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Travel Bloggers Share Their Favorite Hotel Stay | Mexatia Pangkor Laut Malaysia

Photo credit: Jess @ Expat Getaways

Travel Bloggers Share Their Favorite Hotel Stay | Mexatia Pangkor Laut Malaysia

Photo credit: Jess @ Expat Getaways

IBEROSTAR Paraiso Maya in Playa del Carmen, Mexico

I am very fortunate as I have been able to travel across the US and stay in many luxury hotels and resorts. One of my absolute favorites is IBEROSTAR Paraiso Maya in Playa del Carmen. Not only are the rooms spacious and relaxing, the property is spread out so you never feel cramped.

What really sets this resort apart, and one of the key points I think in determining if a hotel is considered “luxury,” is the level of service. Everyone is friendly and will go out of their way to say hello and make you feel like you are home away from home.

Amber from A Resort Rendezvous | Facebook | Instagram

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Travel Bloggers Share Their Favorite Hotel Stay | Mexatia Iberostar Paraiso Maya Playa del Carmen Mexico

Photo credit: Amber @ A Resort Rendezvous

Travel Bloggers Share Their Favorite Hotel Stay | Mexatia Iberostar Paraiso Maya Playa del Carmen Mexico

Photo credit: Amber @ A Resort Rendezvous

Mume Boutique Hotel in Kyoto, Japan

Voted as one of the most luxurious and best service hotels in Japan, hotel Mume located in Kyoto is a hidden gem. From the second you enter this romantic boutique inn the staff absolutely pampers you. Trained with the mindset of European maids/butlers, blended with traditional Japanese ryokan characteristics, Mume’s crowning jewel is their customer service.

In the evenings prior to leaving the hotel, the staff was sure to ask us where we were going or if we needed any suggestions on places to eat or visit. In addition, they would also make reservations and arrange transportation which allowed us to spend less time planning and more time enjoying ourselves. Another greatly appreciated effort made by the staff during out stay was when they printed a map with directions to the desired destination and provided a picture of what it looked like (extremely helpful when you are not fluent in Japanese).

Hotel Mume also offers a complimentary happy hour with wine, spirits, beer, and soft drinks as well as snacks every afternoon. In the morning you can enjoy a delicious complimentary breakfast. Mume is a memorable, cherished hotel to be experienced by all.

Logan & Kallsy from Pages of Travel | Facebook | Instagram

Travel Bloggers Share Their Favorite Hotel Stay | Mexatia Mume Boutique Hotel in Kyoto, Japan

Photo credit: Logan & Kallsy @ Pages of Travel

Travel Bloggers Share Their Favorite Hotel Stay | Mexatia Mume Boutique Hotel in Kyoto, Japan

Photo credit: Logan & Kallsy @ Pages of Travel

Borgo Egnazia in Puglia, Italy

If you are looking for a refined luxury with an authentic atmosphere, if you are looking for a great service, a Mediterranean gourmet cuisine, wide spaces, nature, and culture, relax and wellbeing, …then you’ll find your place at Borgo Egnazia, a luxury hotel in the south of Italy.

Borgo Egnazia just won the prestigious Best Hotel of the year prize, being selected by Virtuoso between a range of wonderful hotels worldwide (including the brand new renovated Ritz Paris).  

The Spa is also superb Inspired by the ancient Roman baths, it’s completely based on natural products such as oil, salt, and almonds, in the most relaxing atmosphere you can imagine.

Read more: Borgo Egnazia, the Best Hotel in the World is in Italy

Paola from The Style Lovers | Facebook | Instagram

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Travel Bloggers Share Their Favorite Hotel Stay | Mexatia Borgo Egnazia Puglia Italy

Photo credit: Borgo Egnazia

Travel Bloggers Share Their Favorite Hotel Stay | Mexatia Borgo Egnazia Puglia Italy

Photo credit: Borgo Egnazia

Brunei Hotel in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei

During my time in Bandar Seri Begawan, the capital of Brunei, I stayed at the Brunei Hotel. It really was the first time I really appreciated a hotel and its comfort. It is not that easy to find a nice and affordable hotel in Brunei. Eventually, I got a good deal and booked the hotel.

The staff was really polite and so thoughtful. The room was warm and inviting, actually pretty cold thanks to the A/C. I especially loved the tidiness everywhere. Breakfast was extensive, including some homemade bread which, as a German, I missed after moving to Asia. From the breakfast room, you had a nice view of the bustling market nearby. I tried out the room service and it was excellent. I got fresh, high-quality food and, again, the staff was so friendly. The hotel has a really good location and you can reach everything by foot too.

Denise from Travel and Lipsticks | Facebook | Instagram

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Travel Bloggers Share Their Most Memorable Hotel Stay | Mexatia

Photo credit: Denise @ Travel and Lipsticks

Travel Bloggers Share Their Most Memorable Hotel Stay | Mexatia

Photo credit: Denise @ Travel and Lipsticks

Ocean Coral & Turquesa All Inclusive Resort in Riviera Maya

Ocean Coral & Turquesa all inclusive resort is a phenomenal hotel. In June of 2015, my husband and I celebrated our honeymoon in the Riviera Maya. The hotel is like an ocean oasis with paths leading to each amenity. Surrounded by three pools and extravagant plant life, it is hard to imagine being anywhere else. The rooms are beautiful with bright colors and complimentary tequila. On top of that, the staff is outstanding and willing to help you with whatever you may need.

Our favorite thing about this resort are the activities the resort provides for its guest. From water aerobics to theatrical productions, each day and night can be filled with excitement without evening having to leave the resort. Overall, this hotel has topped any other place we have stayed and we will totally be back! Now grab your swimsuit and passports and head to the Ocean Turquesa All Inclusive Resort!

Danielle from The Witty Wife | Facebook | Instagram

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Travel Bloggers Share Their Most Memorable Hotel Stay | Mexatia

Photo credit: Danielle @ The Witty Wife

Ani Villas on Koh Yao Noi Island, Thailand

Ani Villas on Koh Yao Noi in Thailand not only provides extraordinary service, but the personable staff becomes life family making Ani Villas feel like a home away from home. 

Four of the eight rooms at their Koh Yao Noi property have a pool INSIDE with sliding glass doors that give guests an indoor/outdoor effect while you’re taking a dip. Villas can provide an exclusive adults-only escape but also perfect for a family friendly adventure – there’s a waterslide on property! Additional on property offerings include an on-call masseuse, traditional cooking classes, an infinity pool, and private yoga.

Ani Villa’s also gives back. Within three miles of each of their four properties (Thailand, Sri Lanka, Dominican Republic and Anguilla), they’ve built local art academies where tuition is free to students accepted into the intensive program.

Kristen from Border Free Travels | Facebook | Instagram

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Travel Bloggers Share Their Most Memorable Hotel Stay | Mexatia

Photo credit: Kristen @ Border Free Travels

Travel Bloggers Share Their Most Memorable Hotel Stay | Mexatia

Photo credit: Kristen @ Border Free Travels

Gran Hotel Ciudad de Mexico in Mexico City, Mexico

I, personally, never enjoy a hotel as much as I enjoyed the Gran Hotel in Mexico City. From the very first moment, I knew spending our last night in Mexico there would be a great idea. From the check in, to the checkout, everything was perfect. Friendly staff, huge margaritas in the bar, luxurious rooms, and unbeatable views of Zocalo are just a few things to mention.

They spoiled us with a sparkling wine on a check in, personalized amenities in the room and the perfect combination of luxury, style, and comfort. The eye-catching, stunningly colorful roof makes this hotel even more special.

Ps. James Bond was here. 😉

Read more: Gran Hotel Ciudad de Mexico, gorgeous art deco hotel

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Gran Hotel Ciudad de Mexico, georgeous art deco hotel | Mexatia.com

Gran Hotel Ciudad de Mexico, georgeous art deco hotel | Mexatia.com

Tell us about your the most memorable hotel experience. Where did you enjoy the most and why?

 

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