When you think of a relaxing, luxury stay on the Mediterranean, you probably imagine a beach front resort in France or Italy, or perhaps Spain or Greece – beautiful countries which have long been popular with tourists. But there are plenty of awe-inspiring hotels in the less traveled northeastern Mediterranean countries. One of our favorite regions is Istria, with plenty of natural beauty and historic character, but with far fewer tourists, and where you can find big savings on a dream stay.
For many people, the Mediterranean might as well stop on the west coast of Italy, but smart travelers who want to avoid the crowds know to venture a little farther east – not only for the unmissable Greek Islands, but for unparalleled luxury stays in beautiful Adriatic countries like Croatia and Slovenia. One hotelier who has been catering to such travelers for more than 100 years is Kempinski, with unique 5-star hotels and resorts dotted around Europe, including two absolute gems in Croatia and Slovenia.
In the center of the charming seaside village of Portorož, Slovenia you’ll find Kempinski Palace Portorož – the finest hotel in town, with great views and top class service and suites. The Venice Suite is a great balance of taste and value, with all the essentials, including a balcony with sea view and separate living and sleeping areas. But the real jewel is the 2476 ft2 (230 m2) Presidential Suite, a beautifully decorated, spacious suite with your own kitchenette, which sleeps up to 4 adults and 2 children. Suites start around $600 USD per night, a good value for the quality of service and excellent location. The Presidential Suite starts at a substantially higher price, but if it’s in your budget – you won’t regret it; check out the Kempinski booking page for more information. During your stay in Portorož, be sure to set aside at least one day for a trip north to Piran – one of the most amazing historic coastal villages in Istria.
Just a short jaunt southwest (30 minutes by car) to the other side of the bay, you’ll cross the border between Slovenia and Croatia, and find another wonderful 5-star Kempinski property – the Kempinski Hotel Adriatic in Savudrija, Croatia. This immaculate beach-front resort offers a spa, tennis courts, an excellent golf course, and of course a wide range of suites with balconies and your choice of sea, park, or golf course view. For the ultimate Adriatic stay, check out the Presidential Suites – one decorated in dark tones, and the other in light tones – each offering more than 8,500 ft2 (800 m2) of impeccable luxury, including fireplaces and huge terraces. Suites start around $400-500 USD per night, but take note, deal hunters – if you book early, you can save 30% on your stay!