LeMeridien Lav Split Croatia

Discussion in 'Starwood | Preferred Guest' started by TRAVELSIG, May 2, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. TRAVELSIG
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    TRAVELSIG Gold Member

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    On the weekend I stayed at the LeMeridien Split for a short break (3 days). My report is as follows:

    1) The hotel had very good pricing for this time of year- 160 EUR for two including breakfast and tax per night- (a long weekend for much of Europe), and I was working in Zagreb I decided the drive wouldn't be too bad- 400 kms and more or less 4 hours from the centre of Zagreb to the resort. I have wanted to test out this hotel for a couple of years.

    2) Checkin was very pleasant and the woman did a good job of recognizing SPG status, explaining the hotel, and giving us a nice (however tiny) room. One point here- be sure to book a seaview room (I did)- overlooking a parking lot here is very sad given the view is one of the strongest points of this hotel.

    3) The hotel was very full due to the long weekend and also a boat show at the marina which is attached to the hotel. We did get a room overlooking the marina however which was beautiful and had a nice small terrace with a table and chairs.

    4) The swimming pool is great- there are two actually- one indoor and one outdoor. The outdoor one is quite cold at this time of the year as it is unheated- however it is nice for a refreshing dip. The beach is also directly in front of the hotel- be aware that it is a gravel beach, not sand, so not exactly perfect although the water is beautiful and perfectly clean for swimming.

    5) Service at the swimming pool is very polite, if a little bit laid back- you will need to go and ask for things- there were only 2 people working when we were there which was not really enough- they were running all day. It is OK- however as the resort bills itself as an International 5 Star- this needs to be improved.

    6) Buffet breakfast is excellent- there is seating both indoors and outdoors- we sat on the terrace every morning and it was wonderful. Service here is also very laid back- too laid back- however the view compensates for this.

    7) Lunch was OK- the menu was international and the food was good- not great, but good.

    8) Dinner- there is a restaurant not operated by the hotel below in front of the marina- it is called Leoni- go there- it is one of the best fish restaurants I have been to on the Adriatic. Service also perfect. It is not cheap (Budget around 130 EUR for two) however the quality is stellar and the wine list very well thought out. This was a highlight and worth returning for alone. We ate there two nights consecutively. It is very busy so may be a good idea to book if you want to sit on the terrace (which is excellent).

    Thoughts on returning- at the 200 EUR price point this is definitely worth returning to- I understand in peak August rates can be 450-500 EUR at which point I would suggest staying somewhere else. Be sure to book a seaview room, and if you want space be sure to book a larger room- our room was 24 SQM which is tiny- it was fine for our stay- however I can see some people not appreciating this. The service needs to be improved at the pool by adding more staff and in the restaurant with training- these two points and the hotel will really hit the 5 Star level.
     
  2. rwoman
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    rwoman Gold Member

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    Thanks for sharing! Croatia is on my "visit" list! :)
     
  3. TRAVELSIG
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    TRAVELSIG Gold Member

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    As it should be- Croatia is really great- I have also spent some time on Hvar which is wonderful- and Dubrovnik warrants at least 3 days. Istria is worth at least a week. Even the capital Zagreb is shining as of recently and merits 1 or 2 days. Enjoy Croatia.
     
  4. TRAVELSIG
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    TRAVELSIG Gold Member

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    I am back at the hotel now. Happy to say if anything the service has improved over last year. Paid to upgrade to a seafront suite. Definitely great value and I would do this again if available. Breakfast one of the top Starwood buffet worldwide and absolutely better than 99% of offerings in Europe and North America. This hotel is worth a trip.
     
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  5. dhammer53
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    dhammer53 Gold Member

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    Any updates. We're headed to Split in the near future. I have Gold status.
     
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  6. jbcarioca
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    jbcarioca Gold Member

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    As an alternative for anybody who's prepared to forego SPG bennies, I have a personal favorite.
    http://www.vestibulpalace.com
    This hotel is located within Diocletian's palace, with the restaurant and breakfast served outside in the foyer. The hotel itself is quirky, as befits a place set in an ancient monument. I have stayed here twice and loved the atmosphere. of course I admit that I am a fan of much of Croatia anyway. To be fair I have not stayed in le Meridien, but have been there and I am certain it is a great place, but not quite so uniquely Split as Vestibul Palace.

    BTW, for anybody who's a fan of truffles, the fall in Istria offers the best experiences and some of the least expensive also. We try to make it there at least once each fall, with the peak season usually in mid-October IME.
     
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  7. jbcarioca
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    jbcarioca Gold Member

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    Frankly, unless one adores high prices and crowded conditions I recommend avoiding July and August anywhere in Croatia. There are hordes of tourists from nearly everywhere in Europe and the highways are so congested hat travel is incredibly difficult. I strongly recommend the late spring or early fall for anywhere in the region if you've any alternative.
     
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  8. TRAVELSIG
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    +1. Agreed.
     
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  9. ralfkrippner
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    ralfkrippner Silver Member

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    Thanks for your report - this hotel is on my bucket list for quite a while now...

    You mentioned the buffet breakfast. Was this available as a Platinum amenity and is it full or continental?
     
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  10. TRAVELSIG
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    A number of the rates include buffet breakfast- check out this as an option as well.
     
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  11. dhammer53
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    dhammer53 Gold Member

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    Did anyone go to Plitvice Lakes? If so, did you drive or go by bus?

    Thanks.
     
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  12. jbcarioca
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    jbcarioca Gold Member

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    My spouse and I went there twice. We drove ourselves, as we do whenever we're in Croatia. The large size and great variety in the park make a self-controlled itinerary essential, in my opinion. There are lots of cascades, waterfalls, of course lakes and other colourful sites that are not at their best when with a group. Directions are easy and roads, even the small ones, are pretty good. Of course a GPS is most helpful; Croatia GPS maps are quite comprehensive if you get one up-to-date.
    http://www.np-plitvicka-jezera.hr/en/
    A personal favourite for me is the Plitvica stream, 4km long with The Great Waterfall also:
    Plitvička-Jezera_289.jpg
    Of course the tour busses go there, but they will not allow enough time to explore the entire stream, which is fascinating IMHO.
    There are several hiking trails. I went on only two but they were very well marked and were very interesting too. I doubt you could go hiking when with a tour bus.

    BTW, the wines are well worth trying and often good values and, as I already said above, if in the fall, the truffles will be in season and are both inexpensive (for truffles) and quite spectacularly good.

    Have a good time, as I'm sure you will.
     
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  13. TRAVELSIG
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    +1 on both the hiking trails and the wines! Agree both are very good.
     
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