We do like to find unusual places to stay on our travels, and so on a recent trip to Rijeka, in Croatia, we were intrigued by Botel Marina – a unique boat hotel, moored in the marina, right in the city centre. The website describes it as
a unique combination of “a boat with a soul” with modern design, and attractive offers on an excellent location. Come, dear “to sail”, fall asleep on the mild waves of the sea, and wake up fresh and well-rested with a beautiful view of Kvarner!
and this intrigued us enough to make a reservation for two nights, through Booking.Com. It certainly wasn’t the cheapest stay we’ve had recently – we paid €124 for two nights, which is quite pricey for something which is also described as hostel-like. There are a variety of rooms, ranging from dormitories, quadruples and down to single occupancy. We opted for a double and having seen various photos on the internet, felt quite happy that although the “H” word had been used, we probably weren’t going to be slumming it.
Botel is very easy to find, even in an unfamiliar city – once you hit the road to the marina, it is there in front of you, as it’s very recognisable from the website.
The reception was very jolly indeed, bedecked in Christmas decorations, and clearly a comfy place too, with lots of seating areas and a very tasteful TV/relaxation lounge, on the mezzanine floor above reception.
Unfortunately, within 5 minutes we’d requested a room change. Although very pleasant – and very clean – the room we’d been allocated , whilst “below deck”, was just a bit too noisy as we could hear the bass from music in the bar, a couple of floors above. It wasn’t loud, just the level of noise that we knew would become very irritating. However, the guy on reception was extremely helpful, firstly ensuring that the volume of the music was reduced and then giving us keys for another two rooms so we could decide which one we’d like. We plumped for a double with a porthole just below the level of the walkway outside – and on the the side where the sun set, not rose, as there were no curtains at the tiny round window. A wise decision, as the winter sunshine next morning, when we left the boat, was blinding.
The double room was well furnished – although fairly basic – with a very comfy (and large) double bed made up of two single mattresses, a work table, shelving and good sized wardrobe/storage cupboard. The en-suite bathroom was also sizeable, with a walk in shower – although if you are very tall, you’d have to stoop as the ceilings are quite low. Complimentary toiletries were provided, as well as good quality white towels. The room had a television, good heating/air-con and excellent free wi-fi. We experienced no noise in the night – some reviews commented that it could be noisy, and I guess in summer time it’s quite a different story. But in December, it all felt very cosy and quiet, despite our initial reservations about noise from the bar.
The bar is on the upper deck, and with the restaurant, runs the length of the boat – although breakfast was included in the price, we didn’t do it because we had two very early morning appointments. However, the restaurant did look lovely and also offered an extensive a la carte evening menu for non-residents, so guessing it must be good.
All in all, we enjoyed our unusual stay. A slight negative was that people can smoke on the outside upper decks and we did, from time to time, get wafts of the smell of cigarettes. Not sure if we’d return, having done it now, but we’re glad we did. And, thankfully, it’s moored very tightly to the marina, so there’s no rocking…
Botel Marina, Adamić Pier, Rijeka