The family-friendly Valamar Crystal counts a close-to-it-all setting, a relaxing pool set-up, and lots of things to do as highlights.
This place has clinched a seafront spot in a pine forest clearing. You can walk to the ragged shoreline in a few minutes, and the Roman town of Porec is just a bit further on.
The hotel is well geared up for families, with lots of activities and separate pools for children and adults. Décor is cool and contemporary – rooms come with beech furniture and brightly painted feature walls.
The hotel's kids' club is for ages 4-12 years. Children have so much to do at this club called 'Maro' with games, sports and activities. They have their own bar with as much to drink as they need - and ice-creams and snacks by the pool in the afternoons.
Had I wanted to share my holiday with 240 children I would have booked 2 weeks at a youth hostel
We arrived at the Valamar Crystal, Porec, around mid morning on Saturday 12th September. Our first interaction was with the "gentleman" at the front desk. Without even asking our names he said. "Come back at 1pm and I will allocate your room". A good morning would have been a better start. We duly returned at about 2pm and were allocted out room. (432) Which we found adequate. a little small perhaps. But we were not intent on spending a lot of time within (how wrong this assumption turned out to be) The first few days of our 14 night stay were uneventfull. As previous ratings have said. The hotel was clean, the rooms well maintained and the food ok. (We have stayed in other 4 star hotels and have had a better selection. But on the whole nothing to cause a problem.) We appreciate that this was NOT an adults only hotel. We are NOT anti youth or indeed anti much. BUT when you are confronted with a mass of over 240 children, aged from approx 6 years to 18 years. The majority, NOT ALL, the majority rampaging through the hotel. The pool area, the lounge area, the bar area, the poolside area. and the corridors and lifts. Life takes on a different perspective. The reason that this party was billeted at the Crystal is because they were taking part in a european chess championship.All other Valamar hotels in the area had sub-contracted the guests to the Crystal, as they were winding down at the end of the season. Thus the pool bar eatery was closed at lunch time. And the restaurant was opened for the chess people. No thought for the paying guests, who had spent in excess of Â£2000 for a holiday. Security was called during one evening, as the rampaging youths climbed over balastrades, which protected exhibits in the lounge area,ran amok along corridors, banging on the doors of guest rooms. Jumped up and down in the lifts and used the hotel as a play park. Many many people from many countries remonstrated with the youths. But to little avail. The staff at reception were powerless to do anything. The valient waiters and waitresses were perplexed, and apologised to the "normal" guests over and over. Our holiday system changed dramatically. We changed our eating times, in the hope that we would miss the free for all in the restaurant. We elected to creep into the restaurant via the disabled persons door at the rear of the room.We spent a lot of time in our room. Watching the 1 english language channel (BBC world news)
I texted my Son asking him to find us a flight home, early.This was not possible, as the only flight(s) available were to London, we had travelled from Bristol. Will we ever go back to The Crystal? A resounding No. Valamar you badly let us down. We will NEVER darken your doors again. We WILL return to our beloved POREC, but never to a VALAMAR hotel.We fully appreciate that the season was drawing to an end, and that staff get fatigued and jaded. (We live in a holiday area, and have a very busy restaurant) we, like your staff get tired. BUT this was our annual holiday. The season was NOT ended. You failed to comprehend that we are a returning customer. And that we should be "looked" after. We now live in a very fluid world.And can spend our pounds, or Kuna, wherever I choose.More
Norm P, Bude Cornwall
Lovely hotel in great position
We booked a dinner bed and breakfast deal in booking.com which is much cheaper and booked our flights from stansted to Pula. Really nice hotel and the food was excellent. Drink prices very reasonable. The restaurant was a bit of a canteen feel and some better lighting would help. as the dinner was served 7 to 9 we went down later to avoid the crowds. The drinks service in restaurant was slow and the restaurant manager wasn't very helpful so you might find it easier to get your drinks from the bar,
WE had room 335 which was in the shade all day which might not have suited everyone. We didn't hire a car but we went on some great boat trips ie. The fish picnic on the Kristopher, the sunset cruise to see the Dolphins. We also did the glass bottom boat which wasn't the yellow submarine. These were all brilliant. We got a guide to take us wine tasting and also took us up to Motovun a lovely village in the mountains. We also went to Pula to see the colliseum which was brilliant. We really loved Porec which was really nice with a lovely marina and some great bars and the prices are very reasonable. We also hired bikes for about 5.oo for a half day. . I would think twice about returning to other parts of Europe as Croatia is so cheap, very clean and the people are very nice. We also went across to the Valamar Island resort on the ferry and spent the day by the pool. Lovely there too. There was a pleasant 30 minute walk into town and the beaches which were shingle had sun beds for hire and were very clean. There was plenty of room at the hotel by the pool and on the lawns/garden area to sunbathe. wi fi was excellent. All in all a perfect holiday.More
David H, Maidenhead, United Kingdom
Our first time here.. Had an amazing stay.. Pool is clean food is excellent and all of the staff is amazing and helpfull.. The rooms were always clean and there's nothing bad to say about the hotel.. We will be back for sure :)I recommend this hotel to others :) More
BrittanySpiteri, Island of Malta, Malta
Lovely hotel , with great location
Stayed in this hotel for 11 nights. Had family room, which means , two rooms with internal door between the two ! Rooms where clean and spacious. Our rooms looked over the garden. No noise, except when night club was open, background thump of music. But not a nuisance. Check in was easy, lovely staff on desk. Food was lovely, good variety. We had 2 12 year olds , they eat well! Restaurant was clean, staff lovely. We went in August and it wasn't that busy. No queues ! Evening entertainment was good. Abba night was brill. Pool is salt water, once you get use to it it is ok! You need to be up early to get a sun bed, they provide towels.
The location is very good. Right on the sea. No beach, but lots of grass area with beds and umbrellas , cheap to rent. It's a short walk into the main town, about 15-20 mins, or you can take the little tourist train, that cheap too. The other way on the train is worth a look too.
Our family like to snack eat, but we found that the hotel do not do bar snacks in the evening, so stock up on your crips and peanuts !
We would go back to this hotel. Thank you to the staff.More
Sadie M, Essex, United Kingdom
Great location, excellent food
We stayed here as we were visiting for a wedding. The hotel was really clean, the food was amazing for breakfast and dinner- great seafood and amazing pizza. Location is 10 mins walk from the old town and close to the sea. Bit annoying that you have to be pay for sun beds near the sea but overall all good More