I don’t even know where to begin describing how great our experience in Opatija was, how wonderful our hosts Ivana and Boris were and how well their apartment worked for us. From the moment we walked into the comfortable, clean, well-lit and extremely well positioned apartment, we felt as comfortable as in our home in Santa Monica. We learned that the building itself is very old, infused with the charm of Old Europe. Walking up the broad, expansive stairway took us back to older, simpler times. Good excercise as well, going up and down several times a day, a free stairmaster if you will. Our children (4 and 10) loved the colorful decorations and linens Ivana put together. Boris was there to greet us and give a brief tour of the apartment, give tips on the surroundings and made us feel very welcome. During our stay every question sent to him through (SENSITIVE CONTENTS HIDDEN) was answered within minutes. Top notch! Everything worked perfectly. A novelty for someone from Southern Cali was drinking cold, delicious water straight from the faucet! Air-conditioner worked perfectly, but we preferred breathing in fresh sea air despite the heat (except for one night that was just brutally hot). The sea felt an arms-reach outside the windows, a charming mini-marina below, packed with simple but colorful boats full of character.
The street in the morning was like a set of a Felini movie - there’s scooters whizzing by, pedestrians from all corners of Europe and USA milling back and forth, grabbing coffee at nearby cafes and hotels, shopping at nearby Conzum Market, or the fresh local Farmer’s Market (it took Boris telling us about it, it’s kind of easy to miss it since the doors were closed due to heat). Awesome fruits and veggies and meats in there, plus local delicacies (cheeses, figs, brandies, breads) and a small but awesome fish market in the adjacent hallway. The customers were shopping for fish for nearby restaurants and were happy to share local ways of preparing fish and suggest local white wine pairings.
There is an awesome bakery less than a minute’s walk from the building (with a selection of both organic and gluten-free breads and pastries).
Children’s beach is five minutes away, basically straight down at the sea. It features a nice water slide, kids play yard, beach soccer field, a small lunch place. Large area of shallow, waist deep water with soft sand bottom. It does get packed, but that’s half the fun.
There’s all kinds of night life in Opatija, a good deal of it free to public. We happened to be there during the “Austrian Days”, recalling the days from turn of the 20th century when FJ turned Opatija into place to be for the Austrian high-society. A beautiful experience!
Staying at Ivana and Boris’ place will stay a beautiful memory for quite some time, both for us and for our children. We very much hope this was just the first of many future visits.