Let me start by saying that if you are not exactly the beach going type or a foodie – this post might not be for you. But if you’re a sun seeker and seafood lover, then stick with me! This June, I was able to spend 4 days in Lovran, located just a stone’s throw away from Opatija. So I’ve checked in to the chic 4-star Boutique Hotel AcaciaWanna hear more?

With its exclusive rooms, acclaimed restaurant and dramatic cliffside setting, this small property can be considered one of Istria’s most romantic escapes.

Boutique Hotel Acacia Lovran
Boutique Hotel Acacia, Lovran

That’s the thing, see: Optaija Riviera is full of hip hotels and villas at every turn, but there are a handful that clearly stand out from the rest. What makes this boutique hotel so cool is its gorgeous sea view and green surroundings. Besides, the hotel is designed to offer privacy above all else! Here you’ll definitely enjoy the solitude because the entire serene landscape seems to surround and hold you quietly.

Istrian Nights

Cool blues, stylish chairs and plush sofas decorate the inside and there’s a intimate feel thanks to the attentive owners and small number of rooms. And since the hotel only opened in summer 2018, each room comes with thoughtful modern features. All of them boast a cutting-edge style inspired by the beauty and colors of the Adriatic Sea.

Hotel Lovran Room

This tranquil retreat is a dreamy boutique hotel, so I wouldn’t mind moving into one of those rooms (for reals).

Boutique Hotel Acacia Rooms
A view to remember!

WHAT WE LOVED: The hotel offers a Pillow Menu for a good night sleep. You can choose to have an “Orthopedics Memo Foam Pillow”, a “Classic Pillow Lavender Provence”, a “Tencel Softfill Pillow”, a “Bamboo Covered Pillow” or a “Down Feather Pillow”. How’s that sound?

Delicious Eats

Boutique Hotel Acacia is home to Stanger Restaurant, a renowned venue featuring a fabulous location on the terrace overlooking the Adriatic Sea. The owners – Lidija & Igor – believe in high-quality cooking, and the chef goes above and beyond to satisfy your taste buds. Everything is fresh and tastes ultra delicious.

Stanger Restaurant Croatia
Breakfast with a VIEW

Gourmet canapes for breakfast anyone? Or maybe truffle poached eggs?

Canapes for breakfast

Sometimes nicknamed as the new Tuscany, Istria is known for its white Malvazija. When it comes to dinner, be sure to order this delicious wine along with a fabulous starter: fresh octopus salad. Don’t miss out on the grilled sea bass seasoned with mangold!

Must admit that this was the BEST octopus salad I ever had.

Best part? Dogs are allowed in this unique restaurant! Book a table on the splendid terrace, give your furry friend a deep hug, and say CHEERS to a magical sunset! Life is beautiful, just let it in!

Istria sunset
Ice-cold Malvazija in all its splendor.

Beach Vibes

There’s no sandy beach, but stairs carved into the cliffs provide plenty of direct access into the water, and deck chairs plus balinese beds allow for sun-bathing in privacy. Besides, the view is really breathtaking.

Boutique Hotel Acacia Beach
The private beach

Ready for the sapphire blue sea? It’s a paradise for water babes and avid boating enthusiasts.

Istrian Beach
Connect with nature and take in the unique view.

In addition, here you can live out your Stand Up Paddle Boarding dreams. I can guarantee that once you’ll dive into this oasis, you’ll realize that it’s time for pure self-indulgent laziness.

Paddle Boarding Croatia
When in doubt, paddle out!
Adriatic Sea Croatia
Mr. ExpatTrip floating happily into the big BLUE.

With such a gorgeous sea, it’s no wonder that Istria – the largest peninsula in the Adriatic Sea – has been named as one of the TOP 10 Destinations in Europe by Lonely Planet on its annual top European summer destinations list.

To Dos While You’Re Here

No matter where you go in Opatija you’re bound to run into seafood restaurants. But for a memorable dinner head to Volosko, a fishing village turned into a popular gourmet destination. Here you’ll find Plavi Podrum – a small Istrian gem chock full of well heeled and tourists “in the know”. The setting is gorgeous, and the Buzara Shrimps & Clams are extraordinary!

Plavi Podrum Restaurant Opatija
Buzara Shrimps drenched in a heavenly sauce.

If you have kids take a trip to Plaža Medveja a family-friendly pebble beach. Medveja is located 2 kilometers from Lovran, and it features unique sports facilities. The beach bar serves several local beers (San Servolo is a MUST) – but premium beers as well. So don’t worry, you’ll survive the Croatian heat wave for sure!

Heineken beer
See the pebbles? The crystal-clear water?

BOTTOM LINE: pack your bathing suit, add your flip-flops, grab your family and head to Boutique Hotel Acacia! Once there, stretch out your arms and launch into the turquoise BLUE. Happy floating everyone!

Disclaimer: we were guests of Boutique Hotel Acacia, and you can probably tell that I REALLY loved it! As always, opinions are all mine.