Jason and I love luxury hotels and spas. You know, the kind where they bring you cold towels, serve drinks to your sunbed and have tons of activities on the daily agenda. We do not however always enjoy the cost of these hotels, but we have figured out that there is a cheeky way to enjoy luxury without the luxury price tag with a day guest pass to the Falkensteiner Iadera.
We are currently in Zadar staying in a fabulous apartment with superb city views and a mere stone’s throw from the town centre. It has free parking, luxury amenities, and fabulous sea views so it is perfect in almost every respect. ‘So what is the issue?’, I hear you cry. Sadly, it does not have a pool, and in the scorching heat of Croatia in July I rather regret the decision to omit a pool from our search criteria.
Trip to the beach?
We don’t like beaches as sand gets everywhere (yes I mean everywhere!), it’s uncomfortable and the sand is too hot. We would much rather hang out by a pool if we want to laze in the sun instead of exploring. If this sounds like you, here is one pool hack you need to be aware of.
Hotel day passes
Many upmarket hotels offer day passes whereby you pay a set fee to utilise the facilities. The fee varies from hotel to hotel, but I’ve paid anything between £10 and €60 for this privilege. This can be exceptional value, particularly as a five-star hotel may costs upwards of £300 a night.
In Croatia the Falkensteiner hotels are an upmarket chain of hotels based in and around the delightful old town of Zadar. The hotels offer a wide range of activities and access to some spectacular pools and spa facilities. We opted for the Falkensteiner Iadera in PetrcaneFalkensteiner Iadera in Petrcane, around 15 minutes north of town. It costs €60 a person (912KN for two). The day pass gives you access to the pools, spa, gym, sporting classes and Black Spa.
The black spa is a stunning area of the hotel. As the name suggests, black tiles languish decadently in the sun. Pool jets massage weary bodies and as an adult only area, you can enjoy peace and quiet. The only problem is that it is nudist! Not an issue if you like wandering around in your birthday suit, but we Brits were not enamoured at the prospect of displaying our drooping body parts!
We spend the day lounging around the pool and submerging ourselves in the cool waters to pound our bodies under the multiple jets. Jason and our pals get rather animated as they spot local celebrity Luca Modric in the pool. They spend some time trying to pose for photos with him in the background secretly trying to catch him on camera!! As for me, well I didn’t even know who he was. If you are wondering the same, he is a famous footballer on over £200,000 a week!
The beach bar
The beach bar offers a range of snacks and drinks which are reasonably priced given the luxury status of the hotel. Service is excellent and there’s plenty of seating in either sun and shade.
I have to be honest, Jason baulked somewhat at the price when I suggested this option. However, by the end of the day, we all agreed it was a fabulous way to spend the day and we felt the spend was worthwhile. We thoroughly enjoyed our visit to Falkensteiner Iadera and loved the luxury minus the luxury price tag.