Saturday 13 August 2016

Hotel Sv. Mihovil, Trijl, Croatia

A waterside hotel dating from the former Yugoslavia, Hotel Sv. Mihovil is now a base for adventure holidays on the Cetina river. A white washed modernist building in various states of disrepair, the hotel has the air of a sanatorium despite the small pool, a dilapidated games room with a table tennis table and pool table, and an outside terrace from where you can admire the big graffiti sign on the opposite bank that reads "Hadjuk Split Ultras." In an effort to lift the mood, the hallways, landings and spacious rooms are dotted with large prints of people having fun white water rafting, canoeing and canyoning. Although they are quite big, the en-suite bedrooms are very basic. The walls are paper thin, while the furnishings are cheap and distressed. There can be a strange smell in the bathrooms and key items, such as bath plugs, may be missing. There may also be telephone wires protruding from the bathroom walls. The reception staff are friendly enough, but they seem to be able to do little about these wrinkles. Still, the setting on the river is a bit special and there are plenty of shops (including a supermarket), bars and restaurants nearby.

The buffet breakfast is mundane with fluffy bread, yoghurts, coco-pops and the like, washed down with stewed filter coffee. But you can order a reasonable cheese and ham omelet or pancakes from the waiting staff. Dinners may be served in the large dining room or the outside terrace depending on the weather. Again, the food tends to be school-canteen standard and uninspired. The "salad bar" is particularly impoverished. But on the odd evening, the catering does step up a notch - the pulled pork, in particular, is both delicious and generous. The house wine is pretty cheap, but also pretty harsh. There is some better stuff at a steeper price. But your best bet may be a pint of Kaltenberg beer (17 kuna), supplemented by a big bottle of fizzy water (20 kuna). You can round the evening off with a 9 kuna cappuccino. In summary, Hotel Sv. Mihovil is trading on its location. With a thorough refurbishment and some investment in the kitchens, it could become a very pleasant place to stay.  6/10